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Looking for advice: Kerala, Sri Lanka, Zanzibar, Maldives

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Looking for advice: Kerala, Sri Lanka, Zanzibar, Maldives

Kelly | Oct 28, 2002 08:55 AM

I know that this is only tangentially related to food (the tangent being that I am firmly committed to traveling on my stomach as much as possible) -- but I think you guys are a remarkably trustworthy bunch o' sources, so here goes. (If the consensus is that this should go on the non-food board, *please* tell me and I'll post it there -- but the board doesn't seem to have a strong international representation)

Here's the situation: I've got 2 weeks of holiday that I'll have to take in the second half of December. Work has frazzled my brain to the point where I feel utterly incapable of heavy-duty planning/organization (which is why we're veto-ing Burma).

What do we want out of the holiday? Well, ideally, to be able to combine a week of "culture" with a week of sports/relaxation (snorkeling (we're not certified divers) or windsurfing or horses or biking). Since we're coming from Belgium, we put a premium on nice, sunny weather. And we'd really like to eat well, too (not as in gourmet, but as in local chow in whatever guise it may appear).

So, chowhounds, where should we go? Any recommendations? Here are some of the ideas that we're tossing around:
Sri Lanka
Kerala
Maldives
Zanzibar
South Africa
Thailand
Vietnam

Actually, I thought it would be cool to combine a week on Zanzibar with a safari in Tanzania, but apparently it's not the best season for safari there. I think the Maldives might be chockfull of tourists, and I don't know that we could do either Thailand or Vietnam justice in two weeks (plus I worry that the "relaxation" part would put us in horrible beach resort type places where people drink mai tais, eat pizza and play pool bingo ...).

I know this is totally vague, but if anyone's got opinions, I'd love to hear 'em (and of course, if you want to complicate matters by throwing other options into the pot, we're up for that too).

Many thanks in advance. And again, as I said, if I should be on the non-food board, tell me and I'll hotfoot it over there.

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