Rewind 2017: 4 famous Mumbaikars pick most memorable destinations of the year

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Elephant

'Masai Mara has a raw and wild spirit'
Nishka Lulla, Fashion designer
Memorable trips: I visited South Africa and Kenya's Masai Mara on a two-week trip in September with my husband Dhruv [Mehra]. The landscapes we spotted driving through the Garden Route in South Africa looked like pages out of a story book. I particularly enjoyed the town Franschhoek for its centuries-old vineyards, vintage architecture and streets lined with art galleries featuring really inspiring works.

Nishka Lulla
Nishka Lulla

It's also the gourmet capital of the country. Masai Mara was also amazing. We went for four safaris every day, including the night one, which was quite thrilling. Spotting animals like cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and elephants in huge numbers in their natural habitat was adventurous. It was also fascinating to drive past prides of lions, unperturbed by our presence. The best thing about Masai Mara is its raw and wild spirit, and beautiful, clear pink skies in the evening.
On my wishlist: Cancun (Mexico), Australia, New Zealand, and also catching the northern lights in Iceland.

'I tried delicious smoked pork in Manipur'
Uday Benegal, Lead vocalist, Indus Creed
A memorable trip: I love India's northeast. I was lucky to visit Manipur for the first time in August, when I was invited to perform at a music festival there.

Manipur paddy fields

I spent three days in the most gorgeous environment, and in the company of the hospitable musician Akhu Chingangbam, who fronts the band Imphal Talkies. The expanses of greenery in the state are exquisite. I also tried delicious smoked pork and some tasty rice beer.

Uday Benegal
Uday Benegal

On my wishlist: I want to revisit Arunachal Pradesh; it's truly one of the country's most special wonders of nature. Japan has also been on my mind for a while. Their culture of artistry and food has long drawn me in.

'Japan was my first solo trip and it was beautiful'
Aahana Kumra, Actor
Memorable trips: I was in America for a month and travelled to Los Angeles, Austin and New York. I figured a lot about myself. What I like is that the country is a land of opportunities.

Aahana Kumra
Aahana Kumra

I visited museums, watched the play Sleep No More, roamed around the Battery Park area and even hit the beaches in LA. The trip was special as I brought in my birthday there and had a chance to meet Salman Rushdie at a festival screening of my film, Lipstick Under My Burkha. He sang a song for me.

At the Met museum in NY
At the Met museum in NY

I also got a chance to spot cherry blossoms at Central Park, since I visited the country in spring. That was interesting because earlier this year, I had visited Japan at a time when they were not in bloom. That was, in fact, my first solo trip and the most beautiful experience I've had, though language was a problem. I covered Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo.

Aahana Kumra with Salman Rushdie. Pic courtesy/Aahana Kumra's Instagram
Aahana Kumra with Salman Rushdie. Pic courtesy/Aahana Kumra's Instagram

On my wishlist: I want to go back to Japan to see Mount Fuji; they had barred visitors when I had gone since it was winter and it gets difficult to climb the mountain. And I want to catch the northern lights in Iceland.

'I cooked for monks in Myanmar'
Saransh Goila, Chef
A memorable trip: This January, I travelled to Myanmar with a photographer, singer and an actor. It was a fun road trip and we spotted thousands of pagodas.

Pagodas
The pagodas in Bagan

I got a chance to cook for monks and even speak to the head monk about life and my cooking style. They have a different way of looking at things, so it was interesting to hear his point of view.

Saransh Goila, Chef
Saransh Goila, Chef

On my wishlist: Australia and Kochi. The former has been on my mind for couple of years and now, I finally have an opportunity to cook in Melbourne next year. I'm looking forward to it. I've also heard a lot about Kochi. Since it's a coastal region, I would love to try some regional, coastal delicacies there.

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