The World’s Most Relaxing Escape Room

Things to do, Pop-up locations
Boat floating down Kerala river
Photograph: Supplied

[Sponsored] There are no bags to pack or immigration queues to endure on this magical sojourn to South India

When you think of India, what comes to mind? Is it the hustle and bustle of New Delhi, or the hyper-modern skyscrapers rising out of Mumbai? Well, forget all that – Contiki is inviting the public to get a taste of South India via their pop-up ‘escape room’, where you’ll be swept away on a journey that reveals a side to the country that’s far more relaxed, but no less thrilling.

Experience the magic of virtual reality technology as you float down the Kerala on a traditional wooden houseboat, soaking in the sun’s warm rays as you pass seemingly infinite rows of palm trees, swaying gently to the beat of the breeze. However, some things just have to be felt in person, which is why you’ll then be treated to a traditional Ayurvedic head and shoulder massage, said to reduce muscle tension, soothe stress and balance energy (apparently it can even improve your appearance – can’t hurt).

You’ll finish your southern sojourn in the virtual surrounds of a lush coffee jungle, while a (real) chef prepares a customisable dosa bar so your stomach will be satiated the way your soul has been up ‘til now, filling the room with bright colours and smells as you eat like the locals do.

Being whisked away to the subcontinent for only a tenner is good enough as is, but all ticket proceeds will be donated to two charities that’ll warm your heart even more than the spices in your dosa. Eat My Cake empowers local women by teaching them hospitality skills from a tiny organic cafe in Pondicherry, while Dhonk Centre trains villagers living around Ranthambore National Park to protect native animals from poaching.

The pop-up has been created to celebrate the launch of Contiki’s new Southern Spice tour, which hopes to introduce the region to a generation of young travellers seeking to dive into a quieter slice of Indian life – think more temples, more tea and more tigers.

Book yourself into what’s likely to be the only escape room you won’t want to leave, where for 45 glorious minutes, your body might be in Kensington St, Chippendale, but your mind, spirit and senses will be thousands of kilometres away.

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