India has always been a place that I wanted to go but the opportunity didn’t really present itself until I got a really cool fare to New Delhi from KL and I thought, why the hell not? So, here’s my rough guide and itinerary to 1 month in India, hope it will inspire you to visit and enjoy as much as I did!
Was it awesome? Yes, yes, yes … yes!
Would I go again? Oh my freaking god yes!
What did I do? New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Pushkar, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Mumbai, Goa, Chennai
Positive: Food, most people, atmosphere, the small towns
Negative: Scammers, the noise, more scammers, more noise, did I mention scammers and noise?
Tips before I start: Get Uber (you can use my promo code t1dft), it’s the most transparent and often cheapest way to get around in big cities
Try to travel by train, it’s the cheapest option or bus, which are more expensive but sometimes faster. I didn’t mind both.
And some warnings: Be insanely careful about scammers. I will tell about two I fell for:
1. Delhi airport taxi scam: Make sure you get into a prepaid taxi and don’t let anyone talk you out of taking an official taxi, NO private cars! Better, even though more expensive, use hotel pickup.
I ended up in a private car and the guy said the area around my hostel was closed, then he called my hostel (I saw him typing the correct number into his phone but he managed to exchange numbers – no idea how! They are really good at scamming!), and the “guy from the hostel” confirmed the hostel is closed. They sent me to a FAKE tourist and reservation centre where they wanted to sell me an insanely expensive tour package. I refused to buy and they “found” me one of the “very few hotels that weren’t booked out”. The next day my sim card started working and the actual guy from the hostel guided me to my real place.
Summary: Don’t trust people at airports, train station, tourist attractions, beware of Tourist and Reservation Centres
2. Pushkar flower scam: People give you flowers to throw into the lake, then a “priest” approaches you and makes a ceremony with you, then asks for donation. Don’t accept the flowers or throw them away. It’s a scam!
Hostel: Stayed in The Hosteller. Cool, but unorganized hostel, go to the one near Saket station
Transport: Uber or metro, or ask your hostel to arrange taxi or tuk tuks to avoid complete rip offs
– The food, the Red Fort, the Lotus Temple, Old Delhi, Jama Masjid
Summary: If you have little time, get out of the city, it’s not good.
Morning train in, Tuk Tuk driver for the day, night bus to Jaipur out: More than enough.
The most touristy place in India: Overpriced and full of scammers and people trying to rip you off. Go only if you can’t live without seeing the Taj Mahal, which is cool but sure not the best about India. For Taj Mahal (4/5) hire a Tuk Tuk for the day and bargain hard! Spare the “bazaars” as they are just shops where the driver gets commission. The drivers know good places to see nice things without paying entrance fees as they are overpriced everywhere. Taj Mahal is the only place you should pay the entrance fee. Driver a day max 700R.
Hostel: Stayed in The Hosteller again, terrible communication between the hostels, be aware that the hostel is empty at night, so make sure they know you are coming if you arrive at night. Staff is nice and place is decent.
Here is a lot to do: Nahargarh Fort (go at night for the best view over the city, 4/5), Amber Fort (5/5) is the best part, also in the area Jaigarh Fort with cool view (4/5) and Jal Mahal(3/5) at night on the way back to the city. Further away there are the Step Wells which I sadly missed, do it!
In the Pink City area you can walk around for ages, visit the Hawa Mahal (3/5) and the City Palace(2/5), but don’t pay for entrance here, not worth the money. Jantar Mantar only for science enthusiasts.
Amazing little town, stayed in Zostel, a bit outside of town in a really nice building.
There is a great market for souvenirs and all kind of stuff (5/5). Also the lake is beautiful (5/5), just don’t fall for the scam and respect the local traditions (no pictures, no shoes). Other than that just chill, calm down from the hectic of India, enjoy the rooftops. Sai Baba has a great rooftop.
Second favourite in India. Stayed in a small guest house inside the fort, great location, and cool rooftops all around. Get up early to explore the fort before the tourists get in. I didn’t do much aside from chilling in the fort. The desert safari is really cool, sleeping below the stars is great. Backpackers go with one of the hostels, others try Desert Man Safari: the guy seemed to be really knowing what he is doing and seemed like high quality.
Alright place, but fort is overpriced, the white temple is nice and other than that, it’s quite boring. Might as well skip it.
OMG! GO THERE! Love it! I stayed in Panda Backpackers, the best beds in India, great rooftop. A bit outside from the city, but great location near the lake for some chilled out nights.
Udaipur is beautiful, so relaxed and just amazing. Rent a bicycle and go around town, spend your days near the lake, watch the sunset over the lake, hang out in beautiful cafes and walk around the old city. For a little money, you can hang around the outsides of the palace and save the money to go in. Jheel Ginger café is a beautiful place next to the lake, Bapu bazaar is a cool place to witness the real India and get the chance for some affordable tailored clothes. The best Thali in India is to be found in Shree Kanak Dining Hall, don’t miss out on that, just trust me. You can thank me later!
You see, I love Udaipur so overall 6/5!
Stayed in a great hotel in Colaba. Through the Make My Trip app I got a great deal. Oasis Hotel Fort is an amazing hotel with the nicest staff. It was a treat to myself. Also, Colaba is the place where you want to be. It is a lot more tranquil than the rest, loads of bars, restaurants and beautiful old architecture. Didn’t do much here so can’t really tell you more.
Vacation time. One week barely leaving one of the coolest hostels on earth: Jungle Hostel in Vagator. The staff isn’t great but the place is an oasis of chill and party. Chill during the day, party or chill at night. Whatever you want you’ll find it here. Haven’t come across a single person that didn’t spontaneously extend their stay. Myself from one night to six.
The sunset from the fort is nice, the beach is chill, scooters are readily available and Parties are big in Anjuna and just a cab ride away.
After Goa, I took an overnight train to Chennai, nothing interesting there, there’s a port but nothing much. After exactly a month in exotic India, I took the first flight out to Colombo, Sri Lanka. India was amazing, hoping Sri Lanka will be as equally amazing as well! New country, new adventures!