"Lost Sheep in Delhi" 5D4N Solo Golden Triangle in March 2018

#1 Jan 23rd, 2018, 12:26
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  • kannan84 is offline
#1
Namaste,

I will be traveling to India for the first time in March. Soo excited.

It's a bit of a spontaneous thing that goes along with the multitude of desi things I found myself doing with my colleagues' encouragement since August

I "blame" them for my taking up Bollywood dance and doing surprisingly well at a Ghoomar competition recently. Which is odd. I never even heard of it until a week before the contest. And that's why I decided to do more insanely ambitious things like go to Delhi alone. Yes. Alone.

- I took up a 5D4N Golden Triangle solo tour package with a reputable agency based in India.

- Decided desi agency is much better because local ones here in Singapore aren't even listening to me when I said I wanted to be a lone lamb to the slaughter and to stop insisting I go in a group.

- I read up some reviews on TripAdvisor and found I won't really like the "being herded around like sheep" experience if I went to the normal tourist spots.

- I asked the agency if I can pick my own list of places to visit and they said yes! And I picked all the places that have lesser reviews on TA but still have a good immersive experience for a first time visitor to India (but doesn't necessarily want to be known or treated as a tourist).

Plus, being a new Hindu, paying my respects to Maa Durga upon arrival is kind of... a nice story to tell. Who knows maybe I can sing some Aigini Nandini by then. Remember, ambitious goals.

On hindsight - Delhi is big enough that 1 day is not enough. I'll be off to Agra and Jaipur for the next couple of nights before coming back to Delhi on the last day. I deliberately booked the return flight to be the midnight one, so I could cram in a few more activities before going off. And there's a nice Air Force Museum beside the airport, which is totally my thing.

If I don't end up on someone's dinner table I hope to visit again in free and easy format so I can see if I can survive being a lost sheep in the big city again?
#2 Jan 24th, 2018, 00:03
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#2
Hello kannan,which places have you decided to visit while in Delhi ?

Delhi is one of those places you either love or hate.I could quite easily spend a couple of weeks wandering and metroing around ,but the pollution normal gets to me after a week,still love the place .

I hope you have a great time and try to relax.
All the best Simon.
#3 Feb 2nd, 2018, 12:39
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#3
Hopefully the pollution will be lesser in March as the temperatures go up, and Perhaps Jacaranda, Silk-cotton and Flame-tree will still have bloom.

Weather forecast:
THU 3/29 34 /17 Mostly sunny
FRI 3/30 30 /17 A morning t-storm in spots
SAT 3/31 31 /16 Mostly sunny
Hist. Avg. 32/17

* I know Kannan from another forum.
यो वै स धर्मः सत्यं वै तत् तस्मात्सत्यं वदन्तमाहुर् धर्मं वदतीति धर्मं वा वदन्तँ सत्यं वदतीत्य् एतद्ध्येवैतदुभयं भवति ll
Truly that Dharma is the Truth (Satya); Therefore, when a man speaks the Truth, they say, "He speaks the Dharma"; and if he speaks Dharma, they say, "He speaks the Truth!" For both are one. - Brihadaranyak Upanishad
#4 Feb 3rd, 2018, 21:44
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#4
I have intention to extend my stay in India until 1st April (no I am not kidding).

My original 5D4N plan is heavy on the Agra / Jaipur side of things and the road distances to Delhi is quite great, so the added 3 days in Delhi before flying back would give me more experience on living in India.

If I returned on the 29th March as originally planned, I'll be arriving home on Good Friday anyway, and I have no plans for that weekend.

Definitely I would like to see more of Old Delhi, Gandhi museum, and other places off the radar.

I'll have to enquire on what is the best way to get around town - one of my Indian colleagues says Uber is the best bet, else I would have to learn the art of haggling with autorickshaws and taxis

Actually autorickshaws look like a lot of fun, I've seen pictures of them from Thailand.
#5 Feb 4th, 2018, 04:36
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kannan84, I've found the Delhi Metro about the best way to get about. The Metro now reaches almost everywhere a visitor could wish to go. A short autorickshaw ride can take you to your intended destination from the closest Metro station should the walk be too long. Warning: Metro trains can be uncomfortably crowded at peak hours.
This space intentionally left blank.
#6 Feb 4th, 2018, 07:57
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#6
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Originally Posted by kannan84 View Post
Actually autorickshaws look like a lot of fun, I've seen pictures of them from Thailand.
The autos in Thailand are wide open vehicles, while the ones in India are claustrophobically narrow, and worst of all, you don't see outside while on the road. So take them only where absolutely necessary. Advantage of small autos: more flexible in congested area!

As to the pricing: Taxis are generally less expensive (esp also in Thailand) because cars have fixed prices per km, while auto-drivers will not hesitate to rip off tourists. In Delhi, however, I discovered that Sikh drivers (recognisable by turban and long beard) often give the fairest prices.

To give you a haggling advantage it will always be good to know the distance to your destination (Google map!). Then calculate Km times 10 Rupees for a car plus a certain small amount for the first kilometer, say another Rs 10. An auto should be a lot cheaper than a car, but you will find out that the opposite is the case! That's why...

Locals will not do haggling because they know the right price, and they will also get it. They just get into the vehicle and have the right amount ready at the end. That is often the right thing to do also with cycle-rickshaws for short distances, say from New Delhi Railway Station to a hotel or guesthouse in Main Bazar Pahar Ganj, where autos and cars are not allowed to enter in one direction.

For them just have a fair amount ready at the end of the ride, because cycle-rickshaw people have a hard job. They generally do not dare to overcharge much because they would lose face if demanding a lot more than is their due. If you want to be sure however, name the amount first that you are going to pay them, and if they are not happy with it, just step away and go to another Rickshaw. The same "lose face" situation may happen also then, if the price is not right (i.e. lower than what could be expected) and other drivers are overhearing what was said.

It depends a lot what the "present market situation" is, if many drivers are waiting for customers or not.

With autos there may also be a sham-meter use involved; I don't know what the present situation is with that in Delhi. Anyone?
#7 Feb 4th, 2018, 14:34
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#7
Sham does not go away that easily in India.
#8 Feb 4th, 2018, 17:34
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HOHO bus could be an option to see the sights in Delhi.
#9 Feb 4th, 2018, 20:19
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Thanks, Aarosh. Hoho (Hop on, Hop off). That is a nice idea, Kannan. See if that interests you. Your travel agent can book the ticket.
#10 Feb 4th, 2018, 20:41
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#10
@atala

Wow so much information - this is very useful thank you.

As car & driver will be provided for the first 5D/4N solo tour part of my trip I may not have the opportunity to go play with the normal transport options but that will change when I get to the homestay part of my trip.

Cycle rickshaws are probably going to be the most fun for me because I love underdog travel options and will pay them more generously due to the well, effort involved in the conveyance!

I have one other area I'd like to know more (well two actually).

- Most travel guides to Delhi mention some stomach upset on trying local food for the first time but I am not knowing if this applies to spiciness or other factors. I am well versed with Indian cuisine locally in Singapore (infact the locals are the ones upset with my "desi"ness not the other way around!) and perfectly fine with spicy food.

Is there anything I can do or take to prevent this? The last thing I want is to be decked out in my favorite kurthas and uhhh, googling for the nearest toilet.

- I'll be staying in Jaipur 2 nights and Agra 1 night. Are there lots of cultural activities in the evening? How does one best participate or find these, besides wandering around like a lost sheep waiting to be put into someone's dum briyani?

@unclelach

Yes this is a good suggestion also and I should have no problem with this so long as the automated ticketing system is reasonably hassle free.
#11 Feb 4th, 2018, 21:43
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kannan84 View Post Is there anything I can do or take to prevent this? The last thing I want is to be decked out in my favorite kurthas and uhhh, googling for the nearest toilet.
If you are lucky and don't have to visit the toilet frequently, then you could consider visiting the International Toilet Museum.
#12 Feb 4th, 2018, 21:46
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Originally Posted by kannan84 View Post I'll be staying in Jaipur 2 nights and Agra 1 night. Are there lots of cultural activities in the evening?
Not sure about Agra, however there is Chokhi Dhani in Jaipur.

On the way from Agra to Jaipur you could consider seeing Abhaneri.
#13 Feb 5th, 2018, 09:29
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#13
Yes, Abhaneri will be very interesting. See this: https://www.religiousforums.com/thre.../#post-4194693
#14 Feb 5th, 2018, 19:47
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarosh View Post If you are lucky and don't have to visit the toilet frequently, then you could consider visiting the International Toilet Museum.
LOL

I actually read about the place and want to go there. But it's sooooooooo far away.
#15 Feb 12th, 2018, 09:39
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#15
So its been a week and the tour agency hasn't confirmed my change of 1st day destinations in Delhi. But the agent assured me the changes were fine.

The funny part is without the confirmed itinerary my balance payment is not due, and so I went ahead to re-schedule my return flight to 1st April.
Maybe I'll get back to this topic later in the month, after a few temple visits, dance classes and meditation sessions.
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