Chima Travels: India
We love recommending G Adventures because not only do you get to see all the sights you want to see, but they also do a great job connecting travelers with the locals.
Brian's 8-Day Golden Triangle tour with G Adventures started and ended in Delhi and had stops in Āgra, Dhula Village, and Jaipur.
Q. What were the dates of your trip? And how was the weather during those dates?
A. I went in December of 2019. I loved the weather, but I don’t like excessive heat. The temperatures were in the 60’s and 70’s during the day and at night they dropped to the 50’s. It was never too hot. We did have rain on 2 days of the trip. I hear during the summer months it’s insanely hot.
Q. What was your favorite part about the trip?
A. I’m a big city guy. I love New York, San Francisco, Seattle, etc. However, while in India I found the cities to be a little overwhelming for me (particularly New Delhi) and I fell in love with one of the villages I got to visit on my tour: Dhula Village.
In this village the stars in the evening sky were so bright. I was surrounded by mountains, and I did a sunrise bicycle tour into town where I was able to see a rural way of life for those in the village. I loved the clear skies without the city pollution, the fresh and organic crops, the warmth of the community in the village, and I got to sleep in a luxury tent complete with shower, toilet, and sink.
Q. Any advice for someone wanting to visit India?
A. I recommend going with a small group and a group leader. India is difficult without a local guide, in particular when it comes to food. A local guide will have a better knowledge of which restaurants you can eat at with a lesser chance of getting sick. On your own you really have no idea at which restaurants you’d be more or less likely to get sick.
Some other basic things you need to do:
File for an E-visa to visit India. In 2019 the cost was around $30. The whole process took me about 1 hour to complete and I had my E-visa in just 4 days.
I took malaria and typhoid pills prior. My insurance took care of some of it and I paid about $26 total for all of my medications.
Make sure to have an international phone plan. Many places in India are cash only and you need to have cash on hand, which means you need to access ATMs throughout India. I had situations quite frequently where I would find 3 ATMs and when I inserted my debit card all 3 ATM’s had issues. Then, when I found another set of 3 ATMs it said my debit card was declined. So I had to make frequent calls to my bank back home and in every situation my bank quickly answered and unblocked my debit card. However, being in a situation where you can’t call home to unlock your debit card would make the trip extremely difficult. Even though I already pre-approved the unblocking of my debit card before the trip, my card was continually blocked because my bank thought my many attempts at accessing money was fraudulent. In reality it was just 3 or more ATMs that were all out of service which triggered the fraud alert.
Q. Is there anything you’d do differently if you went back to India? Or if you did go back, what are 1 or 2 additional things you might like to do?
A. If I went back to Delhi I would want a tour of all things Gandhi. I only briefly saw the outside of the Gandhi museum.
I really liked the city of Jaipur and I would gladly go there again.
But above all else, I would want more time in the villages. That was truly the best part of my trip that really blew me away, and if I could have more time in villages outside of the cities I would really enjoy that.
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