Thursday, May 27, 2010

North India Trip

This is a nice tour I'm doing in July around north India. I know, it's quite long but I'm very excited. I've been planning this trip for a long time and now finally it is getting closer. I just had a weekend booking train tickets, buses, best routes, etc.

This is the map:

To start I will take a plane from Chennai to Kolkata. In Kolkata I'll meet one of my best friends who is waiting for me there. We'll be one day in Kolkata, people say it's not that amazing place but you can see real India in a glance. Then we will head to the north east: Darjeeling. It's a small town with this magnificent view of the Himalayas, some time to relax and enjoy the cold weather and have some tea.

After Darjeeling we will go trough all Bihar State reaching Patna at 4am. Here we will have to wait for the first bus of the morning to then go to Gaya and Bodh Gaya. Two amazing religious places. The only reason to choose those places was Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar,Lumbini, and Sarnath.

After Bodh Gaya the next stop will be Varanasi, a city situated on the banks of the River Ganges in the Uttar Pradesh state, regarded as holy by Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world (1200-1000 BC) and probably the oldest of India. Here we'll have two more guesses for the trip.

After seeing how is life along River Ganges it's time to have some exotic cultural delight and go to Kajhurao. This town has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculpture, all about the Kamasutra.

Oh yeah, Oh yeah... Time to go to Agra to finally see the Taj Mahal.

After the Taj Mahal and some fortresses in Agra and around it. At this point one friend coming from London is joining us. It's time to go back to civilization, in this case the capital of the country: New Delhi. In the big city there are hundreds of things to do, hopefully there will be some friends over there to have fun on saturday night.

After spending a weekend in Delhi it is time to take a bus and go to Manali, a beautiful Himalayan town. It's a place full of extreme sports so the first thing to do in Manali is going to do paragliding. Manali is known for its shiny gompas or Buddhist monasteries. With the highest concentration of Tibetan refugees in the entire Kullu valle.

After Manali, We are heading to Dharamshala, the centre of the Tibetan exile world in India. Following the 1959 Tibetan uprising there was an influx of Tibetan refugees who followed the Dalai Lama.

Next place in the list is Amritsar, near to Pakistan border and known for it's magnificent golden temple.

After seeing this stunning temple and going to the Pakistan Border to see the India-Pakistan border ceremony, we are taking the train that goes directly from Amritsar to Jaipur with a 872 Km distance. We will be taking the train at 2:00pm and reaching next day to Jaipur in the morning. Also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city of Rajasthan. This is when the semi-desert and desert lands of Rajasthan start.

We will be two days in Jaipur to go to the next cities Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes and Jodhpur, also referred to as the Blue City due to the blue-painted houses around the Mehrangarh Fort.

I don't know if we can really do a Safari in Jaisalmer because the high temperatures, still we are going to this city and see if we can do a Safari at night time:

Finally we are going to the world famous shrine of Karni Mata in the town of Deshnoke 30 km south from Bikaner. Karni Mata is worshiped as an incarnation of Goddess Durga. This temple is famous for rats which can be seen everywhere inside.

And this is it... I will be reaching Delhi next day, travel to Chennai and then heading home after six months staying in India. I hope you liked the tour and if you are interested just let me know!.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

How to get...

I was searching on Google how to get from Kolkata to Darjeeling. I just typed how to get and these were the suggestions in Google India:

yeah, so I went to Google Colombia to do the same and this is the result:

My conclusion: Everyone loves sex... but in India they prefer having children.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This is so wrong and so gay

I was hungry so I went to Marrybrown (kind of Indian KFC) to have some chicken. Then this is what I found:

yes, 22 guys having dinner together. Is it not the biggest gay scene ever?. Now the worst part is coming: this song starts sounding at the restaurant. see the video, look how gay it is, then come back to this window and listen to the music watching this picture... I won't sleep tonight :S

How to bargain in India

When you are in India all the locals think you are a millionaire. In most of the cases we are not rich and we only want to get some nice stuff to take home, and obviously we want to get it for a good price. So here are some tips about how to bargain based on my experience in India.

1. Look around for similar items before going for some serious bargaining.

2. Yes, some of the sellers seem very poor and still if the product is cheap for you the seller will try to cheat you because you are a foreigner. So forget your humanistic sense and focus: This is a business. In that moment you are not Mother Teresa, you are a business man.

3. After you have your mind focused on the item, ask the price, How much sir?. Try to be polite, the seller will access easier to your requirements.

4. Now suppose the seller tells you 1000 Rs. Ok, so probably the item will be 1/4 of that price. In that case, 250 Rs.

5. Get some time to bargain. Be cool and relax. In most of the cases this will take some time, don't be impatient. Otherwise you will lose.

6. Always say: very expensive!. expensive sir!. very expensive!

7. Don't show big amounts of money in your wallet. Never pull out your wallet either. The seller will assume that you are prepared to pay.

8. The seller will end up asking you: What is your final price sir? Then you take the 10% of the first offer and say it...yes, it's nothing but do it. He will probably laugh to you but be patient. The price will immediately be dropped to a small amount.

9. Keep saying very expensive!. expensive sir!. very expensive!.

10. If the shop keeper isn't dropping the price enough, walk away slowly (acting like you don't want it). The seller will follow you or will step out of his store calling you: Sir!, Sir!, Sir!. If this doesn't happen means you are actually offering a crap price.

11. Go back to the store and close the deal or go to another store with a better perspective of the prices.

12. And finally, You have to enjoy this. Now, don't get used to and start doing it everywhere, even at the Apple Store. Sir, this iMac is very expensive!, How much for the iPhone?

Have you got some more handy tips? share them below! :)