As I mentioned before, our first day in New Delhi was bad. REALLY bad. Exhausting, time-wasting, no sight-seeing, smell like a street dog bad. Here’s how to avoid the Day from Helhi –
1. Don’t forget you’re a woman. See, India treats women differently. There’s a “Woman’s Only” security line, which Mantamy and I only figured out after being pulled out of a long line of men. Oopsie. Even better, there are Metro cars that don’t allow men. Take advantage of it.
2. Don’t go to the Train Station. Sure you want to go to Jaipur, but trust me, there is nothing there that is worth going to the Delhi Train Station. Hiring a car and a driver is inexpensive and way easier. Our trip to Agra was 4.5 hours each way, AND we required our driver to spend the night. Total cost including tip? $110.00 dollars. If you must take the train, then be warned: buy your tickets well in advance. By the time we found the International Tourist Bureau all the seats were sold.
3. Don’t stay anywhere other than Sham Nath Villa. This place was awesome. It’s billed as a Bed and Breakfast, but since the home originally belonged to the governor, it’s a LARGE bed and breakfast. Our room opened onto a beautiful balcony, which overlooked a gorgeous courtyard. A double bed with bath and balcony, plus wi-fi, was only 70.00 per night. We could also eat breakfast or dinner for a nominal fee, and we had our laundry done – washed, pressed and folded for THIRTY CENTS per item.
The owner, Shalani, was awesome and arranged everything we needed – driver, sightseeing, etc.
4. Do everything. We saw the Red Fort, Humayan’s Tomb, Lodi Gardens, the Lotus Temple, Khan Market, the Indian Gate, Connaught Place, Qutb Mintar, and Chandni Chowk. Here’s what I remember: Red stone, dead guy, people jogging, no talking, good shopping, impressive sight, British influence, tall sphere, crazy busy. You might want to check a guide book for more details.
5. Do eat carefully. All of the guide books said that Delhi has great street food. All of the people on my trip suffered from what’s known as “Delhi Belly”. I’m not sure where it came from, but my money is on the roadside stand where we chose a table under the ceiling fan because there were fewer flies. But the food at the B & B was great, and we ate at Karim’s, known as one of the best places to eat in all of Asia!
6. Drink Bottled Water. Delhi is hot. Delhi is dry. You’ll want to drink lots of water to keep from being dehydrated. And you might want to carry tissues in your purse. All that water will make you have to go to the bathroom every five minutes, and the dry air….
well, it causes a few issues of its own.