Hi there everyone!
Nice site been looking for something like this, some great advice
Me and 2 friends have just booked our rtw tickets setting of in just 6 months, cant wait.
Our route is: London > Mumbai
Delhi > Hong Kong
Hong Kong > Bangkok
Singapore > Christchurch
Auckland > Perth
Perth > Melbourne
Brisbane > Santiago
Santiago > Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires > Sao Paulo
Rio De Janeiro > Santiago
Lima > Caracas
Caracas > Madrid
Madrid > London
Been reading everything I can get my hands on lately to find out what to do in different places and we pretty much decided to try a tour from Delhi around the Rajasthan region. Hoping it will help us make the most of our limited time in the area.
Has anyone got much experience with tours from companies such as. Intrepid, GAP adventures, Tucan travel? If so some of your experiences or advice would be greatly appreciated. We were also thinking about trying one to take us from Santiago to Lima.
I’m struggling to find info on Mumbai and the surrounding area, we are planning on spending about a week to 10 days there before getting the overnight train to Delhi. I’ve heard the cities in India can be a little intense, not somewhere you’d want to spend 10 days, so any places around Mumbai that are great places to go id love to know
Any other comments on our route, tips and hints would be greatly appreciated.
When are you going to be in Rajasthan? The famous Pushkar mela ( a camel fair) is held every year around November- it's a wonderful time to be there (unless you particularly detest crowds).
From Delhi you could take cabs/buses to Agra and see the Taj Mahal as well. It is an overrated tourist destination but if you're going to be in Delhi you might as well see the Taj mahal : )
You could also do a short trip to McLeodGanj-Dharamsala from Delhi.
From Bombay you could do cabs/buses/short train rides to:
Kamshet ( paragliding haven; two hours by road)
Matheran ( short train ride from Bombay and then hike/take a horse/bike on hire)
Goa ( beaches and so much more; around 12 hours by road or train)
Hampi ( ancient stone architecture; buses available from Bombay and Goa)
Hi there Inkstainer
Thanks for the tips! I’ve been reading up on all your suggestions, think we will be leaving Delhi for Hong Kong a few days before the Pushkar mela begins. It starts on the 29th of October through to the 5th this year, although my flights aren’t set in stone so if I’ve fallen in love with India I might hang back a bit.
Just a thought - if you don't particularly want to do too much of the city thing in Mumbai you could catch a flight down to Goa, sure beats the bus or train, if you consider either of these it takes an average 18 hours and the roads by all accounts are terrible.
I got a return flight for about 80 pounds or it might even have been a bit cheaper - some of the airlines do a discount for people under 30 but you have to ask for it or you won't get it.
If you stay in Mumbai and just want to get away from the crowds you could head over to Elephanta Island where there are some great ancient Krishna carvings and stuff - regular boats go from down by the Gateway of India (and while you're there have a wander in around the Taj Mahal hotel - it is awesome).
If you take a tour around Mumbai make sure you get on a bus where they speak English or you won't have a clue where you've been to (made that mistake myself - only 80 Rps for pretty much a whole day but no clue where we went!)
If you want to pick up a bargain head to the Kalbadevi Bazaar - where you'll find pretty much anything you want but you'll find that all the shops of one particular business will be on one street while the same applies to other business elsewhere - something to do with the caste system which is still pretty strong in India.
Backpacker accommodation in Mumbai is pretty basic and more often than not pretty manky (at least in the 6 or 7 places where went before settling on one that was less so than everywhere else) but if you're prepared to pay a bit more your money really goes far here.
Day trips from Delhi - if you have a couple of days definitely recommend Jaipur, my favourite city in India. Its less crowded, much cleaner and has a really relaxed vibe about the whole place as well as having some spectacular scenery within a stones throw from the city walls. Agra is also worth a visit although you'll get charged a lot more to see the Taj Mahal than a local will (750Rps to 20Rps when I was there in 2004 although this is true of a lot of the 'sites').
In Delhi itself you can hire a tuk tuk for the whole day to take you around all the sites for around 300Rps or less depending on your bargaining skills.
Useful phrase - Nehe Shukria (shuk kree ah) No thanks!
India is a great place - just be prepared for the initial cultural shock and the poverty and you'll adapt quick and have a great time!
Bargain for everything or you'll end up paying way over the odds, and make sure you know where your wallet is at all time, don't take it out in crowds and try to make sure you have some loose change/small notes in your pockets.
Hope this helps.
Hope this is of help