Posts tagged: sightseeing

India: Wandering Aimlessly In Jaipur

By , May 23, 2011 2:30 am
Colorful Camels

Colorful Camels

Looking for a hotel seems to be getting more and more difficult for us each time we arrive in a new city. As we consult travel guides, the recommended hotels are conveniently located nearby train stations, but there is no other appeal. In Jaipur, we end up walking for hours looking for a midrange accommodation. Is it too much to ask for a clean hotel that is moderately priced in India?

Old Building

Old Building

Exhausted but not willing to give up, I go on my own to look for the best place for my Frenchie. Two hours later, I return with just that. I find a business hotel in Jaipur with a friendly professional staff that is willing to negotiate with me.  It is heaven to step inside a nice hotel with clean white sheets, new bathroom, and free wifi. Maybe the dirtiness in India is starting to get to us after all.

Room @ Hotel Le Grand

Room @ Hotel Le Grand

Bathroom @ Hotel Le Grand

Bathroom @ Hotel Le Grand

In the mornings, we get breakfast at the hotel next door, owned by the same owner. It is nice to have fresh squeezed juice and sit outside by the garden with no agenda. The restaurant employees are mostly Nepalese. It is the first time we meet a Nepalese and I find myself starting at them in adoration. They look Chinese at first, but their other physical features indicate they are not. I talk to them about Nepal and learn that they still live there, but come to India to work because there are more jobs here. They live in India for most of the year and then return to Nepal to visit their family. They are so friendly and wonderful to meet that it makes me want to visit Nepal even more.

Coconut Leaves

Coconut Leaves

In Jaipur, there are a few sightseeing activities to do, but with the recent loss of my friend, I feel no desire to move. Boris gets me out to go do some walking around in the bazaars and visit the Jantar Mantar to see astronomical instruments built by a lover of architecture and astronomy.  Also in this area, there are a few buildings to admire. The pink facade of Hawa Mahal, part of the City Palace, is pretty unique. From afar, you can see Amber Fort.

Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal

Architecture @ Jantar Mantar

Architecture @ Jantar Mantar

Beautiful Street With Shops

Beautiful Street With Shops

My favorite spot turns out to be a popular local destination to hangout and admire the Jal Mahal, a water palace. There are lots of families here and we notice the large number of colorfully dressed females walking together in groups. Our rickshaw driver informs us it is a festival for women and we think he is referring to the Gangaur Festival. I recommend coming straight to this part of the city as the air is better, it is more peaceful, and there are many shops, restaurants, and hotels scattered nearby.

Jal Mahal

Jal Mahal

Single And Married Ladies All Dressed Up Together

Single And Married Ladies All Dressed Up Together

More pictures of Jaipur.

Stairwell @ Jantar Mantar

Stairwell @ Jantar Mantar

Planet Locator @ Jantar Mantar

Planet Locator @ Jantar Mantar

Small Fruit Market

Small Fruit Market

Shopping Alley

Shopping Alley

Rickshaw In Front Of Minaret

Rickshaw In Front Of Minaret

Vegetarian Thali With Dosas

Vegetarian Thali With Dosas

What We Paid: INR USD Euro
– Sleeping train from Jaisalmer to Jaipur 2d class with AC 950/pp 21.10 14.90
– Private double room @ Hotel Le Grand [very nice and clean, AC, Wifi, recommend, bargain hard as prices start at 4500 for a double] 1500/double 33.40 23.50
– Sankalp Taste Of South chain restaurant 145/pp 3.22 2.27
– Mc Donalds Mc Chicken Meal 75/pp 1.67 1.17
– Breakfast @ Hotel Palms 95/pp 2.11 1.49
– Jantar Mantar entrance fee 100/pp 2.23 1.57
– Camera fee @ Jantar Mantar 50 1.11 0.78
– Auto Rickshaw for an hour 150/ride 3.34 2.35

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Bangkok: The Tourist Experience

By , April 3, 2010 10:28 pm

After a day of adjusting, it was time to become real tourists. We had a wake-up call at 9am for breakfast. The frontdesk of our guesthouse recommended us a restaurant called The Flow. This little place was full of great breakfast delights. We had coconut, strawberry, and mango shakes as starters. This was followed by banana pancakes, mango pancakes, and an egg club sandwich. Holly won hands down with her coconut shake and banana pancakes. Our total bill came to 270 bahts for the 3 of us, less than $3 each person. What a yummy deal.

It was now time to wake up Matthieu and Anthony, who arrived 2 days before us, but were still jet-lagged. They joined us for our day of sightseeing in Bangkok. We began with a visit to the Grand Palace. As we approached the gates, we were welcomed by locals offering us excursions to the Golden Buddha. However, we remembered, these are scammers to avoid.

The tops of the gold buildings peaked outside the gates. Upon entering, right away Anthony was turned away for wearing torn jeans and Boris for wearing capris. They were pointed in the direction of a ridiculous long line that had a sign that read, Borrow. We read that many of the temples had a strict dress code but the Frenchies didn’t listen. 😉 Anthony and Boris came out with borrowed hospital pants which looked quite sexy on them.



 

Inside the Grand Palace, all the buildings were very impressive. Most of the roofs were gold and the walls were mosaic. As Mui likes to say, the placed was blinging. Admission was 350 bahts ($11) each.



 

Our next stop was the famous Reclining Buddha. Of course it was completely gold. It was a huge statue that laid inside a small room with just enough room so you can walk around. It took less than 5 minutes to see it making the overall experience disappointing. Personally, you a better off saving your 50 bahts ($1.50) for admission.



 

We walked to the pier and we could see the Wat Arun Temple on the other side of the river. By this time we were all too exhausted to go any further. It was time to take a Tuk Tuk back to our guesthouse.

We have accustomed ourselves to at least 3 showers a day. After a short time of resting, it was time for dinner. From a recommendation by our friend, Google, we tried out Tom Yum Kung. Dinner consisted of a few curry and noodle dishes. It was good but a little pricey. We ended up paying 170 baths ($5.30) per person.


After dinner, everyone was tired except for Matthieu and I, so we decided to get a drink. This time, instead of turning right on the main road, we turned left. It was a lot quieter and after a few minutes of walking, we found a bar with a few locals. While entering, we were approached by a few youngsters to join them for drinks. There was about a dozen folks celebrating a friend’s going away. We tried Singha, a local beer, in a half liter bottle. The locals were drinking rhum-soda. I tried it and thought it tasted like burning alcohol. However, we had a great time and learned to say “very delicious” in Thai: “Alayi Ma.”

 

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