Posts Tagged ‘ jaipur ’

INDIA – TAKING THE TRAIN

Taking the train in India is an institution in it’s own right and is a must do for travellers, if only once! Buying a ticket is a trial and it is advised to book tickets online as far in advance as possible. Try http://www.clear trip.com although even this website will have you scratching your head in confusion. Buying a train ticket is not as easy at it is in most other countries, NO, it is unnecessarily complicated and unclear whether you have bought the ticket when you think you have indeed “bought the ticket”!
Your online ticket needs to be confirmed and you can only do this at the ticket office in the station, thus you still have to join the tourist queue, which still has Indians trying to push in and rub up behind you. We decided to buy our tickets as we went, Big Mistake! India railways hold back tickets called Tatkal, which are kept for emergency tickets, usually for foreigners, come at an additional cost and are non refundable, and you STILL need to get them confirmed at the office on the day of travel! Then there are waiting list tickets, again, coming with the need to confirm. You are told the train is full, made to queue for hours, then told you need a paper copy of your passport and the original isn’t accepted, so you have to go to the conveniently placed copy shop next door, fork out more and then rejoin the queue.
Your other option is to pay high hotel commission fees to sort it out. We did this once and it was still a hassle getting tickets confirmed!
We bought tickets and travelled twice in 3rd AC class. The train journey itself is fairly comfortable and the train no where near full either times. It seems India’s bureaucracy once again gets in the way of good sense, making the simplest of tasks near impossible.

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INDIA – JAIPUR TO JODHPUR

We are now in Jodhpur, the “blue city” which is by far my favourite place in India so far. Much smaller than the other places we have visited, Jodhpur packs a punch with its magnificent fort rising above all else. The restaurants and hotels have made great use of the sight and built rooftop restaurants, which are characteristic and very nice to sit and enjoy a beer in. Last night we checked out Indique, recommended by the Lonely Planet. Food was OK, but view over Jodhpur and the fort was well worth the visit.

Yesterday we tried out the Flying Fox, which is made up of 6 zip lines from the fort across Bastions, lakes and the Blue City. It was a bit hot, but lots of fun.

To get here, we took the train from Jaipur, again, 3rd class AC. Train journeys themselves are not so bad, but buying a ticket is highly frustrating and an experience that will leave you choosing to fly the next part of your trip!

Jaipur was my least favourite place. The sights were OK. the fort and palace were worth the trip, but the city itself is absolutely filthy and the people not very nice at all and only out to make money and rip you off. In my opinion, if you want to enjoy your trip to India, miss out Jaipur!!

In 30 minutes, we are flying to Udaipur for 3 days to hopefully relax before heading home to the real world.

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