Similar to the idea of a township tour whilst I was in Cape Town last summer, a slum tour in Mumbai, an espionage into a poverty-stricken area, seemed like an uncouth thing to do.Taking part in Reality Tours’ Dhavari slum tour was far from that, however.What I saw was a tight-knit community which worked hard, earned their living honestly, operated with sustainability in mind, and quite possibly, some of the most enterprising groups of people I have encountered.
Varanasi is the epitome of India many people think of before they touch the soil: it is dirty, crowded, loud, noisy and crazy. When I arrived from an overnight train from Khajuraho, the tuktuk drivers proceeded to harass my friends and I; when we finally got a good deal on a pair of tuktuks (it took a lot of haggling), we passed through narrow streets littered with trash, which was also where skinny cows seemed to loiter around.
My stopover in the dessert city was as colourful as the city is multicultural. I was fortunate enough to be there whilst Sikka Art Fair dominated the Al Bastakiya area. In contrast to the modern vibes and expatriate-heavy culture of Sikka, the Heritage Village gave a wonderful insight into Dubai’s past in pictures and architecture. Of course, a trip to JBR will not be complete without spending Saturday on the Kite Beach, suffering from a Barasti hangover, and overlooking the mighty Burj Al Arab, the epitomic symbol of the city’s luxurious offerings.
It is long known that hostels are the best type of accommodation around to meet fellow travellers if you’re going solo. They’re inexpensive, located in the major backpacking spots in India, and you’re guaranteed a different experience in each location. Though not as cheap as guesthouses, the friendly atmosphere often created by social spaces and lounges, and probability of finding other solo travellers make it worth the extra rupee.
India was at the top of my travel bucket list for as long as I can remember.I’m not sure why or how I became fascinated with this South Asian country, but the promise of a colourful adventure was very appealing.Rick Stein’s latest programme on India and its cuisine re-affirmed my desire to visit the country.I just had to go.
Situated over 1 km away from Orchha, the village of Ganj is home to the beautiful initiative created by Asha. Friends of Orchha is a unique homestay in Madhya Pradesh, showcasing the beauty of rural life in Central India, with particular emphasis on the socio-economic progress of the villagers and the sustainability applied to their day-to-day lives.
Being struck ill in Jaisalmer, I was suddenly stuck on my plans after a couple of weeks in Rajasthan. Do I head to Himachal Pradesh early, before the season begins, or do I follow suit and head to Goa for a while?
A flight from Delhi to Goa was booked on April 11 for just over 4000 rupees one-way, and I flew to the smallest state of India two days later.