Today we decide to stay in the hotel for the morning and enjoy the pool before we check out at 12 noon. The hotel is very nice and it's like a museum and a rich man's mansion at the same time. I had a swim and sunbath nap, and the later is more satisfying. After we checkout, we use the Internet to do some basic research; before we know it another 3 hours had passed (and 9 more hours before our train at 11:57pm).
Since we have some leftover entrance ticket from yesterday, we decide to visit Albert Hall and Hawa Mahal. Albert hall is a nice building which is a roundabout itself, flocked by hundreds of pigeons flying around.
The place is netted to stop the pigeons from flying into the building (pigeons in India have the tendency to gather around nice buildings such as palace and museum). This time we pay for the Audio Guide (which is pretty informative, thus quite lengthy). We could probably stay for hours here if we follow the audio guide completely. Before we realised it, it's already 4.15pm and it's too late to visit Hawa Mahal (closed at 4.30pm).
There is a big green field around the building which is gated, allowing us to relax and free for the disturbance of the touts. Indian children and young people like to greet and talk to foreign tourists, asking which country we came from, name, shake hand and take photograph. It's generally harmless and could be fun, but some will keep following your for some reasons.
Based on recommendation from the ticket counter, we could take a rickshaw to the entrance of the Pink City to enjoy tea at local cafe. Pink City is a well organized and busy streets, which is more amber colour than pink. Most shops sell jewellery, textile, cloth and shoe, and there are thousands of shops there. Mei Ru bought a camel slipper (which eventually broke a few days later), tried to find some Punjabi dress but couldn't find the right one.
We dine at Jaipur's famous LMB (Laxmi Mishthaan Bhandar) restaurant (which Rough Guide says the quality had dropped). While we are being pestered by an old rickshaw guy, two young college student look-alike came to our rescue and point us to the restaurant. That's India: one side there are touts and rickshaw drivers trying to squeeze money out of tourist, while some local Indians feels it's their duty to help and protect the tourists.
LMB sell sweets and desserts outside, and the restaurant is inside. We saw a sign saying the restaurant is closed for renovation until next day, and luckily a staff point us to their inner temporary restaurant. We ordered a Rajasthan's set meal for RS 360 (which we feel is pretty decent, but later realised perhaps it is too overpriced). We packed some sweets to go, and as usual they are sweet and milky.
We always face a dilemma when deciding to take a rickshaw from an old man; on one side we worry we are too heavy for him (with our luggages), and on the other side we are denying him a chance to make a living for the day. The old man is pretty persistent, and we had turn down a few old rickshaw cyclist before. Perhaps it's luck, perhaps it's his persistency, we decide to take his ride.
The old man might be slow at times, but he is steady. He might need to come down and push his rickshaw while going upfill, but he experience and persistency made the ride flawless. He is quite professional in the sense he try to talk about a few landmark on the way. Half way through another young rickshaw rider try to intercept the old man's business by indicating his is too slow, which we think is unethical. We pay him RS 10 extra on top of the bargained price.
We managed to get on the train without much hiccups this time, due to the previous experience. It's 5 hour to Jodhpur, and we could sleep all the way (the bench is turned into bed at night).