How is my India trip? I would say it is nice and interesting, but not great. Perhaps my expectation of Mythical India is too high, but after all it a still a developing country with a handful of real life issues.

Hiking at Sikkim for USD 70 per day is quite expensive, our we didn't quite enjoy ourselves due to the AMS and headache along the way. The view is nice, but the weather is too cold for comfort (perhaps we need better thermal clothing), and the scenery isn't as varies and stunning as Nepal.

We have high expectation for Rajasthan too, but dealing with touts and ripp-off auto rickshaw is tiring. There are way too many fort and palace to visit, but it's quite "exotic" due to the Mughal influence.

Darjeeling is a nice cool town in the mountains (like a larger version of Cameron Highlands), with beautiful mountain views and excellent food at Beni's Cafe.

Jaipur is a big city with plenty of monuments, Amber Fort is nice and the Jantar Mantar (astronomical site) is interesting. Food at Copper Chimney (lamb is great) and localised Pizza Hut is good.

Jodhpur is a smaller city with pleasant Village Safari and friendly Bishnois people, and good value garden accommodation at Dewi Bhawan.

Jaisalmer is the most amazing, our first visit to a dessert city. Camel Safari is superb (serenity, sand dunes, sleeping under the stars).

Udaipur is beautiful (or romantic), surrounded by mountains and a great lake view, but perhaps too congested.

Agra have the amazing Taj Mahal covered by smog.

We did enjoy some great Indian meal such as South India dosai at Beni's Cafe (Darjeeling) and Saravana Bhavan (Delhi), Copper Chimney (Jaipur) for spicy lamb and Ambrai (Udaipur) for great Tandoori chicken.

The train in India is superb, which run 24 hours a day with plenty of night sleeper train to save time and accommodation fees. Travelling on second class sleeper is perfect, sharing a compartment with locals for a friendly chit chat.

The touts and demanding auto rickshaw spoilt most of the experience, but the locals are generally very nice and helpful people. Despite some nuisances, India is still pretty safe.

I will miss the food, the good value hotels and the trains, and the friendly locals. India might seems too chaotic at first, and dusty, but it's still a unique place and culture to enjoy.

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Photo Highlights

Vivek Hotel
Vivek Hotel Vivek Hotel
New Delhi Indra Gandhi International Airport
New Delhi Indra Gandhi International Airport Indira Gandhi International Airport
Sea of clouds at Tiger Hill
Sea of clouds at Tiger Hill Tiger Hill
Toy Train Ride from Darjeeling to Ghoom
Toy Train Ride from Darjeeling to Ghoom Darjeeling Railway Station
Dzongri Peak
Dzongri Peak
Spinach Lamb, curry vegetable and naan bread with rice
Spinach Lamb, curry vegetable and naan bread with rice Marwar Restaurant, Taj Hari Mahal
Jodhpur, the blue city
Jodhpur, the blue city Jodhpur
Sun Temple
Sun Temple Osian
Bishnois memorial
Bishnois memorial Khejarli
Chicken Muglai and Vege Kafta
Chicken Muglai and Vege Kafta Natraj Restaurant
Rooftop Restaurant of Shahi Palace
Rooftop Restaurant of Shahi Palace Hotel Shahi Palace