Category Archives: India

How I Scored a Dirt-Cheap International Air Ticket

Upon feeling better after a stomach illness, I decided to acquire a ticket for my next destination.

My first inquiry was with AirAsia.  Since my date criteria was set for just three days in advance, this popular airline showed that all flights were full.

Two and a half months ago, I paid 6300 Rupees or $128.49 on an AirAsia flight from Kolkata to Bangkok; so, they were naturally the first option that came to mind.  In addition to the fare, I paid a  baggage check-in fee of 550 Rupees or $11.22 for a maximum of 15 kilograms or 33 pounds.  The flight time was 2.5 hours.

North India: A Photo Essay

As I’ve recently spent a plethora of time going through ridiculous amounts of India photos in my comfy guesthouse room in northern Thailand, I’ve been on a photo posting tangent.  I recently put up my favorite snapshots of photogenic people.  I also provided you with pictures of interesting signs that I came across during six weeks on the sultry subcontinent.

People in North India: A Photo Essay

One of the most fascinating aspects of travel is the people we come across.  Some we meet, talk to and hang out with.  Others we see while engaging in people watching,  while others might just pose for us for fun, while only engaging in a few polite words.

I’ve never come across a culture that likes the camera as much as in India.   Like in other warm climates, people tend to be much more extroverted than shy.  There are so many inhabitants. Personal space tends to be slim to non-existent in many locations.

Signs of India

Whenever I see a sign that I find appealing,  I snap a shot of it.  After looking at it on my machine, I either delete or tweak.  If the photo makes it to the tweaking process, it may or may not make it into a post.  Here are a few that I’ve deemed worthy enough for you to check out.

Q & A: India

Sometimes I get questions from readers.  The following recently came in from Earthdrifter subscriber AL:

Despite the heat, beggars, and overcrowding, do you like India?

Yin and Yang in India

Travelling in India is like taking LSD. Either you’ll have a really good trip, or a really bad one.”

India attracts three types of travelers: people who are looking for  spirituality, people who want drugs, and people who are insane.”

When travelers leave India and go to nearby countries like Nepal and Thailand, they get bored.  They miss the street chaos and touts that won’t leave them alone.”

Inadvertently Escaping the Monsoon

The rain pounded down on Kolkata, crashing into the pavement, buildings, cars and everything else. The perpetual pelting added to the already mega cacophony of the huge and crowded city.

The monsoon is here isn’t it?”

I’m on a Night Train, or am I?

Although my train was from Tundla, 45 minutes by bus from Agra, the rare, super-helpful hotel desk man informed me that I can go and check at the Agra station right down the road.

After questioning a handful of people along the way, I finally found the enquiry booth and presented my ticket to the man.

The Most Touristy Thing I’ve Ever Done

I don’t typically travel for the sake of seeing über-touristy places.  But, if something is in front of me and it looks interesting, then why not?

As of today, I’ve managed to check out the two most visited tourist spots in India.  The rock garden is the second.  The first is hardly a surprise to anyone as it’s a household name all over the world.  You probably  initially heard of it in grade school as it’s considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world.

I’ll bet that no one ever taught you that the Taj Majal translates to the Crown Palace.

I arrived in Agra yesterday by second class a/c train.   I got up at the crack of dawn today and ventured to see this esteemed work of architecture.  I must admit that the site and its grounds are rather impressive.

A Few Pit Stops in North India

After spending roughly a week in Delhi and Rishikesh, the drifting began to speed up considerably.  This had to do with body clock adaptation, i.e., the jet lag was gone.

I couldn’t give myself a reason to stay longer than I did in the four places that I visited.  However, they all boasted unique beauty and exoticism.

This city looks like the United States.”

Thank you.”