Accommodation in Delhi

We stayed in a guest house next to Mr.Bashir’s place. It was a simple but neat apartment. We were supposed to CouchSurf at Mr Bashir (whatever it might mean) but the least we thought that we would be given a complete hotel room! There was a girl called Sushma who’s managing the guest house. She’s a very chatty girl and loves to talk to us, and she’s speaking Hindi with us all times as if we understand her :) Ya this is Susma in the picture.

The location is in the South Extention II, less than 1km away from AIIMS Metro Station (AIIMS stands for All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, which is located next to the station, also with a hospital.) It’s still very convenient if you want a place near Metro station to get to almost everywhere in Delhi. If you’re too lazy to walk, rickshaws are available everywhere and it’s cheap if you bargain.

The guest house is a tall apartment, I think has around 5-6 floors.  It doesnt come with elevator, but not bad as stairs are clean and well kept, only once we had to give emergency call to Mr Bashir as a huge dog was sitting in the middle of stair when we were going down. The room rate as Sushma’s was Rs.1000, as pictured below.

The room doesnt come with attached bathroom, rather in every floor there’s a shared bathroom (looking posh though, with a small fan inside!) and a pantry (with kitchenette) shared by guests in two rooms every floor. So in every floor there are only two rooms (not crowded). I met a guest from Afghanistan staying here for about a month in the room the next door.

The apartment has a balcony, from where we loved stand to get early morning breeze and sunrise, while watching nearby buildings and people passing by the street.

This small car is India’s cheapest card produced, at Rs.100,000 and we get to see alot of them around!

A lovely sunrise in our first morning in Delhi :) We’ll be visiting many places today and tomorrow.

We’re in India!

Metro fares: New Delhi Airport to New Delhi station (Rs.80) and New Delhi to Green Park station (Rs.16). 
Airtel Prepaid Sim: Rs.700
Autorickshaw from Green Park station to South Extension II: Rs.80 

We arrived in New Delhi on 2 April after 6 hours of flight, almost midnight. Didnt take any photos at airport or Metro, but some short clips as you’ve seen in the trailer. After getting a sim card from Airtel counter in the airport (which was quite expensive compared to Malaysian prepaid starter pack), we immediately contacted our CouchSurfing host Mr Bashir. It was almost 11pm and we were suggested to take taxi directly to the address given, but instead, we wanted to take Metro airport line and we were convinced we would reach at least at nearest station to South Extension II area. Relying on Google map and the Metro map,   I decided that we have to stop at Green Park station.

Continue reading

Trains booked

1) New Delhi – Amritsar 448 km
AC Chair Car (CC) Day trip Rs.1262 (with meal :D)

2) Amritsar – Jammu 206 km
AC 2 Tier (2A) Night trip Rs.910

3) Jammu – New Delhi 577 km
AC 2 Tier (2A) Night trip Rs.1855

4) New Delhi – Agra 195 km
AC 2 Tier (2A) Day trip Rs.930

5) Agra – New Delhi Nizamuddin 187 km
Sleeper (SL) Day trip Rs.305

Thanks to Farah who recommends Cleartip.com for hassle-free Indian train booking, when Az & I were almost giving up with IRCTC website that treats all their visitors as Indian citizens =.= (I mean, filling up Indian address and Indian phone number IS required, and also, what’s with the long list of Indian bank and payment gateways I have to choose when I want to make payment with a foreign credit card?).

Anyway. Cleartip.com has a tiny small charge but almost ignorable. When the standard-comfortable class train fares (2AC) arent very cheap either, I still am amazed that the total railway journey spanning 1613 km only costs Rs.5262 equal RM356 for two!

We’ve been studying Indian trains like its classes and types from several websites and forums, and also from Manu (my old penpal whom we’ll be meeting in Amritsar yeay!) but this is one quick guide if you want to get to know this epic Indian trains :)

India trip: Intro

I guess it’s time for me to announce officially here that WE ARE GOING TO INDIA IN APRIL 2011! Got very cheap deal for AirAsia the other week so we thought no further! :P Total price of RM858 for return tickets for two persons (including taxes, luggage, insurance, airport bus etc) to New Delhi, isnt that a real bargain?

Well the reason I keep holding from talking about this to the world is coz when I think again, I know it seems weird that I’m busy planning for the trip with my (to-be) husband even before thinking and planning about wedding =.= I do look way more excited with the trip than the wedding even though it makes sense that the trip comes after the wedding. In fact, months after the wedding >.< I dont know, say I’m a weird species, I dont mind. I dont know if I ever plan anything regarding the wedding and kenduri yet. Ugh.

OHHOHO, forget the wedding, it’s not important yet :P let’s discuss about India, shall we?

Roughly that is our plan for now. Since India is too big and we can barely cover 5% of it for a 2 week trip, so we decided to go to somewhere important first. Actually the word ‘important’ isnt right here, coz all places are important, so basically we wanted to go to somewhere we feel like going first. Of course, New Delhi as it’s where we’re landing and it’s the capital, and Agra to see Taj Mahal (speaking of Taj Mahal, kindly check my post in the postcard blog with Taj Mahal postcards I received) and also India postcards in my Flickr doesnt that justify that I really need to go and see those for real? :)

And. Az suggested that we go to Kashmir. Simply coz we can have snow in the mountain there. Though in April I cant expect snowfall like winters, but it still DOES have snow in some places in Kashmir in April! We have to learn about safety there as well, and I joined some forums like IndiaMike to get to know more about the place, where to stay, what to see, the transport, hotels, etc. It sounds like a huge work to make this independent trip, but it’s been exciting planning so far! :D Our route will be: New Delhi -> Amritsar (meeting my old penpal Manu there) -> Jammu -> Srinagar -> Gulmarg/Pahalgam/Sonamarg -> Jammu -> New Delhi -> Agra -> Fatehpur Sikri -> New Delhi. Do I sound like a travel expert already? :P

And like I said in previous post about CouchSurfing, we’re looking forward to experience a few days surfing at some hosts along the way to make the “Get to know India” mission more real, and we’ve actually contacted a couple of people for the purpose and got some lovely, welcoming response :) Therefore it’s a good news, and the more I’m impatient about the trip!