Memories of India (1)

Among the countries on top of my wish-list, India invokes the eclectic spirits of mystery, roughness, rawness and real adventure. And my recent trip with Thai Air Asia proved exactly so. This is the view from my window seat on our way to New Delhi last month.

Thai Air Asia just launches a direct daily flight to New Delhi, which is a wonderful news for those looking for an affordable and reliable way to travel to the city. The trip takes merely 4 hours, leaving Bangkok in the evening and arriving there at around 9pm (depending on the flight schedules which change regularly upon the weathers), giving you plenty of time to commute directly to the hotel and avoid Delhi’s notorious evening rush-hour traffic. Our hotel was the Taj Mahal Hotel on Mansingh Road in a very exclusive, tree-lined residential area that houses many embassies, including the vast and spacious Thai one.

For those who ever fly with Thai Air Asia, you know that their pre-book meals offer excellent food choices at 25% cheaper than the on-board a la carte. Plus, you get to be served first with the food you want without fearing that it would run out by the time the stewardesses arrive to serve your row. This is my choice of the hearty and tasty chicken basil rice which I had two. 🙂

This trip to India of ours covers one of the most famous routes to absorb India – starting from Delhi, going southward to Jaipur and complete the triangle line back to Agra – where Taj Mahal gloriously stands as the highlight.

(Above – The Canopy at the India’s Gate)

Delhi is a super spread out capital with horrible screaming horn-mad traffic apparently the most annoyingly maddening (and may be charming for some people) thing you would ever face besides the craziness of its overall atmosphere. One thing about traveling in India is that it literally throws you into a different world. The frenzied world of hysterical derangement, of heavy dusts, of maddening chaos, and of animals of all kinds. But strangely, it is the world that opens your eyes with things you would never imagine to see before in your life. And strangely when you come back, you will feel like you have somehow moved up your level of travel experiences. You kind of miss that whole crazy thing once again, and simply couldn’t wait to go back! At this point, I personally think that the one who creates the “Incredible India” catchword is a real genius.

(Above – A Delhi’s “normal” traffic scene)

We spent two nights in Delhi. And it was wonderful because we loved to stay at the Taj Mahal Hotel. One thing about traveling in India is that you need to be careful about the hygiene of the food. Eating in the hotel is always recommended. But if you have a wilder taste, keep in mind that you should always eat things when they’re still hot, especially food that contains milk and dairy ingredients.

(Above – Naturally lovely with tons of wild birds at the residential area of the Red Fort)

Delhi is densely populated (India is the second most populated country in the world, with the total area as 7th largest)  and it is divided into two segments of New and Old Delhi. While most of the historical attractions are in the Old section of the city, you may want to sleep in the New section to avoid the maddening horns and pollutions. However, for convenience, you can still choose to stay in this old side of the city for there are a lot of guest houses and hotels available in the walking distances from top sights such as the Red Fort – a stunning old Palace of the Moghul Empire, the ancient mosque and minaret of Qutab Minar and the gorgeous and green Humayun’s Tomb – a so-called mini-Taj Mahal thanks for its identical architecture of Muslim-style symmetrical layout, gardens and the “Onion Domes.”

(Above – Front of Red Fort)

If I thought Delhi captures the whole sense of India, I was deadly wrong. The next day we left Delhi for Jaipur or the Pink City which is about 250 km. away. The toughness of sitting in the bus for 6 hours covering the distance of Bangkok – Hua Hin proved our personal endurance. But our secret lies in the mid-section of the bus – a working on-board restroom – a heaven-send, man-ordered, rare luxury of a road trip in India. Will tell you more later in my next post soon. Stay tuned.

(Above – Cows are among the regular road dwellers in India)

Pictures on my blog were taken by me. But more memories of India are available at Tae’s Flickr here.


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