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Monday, August 13, 2012

2 Months And A Half Off (Part 3)

This series of posts is a day by day account of my two-month-and-a-half trip that begins with a stay in Bangkok, followed by a train ride Amritsar, a bike trip from Leh to Manali and a yoga teacher training in Kullu Valley, the end of the habitable world.

Day 6: Delhi
Since unreasonable AirAsia wouldn't let us rebook our flights, we decided to book new flights with Indigo and head to Delhi instead of the original plan of going to Kolkata and taking the train to Varanasi. Good travelers are always flexible and make the most of their trip.

In Delhi airport, an unexpected surprise awaited me. I found some of my favorite snacks from home in one of the airport's stores -- Chippy and Piatos. I'm definitely making some space in my hand carry bag for these goodies.

The Metropolis (Paharganj Area)

While we were on the plane, we picked a random hotel from Lonely Planet for our arrival cards. We copied the address of the Metropolis Hotel so we got a pre-paid taxi (You can pay for it in a booth at the very end of the first floor marked "Taxi and Police Station.") to this hotel which is located in the Pharganj Area.

Pre-paid Taxis
It was a bit over our budget -- 1,500 Rupees per night. So, I stayed in their restaurant while my boyfriend looked for a place to stay. The waiters were really accommodating and friendly. They helped us with our bags and gave us tips on where to stay for the night. One of them even gave me a free cup of chai.

Since the place is more of a high end hotel and restaurant, the dishes were slightly more expensive than the other restaurants in the area. But, since it was our first night, we decided to dig into their papadams, malai kofta and butter garlic nan.

Malai Kofta and Butter Garlic Nan (The Metropolis)

Ajay Guesthouse (Paharganj Area, Delhi)
We stayed in the Ajay Guesthouse which was tucked in a tiny alley in the Paharganj Area which is near the New Delhi Train Station. It had a nice rooftop area where films are shown, a bakery and a 24-hour internet cafe. For a small price, you can also get some credit in order to use their wi-fi. And, the guesthouse also supports a charity for empowering women.

For 800 rupees, the room was really sweet. It's got a comfortable bed, a shared terrace and clean and tiny bathroom with orange and white tiles with a Winnie The Pooh and friends theme. The bathroom came with toiletries that you usually find in posh hotels. And, another huge plus was the powerful A/C which will cool you down after climbing four flights of stairs to get to your room. 

Day 7 (AM): Paharganj Area
We spent the morning roaming around the Paharaganj Area, taking photos. With the old structures interspersed with the new buildings and the streets slowly coming to life, it was a bit of a challenge to capture the intensity of this area in still life. I was also a bit scared of taking pictures of people. I don't mind being told No, but I do mind being harassed to buy something.

Hooch Mafia


Masala Chai

Auto Rickshaw

The driver harassing me to go to Connaught Place after taking the picture above!

After our walk, we headed to a restaurant opposite the train station for some breakfast. From the second floor of the restaurant, I got to take some more pictures without being noticed by my subjects.


Overly friendly people at the restaurant


Crazy Delhi

The Railway Station

Rickshaw Man waiting for a passenger

Where We Had Breakfast
After breakfast, we got our tickets to Agra for the next day and our tickets to Amritsar the day after. We paid a thousand rupees for all our tickets. It was quite easy since there are tickets allotted for foreigners and the information guy was really friendly even though I thought it was quite odd that he wanted my picture.

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