India
NCT

Here you’ll find travel reports about NCT. Discover travel destinations in India of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

217 travelers at this place:

  • Day207

    O Canada!

    March 23 in India ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Our visit to Delhi turned into a lovely break from travelling. We stayed in “mini-Canada”, thanks to our friends Staci and Dan at the Canadian High Commission. We left India behind for a couple of days, to drink coffee and gin & tonic, eat steak, burgers, butter tarts, and jump on a trampoline, play in the pool, and enjoy the company of a really fun Canadian family. Our actual exploration of Delhi was a bit limited, but I think it was worth it to recharge our batteries after a fun but intense time in India. Now onto Nepal - it is feeling like the final stretch of our travels has begun...Read more

  • Day16

    An Interesting Day

    January 30 in India ⋅ 🌫 10 °C

    Another nearby breakfast of roti and tea before heading out into the city again. First stop was just nearby, the Qutb Minar archaeological site. The main attraction here is the world's tallest stone minaret, topping out at just over 70 metres! It's very impressively designed as well, and located in a complex with a few ruined mosques, tombs and other buildings. Although it had been fairly quiet when we arrived at about 9am, it steadily filled up and by the time we left at 11 it was getting quite crowded. Fairly typical for a place in India! It's like constantly being at the Easter Show or something.

    Next stop we headed over to India Gate, a massive Arc de Triomphe style archway that commemorates the Indian dead from WW1, WW2 and other campaigns. Lots of Indian tourists about but not many Westerners. Huge numbers of people selling crap too, toys and photographs and the like - again mostly aimed at locals. I reckon it was probably a 50/50 split between people selling and people there to see the monument!

    From here we headed to Connaught Place, the centre of New Delhi designed by the British in the 19th century. There's a bunch of old white colonnaded colonial-style buildings around a multi-acre roundabout, laid out in very much a Parisian style. As it was lunchtime, we found a place that apparently did decent food and seemed busy so wandered in. We both had a thali which is basically a mixed curry plate - three small serves of curries, rice and naan. Very tasty!

    We felt like finding a coffee place and having a sit down to relax, and so we stood around near the exit of the metro station trying to find an option on our phone. As we were looking at our phones, a guy approached offering to clean my shoes; I said no and waved him away without even looking up since I was pretty used to constantly being pestered. Then he said "but sir, look!" I glance down, and lo and behold there's a huge dollop of wet cow shit on the top of my right shoe!

    It immediately clicked what had happened - he had squirted it there without me noticing, and would then expect a "tip" for cleaning it off! I shouted no and told him to F off, turning around and taking my shoe off. Shandos and I (okay mostly Shandos) cleaned the shoe off over the next 10 minutes with tissues and water we had to hand. The shit culprit had disappeared almost immediately which was lucky for him; as we were standing there cleaning it I was getting angrier and angrier and probably would have gotten physical if he'd come back. He was an older guy and pretty scrawny as I remember.

    Eventually we got 95% of the shit cleaned off. Both a little shaken, we decided to just head straight for the nearby metro and head home where we spent the late afternoon relaxing in our room. I did some more reading and apparently the shoe-shit scam is quite common in that area of Delhi - an article in the Guardian written in 2010 said he'd had it happen four times in the same area, even after living in Delhi for years! Apparently it goes back as far as the 60s. I've heard of similar scams involving mustard on jackets and fake bird shit, but those are often precursors to getting pickpocketed. At least it made me feel a bit better - we didn't lose anything more than 10 minutes of our time, and that even westerners who've lived here for a couple of years can fall victim to it.

    For dinner we headed out to an odd place nearby, a sort of hipster arts collective in a compound with galleries and multiple western-style cafes. We went in a couple of cafes, and both of them could've been anywhere in a first world country, although the prices were about halfway between Western and typical Indian. Quite an odd feeling, though I guess these places will keep on popping up. Although there's a lot of poverty here in India, there's a colossal middle class as well that's only going to keep on growing. Moving on tomorrow!
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  • Day15

    Exploring Delhi

    January 29 in India ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Up and out from our hostel at a good time, and grabbed some breakfast of rotis and chai from street vendors at the metro station nearby. The main reason we'd stayed in this area was because of the metro station - Delhi's metro is pretty modern and efficient, with trains every few minutes and fairly good coverage of the city. It's also extremely middle class, with no beggars or anything like what you see on European metro networks.

    It was a bit difficult to manage since we didn't have local SIM cards yet, and a lot of the signs are in Hindi, but we caught a train into the centre of town and then another train to Old Delhi for our first stop - the Red Fort.

    Within a minute of emerging from the station, a pushy cyclo driver kept telling us that the Red Fort was closed, and that our best option was to take a rickshaw ride with him. I burst out laughing because it's such an obvious tourist scam, but we walked down the street and found that the Red Fort was indeed, closed! The whole garden area in front was walled off for a festival celebrating the 150th anniversary of Gandhi's birth, and the fort was closed for six days because of it! Ignoring all the touts who kept telling us it was closed and to do a tour with them, I spoke to an older uniformed guard carrying a shotgun who confirmed that yes the closure was legitimate, but the festival was starting at midday and we could come back then.

    So we wandered away under constant siege, but found our way to Jama Masjid, a large nearby mosque built of red sandstone. Very impressive. Had an argument with the guy who was "minding shoes", as he wanted 100 rupees ($2) for "minding" our shoes! I explained that I wasn't going to pay anything since he didn't tell me up front, didn't have a sign etc, and put on my shoes and started walking away. Eventually we compromised on 20 rupees - not a big loss but a reminder that everyone in the tourist areas wants money and you have to be constantly vigilant.

    We set off walking into the backstreets and alleys of Old Delhi, trying to find the spice market that all the rickshaw drivers kept talking about, but since we didn't have data on our phones we didn't have much luck. It was pretty intense as well, with the noise and the crowding and reckless drivers/riders. Lots of shops selling random Indian stuff like those yellow flower necklaces the Hindus wear, jewellery, etc, but no sign of the spice market.

    At midday we went back to the Red Fort and headed into the festival. Wasn't really much for us to see, but there was a bunch of tents set up where each state of India was selling local food. So we grabbed some stuff from the Kerala tent - Kerala is down on the south-west coast and a spot we won't be going to on this trip (though it's well known on the blogger/backpack circuit), so it was good to get a taste for that area.

    Got a couple of photos of the fort exterior - not the best World Heritage Site visit we've ever done - and then wandered away in search of a phone store. After quite a bit of searching we managed to find an Airtel store, then after 15 minutes of waiting in queue they told us they were out of tourist SIMs! But there was a Vodafone store across the street, where after a 20 minute wait we were in luck. 225 rupees each (about $4.50 AUD) for a 28-day SIM with 1.4 gigs of data each day. Nice. The whole process took an hour, involving passports, visas, photographs, writing the form out longhand and then replicating the information in the computer. Indian bureaucracy! But at least we were sorted.

    Grabbed an Uber down to our second WHS for the day - Humayun's Tomb. This is a large tomb complex for Humayun, one of the early Mughal rulers of India. It's a massive red and white sandstone building with beautiful white domes on top, and is actually a sort of mausoleum for the family - there's apparently ~150 burials in there. It resembles the Taj Mahal though it pre-dates it. And unlike the Taj which was built by the emperor for his dead wife, this was built by a widow for her dead husband the emperor.

    Spend a couple of hours wandering around here checking out the complex before getting another Uber back to the hotel. Returned to the same place as last night for dinner, though after our mouth-burning spiciness I was feeling much less adventurous and just settled for some garlic naan instead!
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  • Day14

    To India!

    January 28 in India ⋅ 🌫 15 °C

    Time to leave Sri Lanka. Not in a big hurry today so we took our time in the morning, though breakfast was only a couple of supermarket muffin type things - nothing provided by our hotel. Caught an Uber to the centre of town and then a bus out to the airport, quite cheap and got us there in good time. There's a large Chinese-built expressway that connects the airport with Colombo and nobody uses it since it has a toll!

    Terminal was pretty crowded and the check in was very slow, especially since the guy thoroughly checked our immigration documents for India (visa paperwork etc). I guess they've had issues, and it's the airline's responsibility to fly us back home if we can't get in. Went through emigration and security hoping to have some food on the airside, but the only edible looking thing was Burger King at extortionate prices! Seriously - 16 USD for a Whopper meal!!! That's more expensive than Singapore or Dubai! Admittedly, beef is a rare option here (even though Sri Lanka is mostly Buddhists who don't specifically ban eating beef), but still. We were shell-shocked.

    In the end we found a place selling dodgy sandwiches and we had a couple of those to use up our last Sri Lankan money. Flight left on time at 2pm, and thankfully we had food on the flight. Very full and unfortunately I was stuck in the middle seat again! The guy sitting in the window seat had a serious case of manspreading which kept annoying me.

    Landed in the dark at around 6pm after circling for a while in a holding pattern and breezed through the terminal with no issues. Apparently Delhi is one of the worst airports for taxi scams so we decided to grab an Uber, but I had to rely on the free terminal wifi to call for one, and once we got in the carpark it dropped out! Luckily the Uber-wranglers in the pickup area could call the guy and get him to come back.

    Taxi ride took about 90 minutes to go 10 kilometres, fairly standard for Delhi traffic which is insane. Bikes, rickshaws, cars, buses and trucks filling every possible space and going every direction, constantly blaring their horns. Unlike in Sri Lanka where horn beeping is "I'm here", drivers here seem to be saying "move arsehole" with every toot.

    But we arrived in one piece. Our hostel is way out in the suburbs, realistically it's in what would've been a different city but slowly been subsumed by Delhi's urban sprawl. Certainly somewhere that tourists never go, as it's a long way from any tourist attractions! Loads of people around, constant noise, rubbish, animals etc, but realistically not much different from what we were expecting.

    Once we settled into our room we went back out for food and ate at a nearby hole in the wall semi-street food place. The kitchen basically fronts onto the street so you know that everything is getting cooked as needed. We shared a vegetable biryani (basically fried rice) and some stuffed naan, both of which were extremely spicy. Shared a joke with the guys running the place that it was not spicy for them, maybe a little bit for us! But still a welcome change after mostly bland Sri Lankan food.

    Off to bed, looking forward to getting amongst it over the coming days.
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  • Day30

    New Delhi, India/Taco Bell

    January 22, 2017 in India ⋅ 🌫 68 °F

    After Agra, our last stop of the Golden Triangle was New Delhi. Unfortunately we didn't get to see very much since security was escalated for Republic Day that week and our flight left the next morning.

    We made the best of it by finding one of the few Taco Bells located in India. It was quite different from the ones at home: beer, tequila, chicken fingers, and hotter fire sauce but no beef. It was marketed as more of an upscale restaurant but still satisfied our Taco Bell craving after a few weeks traveling outside the US.Read more

  • Day3

    Arrive New Delhi

    September 29, 2017 in India ⋅ 🌫 32 °C

    Arrive to very busy airports and glad to be met by Raddison Blu Plaza hotel curtesy transfer. A 10 minute trip to hotel weaving crazy motorists, cyclists. scooters, pedestrians and more. Glad to have a deep bath and very effective double glazing Spent morning in spa area and another massage before my tour pick up.Read more

  • Day6

    Non tour day

    October 2, 2017 in India ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    Started the day with a yoga class by the pool. A leisurely breakfast before heading out to find nearly everything closed because of Mahatma Gandhi public holiday. Had an inspirational talk about his life by a local expert. Q&A bit especially enlightening. Afternoon was a public Kryon session with people flying in from all over the country. Great opportunity to interact with many of them. Photos are of local sights and some photos taken by others.Read more

  • Day13

    Dharamshala day 1

    October 9, 2017 in India ⋅ 🌫 24 °C

    Another early morning but only short bus trip to Delhi airport for flight to Kangra then one hour in small vehicles to Dharamshala. Late lunch, a few of hours to explore, rest and acclimatise to altitude before heading off to dinner with royal family of Kangra whose lineage go back to time of Alexandra the Great. Also included members of Tibetan GovernmentRead more

  • Day16

    Leh 1

    October 12, 2017 in India ⋅ 🌫 24 °C

    Wake up call at 4am, down in lobby 4.20am for sorting luggage as only 15kg limit for flight to Leh. Hotel gave us a breakfast pack, on one hour flight served breakfast and on arrival sent to restaurant for a third breakfast. Altitude is 4530 metres. Beautiful gardens despite it being so dry.

  • Day5

    Akshardham and Gurdwara

    October 1, 2017 in India ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    Change of program due to festival celebrations with crowds and security making first photo as close as we could get to Akshardham where even water bottles and umbrellas not allowed. Gurdwaa Mata Sundric a great replacement site very peaceful. Also meant back an hour early so time for a swim before heading out to dinner.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

National Capital Territory of Delhi, NCT, Delhi, दिल्ली, ਦਿੱਲੀ, دہلی

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