19 May 9 Days Asian Female Solo Traveler to India, NOT A DREAM
Solo traveling to India always seems to be impossible for Asian female. 3 years back I have Facebook message a friend of mine about her trip to Taj Mahal, which is the only picture I saw in India. Well, obviously she did not reply until today thought it was blue-tick-read and not much info about India in Google during that period of time.
Until last year finally, friends of mine talking about it and it just never happen as our time never seems to match. A place we talk about become a trip I go on my own. There are people who approach me asking if it is free, how long you are going to stay, what have you planned and in the end left me with no clue.
They don’t owe me anything. I just go on and study a lot about my trip. In between I had discovered I do have acquaintance in my social media circle. I link them up to get more info. I want to fully immerse into the India culture like a tiger hunting half immersed in the wild water.
To be honest, I did get demotivate at some point where people telling me they can’t join me. It is dangerous, you should save up your money, and you should find someone to go with you as it might be your last trip. Time passes, all these become a background noise in my head. Is OK to listen but doesn’t mean you have to obey. My hard work gave me an answer. I chose Jaipur, India.
Here I am, hello India. Thank you to all my friends, like it or not, you made me have a stronger reason to be here. Not to prove you wrong, but thank you, those noise are my motivation to study more, prep more and be here by myself.
Here I would like to share with you how I did it all on my own:
Checklist that you can copy and paste before going:
- Flight Kuala Lumpur to Jaipur: Airaisa RM872
Note: Best time to travel: Mid Nov-Mid March
- Visa: IVS Global India Visa Center
Note: One year multiple entry RM500+ (you will need to bring along your passport + filled up online form + two pieces of 2 by 2 passport photo)
- Jio pocket Wi-Fi/Prepaid Simcard (acquire online)
- Accommodation: Book through airbnb –Aura Homestay (32BC, Hawa Sadak, Keshav Nagar, Civil Lines, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302006, India) Click here: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/11228123?guests=1&adults=1
- Injection: Typhoid (recommended 2 weeks before) and buy medicine for Panadol, charcoal, vomiting and diarrhoea pills
- Pre download Uber/ Ola (you will need to show them OTP number when your driver arrived)
Note: Most of the time I am using Ola Bike, it is fun and thrill
- Budget: RM200/day (approx. 4000 INR/ day)
- If you are a student, bring your ID along.
Note: The entry fees for the forts and palace gives discount for student.
- Book your tour through klook.com
Sign up using this link: https://www.klook.com/en-MY/invite/SKWBV?c=MYR
Facts and Notes:
- Drink only mineral bottle water, I wash my teeth using mineral water as well.
Note: Even the local don’t drink from the tap.
- Eat only restaurant food, which I will share with you more about it in my next post.
Note: Most of the people think that I will face some problems with my stomach, surprising NO. Just try to avoid eat too spicy, if you can’t handle it.
- Check the route when taking public transport
Note: Risk is everywhere, be responsible and alert all the time.
- Learn to reject people if you are not comfortable
Note: There are a lot of people coming up to me for selfie. They won’t do anything on you if you reject firmly. Try not to be rude as well.
- Ask for help if you need.
Note: I walked off grid due to lost of internet when I was walking in the pink city by myself, one of the uber tuk tuk driver helped me to secure another local tuk tuk to send me home.
- Jaipur, India is 2.5 hours ahead of Malaysia time.
All these place is crafted for day trip purpose. Some of you might think that 9 days is too long. I like my plan to fill resting days as well. Plan accordingly to your flavor.
Place to Go:
1: Agra and Taj Mahal
How to go? Book a one day trip using Klook.com
Taj Mahal now known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. I am very sure you don’t want to miss it. I want to avoid changing accommodation too much, thus I am doing it for one day. Woke up at 3am to prepare for the sunrise. I must say it is a long journey, do equipped yourself with water for the extreme heat, sunblock, sunglass, beautiful lengha, and some food to bite.
Do expect a lot of other local drivers, tour guides and photographers looking for job opportunities in Taj Mahal. Also other tourists wandering around. To get a nice photo with no one around only happen when you are there once the gate is open. I can just stare at Taj Mahal for a very long time. Truly appreciate the architecture and stories behind the doors. I kind of fancy those countries that fill with King and Queen tales.
I must say India is love, because I have to go through the security check before getting into this place. The female security guard help me to fix my lengha (to make sure I get a beautiful photos inside). So grateful for all these small act, as I spend the whole night trying to fix the lengha.
2: Jaigarh Fort, City Palaca, Hawa Mahal, Patrick Gate
All the love in first sight pictures taken by him.
I must say he is a qualified temporarily boyfriend candidate.
Joke aside. One thing about solo travel is you have to take beautiful photos by yourself. Else ask favor from one of the locals. If you ask you will get. If you don’t get what you want. Grow up and suck it up. They don’t owe you anything.
Won’t be putting up too much photos to spoil your curiosity. All the architecture here are being done for a reason, for a story and I must say I am amazed by back then how they come out with all these brilliant idea without GOOGLE. #jaipurislove
Royal Padmanabh Singh.
Prince who is absolutely charming that need not further introduction. He is a polo player and member of the former ruling family of Jaipur State, in present-day Rajasthan, India. Wow, I fall in love again with India once again. (*me being biased and overselling*)
Will you marry me?
Entrance fees 500.0 per person for foreign tourists. They will get your a tourist guide aka your photographer if you are heading there solo like I do.
Well, if you are a student it is a bonus. Just show them your student card to get some discount. I like the way how they craft affordable fees for the local to go in and explore. Specially if you have a kid, you are going to have so much story to tell them about this place. There are different chamber for different purpose. All of them are beautiful.
Jaipur’s most-distinctive landmark, the Hawa Mahal is an extraordinary pink-painted, delicately honeycombed hive that rises a dizzying five storeys. It was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh to enable ladies of the royal household to watch the life and processions of the city.
Let me tell you, you can’t get near to this building. It is gated in front. Besides, a lot local trying to sell stuff such as selfie sticks to you. Local cab parking at the side of the road. Just take good care of your belonging while you are walking around this place. Sometime it is not the local who did the crime. It’s the other tourist.
Best view of Hawa Mahal is not at the location itself, is actually the wind cafe opposite it. I just grab a cold drink and you can enjoy the view there.
Just take your a short while to go around this place. Remember to look up, the ceiling are so colorful and beautiful. It is like trying to tell you a story while you are laying on the floor.
3: Choki Dahni Village
Remember to prebook the entrance fees using Klook.com
All days of the week
5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
I booked an OLA for 4 hours (uber in India). It is like a cultural village in India with a mini fun fair (basketball game is my favourite, what’s yours?). It’s like Malaysia we have the cultural village showing Kenyah, Kayan, Kedayan, Murut, Punan, Bisayah, Kelabit, Berawan and Penan. You can get to buy some of the souvinier in this place.
Here I met local tourist who is over friendly to me, which make me uncomfortable. If you met one, just say NO (firmly) and walk away. It would be fun if you are coming together with your friends. Just sometime when you do things solo, you get to see a different view.
This is one of my favourite picture in this beautiful village. They invite you to come over and dance. More of fun than for the tips purpose. I do appreciate that kind of hospitality.
One of my favourite would be the puppet show. At night, delight your taste buds with delicious dinner at multi-cuisine restaurant.
4: Jal Mahal, Amer Fort, Step Well
Jal Mahal was built in the year 1799. This historical palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. The Man Sagar Lake was formed by constructing a dam between the two hills by Sawai Man Singh. Due to time constraint I did not make it to Jal Mahal, pal.
Amer, originally, was the capital of the state before Jaipur. It is an old fort, built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh. This fort is also very popularly known as the Amer Palace. The Amer Fort was built in red sandstone and marble and the Maotha Lake adds a certain charm to the entire Fort.
Just hire a guide when you reach the destination. It helps a lot of understand the story behind the wall. Most importantly, you get a have good pictures.
Come, sit beside me and let me tell you the story. Many many years ago, there is no electricity and no water supply. This is the guarded rainwater well that serve the kingdom. The soldiers will need to walk all the way down to collect the well water.
The King belives that the enemy will try to poison the water, that why they have four guards patrol around to make sure it is a safe and clean.
5: Albert Hall, Doll Museum
He is taking care of the doll museum.
There are dolls collection from all over the world.
Well I took an OLA bike here and walk to Hawa Mahal. Not sure why but I like to sit on a bike. It is drop jaw for some of my friends. I can promise it is save to use OLA bike and very much affordable for the experience.
Place to Shop:
Shopping Tour with Klook.com / Bapu Bazaar, MI Road or Government Bazaar
Here you can get to see what they do for a living. Basically I spend my money in buying their stories than the material itself.
- Natural Block Printing Textile the owner started his career since 8 years old. What do you do when you are 8 years old? Go to school yo, watching Toms and Jerry and not eating that broculli. He showed me what is selling out there in the market is synthetic fabric which can cause skin allergies. They still support wha had been pass down by the family since young which is block printing. You will need to be precise on doing it. They use cotton, silk as the major material and 3 days of sun to produce their masterpeice. No sun, no work, no money. That is the formulae.
- Gems, the owner showed how 84 stones in the world are crafted into 4 precious stones (diamond, sapphire, emerald and ruby) and 80 half precious stones. They are graded depend on the hardness of the stone. They believe in astrology and birthstone that brings good luck to your life. The most interesting part when they are so friendly they bring me to a close door session palm reading for free. The guy is working in a textitle shop as a disguise. I do appreciate people put extra effort in showing a piece of the world to me. Allow me to learn new stuff and see the world through their lens.
- The Flying Carpet they showed me how it was made through months and they contribute their income to the poor. This is absolutely a wake up call for us. When you see the poor actually contribuute to the poorer. What is the excuse for you not to do something to make the world a better place. We all got too obssess about our external desire which serve a short term fufillment. What we are talking here is something bigger and greater.
- Spices. Oh yes, masala tea and maharaja curry. It is used as disbetic, gastric problem and flu remedy. Just like chocolate help you to get fat and feel happy. I am grateful to have host made me masala tea every morning for breakfast. Hardly get sick when I am here.
- Blue Pottery something similar to the pot you saw in Amsterdam.
- Camel skin are taken after the natural death for quality leather shoes, bags and jackets. Camel milk, camel fur are exploit as well. What surprise me,they went hunting with camel in the olden days.
- Wood Handcraft and ricepaper, marble and silk painting. Something old but definitely new for me. Camel is a symbolize of love in india. Horse signify power and elephant bring good luck.
Thank you Charu for the gift. I do appreciate for the bonding time that you spare for me. She is such a sweet heart. I find it like a mother and a daughter time I had!
After the shopping trip. Here we go! Masala Tea, Silk Scarf, Camel Skin Sandal and accesories.
Restuarant to Go:
All these suggestions are given by my airbnb host, Charu. I tried and I like. Here I wanna share with you guys. Basically my host prepared the best breakfast I ever had in Jaipur, India. If you are reading this Charu, I wanna say I miss you!
Zarpar Kashmiri Food Veg and Non Veg Restaurant 12pm-11pm
SDC Vinay Building, 9th Brown Sugar, 38-39, Calgiri Marg, Mauji Colony, Malviya Nagar
Niros Restaurant Note: Butter chicken is the best
319, MI Road, Panch Batti, C Scheme, Ashok Nagar
Four Seasons Restaurant Note: If you need a quick fix on Chinese Food 11am-11pm
D-43, A2, Subhash Marg, C Scheme, Ashok Nagar
Caffé Palladio Jaipur
Note: Italian Restaurant with good food and atmosphere, I had pepperoni pizza6pm-11pm This is after 3 days of Indian food and this is one of my favourite restaurant.
Karen the NomadCat went broken, need a pizza fix. Pizza and masala tea can never go wrong.
I sat here and do my writing, this is a kind of spark joy.
Hotel Narayan Singh City Pearl, Narayan Singh Rd
Peacock Rooftop Restaurant
Note: Indian breakfast choice is brilliant7:30am-11pm
51, Hathroi Fort, Hari Kishan Somani Marg, Ajmer Road, Hathroi
Wind View Café
Note: If you want the best view of Hawa Mahal, order your drinks here will do
8:30am-8pm3rd Floor Rang Bihari Temple opposite Hawa Mahal, Hawa Mahal Road Badi Chopad