Delhi is the capital of India and the second most populated city in the country with over 18,5 million people! It is crowded, it is noisy, it is dusty and it is dirty. There are people, tuktuks, cars, riksja’s, cows, dogs and everything else that moves everywhere. Once you have spent and survived a few days in Delhi, you are ready for the rest of India.
We started our India trip in Delhi and arrived by plane coming from Colombo - Sri Lanka. We organized a pick up through our hostel which costed 580 Rupee. Quite funny was that we had to use a secret password (green apple) to make sure we had the right taxi. Apparently there are taxi drivers who say that they are there to pick you up and bring you to another hotel.
Next to the street of our hostel is a small restaurant called Everest Bakery Cafe where they sell good food for fair prices. You can get both Indian and some Western food here. We are not quite sure about the lassi however..
Another restaurant we had lunch at was Malhotra Restaurant near the Main Bazaar. We ordered a set here and shared it and it was more than enough. Tasteful and cheap, that’s how we like it!
The Smyle Inn is a great hostel that places you in the middle of the Main Bazaar in New Delhi. The side street isn’t to crowded but feels really pleasant. We loved this place as the start of our India trip. The room is basic but has all you need. The shower is good, aircon doing his job and we loved all the funny framed images on the walls. It’s a great place to meet other backpackers without being forced to hang out together. They have computers that you can use, they can help you organise the rest of your trip and the staff is really friendly and helpful. You can buy your simcard here and they help you installing it. You need your passport and a photo to register to get a simcard.
** You can find them on booking.com
Unfortunately we weren’t able to do that much because of the famous Delhi Belly. No idea where it went wrong because we did not have street food and did not eat anything that much more spicy than we’ve been doing the last couple of months. It can be the lassi we had or maybe we did buy a bottle of water that was refilled. No idea! Luckily there is a pharmacy close to the guesthouse where we could get pills. One tip, keep taking them a couple of days longer after you feel better. Michiel stopped to soon and got sick again a couple of days later.
We did visit the beautiful and peaceful Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. This is a Sikh temple (this means lots of tulbands here, free entrance) and definitely worth spending some time. We also tried to go to the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid which is the biggest mosque in India, and did find them after we got lost a little bit and had to struggle to get through the crowd of people, tuktuks, cars and cows at Chandi Chowk. It feels like they want to use every centimeter on the street and come up really close to you. When we finally got to the Red Fort, Delhi Belly gave us a signal and we had to head to back a.s.a.p. with a tuktuk. So unfortunately we had to skip this. At least we saw them from the outside..
Since we were really close to the Main Bazaar, we went for a walk here. It's a nice place to explore with all the huzzle and puzzle. There are people and shops everywhere and you buy everything from fresh fruit to new shoes. Coming from a more quite and clean place, you will probably get a little culture shock here.
We heard a lot of stories from travelers who arranged a driver in Delhi who takes them around for about 2 weeks, but regretted it. It maybe sound like a good idea and a good deal, but don’t book it right away. Listen to the proposal and think about it for at least a couple of hours. What we heard, the drivers aren’t really flexible and try to influence your program. Next to that, it is so much more expensive than doing it by yourself. And isn’t traveling in shitty busses part of the fun?!