6 Days
Budget: $$
Winter

India is one of those places that for me, just being there is already a foreign experience. It’s like being in Japan where every corner is unusual to my eyes, so I actually feel like I’m in a different place. I love Southeast Asia, but you don’t really feel that around there. What’s more special in this trip is that it’s the first time that I actually look like a foreigner. For all of the countries I’ve been to before, I can pretty much easily blend in with the locals. But in India, I look different! It’s a new experience for me which is good, although I do get a lot of attention even just by walking through a street.

Me at Agra Fort

Me at Agra Fort

Day 0

  • Flight MH190 Kuala Lumpur to Delhi
  • Take Meru Taxi to hostel
  • Check in at Backpacker Panda Delhi

My flight to Delhi got delayed because of technical issues, so I arrived at Indira Gandhi Airport later than I expected. I wasn’t able to catch the Airport Metro before it closes, so I took a Meru Cab to Paharganj where my hostel was. It was way overpriced but I had no other choice since my mobile data wouldn’t work at that time. It was really late anyway so it’s better to be safe than lost in the middle of India.

Me on the flight to Delhi

Me on the flight to Delhi

Delhi to Agra

I checked in at my hostel and didn’t unpack because I was leaving early the next day anyway. I slept for like 3 hours, left the hostel, and walked to New Delhi Railway Station to catch my train to Agra. It was still early so I stayed at the Foreigner Information office for a while before waiting at the platform and boarding my train.

New Delhi Railway Station early in the morning

New Delhi Railway Station early in the morning

Day 1

  • Ride Train 13008 UA Toofan Express from New Delhi to Agra Cantt
  • Take Tuktuk from Agra Cantt to Bedweiser Backpackers Hostel
  • Lunch at a restaurant near Taj Mahal East Gate
  • Take tuktuk to Agra Fort
  • Explore Agra Fort
  • Tuktuk back near Taj Mahal South Gate
  • Walk around Kinari Bazar
  • Dinner at Join Us Restaurant

Exploring India by train was something I really wanted to do. Everywhere, I’ve always tried to get around like a local, so this was that for India. And also, it’s very cheap!

Inside a 3rd Class Sleeper Train

Inside a 3rd Class Sleeper Train

I wanted to have my lunch at Pinch of Spice restaurant, but when I went there via Google Maps, I found a different place. I’m sure it’s one of those scams that they pin famous restaurants to their coordinates so they attract more people. And I’m one of the stupid ones to fall for it… Apparently, the actual Pinch of Spice was like 4 kilometers away, and I was too hungry at that time. So I just ate on that restaurant instead.

Chicken Biryani at a restaurant near Taj Mahal East Gate

Chicken Biryani at a restaurant near Taj Mahal East Gate

Agra Fort

I walked around the East Gate up to the South Gate to get a feel of the place. I took a tuktuk to Agra Fort and explored it that afternoon. It was where I found out about the queueing system on every tourist destination. So basically, they have separate lines for locals and foreigners on everything. There’s much shorter line for foreigners, but tickets are expensive. Let’s say a ticket for a local is 50 Rupees, a ticket for a foreigner would be around 400. You can’t really do much about it, but once you see how long the line for locals is, you’d be thankful you’re not there.

A Hall inside Agra Fort

A Hall inside Agra Fort

Agra Fort was breathtaking! From the stunning high walls of red bricks outside, to the intricately detailed palaces and halls inside. On some windows of the walled city, you can see the Taj Mahal standing by the Yamuna River.

View of Taj Mahal from one of the windows at Agra Fort

View of Taj Mahal from one of the windows at Agra Fort

When I got back near the South Gate, I killed time by walking around Kinari Bazaar. Not much to see for tourists, but exploring inner streets was a great way to get to know a place more. I had dinner at Join Us Restaurant which was a total mistake because I was supposed to eat at Joney’s Restaurant. So stupid!!! lmao

Banana Lassi, Naan, and Buttered Chicken at Join Us Restaurant

Banana Lassi, Naan, and Buttered Chicken at Join Us Restaurant

Day 2

  • Breakfast at The Indian Spice Restaurant
  • Buy Taj Mahal admission tickets
  • Enter Taj Mahal East Gate through the foreigner line
  • Explore Taj Mahal complex
  • Lunch at Joney’s Restaurant
  • Shop for souvenirs outside Taj Mahal East Gate
  • Dinner at Bedweiser Hostel

I wanted to see Taj Mahal at sunrise but I haven’t had enough sleep yet since I got to India. So I went there at around 9AM instead and spent the rest of the morning exploring the complex. It’s hard to capture the beauty of Taj Mahal in a single word.

Sad history of Taj Mahal

My appreciation to that monument was for every person that helped build it. Every sacrifice and hardship the slaves went through deserves recognition. And of course, to Mumtaz Mahal who went through 14 pregnancies on her 19-year of being a slave, I mean being married to Shah Jahan. She eventually died giving birth to her fourteenth child and she deserves to be recognized too. It’s easy to see the monument as a romantic gesture, it’s pristine, it’s majestic. But when you dive into its history, you start to think if it’s built on love at all. Read more: [1][2][3]

Pristine and beauty

Pristine and beauty

Day 3

  • Ride Train 12195 Af Aii Intercity from Agra Fort to Jaipur
  • Walk from Jaipur Railway Station to Jaipur Jantar Hostel
  • Brunch at hostel
  • Explore Pink City
    • Jantar Mantar
    • Isarlat
    • Hawa Mahal
  • Take tuktuk to Handi Restaurant
  • Dinner at Handi Restaurant
Pink City

Pink City

Tip! Composite Ticket!

When buying a ticket for Jantar Mantar, I found out that I could buy a Composite Ticket which was like an all-in-one pass for major destinations with in Jaipur. It’s only 1000 Rupees for about 7 places which could save you a lot of money if you get to visit them all.

One of the astronomical instruments at Jantar Mantar

One of the astronomical instruments at Jantar Mantar

I also went to Lakshmi Misthan Bhandar Restaurant but there’s too much people so I decided to eat at Handi Restaurant instead. It was a bit expensive, but the food was great! I especially loved the naan. <3

My food at Handi Restaurant

My food at Handi Restaurant

Day 4

  • Breakfast at Karim Hotel
  • Take Uber to Amer Fort
  • Explore Amer Fort
  • Lunch at Moon Stone Restaurant
  • Take Uber to Nahargarh Fort
  • Explore Nahargarh Fort
  • Take Uber to Albert Hall Museum
  • Dinner at McDonald’s
  • Walk back to hostel

I knew taking a tuktuk to Amer Fort would cost a lot, so I check if Uber’s prices. The UberMoto was really cheap so I booked it immediately. Riding a motorbike in India is something I don’t recommend, although it was a unique experience. Lord knows how hard I held on to the handle!

Outside of Amer Fort

Outside of Amer Fort

Amer Fort (or Amber for most tourists)

Amer Fort was another amazing place! And what I love about it is that they have written guides all over the place. I was so impressed with the detailing in its structures. And since it’s on a mountain, the surrounding was very scenic. The only thing I didn’t like was the elephant attraction. At an additional price, tourists can ride an elephant going up to the fort instead of walking. It may seem like a great experience but it’s a nightmare for the elephants. It’s unnatural for them to be carrying multiple people while hiking up and down a narrow road. Good thing they stop operating by noon. So please, if you ever go there, avoid riding them okay! Let’s take care of these majestic animals before it’s too late.

One of the structures inside Amer Fort

One of the structures inside Amer Fort

My RAMIR sandal at Amer Fort

My RAMIR sandal at Amer Fort

Nahargarh Fort

I took another Uber to Nahargarh fort which was way cheaper than what the tuktuk drivers were offering. It was less grand than Amer Fort, but it gives you an amazing panoramic view of the whole Jaipur! Perfect place to catch the sunset!

Me at Nahargarh Fort

Me at Nahargarh Fort

Unfortunately when I got to Albert Hall, it was already closed, so I just appreciated it from the outside. The Uber from Nahargarh Fort to Albert Hall was super expensive (but he was kind enough to let me go down and take a pic of Jal Mahal) so I decided to just walk back to my hostel. I passed by a McDonald’s and ate dinner there. I tried the McSpicy Paneer burger which tasted fine, but just not for me. The night was getting cold so I rushed to get back to the hostel.

Jal Mahal!

Jal Mahal!

Day 5

  • Take Train 12216 Dee Garibrath from Jaipur to New Delhi S Rohilla
  • Take tuktuk to Pahar Ganj
  • Check in at Hindustan Backpackers Heaven
  • Brunch at Sita Ram Diwan Chand
  • Rest at hostel
  • Take metro to Rajiv Chowk Station
  • Explore Janpath Market
  • Walk through Main Bazar Road
  • Buy Souvenirs along the way
  • Dinner at Green Chilli Restaurant and Bar
  • Walk back to hostel

Nothing much happened this day really. The food at Sita Ram Diwan Chand was great and cheap. It’s probably the only restaurant I went to that mainly has a local crowd. In the afternoon, I went to Janpath Market thinking I could buy souvenirs but it only had typical imitations. Frustrated, I walked back to the hostel, and thankfully I did, because I didn’t know that the Main Bazar Road was full of shops! I lost track of time and went back with a new bag filled with lots of souvenirs.

The scene at Main Bazar Road

The scene at Main Bazar Road

Day 6

  • Take metro to Jama Masjid Station
  • Brunch at Karim’s Restaurant
  • Jama Masjid
  • Walk to Red Fort
  • Explore Red Fort
  • Take metro to Jorbagh Station
  • Explore Safdarjung Tomb
  • Explore Lodi Garden
  • Take metro to Rajiv Chowk Station
  • Dinner at KFC
  • Take metro to RK Ashram Marg Station
  • Walk back to hostel
  • Walk to New Delhi Station
  • Take Airport Express to Indira Gandhi International Airport
  • Flight MH191 back to Kuala Lumpur

Karim’s Restaurant

Karim’s Restaurant had the best curry I’ve ever tasted in my entire life. I ordered either Paya or Nahari I’m not sure, but it was a mutton curry and roti on the side. It was so greasy and messy to eat, but the savory flavor seeps into the roti bread so good. I would go back to India just to taste it again for real.

My order at Karim's

My order at Karim’s

Red Fort

Red Fort was okay. Lots of construction when I went there but you can still appreciate the beauty of the palaces and halls. It’s not as impressive as Agra Fort or Amer Fort, but it’s a must in Delhi. The best part was the high red walls that surround the fort. Worth the visit for its history.

Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid

Safdarjung Tomb & Lodi Gardens

I’m really glad I went to Safdarjung Tomb. It was small and not well-maintained, but the architecture was very impressive. Plus, there was a very little crowd when I went there. I got to take an amazing self-portrait without people ruining it!

Me at Safdarjung Tomb

Me at Safdarjung Tomb

Lodi Gardens was near Safdarjung Tomb so even though I’m already very tired, I still went there. To be honest I only visited Lodi Gardens for the name of the place. Lodi!!! Soo cute!!

Muhammad Shah Sayyid Tomb at Lodi Gardens

Muhammad Shah Sayyid Tomb at Lodi Gardens

India just wouldn’t let me leave that easy. I booked an Uber to the airport but the driver wouldn’t pick me up. I waited for more than 30 minutes but he just went circling outside the main road. It’s getting late so I decided to cancel it and just walk to the Airport Express station. It was so hard, with all my bags, and I couldn’t even find the damn station! I think I went on the longer way, but I eventually got there after around 30 minutes of walking. It was the most patience-testing part of this trip, and annoyingly, a perfect way to end my trip to India. I really thought I could leave for the airport easily, but not that day Jim, not that day!

Breakdown of Budget

Indian VisaPHP 2,626.53Online Application
New Delhi to Agra TrainPHP 438.243rd Class Sleeper
Agra to Jaipur TrainPHP 385.08AC Chair
Jaipur to New DelhiPHP 401.193rd Class Sleeper
Backpacker Panda DelhiPHP 350.00
Dorm
1 Night
Bedweiser HostelPHP 690.90Dorm
2 Nights
Jaipur Jantar HostelPHP 769.22Dorm
2 Nights
Hindustan Backpackers HeavenPHP 421.53Dorm
2 Nights
Taj Mahal Admission FeePHP 803.91Converted Price
Paid via PayMaya Card
Handi RestaurantPHP 428.61Converted Price
Paid via PayMaya Card
UberMoto to Amer FortPHP 78.46Converted Price
Paid via PayMaya Card
UberGo to Nahargarh FortPHP 126.74Converted Price
Paid via PayMaya Card
UberGo to Albert HallPHP 370.71Converted Price
Paid via PayMaya Card
Pocket MoneyPHP 8,000.00INR 10,000 of expenses
TOTALPHP 15,891.12

Everything on the budget breakdown above was directly copied from my bank statement except for the Backpackers Panda Delhi and Pocket Money. The Backpackers Panda was rounded off to the exchange rate because I couldn’t find it in my bank statement. And the Pocket Money was also rounded off based on the exchange rate. Basically I brought 12,000 Rupees (Roughly 8,000 Pesos) and had a leftover of 2,000 after the trip. Also, some transactions like the Taj Mahal, Handi Restaurant, and all of my Uber trips were paid through my PayMaya card. Don’t be shy and message me on my Facebook page if you have any questions!

Street food near Jantar Mantar

Street food near Jantar Mantar

Hawa Mahal in Jaipur

Hawa Mahal in Jaipur

Never would I have expected I could travel India on my own. I would just like to say how proud I am of myself!!! Like, I managed to get around by train with the locals! I’ve had many solo trips before but this will always have a special place in me. With all of India’s craziness, I never regret going there and witnessing all the chaos and all the beauty.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!