Glamping with The Ultimate Travelling Camp

India Glamping

I like a good adventure like the next person, but these days I’m more glamp and less camp. So, whenever I come across a great glamp group, I have to spread the word.

Enter: The Ultimate Travelling Camp which brings glamping to remote parts of India so travelers can safely go places where the infrastructure is inadequate or non-existent.  In fact, it’s the first truly mobile luxury camps in India covering a calendar of destinations and festivals!

Here’s what they offer:

*3 Regions: Ladakh, Adawdh, and Nagaland

*4 Camps: Chamba Camp, Thiksey (Ladakh), Kotwara Camp, Terai and Suheli Camp, Dudhwa (Awadh), and Kohima Camp, Nagaland (Nagaland)

This allows adventurers to experience the many moods of exotic India with its dramatic landscapes, mountains, deserts, jungles and unexplored countryside. Relax in individually designed tents, with en-suite bathrooms, private decks, crisp linen and the services of your very own butler. Enjoy delicious family recipes, hear stories from specialists and guest “travelogists” over fire-lit evenings, and immerse yourself in the magic of India. The Ultimate Travelling Camp can also be customized for special occasions.

So, check out these trips below and tell ’em we sent ya!

Ladakh
June 15 to September 30, 2014

 

Highlights
Watch the sunset from Shanti Stupa overlooking the old city of Leh
Join the monks for a magical early morning prayer ceremony at  Thiksey Monastery
Indulge in a picnic lunch in a picturesque setting
Witness the traditional fanfare of a Ladakhi polo match
tiger
Kotwara: November 15, 2014 to March 31, 2015
Dudhwa: January 1 to March 3, 2015

Highlights for Kotwara
Visit the 400 year old frog temple in Oel
Have a Gala dinner at the Palace of Raja Muzaffar Ali
Enjoy sufi meditation and music
Spend some time viewing Raja Muzaffar Ali’s films
Relish high tea by the lake
Try the famed Awadhi dishes

Highlights for Dudhwa
Search for the one-horned rhino and elusive tiger by jeep and elephant safaris
Visit the local Dudhwa tribe, the ‘Tharus’ and watch them skillfully weave
Enjoy rural music and dance
Explore the Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary
Relish a picnic breakfast in the depths of the jungle

india
Nagaland
December 1 to December 7, 2014

Highlights
Revel in the excitement of the
Hornbill Festival watching local tribes performing cultural displays
Watch indigenous games such as ‘chilli eating contests’ and ‘greased bamboo pole climbing’
Have a drink by the campfire followed by a feast skillfully created by our Chef
Listen to rich folklore at Phesema Village
Visit the beautiful Kohima War cemetery

http://www.theultimatetravellingcamp.com/

Hollywood Heartthrob, Patrick Muldoon, Tells Jaunt Magazine His Favorite Hot Spots

Patrick Muldoon

Patrick Muldoon

Sexy surfer, hot actor, multitalented musician, Days of Our Lives soap star, and, of course… fan of all things travel and adventure, Patrick Muldoon makes a guest appearance on Jaunt Magazine and we couldn’t be more thrilled. With a mug like his, how can he not make us look good too? To that end, he travels a lot like we do: freewheelin, exotic, and family friendly (as in… he’s even got peeps in Croatia!).  In his early years, Patrick was an avid surfer, who could always be found riding the waves of the beautiful southern California shore. Growing up with a lifeguard as a father in the waterfront district of San Pedro, the ocean has remained Muldoon’s secret pleasure. He attributes his laid-back attitude and calm demeanor to his devotion to the sea and sand.

Muldoon is also well known for his role in STARSHIP TROOPERS with Denise Richards and Neil Patrick Harris, and he played the evil “Richard Hart” on Melrose Place, of course.

Rumored to be dating Denise Richards again, Muldoon will next be seen in the indie horror thriller SPIDERS 3D set for release later this year. In short, since he’s charming, witty, and an absolute character, it makes complete sense why he would tell Jaunt Magazine a bit about himself, where he loves to travel, and why. So, say, “Hiiiiiii, Patrick!”

1.    How did you end up in Hollywood?

I was actually born in a small town called San Pedro, which is located about 20 miles south of Hollywood close to the LA Harbor and I commuted to Loyola High School in Los Angeles.

2.    What do you like or dislike about Hollywood?

I dislike when people tell me that they hate the people here (in LA), yet they are actually one of those people. Hollywood is a place where people immigrate from all over the world to make it into the entertainment business and then when they finally get here, they complain about the business itself.

The thing I love about Hollywood is that “There’s No Business Like Show Business’. You have to love the challenge and if it’s tough going, that just means you have to get better at what you do, and there is always room to grow….If you don’t like it, go home!

The crystal clear waters of Saharun beach on the Croatian island of Dugi otok

The crystal clear waters of Saharun beach on the Croatian island of Dugi otok

3.    What is your favorite travel or surf destination and why?

I love going to see my family in Croatia, specifically the island DUGI-OTOK. There’s no surf there, but the visibility of the water is 50 feet and you can see the bottom of the ocean which is so beautiful. To get to the Croatian island of Dugi Otok, you have to take a ferry from the mainland either SPLIT or ZADAR. My family (my mother is Croatian) is from a village called BRBINJ (on the island of DIGI-OTOK); there are no real restaurants, but during the summer, it is very popular place for yachts to dock. ZADAR is a beautiful coastal city that has a lot of restaurants and a great tourist destination. SPLIT is a great destination in the summer for tourists as well and there are also a lot of boats, shops, and restaurants to visit.

I usually only surf locally here in Los Angeles….there is a break off of SUNSET & PCH, which is my favorite because it’s the least crowded. In addition, if I’m down in the South Bay area I’ll surf ‘Royal Palms.’

Royal Palms San Pedro Surf Spot

Royal Palms San Pedro Surf Spot

4.    Where do you stay when you go there? What’s your favorite restaurant and why?

If I’m visiting Croatia, I’ll stay at my family’s house, or a hotel in SPLIT called The Park Hotel or (Hotel Park) ­– the restaurant is fantastic and the fish is always fresh because it’s pulled out of the Adriatic Sea daily. The restaurant also has outdoor seating available and it’s located right on the beach.

giorgio baldi

Giorgio Baldi Grilled Shrimp… are perfect after riding the waves

Locally in Los Angeles, after a long day of ‘carving my name into the waves’ I like to visit an Italian restaurant called Giorgio Baldi in the Pacific Palisades…for the best Italian food in the world – but don’t try to walk in with board shorts on,  cause they won’t let you in!

5.    Have you ever had a crazy surf trip or a really romantic fun surf/travel experience?

I once went with a former girlfriend to Kruger National Park and we stayed at the Pondoro Game Lodge for a safari experience. If you ever decide to visit, don’t go off the premises, because you WILL get eaten by lions!

6.    What is your dream for 5 years from now? Where do you want to travel? 

I like the whole George Clooney vibe… make great movies, live in a mansion on Lake Como, Italy and switch up my hot model girlfriends every six months (kidding ;).

Sure you are, Patrick! Meanwhile, we’ll be sure to catch your hotness in SPIDERS 3D since we hate spiders, but we wouldn’t mind watching you for a few hours. And, if, for any reason at all, we don’t get to see you in the theaters, we’ll catch you catching waves at Royal Palms or lounging somewhere seductive off the Croatian coast.

The Explorateur’s Exclusive Getaways

Friends, families, freewheelin’ babes and badasses… our swanky friends at The Explorateur – an insider travel concierge of sorts – wanted me to share some sweet news about a few very exclusive trips they’ve added to their repertoire for the Fall. Tell them our Editor-in-Chief, Layla Revis, sent you if you sign up to their newsletter. That way, they’ll treat you extra nice 😉

Just Chillin in Tanzania

A bit about The Explorateur. We heard about them when we were working with Small Luxury Hotels of the World and their Founder came highly regarded. We needed some tips on Croatia and we were told that he was the guy who made an art of arranging yacht trips around the Croatian coast. So what is The Explorateur? A unique forum filled with fabulous insider information (sorta like us). They also arrange exclusive offers at the world’s most unique and interesting hotels, shops, and restaurants around the world much like the travel agent you *wish* you had. Their ever-globetrotting editorial team blends their collective decades of experience in the travel industry with savvy insider knowledge of the world’s most eclectic finds. Stylish, yet unpretentious, they help guide travelers with a hint of wanderlust.  The team has the scoop on anything and everything a traveler needs to know. And, if they don’t know, like us, they’ll travel to find out.

TANZANIA-  6 Days, Stunning Explorations- starting at US $1500 per person, double occupancy

Itinerary includes:  Begin at Kilimanjaro for an overnight at Kia Lodge and option to explore the mountain, followed by  a drive the next day for a visit to Lake Manyara, game drive for phenomenal animal viewing + 1 night at Migunga Tented Camp including all meals, transfer to Serengeti for an early morning game drive and visit to Olduvai Gorge + 2 nights at Ikoma Tented Camp including all meals, transfer to Ngorongoro Crater for a gorgeous crater exporation tour and overnight at Crater Forest Lodge, all  meals, followed by early morning transfer back to Arusha.

My Chateau or Yours?

FRANCE – Spectacular New Years Experience at Chateau de la Barre- 1295 Euro per person, based on 12 sharing.

Mingle with royalty and get treated as such when you round up 12 friends to share the chateau as guests of Comte and Comtesse de Vanssay in their Loire Valley chateau.

30 Dec- Get treated to a champagne reception and visit of the chateau followed by cheese and vintage wine tasting supper in the billiard room in front o fthe monumental XIVth century fireplace- enjoy chocolate and port wine in your room.

31 Dec- Explore the remarkably restored old city of Le Mans, stage set to many films followed by festive New Year’s Eve dinner in the XVIIth centrury grand dinign room of the chateau with all the family silver and crystal- usher in the new year at midnignt with champagne in the Grand Drawing Room underneath the ancestral portraits

01 Jan- Renaissance day- visit famous Chenonceau castle with a new year’s day lunch feast at Leonardo da Vinci’s home served as if you were in 1530- or a private lunch in XVIIth century Chateau Chene de Coeur hosted by the owners

02 Jan- Depart with a special present from Chateau de la Barre

PLUS- Daily English breakfast and afternoon tea, fresh flowers in room, wine tasting at nearby winery built into a Xth century limestone cave

Kda-oo naH, pray-uhH 'euy (Translation: "Oh God, It's Hot")

CAMBODIA –  Hotel de la Paix – Siem Riep’s most stylish hotel set against some of the world’s most spectacular ancient sights

Explore this incredible land in the comfort of this stunning art deco hotel starting at US $275 per night- and receive the following lovely treats to enrich your stay:

– Welcome drink and cold towel on arrival
– Daily gourmet hot breakfast buffet
– Wireless Internet access in all guestrooms
– Daily turn-down service with treats
– Pre-loaded iPod with music and narratives on Cambodia, which may be taken on outside excursions
– Access to undercover Khmer inspired swimming pool
– Access to award winning Spa Indochine

So take a jaunt, check out The Explorateur, and let us know what you think (just don’t make us too jealous when you go on and on about that trip to Chateau de la Barre or Tanzania!

 The Explorateur 

Last Minute Fall Getaways

Rajasthan, India

Looking for some last minute fall getaways? Who isn’t? If you’re anything like me, you’re a workaholic often being told by your colleagues to just ‘get some rest already!’ So, as it’s just around the corner, fall is the ideal time to discover the world, with many destinations around the globe featuring cooler temperatures, colorful panoramas, abundant wildlife and a kaleidoscope of festivals. India, already a vibrant country, explodes in a riot of colors in the fall, when many festivals take place, including Diwali and Pushkar Fair.

Budapest by Night

Budapest, Vienna and Prague are also beautiful during the Fall, along with Berlin, China, and Tanzania.  So, when Abercrombie & Kent sent us a list of their special fall journeys (with added discounts and deals), we wanted to spread the word so that you, too, could experience your dream destination at its best. Solo travellers take note: you can also save up to 96% on the single supplement on: Treasures of Northern India from Oct 7 and Nov 11 and Essence of India from Oct 13 and Nov 17. Remember, Abercrombie & Kent is high-end so you won’t be skimping. This is 5 star all the way with guides that are some of the best in the world. We’re talking life changing travels, baby, and you could use a shift in your continuum, right?

Right.

Though I tend to be more of a fly by the seat of my pants kinda traveller, as I get older and wiser I find that sometimes it’s just easier to have someone in the know do all the legwork for you. At Abercrombie & Kent, the nice thing is that you can also search for tour options like the following:

August through November departures are filling fast so click the link below to see last-minute destinations for fall travel, and reserve a fall getaway now!

Abercrombie & Kent Last Minute Fall Getaways

A Chic Affordable African Safari?!

Meerkats in the Bush

I just can’t get enough of safari trips. I guess I just ought to live in the bush for awhile. It may be the only thing that quenches my African thirst. To that end, when I came across Lion World Tours’ nine-day itinerary “Madikwe In Style”, I wanted to pick up the package to spend four nights experiencing the beauty and opulence of The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa while exploring Cape Town and two nights basking in the tranquility of the African bush while staying at the luxurious Madikwe Safari Lodge and viewing the wildlife.

This nine-day package, which includes international airfare from New York (JFK) or Washington DC (Dulles) on South African Airways, domestic flights within South Africa, fuel surcharges, as well as luxury accommodation in Cape Town and the Madikwe Game Reserve, also includes most meals, transfers, and more – all for just USD $3,199* per person.

This price is valid for departures on August 24th, August 28th, and September 1st, 2011, as well as various dates in October and November of 2011. An unbelievable value for money.

The luxurious Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa lies where earth, sea and sky meet poised above Atlantic rollers and flanked by the majestic Table Mountain and her Twelve Apostles mountain range in glorious Cape Town. This intimate five-star Hotel fully lives up to its stunning location, with exceptional standards of service and relaxed Cape hospitality, providing the perfect counterpoint to its dramatic backdrop.  Enjoy deluxe guest rooms, two breathtaking pool gardens magically perched above the ocean, the glorious Azure restaurant and its exquisite cuisine, wonderful friendly service and endlessly seductive sea views.

A Cub Chewing on a Stick

Madikwe Safari Lodge is situated in the heart of the malaria-free and richly diverse Madikwe Game Reserve. The Lodge offers exclusive accommodation in luxury suites and boasts French doors that open up onto wooden decking. From the deck, you can take a refreshing dip in a sparkling plunge pool. The bedrooms are fitted with circular fireplaces, a dressing area, and both indoor and outdoor showers. Each suite features an elegant interior inspired by traditional African designs and nature.

To make a booking or for questions, call Lion World Tours at 1-800-387-2706 from the USA or 1-800-668-9968 from Canada, or visithttp://lionworldtravel.com/ to view the full itinerary.

“Madikwe In Style” at USD $3,199* per person is a nine-day trip which includes:

  • Round trip international Economy Class airfare from New York (JFK) or Washington, DC (Dulles) to Cape Town, South Africa, on South African Airways
  • Domestic flights within South Africa in accordance with the itinerary
  • Four nights accommodation at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
  • Two nights accommodation at Madikwe Safari Lodge
  • Six Breakfasts/two Lunches/three Dinners
  • Transfers as specified in the itinerary
  • Lion World Tours representative Meet and Greet upon arrival

Lion World Tours specializes in group and individual tours to Southern and East Africa, and is a member of The Travel Corporation, which also includes Trafalgar, Contiki, Brendan Vacations, Red Carnation Boutique Hotel Collection, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and Insight Vacations. In its fifth decade, clients continue to benefit from Lion World Tours’ destination knowledge, expertise, and emphasis on customer service. With their safari specialists all having first-hand knowledge of Africa, Lion World Tours can confidently assist clients in creating an African adventure that fits their specific interests as well as their budget. Affordable luxury and value for money are what keep clients coming back to Lion World Tours.

http://www.lionworldtours.com/

* Prices are in US Dollars and are per person based on double occupancy accommodation and include fuel surcharges. Government taxes, departure fees and September 11th Security Fee of $190 are additional and payable prior to departure. Low add-on fares from 26 cities in the USA are available. This package is valid at this price for departures in 2011 on August 24, 28, September 1, October 17, 21, 25, 29, and November 2, 12, 16, 20, 24.

Take Me to Tanzania!

Take me to Tanzania!

The Serengeti’s newest luxury resort, Bilila Lodge Kempinski, is offering a special summer package for Tanzania visitors. Guests will enjoy two nights in one of the Lodge’s exclusive guestrooms or suites, all of which overlook the plains of the Serengeti, allowing wild game observation from the private sun desks.

The “Summer Adventure Retreat” is priced from $1,345 and includes:

*One half-day game drive

*One daily massage or body treatment from a selection of nine signature Anantara Spa treatments

*Round-trip airport transfers

*Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a welcome drink upon arrival

Because two nights is not enough time to experience all that Tanzania has to offer, two nearby Kempinskis are offering discounted summer promotions, as well. Zamani Zanzibar Kempinski’s “Summer Escape in Paradise ” is priced from $699 and includes:

*One half-day Spice Tour on one of the nearby Spice Farms

*Round-trip airport transfers

*Daily breakfast and dinner, as well as a welcome drink and fruit platter upon arrival

Based in the bustling city and commercial capital, Dar es Salaam , Kilimanjaro Hotel Kempinski’s “Summer City Promotion” is priced from $635 and includes:

*One dinner in The Palm restaurant with a bottle of sparkling wine

*Daily breakfast, as well as a fresh fruit platter upon arrival

*Roundtrip airport transfers

All rates quoted above are based on single occupancy and include two nights accommodations, inclusive of taxes and service charges. Offers are valid through September 30, 2010 so… for the third time… your honey is calling out: “Take me to Tanzania!” We can hear them all the way from here.

For more information or booking, visit the resorts’ respective websites: www.kempinski.com/en/serengeti, www.kempinski.com/zanzibar, www.kempinski.com/en/daressalaam

India in Luxury: From Mumbai to Jaipur


Oberoi Udaipur, India

This week, Guest Blogger and Jaunt Contributor, Jordan Zucker, takes us to the colorful world of India. An actress and native New Yorker, Zucker is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Mathematics who moved to LA ‘to satisfy her thirst for seaside sunsets and avocados.’ With a hearty appetite for adventure and a good dose of gypsy blood, currently, she can be found on syndicated reruns of [Scrubs] as “Lisa,” the intern.

PS. Jordan loves water chestnuts, but despises cilantro. “I mean, don’t even put us in the same room,” she (half) jokes.

India in Luxury: From Mumbai to Jaipur
By Jordan Zucker

So I went to Northern India for two weeks with the folks and here’s what I gathered for Jaunt. The places we went (in order) were: Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Udaipur, and Mumbai. India is a large country so keep that in mind. We visited the North (Rajasthan) and what would be considered only one state out of 35 states and union territories. States were formed on a linguistic basis and, as Wikipedia notes, “India is home to two major linguistic families: Indo-Aryan (74%) and Dravidian (24%). Other languages spoken come from the Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman linguistic families. Hindi, with the largest number of speakers, is the official language. English, which is used extensively in business, has the status of a ‘subsidiary official language. The constitution also recognizes in particular 21 other languages that are either abundantly spoken or have classical status.”

That should give you some idea of the rich -and ancient – cultural influences still present in India today. The country consists of historic trade routes, the Hindu people of the Indus Valley, Aryan-speaking tribal descendants, the tribes of Genghis Kahn, and, of course, a history of British rule. Religions are varied with Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, and Christian being the main four, and Jianism and Sikhism also originating from here. As the fastest growing and largest world democracy, with the second largest population in the world, India shares it’s borders with China, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma. It goes without saying that it’s important territory from both a social and political framework. Somewhere between past and present, poverty and promise.

We saw a part of this awesome land on a two-week Sita Tour called ‘India in Luxury.’ Sita Tours offer organized travel for the ‘discerning’ guest. In this case, that meant staying at almost every 5-star Oberoi Hotel & Resort in India. My parents finished off the trip with a jaunt to Goa in the south, so I’ve included some pointers from there, as well.

Here are the pros and cons:

Pros: A great tour guide, fab hotels, and I didn’t get sick from street food. A few notes: you must bring money to use public bathrooms. Delhi isn’t as dirty as I had expected and Mumbai is like the NY of India. It is by far the most cosmopolitan, the most urban, the hippest. Delhi was large in geography but more flat and residential than I would have imagined. Traffic is crazy in Delhi. Apparently, there are multiple pedestrian deaths a day from people being hit by cars while crossing the street. Agra is just a tiny village in comparison, with streetfront box shops just as you’d picture Indian countryside. Also, most of the cities I saw were in Rajasthan. If I had continued to travel to the south – or to the Himalayas- like my folks did, I would have noticed a more drastic difference in culture between the areas, I’m sure. Something I found interesting was that the locals were not opposed to calling the cities by their British rule names (Madras, Calcutta, Bombay). We thought it would offend them but they sometimes prefer the old names.

Delhi, India

When people talk about India, they often reference the poverty, the smells, the grit… Well, I have to say, the country didn’t smell half as bad as I’d anticipated. Yes, it was dirty, but it smelled more of jasmine than feces. There are far cleaner places that smell worse (ie. trash in NJ, BO in Istanbul, the cows at Harris Ranch halfway between LA and SF), but yes, you see TONS of starving people, you see 9 year-olds carrying infants to get pity money for their families, you see all of the poor. It is also common to see people just squatting on the curb and taking a dump. You actually see if fall to the ground like a dog’s would. I recommend carrying around a box of EO lavender hand sanitizers. I get them at Whole Foods.

Cons: Because we traveled in luxury, I felt the experience was a little ‘watered down.’ I felt like a tourist. I like to get a local view and really experience what life is like – authentically – where ever I am. Perhaps it was safer to see the country being shielded slightly from the culture, but if I had my choice…

I also felt that everything was too expensive where we went. Because we could afford to stay in the nicest hotels, the locals on the tour took advantage of that a little too much.


INDIA’S HOTELS

We stayed at the Oberoi’s in each city. As incredible as I find the Oberoi properties, I wouldn’t recommend the Oberoi in the big cities (ie. Delhi and Mumbai). There are better places there. In Mumbai, the place to stay is The Taj Hotel, built by renowned architect W. A. Stevens. The Taj ‘embodies Jamsetji Tata’s vision of a luxurious hotel’ and was the first property with electricity and modern sanitation. It’s an architectural gem with a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea. We’re talking vaulted alabaster ceilings, Indian archways, crystal chandeliers, a stunning art collection and cantilever stairway. You can’t go wrong. It was also counted among the “1,000 places to see before you die” by the New York Times Best Seller and voted in Conde Nast Traveler’s “Best Places to Stay”.

I also heard that The Taj is good in Delhi too, but the Imperial is supposed to be the best. Known as a museum hotel, it’s been a property for artists for over 70 years and displays an impressive collection of the ‘British Art on India.’

http://www.theimperialindia.com

That said, along the countryside, opt for the Oberoi Hotels. They’re fabulous when it comes to design and service. Here are my favs:

1) Oberoi Vanyavilas – Ranthambore – worth the trip just to go here.

And check out the Tiger Safari!

2) Oberoi Amarvilas – Agra – I could see the Taj Mahal from my balcony and had the best India moment out there – all senses on India overload!

3) Oberoi Udaivilas – Udaipur – This property had stunning grounds where you can dine on a patio overlooking the lake.

Special note: The Banyan Tree Spas at all of the Oberois are GORGEOUS!

INDIA’S RESTAURANTS
Again, I felt a little limited in this department as we were always guided to eat at the hotels, but at least I didn’t get sick, right?

1) Bukhara – Delhi – Great Chicken Tikki, Family Naan, etc.

2) Trishna – Mumbai – Best seafood place in the city!!! Favorite of the locals as well!

3) Dome – Mumbai – This is the place to go for an evening cocktail to see the sunset

ACTIVITIES/SHOPPING

1) Mumbai, India – Bombay Electric – Great women’s clothing store

2) Jaipur, India – Elephant Ride. Do NOT take the elephant ride up the fort – the wait in line is hours. Take a jeep up, then get an elephant ride directly from the stable in town – no wait.

3) Delhi, India – Chandni Chowk (market). Pick out your own fabric, make a clothing item.

4) Goa, India – Ingo’s saturday night market is a must to go. Bring cash. Here you’ll get the best buys in everything you can imagine. Favorite shopping spot in Goa: Janota shoes # 64, yellow lane Arpora, Goa.

5) Arpora, Goa – Seasonal store “The Haystack.”
For info call Angela @ 9881773053 or go to http://www.janotagoa.com

GOA HOTELS
My parents stayed at The Taj, but Jaunt editors found these two sites for boutique hotels in Goa.

http://www.directoryofhotels.com/asia/hotels_india_goa.asp

http://www.chiangdao.com/hotels4/asiahotels/indiahotels/goahotels/goahotels.htm

For the upper-crust artsy crowd, Jaunt recommend sites like Tablet Hotels and Design Hotels for finding boutique digs that excel in design and service.

PHRASES TO LEARN

Shukria = thank you

Chalo = go away

Chordo = leave me alone. This is administered with a dismissive flick of the hand (the street vendors are relentless!)

Tuk tuks (mini taxis) = The rate that appears on the meter is the rate code, NOT the fare. You need to ask the driver for the rate card and pay what corresponds to the code! (ie. if the meter reads 350, you do not pay 350 rupees (about $8.50) you look on the card and see what rate 350 costs (probably around 32 rupees which is a little over a dollar)

Always check your bill! They’re notorious for overcharging in hopes that the tourists won’t check. As soon as you point out the ‘error’ they will apologize and remove the excess charges. Don’t take it personally – it’s just their culture.

When asked if I would go back, I’ll say this. There is only one place in the world I have been to that I didn’t like (Morocco) so saying I’d go back to India isn’t a big endorsement. That said, I am also the type of person that wouldn’t go back to a place for the mere reason that I’ve already been and there are far too many new places I need to conquer before I start repeating things.

Do I think it’s worth seeing? Definitely.

The first day we were there we went to a temple in Delhi and there were about 12 school trips there, so it was us and thousands of kids ages 6-14. They ALL wanted to shake our hand and say ‘Hi, how are you!!’ kind of to show off their english speaking skills. They were so excited to see ‘westerners’ and a group of the boys even asked for my autograph (just because I was something new they’d seen, not because of TV)

The people in India were lovely. I felt safer than in Morocco (SKETCHY! I didn’t even trust our tour guide), though they will be overly aggressive if they want you to buy something. Hindu and religion is their highest purpose. They’ll build a 40 year temple in 8 years but will never quite finish fixing the roads – just not as important or worthy a cause for them. There’s something to be said for that.

So I’ll close with my favorite highway sign:

MOTORCYCLES, SCOOTERS, DIPLOMATS, AND CAMELS – PLEASE STAY TO THE LEFT OF THE TOLL PLAZA!

Now Chalo!

14 Day Itinerary
INR 445,000 (US$ 11,125*)

http://www.sitatours.com/Asia/India/india_indiainluxury_14days.html

http://www.oberoihotels.com/specialOffers/india-in-luxury_itineraries1.asp