Last month, Bestway’s Communications and Outreach coordinator Kierra Jones had the chance to embark on a tour to one of our most popular destinations—India. Her verdict? If you’ve never been to India before, book your plane ticket immediately! Read on for her thoughts on why:
Even as a seasoned traveller, when I first learned that I would be going to IndiaI was worried.
I was a solo woman planning to tour the country for 2 weeks. Family and friends cautioned me about everything from safety to food to the latest story they had heard on the news.
My top piece of advice for those who have similar reservations would be to leave your expectations at the door—or the airport in this case.
From its rich and nuanced history to its vibrant streets and patently friendly people, I know that India blew my own expectations out of the water. The monuments were more majestic, the hotels were more luxurious and the crowds were more massive than I had ever imagined.
Then, there were the attractions.
Delhi was the first stop on my itinerary. Here I was introduced to the crazy traffic India is known for, where hundreds of cars and rickshaws fight for road space with cows, dogs and other animals.
What amazed me (besides the incredible navigation skills of my driver!) was the energy I felt from a city so alive with people and culture. I had the chance to see not one, but three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in a single day, as well as make my way through the crowds of Delhi’s oldest market.
In Agra, travelling during low season allowed me to share an extraordinary sunrise view of the Taj Mahal with only a handful of other people, a serene experience I thought was unheard of at such a famous destination.
In Jaipur, I was stunned by palaces as lavish as any I had seen in Europe or Southeast Asia. I learned that these historic masterpieces had inspired the art and culture of civilizations around the world.
By far my favourite stop though, was Varanasi, known as the oldest living city on earth. Nothing can compare to the magical experience of drifting down the ancient Ganges River at sunset while thousands of Hindu pilgrims gather on the steep banks to bathe in the holy waters, the reverent sound of temple bells filling the air.
What’s more, my tour was actually the smoothest, most stress-free journey I had ever taken.
I didn’t have to worry about a single thing during the entire trip. Any place I wanted to go was seamlessly handled by my driver and guide.
The five-star hotels were gorgeous and their staff so hospitable that they greeted me by name.
The Indian food was delicious and the Western food also available during meals was equally as good.
What perhaps surprised me most was the friendliness of the people, whether it was my driver sharing stories of his son’s recent marriage, my guide going the extra mile to help me feel welcome or passers by stopping to ask me where I’m from and what brings me here.