The pink city known as Jaipur has this complicated feel. It's a busy city that also feels like a small town. I'd dare to say this is the best city of the three we went to in India. It's not too small (with more places to go to than in Agra) and not too big (like Delhi is), and to think I was thinking of skipping the city!
Upon entering the City Palace, after we paid the Rs 300 fee, we decided to get an audio tour. I'm not sure if we're just audio-tour-challenged but we had a hard time looking for the numbers which you follow with the tour and therefore did not understand half of it.
Amber Fort is also called the Red Fort (which is also used for Agra Fort. It's like they call all observatories Jantar Mantar or mosques Masjid Jamek. This makes research a little bit confusing.)
I just have to say this. THIS PLACE WAS AMAZING! I just might have it copied when I build my own house! :D
This is Mahesh (yes, like in the Heroes series). He is a painter who sells his old postcards painted over along the exit of Amber Fort. I found that my little knowledge and huge interest in their gods and goddesses triggers more warmth from Indians.
I was young the last time I rode a camel in Taiwan that I have forgotten how scary it can be. There's really nothing to hold onto! One must try it though, it's a fair price at Rs 300 for 15 minutes. Make sure to time your ride though, to make the most of it!
There will be a photographer going around offering his services. Hiring him will be a big mistake. That's what we realized after he gave us the printed copies with lines (like when the printer is low on ink) and poor color quality we paid Rs 100 for.
This place is not a known tourist spot which adds to its charm. We were the only people in the place that we took our time taking pictures around the beautiful place. The security guard (I suspect out of loneliness) even joined us for a while to explain some facts about the place. We only paid Rs 20 to enter.
I had yet to try the "bong" and found that it was available in this restaurant our tuktuk driver recommended. Contrary to popular belief (or else it's just me), the flavor comes from leaves placed on top which goes down to mix with the steam of the water (that's what's in the jar, or it can be replaced by milk to add flavor). It's actually nice although it can be such a pressure to keep inhaling the fume since if you don't the coals burning would die.
Chowki Dhani is one place every tourist in Jaipur should visit. It's far from the city and taking the cab there (since tuktuks wouldn't drive there.) costs some Rs 500 and entrance costs another Rs 350.00 but it truly is worth every Rupee. Make sure not to eat much before hand because it comes with an eat-all-you-can dinner of heavy breads and dips. We finished every yummy dish placed in front of us even though it was so much. Our driver was surprised that we finished through all the courses.
The Doll Museum is a quaint one part of a school for the deaf. It's nothing much though it does show you the different costumes from some of India's tribes and races. It's for free anyway, except for compulsory donation.
Jaipur has many stores littered around the city. Some great buys are the pashmina shawls and sarees. We bought the sarees we wore in Delhi from this man for Rs 100. Not a bad deal at all! Pashmina shawls of good quality can be bought for as low as Rs 200. Pure ones (can't be found in these street bazaars) is a great deal at Rs 1000. The good thing here is they are very accommodating, you can ask them to fix the sarees on you and take pictures but opt not to buy it. They won't get mad or scowl at you.
I have become a fan of lassi, sweet or sour. It's just yummy, and healthy to boot! As you can see, I've been gorging on the street foods.
Our hotel Umaid Bhawan was truly something unique. It's a heritage home converted into a hotel. It's not the cheapest but well worth the cost. Walk in price is Rs 3500 (something we overheard while hanging out in the lobby) while we who booked thru agoda only paid Rs 5000 for 2 nights. ( Don't you just love agoda? Please note that I am not popular enough to be paid by agoda to advertise its site. :) )