India is colourful, chaotic and extremely charismatic. It’s a heady blend of life at its most vivacious, yet the thought of venturing to this very foreign land can come with mixed emotions for some travellers – everything from trepidation and excitment, to fear and fascination.
For Gate 1’s own David Bird, India has been high on his wish list for years, so we quizzed him about his recent 8 Day Golden Triangle of India and from the sounds of it, his first trip to India won’t be his last!
Q: What were you looking forward to doing most in India?
A: Visiting the Taj Mahal and Amber Fort were on the top of my list. Probably like many other travellers, I was excited to see in real life these iconic sights that I’ve watched in documentaries and learned about at school.
Q: Did India live up to expectations?
A: India exceeded my expectations. Beautiful scenery, delicious food and warm, friendly people. It wasn’t anywhere near as intimidating as I thought it might be and I was travelling solo, so it was even more fun to be enjoying it all with the new friends in our group.
Q: What was the highlight of the trip?
A: Taj Mahal was a highlight by far. The Taj was even more spectacular in real life and was not over crowded, with plenty of space and time to walk around the site and gardens and take some amazing photos. One thing I noticied is it’s the little things, like planning our visit at the best time of day, that make Gate 1 stand out from the crowd.
Q: What was your tour manager like?
A: Our tour manager, Bhanu, was fantastic. He was very informative and nothing was too much trouble for him. Bhanu offered plenty of opportunities for the group to ask questions and informed the group of Indian culture and history while on the coach journeys between cities. Everyone commented on how wonderful Bhanu was and one of the couples even booked another Gate 1 trip while they were on the tour, because they loved the experience so much!
Q: What type of travellers would enjoy the Golden Triangle tour?
A: Travellers of all ages with a sense of adventure would really enjoy this trip. The tour offered the perfect mix of included sightseeing and free time to explore on your own. The hotels were all of a high standard with all the creature comforts and close to shopping and restaurants. I think that the way you are looked after by Gate 1 takes the hassle out of travelling in India. You get to learn more about the local culture and history, but at the same time enjoy the comfort of modern coaches and relaxing in great hotels. I can’t wait to go back to India and explore some more, maybe in the south or combine it with Nepal.
Q: Before we let you go, you know there’s one question everyone asks, did you get sick on the trip?
A: You’re right, it’s often the first thing friends ask when they find out you’ve been to India. The answer: No. We all enjoyed trying the local food but I don’t think any of us got sick. Maybe we can thank Bhanu for pointing us in the right direction for food stalls or it was just good fortune, but I wouldn’t let worrying about your stomach put you off going to India!
If you’re thinking of tours in India you can browse our website for a whole range of options to suit your preferred travel style and budget. Call 1300 653 618 if you have any questions and we look forward to welcoming you to India soon!