Sunday, February 21, 2010

Back From India

I've spent the past 2+ weeks in India for a family wedding. My wife's birthplace is in Kerala, India and her sister chose to be married there so we packed the whole family up and travelled halfway across the globe.

While most of our trip was dedicated to visiting the family, we did find a little time to escape to munnar, walk the beach in nager coil, and a do a little shopping at Seemarti.

So here's some of the things i've learned after 2 trips to india:
  1. Get a Driver
    For 1350 Rs./Night, we got a driver and an SUV with 80km included. 10Rs. per additional kilometer and our total expense under $40/day. This is an absolute steal and the additional comfort of a dedicated driver is worth every penny. I'd plan for one of these to pick
  2. Use the AC Night Train
    The roads are terrible. It takes 2-4 times as long to go anywhere by road in India as it does in the USA. If you are planning to go from state to state or any trip over 200km, i advise the night train or a plane. To get tickets on the AC night train, you have to book at least a week in advance, so set your itinerary and book your ride.
  3. Take Packaged Drinks
    If you don't want to get sick, don't drink their drinks. The packaged waters there(Aquafina, Himalaya, and Kingfisher) all checked out with me. The other waters, tap water, milk, juices, sodas, and anything with ice have all given my stomach trouble at one time or another.
    Horizon Organic Milk, Apple Juice, Orange Juice, and Gatorade will all be in my bags next trip. Each piece of checked-in luggage gets 50 lbs, weigh your bags and fill in the additional weight with fluids.
Some other things i've learned about travelling to kerala with an infant and a toddler:
  1. Pack N Plays fit inside a suitcase. We took one for each kid and without them we'd had to have had both kids in our beds or on the floors. Given the general cleanliness being much lower than i'm accustomed to, the floor is not an option.
  2. February is too Hot. Go in november, december, or january.
  3. Combat the barrage of spicy foods with a steady dose of snacks from home. My favorites are trail mix, beef and cheese, granola bars, and cheese crackers.
  4. Try the Fried Fish, http://bit.ly/clBGyU, it can be spicy but it's worth it.
I may write some more on some of my favorite spots, where i might go next, and any of my other thousands of opinions after travelling in india again.

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