We flew from Cochin airport to Jaipur with a stop in Chennai which was a relatively cheap flight considering the distance. Jaipur was somewhere I was most excited about coming to in India as I had seen so many photos online of the pink hues and grand palaces and it didn't disappoint. The traffic is CRAZY here but it has a charm, it's bustling everywhere with so many things to see. I did find it more expensive than I thought it would be, entrances to the palaces can be around 500 rupees each and more if you want guides. We did pay for a driver to take us around for the day which was around 1500 rupees which is expensive but we managed to do all the sights in one day with no hassle. It was an expensive day but again worth seeing everything whilst your there! I wasn't that impressed with City Palace as for 500 rupees you can only see the outside grounds it costs 2,500 to enter the palace itself. Amber fort lived up to expectations which was very big and beautiful would advise about 3 hours here. We did walk up Nahagrah Fort for sunset which is beautiful, a hard climb but well worth it at the top! We also did Monkey Temple which was such an experience! They are everywhere! This was the only place we opted for a guide as the monkeys can be aggressive and the local guide looks after you and shows you around for 200 rupees. This was such an experience not to be missed!
WHERE TO STAY
Named one of the most romantic hotels in India it really did live up to its reviews. The decor is unreal and each room is themed to different states from across India using artists and pieces from the the states. We stayed in Jaisalmer room which included a breath taking stone carving interior, a swing seat and the comfiest bed. It really did take my breath away and was visually stunning inside the room and outside the room. Every little detail - the staircase, the lobby, the floors, the ceiling the intricate designs brought the beauty of India inside the building it was a really great experience staying there. They also have a great cheap breakfast menu which you can have in your room, we had cheese toasties which were really yummy! They offer free shuttles between the hotels aswell so if your staying there and want to eat and the peacock restaurant they will take you free or charge. It was the perfect haven after driving around jaipur to come back and relax I really could not fault this place!
The sister hotel for Pearl Palace Heritage and down the road it has similar feel decor wise and a great clean room with a TV and really comfy bed. Lots of very tasteful local decor on each floor, beautiful paintings and a nice outside courtyard to chill in a very nice vibe. This is the cheaper option of the 2 and is a popular hit in lonely planet for travellers. It also has a shop inside which has good printed cotton pieces to buy at good prices. It also boasts the Peacock Rooftop restaurant which was one of our favourite places we have eaten in india. We ate there both nights for dinner and had breakfast there! The menu is huge with both Indian and continental, something for everyone! The paneer curry was really great and has such a nice vibe, I advise booking a table here as it was busy both nights and they had local live music! The decor is also really great a really bohemian feel to the whole place. Both hotels made our 2 days in Jaipur so special and it was so nice after driving around the crazy city to come back to really special places to stay.
We got a taxi from Jaipur to Pushkar which took around 2 and a half hours. I was really excited to visit Pushkar as a lot of friends had recommended it and it lived up to its expectations. Pushkar is a very holy place, they don't serve meat or beer here and you should cover your shoulders and legs whilst walking around. The lake is very beautiful we watched sunset there watching people pray. The market is amazing and take up pretty much the whole of the town so If your looking for clothes, jewellery and things to buy this is the place! There is also courier places everywhere if you want to send items home. Pushkar has a really magical feel to it, everyone is super friendly and we met some characters we certainly won't forget!
Our first stop was Prem Villas which was in a good location only a short walk from the market and the lake. A great budget option for travellers, clean spacious rooms with nice decor inside and out. The outside is really colourful and bright with lots of paintings around and the staff were really friendly. A nice place to stay if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the markets in the evenings.
Our last night before flying to Thailand we headed back to Mumbai and stayed at Abode Mumbai for one night which is in a great location and was absolutely stunning. A very modern, clean feel with quirky touches. We stayed in the superior luxury room which was spacious with high ceilings, beautiful decor and the comfiest bed. All the little touches throughout the hotel were so well thought about it made it such a pleasant stay.
They have a really nice cafe area to sit and chill in with endless amounts of books to read and downstairs is a really cute cafe so you don't have to go far to eat. They really think about every detail - they have a mobile with a local sim in to use while you are there, a memory stick with new films on and a map with what's in the area and where to eat. Every detail is really thought about and makes the stay so easy.
The breakfast was also great offering a spread of cereals, toast, fresh juices and eggs just how you like. I would definitely recommend abode if your stopping in Mumbai it's the perfect hub to escape the crazy city and the bath was the perfect touch to relax too!
Onto our next stop Thailand!