India, Nepal & Tibet Mid Sept 2010

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Dates 12 Sep '10 to 18 Oct '10

Flexible? Yeah, sure

Est. Cost 3,000 - 6,000 AUD (AUD Australia Dollars)

Type Travel Partners Wanted

Name India, Nepal & Tibet Mid Sept 2010

Hi folks! Looking to head to India, Nepal & Tibet between Sept-Oct 2010 - Would be great to share the adventure with like minded people.

- Tibet - **booking/deposit will be finalised in the next couple of days!

Snowlion is the company we are with - we have 5 people on this tour already and can fit in an extra 3 people, here is the link to the tour details:

http://snowliontours.com/index.php/tibet/trip/himalayan_journey/custom_trips

Most of us are arriving from Xining, China and catching the overnight train to Lhasa.

Then once the tour is over, heading into Nepal from the Tibetan boader. Some others are leaving to hike around Nepal but I will unfortunately be having a short stay in Kathmandu and then heading on the train to Dehli where I will travel around Northern India for 3 weeks. Happy to see pretty much anything and everything of Northern India. I was hoping to hire a motorbike in India to travel around on, or a bike... :)

Travelling on a budget so will be rough'n it!! Have never travelled to India before so looking forward to the chaos and culture!

Let me know if this trip interests you :)

Jess

India, Nepal & Tibet Mid Sept 2010

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smileabhi
smileabhi hi jess.............ll join u in india.let me know where all r u planning to go.m based in mumbai.ll b able to help u out while travelling in india.
4 years ago
EyallShadmi
EyallShadmi Hi Jessica! I'm planning a trip to Tibet starting from late sept (around 20-25).. My plan was getting to Lhasa from Chengdu (right now im in Shangri-La) and from there visit Namtso and heading to Nepal via friendship highway.. can you send me some more details about ur trip I'd love to join! you can contact me at eyallshadmi@yahoo.com I'm a 24 male from Israel! Tomorrow I'm heading for a 5-7 days trip in Deqin area so I wont have any internet connection so just leave me a msg and I'll get back to you ASAP... Thanks!
4 years ago
Tripchick
Tripchick Hi, Jess -- I did a similar trip (although in reverse, starting in India, then visiting Nepal, Tibet, and back into Nepal and India again at the end) for three months in October-December 2000. Great time of year in that part of the world. Sounds like you may be open to suggestions on where to go in India. It depends on what interests you, but I could send you a short list of favorites if you like. Happy to help with advice on dealing with altitude (especially in Nepal & Tibet) or other questions. It was such a memorable trip and well worth the effort. Go for it!!
4 years ago
Todd
Todd Hey TripChick, I think we'd all love to hear those favourites. A bunch of us will also be there a little later than Jess for the GCIRC http://globetrooper.com/the-great-circular-indian-railway-challenge-2011.
4 years ago
Tripchick

Tripchick Ok, Todd/Jess -- Let's see... this list won't be as short as I thought now that I'm thinking about it -- there's so much worth seeing in India. At the time I was really interested in Buddhist and Hindu cultures/religions and historical sights. So, I visited the big Buddhist sites including Lumbini in Nepal where the Buddha is said to have been born, Sarnath (India) where he gave his earliest lectures, Bodhgaya (India) where he sat beneath the bodhi tree and attained enlightenment, Rajgir (near Bodhgaya) where he gave more lectures, and Kushinagar (India) where he is thought to have died. Of all these places, the most magical and lively was BODHGAYA because I was there around the time of the anniversary of the Dalai Lama's ascension in November and lots of pilgrims were in town. Fascinating little town with great "vibes". I stayed in a monastery’s guesthouse and also did a 9-day meditation retreat at the Root Institute there. If you are into sampling the Buddhist culture, Bodhgaya is a great place to do so. It was a very rural and relaxing environment in 2000 (hope it still is!).

Now, a lot of folks hate CALCUTTA. I loved it! I found it a very lively city -- always something going on there and a great place to learn about Mother Theresa's work. Excellent for photography too. The Kali Temple there is worth a look. Yes, Calcutta is filthy... just like almost every other city in India, but there is a warmth and friendliness that can't be beat. Not sure why I enjoyed it so, but perhaps the Salvation Army hostel where I stayed played a role in making me feel extremely welcome. You'll definitely get a taste of the Victorian era and what India was like as a British colony years ago.

DARJEELING is worth the effort of getting to... high up in the hills in eastern India. And if you enjoy tea, it's a great opportunity to sample and learn about all the varieties available. However, it does get cold in November/December, so pack extra layers. The views of Kangchenjunga (third highest mountain in the world) are brilliant at sunrise!

The temples at KHAJURAHO are gorgeously elaborate... although a bit X-rated as I recall. But you'll have fun wandering among them.

In Rajasthan, JAIPUR is a fabulous district to visit as is UDAIPUR where I treated myself to a couple unforgettable nights at the Lake Palace Hotel in the middle of the lake (the Bond movie, Octopussy, was filmed there) and toured the City Palace on shore. In Jaipur, the Amber Fort was wonderful and you can ride an elephant up the ramparts to the fortress entrance. But again beware of monkeys who will steal your possessions the moment you set them down and turn your back.

AJANTA and ELLORA have some amazing caves and Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain sculptures and paintings with great historic significance. I believe they are both UNESCO world heritage sites. Lots of fun to explore and photograph!

And if you visit Mumbai, you may be able to take a boat out to Elephanta Island which has some nice temples and LOTS of monkeys (watch your bag/lunch)!

It's true that they often call VARANASI "Very Nasty" due to the filth (even the butterflies are black!), but somehow you seem to forget about it once you are floating on the Ganges while people bathe and worship in the water at dawn. The Ganges at sunrise is an other-worldly experience. The colorful saris, meditating sadhus (holy men), and cremation sites along the shores make for some truly unique observations. On the same morning, I saw a rare river dolphin swimming and a dead body in the river.

Of course, the TAJ MAHAL (ACRA) is not to be missed... and you might hit it during Diwali (Indian holiday) so there may be some celebratory throngs of Indians... which makes for a fun cultural experience. Give yourself at least a couple hours to fully explore this site.

I stopped at many other towns en route through India, but never made it to the far north or south. So, if I can ever go back, I'll definitely visit Dharamsala in the north and Madras and Goa in the south.

I know this was supposed to be a "short list" of favorite spots to visit in India, but once I got started, the memories just came rushing back. It's hard to explain, but as difficult as India can be for Westerners to stomach at times, there is something addicting about the country. It gets in your blood and you cannot resist it. Sure, avoiding touts and beggars almost everywhere you go can be tiresome, and at the end of the day you may find yourself a bit exhausted from it all, but still you find yourself leaping out of bed the next morning ready to experience and explore all that India has to offer because it's just so unbelievably interesting. I think I lasted on pure adrenalin for the months I was there. It was a shot in the arm for me and the lessons in compassion are, well... endless.

4 years ago
Tripchick
Tripchick Ouch... now I see how hard it is to read my last post without paragraphs (which I had inserted, but they did not show up). Ah, well. Sorry about that, everyone.
4 years ago
Todd
Todd Leave it with me Tripchick, we'll try to get those paragraphs working. I'll fix first then read :)
4 years ago
Lauren
Lauren Thanks for all the info Tripchick! I definitely want to go to Bodhgaya and Udaipur now. And everywhere else as well but we may be limited by time :(
4 years ago
Tripchick
Tripchick Cool -- thank you, Todd! That's MUCH better. : >
4 years ago
Jessica_Alice
Jessica_Alice Thanks so much for sharing that tripchick, will help ALOT as Im working out which route to take and how long it will take me and where the best places are to see....loving the sound of Lake Palace Hotel too :P I'm just going to google that, I think after weeks of rations that would be truely devine haha. Thanks heapps!!!
4 years ago
Tripchick
Tripchick No problem, Jess. You are very welcome.
4 years ago
Jessica_Alice
Jessica_Alice Hey! Just one thing, I notice you didn't go to Dharamsala, I am thinking of going to a teaching by the Dali Lama there for the experience, can you suggest/reccomemned anything else near the region? thanks!
4 years ago
Tripchick

Tripchick Hi again, Jess. That's right -- I didn't go to northern India. So, I didn't investigate that area. But I heard from other travelers a little about Ladakh and Leh in that general northern region. That's near the Himalayan region, so the mountains there may be a draw for hiking, natural beauty, etc., but I don't know what other sights there are to see there. Sorry I can't be of more help on that.

The Dalai Lama was teaching in Bodhgaya when I was there because it was the 50th anniversary of his ascension to power as the 14th Dalai Lama. I've been to a few of his teachings and talks since then also. The teachings can be... how shall I say it... rather esoteric. But I'm not a very good student of Buddhism -- and although I have much appreciation and interest in that religion/philosophy, I struggle with understanding many aspects of it. However, just seeing/hearing His Holiness is a wonderful and memorable experience in and of itself I think, and worthwhile for its own sake.

I've stayed in contact with the guide I used in India over the years and she may be able to provide more ideas about what to see near Dharamsala. I remember her saying that she had spent some time in northern India. So, I'll send her an e-mail and I'll let you know what she recommends. She usually responds to e-mails pretty quickly, so it should not take long to hear back from her.

4 years ago
Jessica_Alice
Jessica_Alice Thanks for the response! For some of the joureny I will be travelling alone, you say you had a guide, how did you go bout that and was it pricey? Reason I ask is it would be good to have someone that speaks the language in some of the parts Im going to, but I kinda wanted to steer clear of the big touristy groups they have advertised. That would be great if you could email her aswell. Thank you :)
4 years ago
Tripchick

Tripchick Jess -- I only had a regular guide for the first 20 days of a tour I did with about 11 other travelers and that's the female guide, Parveen, I mentioned to you. The rest of my 3 months in India, Nepal, and Tibet I was on my own and just met other travelers along the way. The only exception was the small group (5 of us including guide) I organized in advance for the Tibet 10-day trip which had to be done through a tour company (entering Tibet from Kathmandu). We went through Tibet with a company based in Kathmandu. But it is totally possible to travel on your own in India and Nepal. I found it easy to find local "freelancing" guides when I showed up at some of the sites as well. In fact, some were working on higher university degrees and guiding tourists through the archeological/historical sites helped supplement their incomes.

Anyway, I e-mailed Parveen and she just replied: "For your friend depending upon her length of stay she could begin with the visit to Amritsar to see the Golden Temple and the holiest of Sikh shrines, proceed to Dharamsala to attend Dalai Lama's discourse and then the wealth of India Himalayas can be explored. Ladakh though quite spectacular in autumn with changing colors and first snows may be a little cold and some of the roads were badly damaged in this years floods. Dharamsala can be combined with a vist to the lesser explored parts of Himachal such as Thirtan Valley, colonial Shimla and remote Kinnaur. One factor to note is that Delhi is hosting the Common Wealth Games and a lot of domestic tourists will head to the hills in October, so for hotel accommodations, you need to decide fast."

Parveen offered to work out an itinerary of the off-beat Himalayan destinations for you, if you like, but no pressure there. She's a nice lady and gets lots of business from tour operators including SITA (the group I went with initially). And yes, SITA was rather pricey, but their tour covered a lot of ground and the sites I wanted to visit across central India including the Rajasthan so I went for it. But I think you have the answer to your main question about other sights to visit in northern India around Dharamsala. So, I hope this is useful.

4 years ago
jordroth
jordroth Hey there. I will be in the region from sept through january.. Id totally be down.
4 years ago
Jessica_Alice
Jessica_Alice Hey! You planning to go to Tibet also? add me on facebook if you want to chat about it, I will be passing through Nepal to get to India after Tibet so unfortunately wont be spending mcu time in Nepal this time round, but 3 weeks in India!
4 years ago
jordroth
jordroth Hey!! im just starting to figure this site out. I might end up in Tibet since ill be pretty much on the boarder. I have 6 months so im pretty open. I tried to add you to facebook but there were like 200 jessica alices. You can add me, jordsway@hotmail.com Talk to you soon!
4 years ago
Jessica_Alice
Jessica_Alice haha! you'd never find me doing that, the links on my page on here, anywho I've just added you. Will send you the info for Tibet if you like to your email addy?
4 years ago
Bud
Bud Jess, Would you mind telling me how much is the tour w/ Snowlion? I'm planning to do the same trip around the same time: Tibet then Nepal. I can definitely join you for Tibet and Nepal, but not sure for India. I was thinking of going to Cambodia/Laos/Vietnam. -Bud
4 years ago
Lauren
Lauren Hey Bud, here's a link to some of the Snowlion pricing but it doesn't actually give you a final figure which is a bit irritating: http://snowliontours.com/index.php/tibet/ info/prices_booking
4 years ago
Bud
Bud Thanks, Lauren. It is irritating and it's king of hard to get in touch w/ them too sometimes.
4 years ago
Jessica_Alice
Jessica_Alice It depends on how many ppl are arranged to go on the same tour - but for say 5 ppl - its roughly $700 with train tickets to Lhasa and tibet permits.
4 years ago
Bud
Bud Jess, I may have another person going with me. Is your group already full or would you be interested in having 2 more ppl? I got in touch w/ SL and I'm trying to get at least 2 more ppl to bring down the cost.
4 years ago
Jessica_Alice
Jessica_Alice I will email SL and see what they think, I think we could hire a van instead of a 4WD to fit others in.
4 years ago
Jessica_Alice
Jessica_Alice additional ppl will be fine - up to 3 more ppl max though - let me know if your still interested :)
4 years ago
smileabhi
smileabhi go thru my profile on orkut.(Abhigyan Singh,Mumbai)..........my profile pic is close up in red t-shirt
4 years ago
vaninka
vaninka Hello, Jessica! It´s the same travel we want to do, but the ours is shorter. We arrive to KTM on 19 september and after we plain to contract a tour with a flight to Lhasa to come back by land to Nepal, at Friendship Highway. After, we will go to India just for a few days. It would be great to meet us there! : D
4 years ago
Jessica_Alice
Jessica_Alice yeh sounds great :) I will be in Inida from the 28th of sept onwards for 3 weeks...any idea where abouts in India you will be? Dehli Im guessing?
4 years ago
vaninka
vaninka No, we think in doing Varanasi-Orccha-Agra-Delhi. Not no so much time! : (
4 years ago
Anannya
Anannya Going to Tibet is pretty difficult for an Indian national. However one can very well join up for Nepal and India leg
4 years ago
ARP1T
ARP1T hey Anannya.... can u tell me why is that? i haven't heard of this being such an issue. shed some light.
4 years ago
Anannya
Anannya Indians can go as part of an official pilgrimage tour or through some authorised our company.No visa given for individual tourists. http://www.chinaembassy.org.in/eng/lssw/hzqz/t61659.htm
4 years ago
ARP1T
ARP1T Hey Jess, I'm keen to embark on the same route (except Malaysia- for now). I have friends in Nepal who could help us out. I live in Delhi, India and hence travel in India should not be much pain. Keep me posted. Arpit
4 years ago
inthesky729
inthesky729 Wow, sounds like a cool trip Jess. Definitely matches my own itinerary...I'm looking at getting into Nepal around the start of October, spending a couple of weeks there, mainly on the Annapurna Sanctuary trek, then zig-zagging my way across India for two months. Any particular parts of India you're keen to hit?
4 years ago
Jessica_Alice
Jessica_Alice Cool! I got sick on the Annapurna last time but was great still! No particular parts of India, although I definately want to go to Goa, just so I can say I've been to one of those crazy psychedelic beach parties :)
4 years ago
inthesky729
inthesky729 haha, yeah, Goa's definitely on my list too. I'm hoping to veg out there for a week or so at the end of my time in India...think I'll need it after the craziness of the rest of the country. Yep, I'm on facebook. What's your e-mail? I'll search for you on there and add!
4 years ago
Jessica_Alice
Jessica_Alice http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=lf#!/profile.php?id=640864534&v=wall&story_fbid=124897124215675 Hope that works?!
4 years ago
Lauren
Lauren Hey guys, just to let you know - there's a section in your Globetrooper profile where you can add a link to your facebook account so others can find you easily
4 years ago
inthesky729
inthesky729 Ta Lauren :)
4 years ago
abhishek
abhishek http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/profile.php?id=100001071762786
4 years ago
dev
dev inthesky - i would definatly be keen to do the annpurna trek. would you be keen to hire a guide/ porter or just do it independantly
4 years ago
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India, Nepal & Tibet Mid Sept 2010

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