Travel Story: North India Edition: Intro and BANGALORE
This section of my blog, i will write about my experience on travelling, i might not be able to finish it but i will try as hard as i could. and most important thing, please bear with my english, i hope its not too bad. hahha.For your information, i called this story is the Backpackers story is because when i am travelling, i will prefer to travel freely which that means without taking a package trip from travel agents! It is much cheaper and very flexible BUT you have to have a very strong background and orientation on whichever place you are going to visit. So, plan well ahead guys!For this first edition,it is a story of myself (along with three friends) embarking on a journey to the North and the West of the India continent. A continent? for me it is, it is a very big country, with variety of colours and happenings all over it. A little introduction for everyone that doesnt know much about me, and by chance found this little blog of mine. I am Malaysian, studying abroad in India, in a little city called Manipal, situated on the west coast of South India, near Mangalore, in the state of Karnataka. My institution called Manipal University, and my college is Melaka Manipal Medical College, and yes i am studying medicine (MBBS) here.I am writing this section of my blog mainly to give some rough idea of my journey so that my colleague might find it useful, or to anyone out there reading this, i hope that it will be useful for whoever you are. and the next aim is that so i dont forget my own memorable journey throughout this 17 days.We were having exam during 12th february till 23rd february, and it was a tough one, and right after that we kick off our journey on the night of 23rd february.we took a bus from Manipal at 9 pm on the night heading towards Bangalore. Usually it will take around 10 hours to reach Bangalore. and this bus is daily available around 8-9pm. The volvo bus (sleeper coach- my favourite!) that i took cost me 500 rupees. Bring your mobile charger into the bus, there is a plug inside the compartment.*Guide* – Travelling using Long Distance BusIn India, if you want to buy a ticket bus to anywhere from any ticket booth, there is several type of bus,the two main type is seat and sleeper. i usually take sleeper coach because in India, places are so far apart, with at least 10 hour journey between major places. Also, in India, the road are in some part a-pain-in-the-ass. You could be having serious problem if the bus is not good enough, especially if the suspension is bad. To avoid this problem, and get the very best and smooth journey,REMEMBER! to ask for VOLVO bus. the term VOLVO BUS in india define of a bus which is very big, very good suspension, very comfortable seat and of course with Air Cond (in India people say Aircond in two letter pronounciation of A and C = AC -> even beggars that doesnt know english will know what AC is). But surely,with comfortability, come a higher price,which could be so much expensive in some cases (such as hill road).
the story24/03/2007we arrived in Bangalore around 7 am in the morning, and the bus stop at Majestic area (Gandhinagar Area). this area is near the big bus station with city buses and long-distance bus. the Airport is also not that far from here. when we got down from the bus, as usual a storm of auto-rickshaw driver pursuing us asking where we want to go, which hotel and bla bla bla. We went to a Hotel GM Plaza, recommended by friend. A good hotel, with nice bed, but the room is quite small, and the bathroom is so tiny,and costly also. (Bangalore’s hotel most are expensive compared to other city that i have been). Hotel GM Plaza. Contact number: 08022206156.*Guide* – Auto Rickshaw?Auto rickshaw is a three wheeler public transport in india. It is present almost anywhere, for as long as i know, it is not present only in the state of sikkim, please correct me if i am wrong. It usually cover short distance travel within vicinity of a city or a town with reasonable fare but beware of the driver because they love to cheat!*Guide* – Tips on travelling by Auto RickshawAlways take auto from a prepaid booth, then if it does not present, always ask the auto driver to use meter, and then if he still refuse to use meter, always ask the price before you enter the auto and try bargaining as crazy as you can, because beware, they always increase the usual price, and by bargaining like crazy,in my experience, you can get up to 50% less of the price he told earlier. Also, be very clear on where are you going to the driver, if the driver couldnt understand you, take another auto.simple.*Guide* – Accomodation Tips 1It is better to book earlier a hotel in the place that you are going, either from recommendation by a friend or from any travel guide, because it doesnt matter anywhere in India, whenever you got down from any transport, be it bus, or train, a number of auto-rickshaw driver will go to you and persuade you to go to their “supposedly” good or cheap hotel. If you already book the hotel, tell the auto-rickshaw driver to go to that hotel that you booked ealier. DONT listen to the craps that auto-rickshaw driver tells you because he will say. “ariyaar,that hotel not good,very expensive, blablablabla”. dont believe a single word.he will, along the way, try as hard as he can to persuade you to change your mind. sometimes coming up with a weird story! I ADVISE you not to do it because if you do go to the hotel they recommend, the hotel will have to pay commision to the auto driver, and that will cause your room price being significantly higher than usual.About BangaloreBangalore is a IT Hub of India, with big companies having their outpost here, inluding Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Cisco and other big big IT companies in the world. A city with packful of traffic jams from morning till evening. Bangalore also is the capital of Karnataka, a state as big as the peninsula of Malaysia, in India, Karnataka is state of average size. The most happenings in Bangalore is the MG Road, where you can find cinemas,shops,and fast-food outlet. There is a road branching from MG Road called Brigade Road which is the most happening road of all the MG Road. Surely not to be missed if you go to Bangalore.Remember, urinaters will be prosecuted! so dont do that thang on by the side of the road like Indians usually did when they have the urged! guys, dont pretend you havent done it especially if u are living in india.the story-continuesafter taking shower and everything else to prepare for the day, we walk towards the city bus station near our hotel after gathering informations from the person at the hotel counter. after quite a while we seemed to be hitting the right place but we dont know which bus to take! i seemed a bit shy of asking people around for info well maybe because my journey has just begun and havent picked its tempo yet!and then we finally got our much-needed info and that is the bus numbered 226. We are heading to WONDERLA! after 10 minutes the bus arrived on platform 19 and paid several rupees to get going. the bus took around one hour to reach the wonderla gate. from the gate, you can take the free bus provided form the main road to reach wonderla (the theme park is quite a distance from the gate). Dah sampai wonderla! Taking picture with the Wonderla Mascott, Chikku!We were so excited by the idea of kick-starting the journey with a theme park enjoyment! Honestly, we were not expecting the price to be so much (540 rupees! wow! a-wholesome-lot),but we were bothered about it so much becaus
e its been a while since we got to enjoy in a such a big theme park like this one. from the map of the theme park, obviously divided into dry and wet park. we start by the dry park and straight away riding the one ride i havent experienced before, it is called Hurricane, its like a huge fan at a height of some 20 meters and you are stuck with one of its blade, and the big fan will rotate like hell and it got my slippers flying off! yup! i forgot to take it off, so excited maa!!the hurricane ride! im so sorry, this picture is rotated to the right, i dont have time to rectify it. hehheview of wonderla taken from a very high ferris wheel Then its my favourite ride, the Maverick, the same one back in Malaysia in the Times Square indoor theme park, it is called DNA mixer, and well it reach my expectation of becoming pening gila gila, haha. the maverick. same je macam dekat times square tuuu.the final ride we took was Insanity, and simply it is INSANE, beware anyone that cannot cope with the disastrous dizzines it will bring, the ride will turn and twist you in every direction possible, at the end of the ride it left us with intolerable headache and dizziness, guess what? i didnt bother bcause i want to go to the wet park after this, hehhehehe.There are a lot of other rides which most of them designed to make you feel dizzy! but a notable let-down is, there is no roller coaster, but my friends dont be so down, because where else can we find a good theme park? Manasa in mangalore? naaah, dont even go there pleasee….hahahaAfter that we went to the dressing room and change ourselves to get WET! but due to limit of time bcoz we have other agenda, we only got little time so we chose the Wave pools, and after waiting for a while, it is as good as i have predicted, the wave created was so high that i accidentally swallow quite amount of water and had my nose all itchy.The wave ended after about more than 30 minutes or so, we got back and have shower, and dress up to get back to the city, and suprisingly they even have prayer rooms in the theme park, which you can find in the big building that is most far away in the park, or just simply ask the staff there, they will know about it. the prayer room facility that was providedAfter all, we were able to enjoy ourselves during our time in Wonderla! This is the schedule timing if you want to take the bus from wonderla back to bangalore.Then we got back to Bangalore and ate in KFC (its been more than 6 month since the last KFC meal) there and go around to do some window-shopping (my favourite habit) and then we went straight back to the hotel to get a proper rest, well, it have been a long and tiring day! KFC in Bangalore.25/03/2007Today is where we supposed to take the flight from Bangalore airport to go to Delhi. So a new day now after yesterday, we start with a light breakfast in one of the nearby restaurant and headed directly to brigade road and do a lot of window shopping and little buying as to prepare for the journey. i bought new shoe moderately priced (i am on bit budget because i dont know how much i’ll spend the next few weeks of journey). i need that shoe because i didnt have any! as simple as that, as i also considering the amount of journey i am expecting to make, so a shoe is the best option for me!we got back to the hotel and pick our bags in the luggage we left at the hotel and put it into the taxi we book earlier in the morning through the counter. the taxi cost around 300 rupees which the price is quite okay because we got a proper nice van.*Guide* – the luggage guidehuh. couldnt find time to write this guide, i will include it in another part of this 1st edition.Arriving at the Bangalore airport, i suddenly realize that i am in an airport, dont understand? i dont like airport that much and also at the same time i also like airport for some other reasons, mixed feeling! if you dont understand, leave it be, because some people reading this will understand why! hehe.passing through the security was a big relief (dont ask why), and we check in our luggage at the counter, for your info, we bought SPICEJET ticket to delhi for around 2700 rupees. the person at the counter advice us to enter the gate and wait at the waiting hall a.s.a.p because this bangalore airport is heavily congested, and it is indeed true of what he says, so my friend, if u are using the domestic airport, remember about this okay! Then while we were waiting i realize that i dont have the prayer timings in places that i am going, and on top of that, aiman forgot to bring his qiblat direction compass along, so then tepet found an idea after he saw that we could use wireless internet connection in the waiting hall. we bought the wireless topup card to use the internet for 1 hour, then i use my laptop to download all the info on prayer timings and the degrees of qiblat on each possible destination that we are heading, still i dont have compass though! at that time we need to buy a compass that we bought later on in our journey.At the time of boarding, there is still no sign of SPICEJET being opened up for boarding, but there is a sudden long queue appears in front of us, and i ask the people for which plane they are taking, suprisingly it is the same with us! what the hell, no announcement, no remarks whatsoever in the tv showing flight status, and suddenly the plane will board in no time, i was not hurrying since i saw a lot of people havent gone on that plane yet, but i was a bit angry at the way they sort out this matter, but at least better than being delayed. agreed?Then wooof! the Boeing 737 plane went off the ground and we already on our way to DELHI! yaribaaaa yahooo!