Advice Wanted: A Sadly Short Trip to India

i got a cheapish ticket to India for Thanksgiving and need some help deciding where to go. as such, i turn to you (oh god i forgot how horrible/unhorrible that song is), netizens, for advice.

i’ve been to India once before, well over a decade ago, for a friend’s wedding. more about that trip later, but first a video i made back then to whet our collective appetites. (clearly i’m no videographer — apologies if you develop vertigo!)


i will be arriving late on the Sunday before Thanksgiving (November 23) into Mumbai and will leave from Mumbai a week later on that flight’s return (late night November 30). i will be workationing there Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and have Thanksgiving Thursday through Sunday off to actually get out and about. this means i’ll need to be somewhere where internet is relatively fast for at least the start of the week.

some thoughts

  • a map of my last trip is at the bottom of the post. i started out in Mumbai, flew down to Coimbatore where the wedding was, then our* driver drove us down to Thrissur where we took a long (but amazingly scenic) train ride back up the coast to Mumbai. i didn’t really get any sightseeing or exploration done except one morning walking around a Mumbai neighborhood, so i suppose i wouldn’t mind revisiting, but there’s so much more to the country. (* “our” = i was a guest of the bride’s family and stayed with them, no hotels [a couple bucket showers and all], pretty much all local expenses paid. no doubt an amazing trip.)
  • i wouldn’t mind flying one of the cheap airlines to New Delhi and maybe starting out there, and then at least visiting Jaipur. that’d at least get two legs of the Golden Triangle done, for what it’s worth. i really have no desire to see the Taj Mahal, mostly because i’ve become incredulous from all the to-do about it. i suppose i could theoretically squeeze in both Jaipur and the Taj on that Thursday to Sunday?
  • maybe Chennai (formerly Madras) and Kolkata (formerly Calcutta)?
  • the Blue City of Jodphur is on my bucket list


i’m thinking maybe i can fly early Monday morning to Jodhpur, then head up to Jaipur on Thursday or Friday, then return to Mumbai Sunday afternoon to catch my flight home. or is the Taj Mahal worth trying to squeeze in there? or maybe Mumbai + Jaipur? Mumbai + Jodhpur? Mumbai + Delhi? ack, i’m no better than when i started thinking about this!

tips? hints? advice? thanks! (or, as one of the attendants at the end of the United safety video says, धन्यवाद!)


My first/only/last trip to India. Mumbai to Coimbatore by plane, Coimbatore to Thrissur by car, Thrissur to Mumbai by train.

6 Comments on "Advice Wanted: A Sadly Short Trip to India"

  1. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve been to India also and my last trip was semi-vacationy.. we stopped by a lot of temples because my uncle and aunt were a yatra, a Hindu pilgrimage where you stop at several temples. I only remember staying in a couple of hotels..we mainly stayed in the temple while we traveled..

    Anyways, here are my recommendations of places to see. 🙂

    – Gateway of India
    – Chowpatty (a beach)
    – Priyadarshini Park (beach side park)
    – Hanging Gardens
    (My grandfather use to live on Walkeshwar Rd…those are the places he’d take me & my sister when we visited..)

    New Delhi:
    – Red Fort (about an hour away from the rest of the sites on this list)
    – Qutub Minar
    – Safdarjang Tomb (it looks like a mini Taj Mahal)
    – Jama Masjid

    If you do go to see the Taj Mahal (2 hrs away from New Delhi) then I recommend seeing:
    – Agra Fort (7min away from the Taj Mahal)
    – Macchi Bhawan
    – Khas Mahal
    – Jhangir Mahal

    Try some street foo when you’re in Mumbai, but make sure not to have anything that has water in it because you’ll get no pani puri..but you can have bhel, chutney sandwiches, and roasted corn on the cob with some lemon & chili powder. 🙂

    And, I definitely recommend seeing the Taj Mahal at least once. It’s a site to see up close & personal because you get to see the hand carvings in the marble that are inlaid with giant rubies & emeralds to make the flower design around it.. And you also get to see a few other monuments around the area with little loss in travel time. 🙂

    • OH! thanks so much for your detailed reply!!!! i’m going to print this out. <3 i suppose i should see the Taj Mahal at least once, huh. i heard rumors that they are thinking of closing it to visitors or something? ack!

  2. I’m curious, what fare did you pay?

    • I paid $1040 SFO-BOM. It used to have a long leg on Jet Airways but United discontinued their partnership after poor safety ratings or something so I got it converted to all United (and in the process got put in a higher fare class going out which means I can get on the upgrade waitlist!)

  3. Co-workers who travel to India and WFH (work from home, since they’re usually visiting family) use 3G. I’ve asked about latency and it’s definitely usable for ssh but I don’t know if it is good enough for remote desktop. Should be good enough to commit code if everything is on your laptop vs remote desktop to USA.

    I recall Chennai has a Park Hyatt and it might have good rates? Very warm there, though.

    Many of my Indian co-workers agree that Kerala is a beautiful place. It is a popular vacation spot.

    Do you have Regus via cc or status? If your internet cuts out or the power goes off, it might be worth going to a regus office // Some of the cities practice power saving via rolling outages. Hotels & Offices usually have generators but airbnb flats might not.

    -reeder (aka travelpeon)

    • oh good tip re 3G! luckily i’ll only be working 3 of the days while i’m there, so hopefully yeah, as long as i can check in code i should be ok. yeah — if i need to get larger files i think a Regus (which i have through who knows what, but i do lol) will be a good call. i just need to see if there are any open 24 hours since i’ll be working at night.

      again, thanks for the 3G tip. i’ll be sure to really scrutinize any airbnb listings for wifi mentions in the reviews, or i’ll probably go the hotel route.

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