A Visit to The Astonishing Golden Triangle in India

Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links meaning I earn a small percentage of every purchase at no cost to you.

Where do I start? This was the first country I travelled too. I grew up in Western culture and I was ready to experience what the world had to offer. I was ready to throw myself into learning and experiencing the world to become more open-minded. So, here we were starting at The Golden Triangle in India.

The Golden Triangle, India: Delhi – Round One

What a shock we had after landing! Yet I feel this experience helped toughen us up and be wiser going forward. We fell for the classic taxi scam. The one where your taxi driver can’t find our pre-booked hostel. So, they took us to their friends’ hostel instead. The hostel was in a sketchy part of town so for new travellers it was quite overwhelming. We tried to go out for water and food. We hadn’t eaten or drunk anything since our flight meal. However, the teenage boy begged us to come back as it wasn’t safe to be out there.

So, with no food or water after a long flight from England, we decided to go to sleep… well we tried too. The noise outside could only be described as a riot happening; although ‘safely’ inside it was still quite scary to experience.

One thing was clear we needed to get out of there. We made the decision to wake at 4 am to ‘escape’. Luckily, there was a tuk-tuk with a driver who was more than happy to help. We made our way to the train station to catch a train to Agra. Ready to take on a new city in the Golden Triangle.

Agra: The Second City in the Golden Triangle

Okay. Not the best start. However, I was not going to judge India on this experience alone because there were a couple of bad people. We only lost £30 between the three of us. It could have been a lot worse. I have read stories about people losing hundreds of US dollars. We considered ourselves lucky.

A side street in New Delhi

The Street in Agra

The train took over 5 hours. It was only meant to take 3, however, the fog made it impossible to see. Therefore, it slowed us down. That along with people on the tracks at various points meant the train wasn’t able to pick up any speed. It wasn’t the greatest journey as we were could only get cattle class tickets… turned out we sat in the wrong area (not in cattle class). However, the conductor just made us pay the difference in price No trouble.

Agra is a much quieter city compared to Delhi; a better place to get your bearings. The hotel\hostel we stayed in was pretty average but everything worked. Here, was where are adventures really started and before long we met some more travellers.

Finally, we got some much-needed food, hunger was real but at least we were happy and healthy. Later that day, we visited our first tourist attraction.

Agra Fort – The Red Fort

By the time we arrived in Agra, it was hitting late afternoon so we went to the Agra Red Fort. We paid for a guide. I think he was one of the unofficial guides from outside. Nevertheless, he was perfect and we got him at a very good rate. He was funny and full of knowledge, whether or not it was the truth about the place who knows. Here, in India, the price is always a negation from hostels to food. Cut their price into a third… most take that offer if not never pay more than half of their original bid. I quite enjoyed bartering in the end. Anyway, this man was good so we gave him more than the agreed price. He deserved it.

Taj Mahal, Agra – A Must See in the Golden Triangle

The Taj Mahal in Agra within The Golden Triangle of India
The Foggy View of The Taj Mahal

The main attraction here is the Taj Mahal, one of the new seven wonders of the world. And this prestige marble building was incredible. One of the most popular tourist attractions in India and as you enter through the gates you can see why. This religious place is impressive. The detail on each block of marble was impressive. The time and patience that had gone into making this masterpiece shawn through. I was in awe.

Jaipur – The Last City in the Golden Triangle

Jaipur or ‘The pink city’ was where we left the cool climate and entered some sun for the first time. We arrived in ‘comfort’ in the first-class carriage of the train from Agra. Don’t ask how long this train took but I can assure you it was longer than the time given. That’s okay. I was filled with joy as I experienced the culture India has to offer. This is what I wanted, a new culture to learn about.

A day driving around…

We set off in a tuk-tuk. My favourite form of transport, now. Yes, the roads in India are crazy and filled with no structure. Yet, somehow don’t ask me how but it works. Motorbikes using bumpers of cars to stop. Cars edging all the time and people darting across the road. After a couple of days, we did learn how to cross the road without getting hit. You ‘simply pick your gap and walk as fast as you can without stopping. If you hesitate then you could be in trouble. What looks completely crazy is beautiful and unique at the same time.

Me sitting in a Tuk-Tuk driver seat in India
My Favourite Mode of Transport

A Broken Down Tuk-Tuk…

The nice tuk-tuk driver drove us around the city visiting The Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, feeding elephants, and stopping at all the unwanted shops. Yet, if you just say ‘NO’ firmly and do not leave the tuk-tuk they drive on. However, this driver ran out of petrol… dusk was starting to set and from all we read and got told… “Don’t be out at dark as two females”. We were a little on edge.

This moment was scary… we were broken down on the side of the road. Then, all of a sudden, many men surrounded us offering a lift. My friend screamed ‘NO, back off’ to which the men did. I told the tuk-tuk driver he wasn’t getting paid until he got us another tuk-tuk back to our hostel. Take-away the money and quickly we were on our way home safely.

Round 2 in Delhi…

Me eating an Aloo Gobi Curry with my hands in New Delhi within The Golden Triangle of India
Embracing the Food

We had our flight to Bangkok, Thailand from here. So, we had to face our fears. Round one wasn’t so great. However, in round two we nailed it. By this point, we were ‘professionals’ and full of confidence after the success in different cities. We found our hostel… by ourselves. We spent the day wandering around the city… this part was much nicer than the last time we were here. Also, this is where we ate the best Aloo Gobi curry. I can still picture it today and know what the taste was like. Finally… Success.

Summary of My Two Weeks in India

Well… I wanted to experience different cultures and India certainly did this. India was a mix of emotions but I got what I wanted. India is definitely a unique country. It was hard work. Many negatives but many more positives. People spitting at your feet and people always trying to sell you something as you walked down the streets. Yet, all you had to be was firm. No. A stern voice and they will go away. Yes, things didn’t go to plan yet that didn’t stop this country from becoming one of my favourites. Nevertheless, The Golden Triangle was insane and a true learning experience.

A picture taken with local Indian School Girls in The Golden Triangle
One of the Many Pictures Taken With Locals

Overall, the food never disappointed, the flavours were so well put together you just wanted more. Therefore, curries elsewhere will no longer be the same. The colours and detail in the saris and other traditional dresses were very beautiful. We saw many wedding parties lining the street with painted elephants and dressed to the max. The impressive buildings. It all was incredible. Everyone was happy, where ever you went. Kids were playing cricket with sticks and stones. The happiest kids I have ever seen. This country has taught me you can be happy with so little.

However, two weeks only touched the surface of what this country offers. I would go back to experience different areas. Despite all this, I come away with fond memories of the culture and the people I met along the way.

This amazing country opened my western eyes to a whole new world. What a start to my first adventure in The Golden Triangle, India. Next up was Thailand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *