Published on July 25th, 2011 | by Emma Hackwood0
My Time in India and the UAE
From learning to bargain on the streets of India, to experiencing the culture of the UAE, our Flightie Sepideh shares her experience travelling to two very colourful countries and the incredible experiences she had along the way.
Recently, I was given the fantastic opportunity to travel to India and United Arab Emirates. In India, we visited the major cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur as well as Karauli which was in a rural village. In United Arab Emirates, we stayed in Abu Dhabai and took a side trip to Dubai.
India is the most culturally shocking destination I have been to. From the sights, sounds and smells, it was all around amazing! India is a feast for the senses; where the air is heavy with the scent of jasmine and dancers trail frenetic melodies in colourful silk saris. The highlights in India for me included the Taj Mahal, the bazaars in Jaipur and the heritage stay where we had the chance to interact with locals and really experience the culture.
Every turn was bright colours and very friendly people. As astonished as I was about the destination and culture, the locals seemed just as curious towards me as I was towards them. In India, you really learn how to bargain if you didn’t know before which actually makes the shopping every enjoyable. Handcrafted bengals all the way to very fashionable sari’s were very inexpensive. It’s a shopper dream although it does take patience. I would recommend first time travellers to India to participate in a tour such as Intrepid. Not only do you learn the history of the country through a tour guide, but the advice and tips are very useful.
After finishing our tour in Delhi, we headed to Abu Dhabi for a whole other type of experience. We flew with Etihad Airlines and had amazing service onboard. Abu Dhabi was everything I thought it would be and more. From the very modern trendy hotels to the beauty of the beaches, I was in paradise. We stayed at the Fairmont Abu Dhabi which is a fairly new hotel. As our day started, we headed to the White Mosque to once again begin to experience the culture.
As cosmopolitan as United Arab Emirates is, the majority of the citizens are of muslim faith so you want to make sure you are respectful towards the culture and the people. Some of the highlights of the UAE were the different themed hotels, the desert safari in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world), and the shopping. The UAE is a country that you can travel to via tour, cruise or solo but however you travel, there is something for everyone there whether it is adventure, beach, shopping or just fine dining; UAE has it all! Hundreds of tour companies offer a variety of excursions and adventure packages to suit all tastes and persuasions, so if this place wasn’t on your bucket list before, I would recommend adding it now.