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Danang - Miami of the East

  Having explored the north of Vietnam , it was time to move down South from Hanoi towards the more tropical climates. Danang, which is right in the center of the country was the next logical stop for us with its diverse geography containing vast expansive beaches to amazing hills.  Why Danang? Danang is one of the newest cities in  Vietnam with a large expansive waterfront skyline. It is fast catching up as a major tourist destination and has been coined as the Miami of the East. Along with amazing sunsets at the My Khe beach, one can also visit the nearby Bana hills to get a feel of the mountains. The city has some amazing bridges, water cruises, and in a way, it feels different from the whole of Vietnam due to its well-designed architecture.  How to Reach & Where to Stay? Danang is very well connected from all major countries through its International airport. The airport being right in the center of the city makes the commute times even less. One can easily book a grab under

Udaipur - A week-long tale through city of lakes

Udaipur has always been on my bucket list. Though I had already made multiple visits to Rajasthan over the past couple of years, this gem was missing from my itineraries, but back in December of 2019, it finally happened. 

As I embarked on my journey from Delhi, I had a perfect amalgamation of sense of calm and excitement for what the future beholds.

Udaipur or as the world says "The City of Lakes" is the historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar. It was founded in the year 1588 by Udai Singh II. It remained as the capital till 1818 when it became a princely state. It is host to more than 5 major lakes along with an array of majestic castles and palaces. Along with palaces, luxury hotels such as Taj Lake Palace Udaipur, Leela Palace Udaipur, Radisson Blue Udaipur have been host to many high profile marriages and movie shoots such as our very own Bollywood favourite "Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani"

How to reach and where to stay?

Udaipur is well connected through road, railways and flights across all major Indian cities. At around 660 km from Delhi and approximately 800 km from Mumbai, it is enveloped by the Aravallis. Due to the easy access, it is thronged by domestic and international tourists alike. 

For internal city travel, there are various options available from taxis (even Uber, OLAs) to our Indian Tuk Tuks but if you were to take my suggestion, hire a scooter or a bike as the old part of the city which encompasses the majority of rich culture, palaces have very narrow lanes and a 2 wheeler will save a lot of your time and parking hassle.

For accommodation, you have the option from hostels to luxurious hotels so choose according to your budget. My personal tip would be to stay around the Lake Pichola area as a lot of places of interest at a walking distance from you and that will save a lot of your time.

Things to do in Udaipur

Get lost in the majestic City Palace

No visit to Udaipur is complete without witnessing the majestic City Palace. It is your one-stop solution to imbibe the rich Mewar culture. Be prepared to spend at least 4-5 hours for the complete tour which includes hundreds of palatial rooms all through the complex. The palace is situated on the banks of Lake Pichola and offers an amazing view of the full lake. There is a vintage car museum as well and a sound and light show every evening for the interested. 
Once you get tired exploring all corners of the palace, you can choose to sit and relax in the Palki Khana Restaurant which is right in the centre of the palace.

Timings: Museum at the city palace opens at 9 am and closes at 5:30 pm

Witness the amazing sunset ride at Fatehsagar Lake

Unlike Pichola Lake, Fatehpur Sagar Lake has a completely different charm. The serene waters surrounded by the hills make it my personal choice for boat rides in Udaipur. We reached the lake around the evening and it was bustling with tourists on its side banks with all sorts of street food available. You can indulge in some amazing chai pakoras or Kulhad coffee while you decide on which activities to try or can just take a walking stroll along the lake boundary.

Boat rides are 50% cheaper here compared to Lake Pichola and you have options from speed boats to ferries. One tip would go around Sunset time to visit the Nehru Gardens in the middle of the lake to get the best experience

Timings: 8 am to 4:30 pm for the boat rides

Dine along the banks of Lake Pichola

The old city area around Lake Pichola is full of amazing restaurants offering amazing views of the lake and the city palace combined with the amazing Rajasthani food. Ambrai Ghat is one such place where you can find some of the best views. I have covered my top 10 list of places to eat later in the blog so read till the end for that.

Witness Dharohar at Bagore ki Haveli

I believe folk dance is the best way to understand any new culture in the whole world and the team at Dharohar couldn't have done it better. 45 minutes of sheer amazement is what you are going to experience which includes multiple traditional dance forms along with fire and puppet shows and to top it off, all this happens inside a royal Bagore ki Haveli. There is just one show in the evening daily which is sometimes increased to two on peak dates.

We were lucky enough to have booked the tickets online which saved us from the long queues and I would suggest you do the same especially if you plan to travel in peak season. Book your tickets here. 

Timings: Show at 7 pm, on spot ticket sales start at around 6pm

Get a birds-eye view of the city from Sajjangarh Palace

Also known as the Monsoon Palace, Sajjangarh Palace is situated around 30 minutes drive from the city centre which provides a panoramic view of the complete city. History tells us that the king used this palace to keep track of the monsoon clouds, hence the name. Though there is nothing much to do here but you can relax in its restaurant while enjoying the views of the city. 
For the kids, there is also a biological park on the way which can be explored if interested. I decided to invest my time with other things.

Timings: 9am to 5pm, need your own vehicle/taxi to visit this place

Get shopping into the alleys of local markets

For the shopping frenzy, Udaipur has multiple local markets where you can get just anything. From leather items to authentic Rajasthani fabrics to antique decorative items, it has it all. My top pics have to the following
  • Hathi Pol Bazaar - Famous for traditional paintings, souvenirs, Nagra Slippers
  • Bada Bazaar- Famous for Jutis & traditional jewellery
  • Shipgram - Famous for traditional handicrafts, puppets, etc

Get out of the city to visit Chittorgarh

Just a couple hours of drive from Udaipur lies the magnificent Chittorgarh Fort which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the biggest forts in India spread across an area of 690 acres. The origin of this fort is estimated to be around the 7th century and has been an important pillar in our history ever since. Being here gave me an immediate sense of nationalism about the amazing history we have in India. If you have time in your Udaipur visit, you should definitely add this to your Udaipur trip. 
Also, visit the Sahastra Bahu temple on the way which will give you some amazing backdrops for Instagram shots.

 Hiking at Badi Lake

This is one of the hidden gems in Udaipur. At around 10 mins drive from the hustle of the city, you will come across a lake which is not thronged by tourists or locals. It's a perfect spot to relax and unwind for a while. Take a small hike to the top of a hillock which will give you some amazing shots. Its a perfect evening picnic spot and you should definitely give it a try.

Apart from these there a few mentions which can be planned if you have time. These include the various temples such as Jagdish temple, Mata Karni temple, Sahileyon ki Baari, Jag Mandir, etc

Best places to eat in Udaipur

Udaipur has some of the best food options available. From amazing restaurants serving Laal Maas to mouth-watering street food such as Kachori, Dabeli, Poha, etc, it has it all. Here are my top 10 recommendations
  1. Upre by 1559 AD - Perfect for those romantic nights, amazing food along with cozy rooftop ambience
  2. Jheel's Rooftop Cafe - Quaint little cafe on Lake Pichola for a coffee break
  3. Hari Garh - Must visit place for Laal Maas (Must have dish when in Udaipur) & Hara Chicken
  4. Ambrai - One of the most famous places, amazing service
  5. Boiled Egg Bhurjee at Chetak circle (deadly dish)
  6. Kulhad Coffee at Fatehsagar Lake
  7. Khamma Ghani - Authentic Rajasthani experience 
  8. Kachori at Shri Lala Misthan
  9. Unlimited thali experience at Natraj
  10. Dal Bati experience at Krishna Dal Bati

Dubbed "the most romantic spot on the Indian subcontinent " by British administrator James Tod, Udaipur will give you ample opportunities to enjoy its rich Rajputana history & culture with some amazing food. So the next time, you feel like exploring the rich Indian history, you know where you are headed.


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