Why I love India
“The moment I start to think I'm right on the precipice of unravelling one of India's deep mysteries, it has an uncanny way of reminding me that it would take more than just a few lifetimes to do so. Indeed, demystifying India is a perpetual work in progress. And that is precisely what makes the country so deeply alluring for me. The constant exploration. The playful unpredictability. And knowing that, just when it's...” Read More
Top experiences in India
Singapore City Tour
Your orientation tour of Singapore begins with a drive around the Civic District, passing by the Padang, Singapore Cricket Club, historic Parliament House and the National Gallery Singapore. The Gallery consists of two national monuments – the former Supreme Court Building and the City Hall. Make a photo stop here and view these magnificent buildings up close (weather permitting).After this, stop at the famous Merlion Park and enjoy the stunning views of Marina Bay. Take advantage of this picture-taking opportunity with The Merlion, Singapore’s mythological creature that is part lion and part fish. Visit Thian Hock Keng Temple, one of Singapore’s oldest Buddhist-Taoist temples, before driving past Chinatown. Proceed to Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Singapore Botanic Gardens and walk through the National Orchid Garden which boasts a colorful display of 60,000 orchid plants, with 400 species and more than 2,000 hybrids represented.Let your senses come alive at Little India as you walk past shops along the five-footway offering a variety of exotic fruits, spices, jasmine and orchid garlands.
Private Tour: Day Trip to Agra from Delhi including Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
Take a private tour of several antique structures of Agra, a city on the banks of the Yamuna River. Private pickup will take you from Delhi approximately four hours to Agra. Stop first at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Agra Fort, a treasure house of Mughal architecture.This 94-acre (34-hectare) brick fort dates back to 1080 AD and has seen many battles and undergone major renovations. Witness the interesting fusion of Hindu and Islamic influences on its construction and decor as you walk inside the fort with your guide and learn about the different functions of the buildings including the Moti Masjid (Pearl Fort), Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience), Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace) and more.Head to the Taj-Mahal, India’s most iconic building and a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. Along the way, stop at a popular restaurant for traditional Indian eats.Spanning an area of about 1,000 acres (400 hectares), this majestic architectural wonder offers incredible sights. On your guided tour, admire the structure’s magnificent construction, the intricate exterior and interior decor, the beautiful garden and the outlying red-sandstone buildings. Its most predominant structure, the white-domed marble mausoleum, was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and combines Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles.Finally, visit the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah, situated on the opposite bank of the Yamuna from the Taj Mahal and commonly known as the Baby Taj. Built between 1622 and 1628 by Empress Nur Jahan for her father, the mausoleum is often described as a jewel box. Admire the trellis work and precious stone inlay as you listen to your guide’s commentary and learn about the strong Persian influence on the tomb’s design—the first in India entirely made out of marble.At the end of private tour, sit back and relax on the drive back to Delhi.
Small-Group Évora Day Trip from Lisbon with Olive Oil Tastings
Leave Lisbon with your guide – passing over the Vasco da Gama Bridge on the River Tagus – and soak up the stunning scenery of the Alentejo Region, where magnificent plains are filled with vineyards, crops, olive trees and cork trees, which produce the well-known Portuguese cork. After the 1.5-hour drive, you’ll arrive in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Évora.Shaped by the styles of many periods, the well-preserved city of Evora has a rich culture, history and artistic heritage. You’ll visit many of its important historic sites, first of which is St Francis, a Gothic-Manueline church that is home to the 16th-century Chapel of Bones (Capela dos Ossos), whose walls are covered with human bones, mainly skulls.Next, see the ruins of the 1st-century Roman Temple and admire the Gothic- and Renaissance-style palace of King Manuel, where Vasco da Gama was told to explore the sea route to India. Then see the famous Cathedral of Évora (Sé de Évora), built between 1280 and 1340, and explore with your guide the picturesque streets and Gothic arches surrounding Giraldo Square (Praça do Giraldo), the city’s main square. Have free time to grab lunch in one of the local restaurants (own expense) and roam the historical streets on your own, soaking up the atmosphere or browsing through charming souvenir shops. Then meet back up with your guide, who will lead you to an olive oil tasting at a specialist shop where you will savor samples of five olive oils.The last stop of your day trip is Almendres Cromlech -- a megalithic complex that dates back to 4000 BC and is one of the largest groups of structured menhirs (large stones that stand upright) in Europe. During its thousands of years of existence, this site was used to celebrate the solstice and equinox.
Private Tour: Kuala Lumpur Grand Full-Day Tour including Lunch
After morning pickup from your hotel, you’ll travel by air-conditioned minicoach through Kuala Lumpur, stopping for photos at Independence Square, the Petronas Twin Towers and the King’s Palace (Istana Negara). Your journey continues to the National Museum where you’ll peruse their collection of Malaysian artifacts dating from prehistoric times to the present. Afterward, you’ll drive past the Lake Gardens, a green oasis in the middle of the city.Next, you’ll see the National Monument, a sculpture that commemorates the Malaysians who died while fighting the Japanese occupation in World War II and in the Malayan Emergency. You'll also stop by the National Mosque and note its sleek and modern architecture, then contrast it to the blend of Eastern and Western design of the Old Railway Station. Your guide will share the history of these sites as you admire them from the outside. Your next stop will be the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre, where you'll see a elegant display of Malaysian pewter arts. After a full morning of Kuala Lumpur sightseeing, relax and enjoy a traditional Malaysian lunch at a local restaurant. Once you're refreshed, head to the Brickfields, a colorful residential neighborhood that's known as Little India due to its many Indian residents and businesses. Finally, you’ll drive to the craggy limestone mountain which holds the Batu Caves. An impressive golden statue of the Hindu deity Lord Murugan stands 140 feet (42.7 m) tall next to the 272 steps that lead to the caves. Your guide will take you through the cavernous rooms where you’ll find a Hindu shrine lined with colorful statues.On your way back to Kuala Lumpur, stop at a Malaysian batik center to see how this popular textile art is made. Your city tour ends with drop-off at your hotel.
Bangkok Tuk Tuk Small Group Adventure Tour
Make your way to the lobby of the Nouvo City Hotel to meet your guide. You'll travel together by taxi or minivan to the starting point of this Bangkok Tuk Tuk tour.Board your motorized rickshaw commonly known as Tuk Tuk with your local guide from Phra Arthit Road. Travel past Thammasart University into Phra Chan Road to the Amulet Market, where various religious amulets, charms and traditional medicines are available. Your informative guide will explain the significance that these items play in the Thai culture. Continue by Tuk Tuk to your next stop, Wat Pho temple, the oldest temple in Bangkok. Explore the Wat Pho temple complex with your guide before climbing back onboard your Tuk Tuk.Travel by Tuk Tuk to Phahurat Market, the Phahurat Market is in the heart of Bangkok's little India where all kinds of fabrics, cloths, ornaments and accessories are sold along with stalls selling delicious Indian snacks. You'll continue to Woeng Nakorn Kasem in the Klong Thom quarter, also known as the "thieves market". It is a second hand market for Thai and Chinese antiques where you'll will find an array of goods for sale from porcelain to furniture.Your next stop is Wat Saket. Wat Saket sits at the bottom of an artificial hill, often referred to as the Golden Mount and dates back to the Ayuthaya era, prior to Bangkok becoming the capital of the Siamese kingdom. The temple was used for cremation ceremonies.Your tour concludes at Wat Saket but not before you climb up the 318 steps to the top of the Golden Mount where you'll have amazing 360 degree views of the surrounding old Rattankosin Island.Your guide can assist you in getting a taxi back to your hotel if needed.
Dharavi Slum Small-Group Tour in Mumbai
Meet your guide at Churchgate railway station and travel together by train, an approximate 30-minute ride at your own expense. Or, make your own way, meeting your guide and small group at Mahim Junction railway station in Mumbai. Alternatively, upgrade to include round-trip transport by air-conditioned vehicle from Colaba; logistical details are outlined in the Itinerary below. All three options can be done in either the morning or afternoon.On arrival in Dharavi, set out on your 2.5-hour walking tour that dissects one of India’s largest slums. Follow your guide down a maze of narrow lanes that comprise a mix of households and small-scale businesses run by Dharavi’s residents.Learn about the working conditions among numerous cottage industries — including textiles, recycling, pottery and leather tanning — in an informal economy that turns over millions of dollars annually. Passing through these small spaces, you'll learn about the sense of community that exists among the residents, whose diversity is reflected in the temples, mosques, and churches that stand side by side.Tour the recycling area, where old computer parts and plastics arrive from all over the world, and step foot inside a bakery where tea biscuits are made fresh daily. Watch artisans create pots from sun-dried clay, and see the women of Dharavi make popaddoms: the essential appetizer of any Indian meal. Visit a replica resident's house, observe the expansive view from a Dharavi factory rooftop, and see photos on exhibit — taken by children in a local art program. At an NGO-sponsored community center, you’ll see a vibrant gathering of people learning library, English, and computer skills, or engaging in activities such as dancing and yoga. Finish with a soft drink at the reception center in Dharavi, and then make your own way back from Mahim Junction or return by train with your guide. Please note: Your tour guide is sensitive to the issues and concerns surrounding slums and understands that this tour may not be suitable for everyone. Guides strongly believe that the purpose of this tour is for educational reasons alone and allows for a better understanding of Indian life inside Dharavi. Furthermore, the majority of the proceeds from your local tour operator goes back into the local community to support a variety of projects on education, health, and livelihood.