This Dec Spotlight trip!!!

Hello.... my husband and I arriving on the 5th and we are very much looking forward to this adventure .Who else is arriving early?.... and do you have any ideas, suggestions of what we should do the day and half prior to the beginning of our organized trip.
Anyone coming from the northeast?


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    It looks like the itineraries for the Spotlight and Portrait trips are the same for Delhi, so my suggestion would be to go through the archives for BOTH trips to check out the suggestions from prior travelers. I (as well as many others) have posted ideas on both of those threads. Somewhere I even listed places the TD suggested in his welcome packet that would not overlap the set itinerary ( we did the Portrait, so I think it might be in that thread). It also depends on how intrepid you want to be...stick close to the hotel or go off an an adventure?? There are some wonderful ideas listed in both those modes. We chose the more adventurous route and ended up riding in a rickshaw through Chandni Chowk among other activities. The concierge helped plan this, hailed a driver, got into the car, explained what we wanted to do, negotiated a price for us, and we were off for a fantastic day ...neither speaking the others’ language! Lots of hand signals and pointing!!!
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    We did Spotlight earlier this spring. We had two nights before the tour officially began (though we arrived at 3am on the first "night").

    Your arrival hotel has a nice pool to snooze off any jet lag.

    We also used a bit of our free time to walk from the hotel to the nearby and large Sarojini Nager outdoor market. Was fascinating. There were few tourists, and we felt quite safe. Just be careful (and bold/quick) crossing the initial intersection from the hotel, and make note of landmarks when wandering the market itself as it is a bit of a maze. We picked a different route back to the hotel to wander surrounding neighborhoods (which I believe were mostly inhabited by people with middle to upper middle class incomes).

    Our other pre-tour adventure entailed hiring a cab for most of a day through the hotel, and visiting the Lotus Temple, Lodi Gardens, The National Museum, and the Central Cottage Industries Emporium (best place to shop for Indian handicrafts). Our driver spoke pretty good English, and when he'd drop us at a place, we would set a time and place for him to pick us up (and I had his cell number if needed). The cost of the cab was minimal, and we enjoyed all 4 of the places we went that day.

    Finally, during additional Delhi free time later in the tour, we rented another cab (through the hotel) for half a day and went our into the suburbs to wander one of the mega-malls popular with Delhi professionals. We enjoyed seeing all the different shops and eating places in a modern Indian mall, but the big deal was people watching, and getting a current cultural view that the tour didn't provide.
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    Hello, We are also arriving on Dec. 6 at 10:45pm. After some sleep we would be up for some sightseeing on the 7th. It seems the hotel can arrange for a cab and some additional sightseeing. Looking forward to meeting you and the other travelers. Bruce and Eileen
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    edited November 2017
    HI, I did this tour, you'll love it. I hired a private tour guide Delhi Magic (http://www.delhimagic.com/) and we visited The Mosque, The Lodi Garden, the national museum, the Lotus temple and the Gurudwara Singh Sabha Sikh Temple..MOST SEE. This company is super reliable and has great prices and excellent drivers with new cars. The company is run by women and they do a lot of charity work. Also at the Leela there is a waiter, "Manish" that it's the best! he is incredible, he will teach you Indi and will show you different regional places... He is the best!
    Have fun.
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    Thank you all for your responses!
    We have begun to pack and get organized!
    Bruce and Eileen -- we will be at the hotel and look forward to meeting you
    Helen and Neal
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    I will be on this tour arriving on Dec 5 early am. Would like to see Lotus Garden. Little concern with air quality-any thoughts?
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    As I write this, AQI in Delhi is 558 which is hazardous. Do as I did on my China trip - wear an N95 mask.

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    Looks like things have not changed much in thirty years. I was based in Bombay (Mumbai) for a year with Air India. On a clear day you still had to do an instrument approach cuz the visibility was so bad. They used animal dung for fuel which caused smoke and a very unusual aroma.

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