Trip Report - Northen India & Nepal (December 2023) Part 3

Trip Report Part 3

Onto Mumbai....Mumbai was Mumbai. We were there for New Year’s Eve. We had a blast! There were three Tauck provided dining options and one option that was off Taucks list (unless you wanted to pay out of pocket) due to the extra cost of $650 just to enter the restaurant. The cost was for the view and the DJ playing. I accompanied the TD in this area during the night (prior to midnight) and to be honest, it was dark and kind of boring. There was also an Italian specialty restaurant and an Indian restaurant for dinner choices. The couples who dined at the Italian restaurant said it was just so-so. Lots of frou-frou food and very small portions.

We had fun in the open restaurant just outside of the main lobby. There were two ladies providing great entertainment (singing and piano playing) and we had the option of the enormous buffet spread and ordering as much as one wanted off the menu. We utilized both options. We also made a makeshift dance floor and danced the night away. The two singers joined us on the dancefloor and asked if there was anything special we wanted them to sing or play. It was a great evening. We ended the night with a Champagne toast and went to our rooms not much later after midnight. The TD used his enormous connections to get folks into the $650 place after midnight. They partied until 2AM. They said the music got much better after midnight. Unfortunately, that area of the hotel was directly below the suite of one of the Tauck guest and she needed to use earplugs to go to sleep. I didn’t hear a thing.

The next morning was the coach and walking tour of Mumbai, a visit to India Gate, lunch and self-guided tour at the lovely Taj Palace. As this was a holiday (or not) – some places in India do not recognize New Years Day as a holiday because they do not recognize holidays on the1st day of the month—however, the area near the India Gate was absolutely jammed pack. There were so many people. During my last visit we remained in the area and then had a Mumbai train experience. This time, there were too many people. I would have had a panic attack surrounded by that many people without a Tauck escort. We happily got on the coach and went back to the hotel, relaxed and had a bit of retail therapy until the farewell reception (small bites and cocktails).

For those who asked for a trip comparison: The Portrait of India is elegant and all about culture – getting a flavor of North and South India (I absolutely love South India). The Northern India-Nepal trip, although there is culture – especially understanding the Nepalese culture, I would say it is more of an activity, laid back, rugged trip. There was no need for dressy clothes or makeup (ladies).

Overall, there is not much free time. The mornings are early. The food choices were great on both itineraries. Travel was uneventful for the most part – there were a few delays (air & train) but Sidd made it most comfortable. I’m glad the Portrait of India tour was my first. I’m not sure If I had taken the India-Nepal trip first (which was my original plan), I would have ventured back to India.

That said, The Portrait of India is my favorite! My 10-year India visa is valid until 2028--there is still time for Tauck to develop another great itinerary covering another region of India (perhaps Calcutta, Goa, Punjab (Golden temple) --hint hint to Tauck if you're viewing this forum.
There were no mishaps that were noticeable, there were no difficult guests, and the group size was perfect. I’m so happy I had had the opportunity to meet wonderful people as I always do on Tauck Tours. Counting down to The Magic of Morocco!

I’ll state it again. This was a great tour! Tauck planned it perfectly and the Tour Director, Mr. Sidd, executed it flawlessly.

I have many pictures. I will upload a few once I merge the DSLR pics with the iPhone pics.

Please do not hesitate to ask questions here in the forum or PM me. I’ll be happy to respond.

Happy New Year & Happy Travels--Robin

Comments

  • Robin- Great report. I wish I could convince my wife to go on one of the India tours! I can't wait to see your pics!

  • Thank you, PureLuxury, for your very informative and well written report.

  • Great summary of the trip and we are looking forward to ours later this month. One question: You said you had a 10 year visa…we got a 5 year….thinking that if we go again it will be within that timeframe. However, it appears that the visa is point of entry specific…which means Delhi…Am I correct that the visa is only good to fly into India via the Dehli airport?

  • Pure Luxury. This is awesome. I looked at another tour that focused on Lions, leopards and tigers of India that was a lot longer, then met someone who seems to like the same travel stuff as is and is a wise and experienced traveler. He been on it and felt even more sitings did not justify the travel and cost for people who had already been to India like me. I’d love to just go to Nepal, perhaps Tauck might do that soon, so I very much look forward to good details about the Nepal part of the tour.

  • Robin: thanks for your posts! I am on the Feb. 3 Northern Indian/Nepal trip…

  • One question: You said you had a 10 year visa…we got a 5 year….thinking that if we go again it will be within that timeframe. However, it appears that the visa is point of entry specific…which means Delhi…Am I correct that the visa is only good to fly into India via the Dehli airport?

    MarcM I'm looking at my visa. It's a multiple entry visa. There is no indication you must fly into Delhi airport; however, we did fly back into Delhi after leaving the Dwarika's resort in Nepal and continued to drive to Agra. Perhaps you can pose that question to the agency that helped secure your visa (I used the agency recommended by Tauck--I think CIBT)

  • I’d love to just go to Nepal, perhaps Tauck might do that soon, so I very much look forward to good details about the Nepal part of the tour.

    British Nepal was wonderful. The Nepalese people are the most generous. I'll provide specific details on he Nepal portion of the trip

  • Robin, Hi!
    Happy New Year! Loved Loved your report.
    It's making me wanna go again! :) Cannot wait for your pics. Thanks for sharing.
    Mil

  • Robin great report, thank you for sharing, I went on the Portrait of India tour and loved it, one of my favorites, have been thinking about the Northern India tour.

  • Robin...so glad you had a great time.

  • It was a great tour....I still need to post the rest of the trip report
    :/

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