Tagaytay highlands philippines
Tagaytay city philippines travel guide
Tagaytay philippines travel guide

Tagaytay The Chill Out City Of The Philippines

Long before tourists would endure an 8-hour long drive to the highlands that is Baguio, they have already established an affinity with Tagaytay. Dubbed as the “Second Summer Capital of the Philippines” is Tagaytay City, a small town in the province of Cavite known for its year-round cold and misty weather.

Angelo Castelda Travel Inspires author

My name is Angelo Castelda and I currently live in the Philippines. I love to travel and explore the islands every so often. Today I want to welcome you to Tagaytay – a place you shouldn’t miss when you visit the Philippines.

The Philippines is a beautiful country, with 7,641 majestic islands and beaches. But, not everyone longs for the beach. In such a tropical country, most Filipinos would opt for a vacation somewhere far away from the sunny Manila, somewhere cold. Lo and behold, Tagaytay is the best place to be! Only about an hour to an hour and a half drive away from Manila, it has easily become most family and friend groups’ favorite weekend getaway spot, mainly because of its climate.

Itching to know more about this city? Here’s a complete guide for when you want to travel to the little Baguio (mountain city) of South Manila. I have included in-depth travel information at the end to give you the lowdown on how to get here!

Tagaytay Taal Lake and Volcano

Things To Do & See In Tagaytay

1. Taal Lake and Volcano Escapade

This is probably the most popular thing to do in Tagaytay. If you’re only starting off hiking and trekking, the Taal Lake and Volcano are pretty much easy trails for almost all beginners, as you can reach the peak in just an hour. From here, you get picturesque views of the Taal Lake with an entrance fee of just 100 pesos (around €1.50).

Also, you can ride a boat down Taal Lake, and, if you’re lucky, your boat driver might just tell you stories and myths about the place.

Tagaytay-Highlands-Golfing
2. Play Golf In Tagaytay

Home to Asia’s most exciting golf course is Tagaytay Highlands, a golfer’s haven nestled just along Tagaytay’s ridges. Tagaytay Highlands’ golf club has 18- and 27-hole challenging golf courses to beat, complete with all the exciting obstacles, such as sand-traps, man-made lakes, dramatic elevations, and so much more. Unleash your inner Tiger Woods as you play through the whole afternoon with family and friends.

Oh, and did I mention they’re the first and the only mountain resort in the Philippines with Swiss cable car systems you can use as transportation from one course to another? Yes, they do have that! Bask in the cold and misty Tagaytay weather while playing golf and riding on Swiss cable cars and feel as if you’re not in the Philippines at all!

Tagaytay travel guide Tagaytay highlands
3. Embark On A Spiritual Journey

Tagaytay is also a favourite place when it comes to going on pilgrimages or cultivating one’s spiritual life. This is mainly because Tagaytay has distinguished churches, chapels, seminary, and retreat houses that you can definitely visit for when you want some peace and quiet, meditation, and communing with nature and the Creator.

One of the most renowned churches in Tagaytay includes the Our Lady of Manaoag at Tierra de Maria, where a 50 ft statue of the Virgin Mary guards the entryway of the church. Inside the church are other religious figures and images for admiration of the public. There’s also a speciality store where you can buy small trinkets such as rosaries, a cross, faith books, and a lot more.

Tagaytay philippines travel guide guest card

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Great Festivals

Photo credit: The Hungry Kat

4. Go On A Food Trip

Who can say no to food? Tagaytay is undoubtedly filled with so much restaurants with all sorts of food enough to satisfy whatever you’re craving for. Choose to start the day with a hearty and healthy meal of veggies and fruits at Sonya’s Garden, wherein they serve fresh and organic picks just right at their backyard! Have lunch at Leslie’s or any other restaurant down the Tagaytay-Nasugbu highway and try looking through Filipino meals, such as sinigang, adobo, kare-kare, and so much more.

Finally, have dinner at Tagaytay’s Mahogany Market and fill your belly with the must-try Tagaytay bulalo. Enjoy the cold night breeze while sipping on a hot bowl of bulalo soup. You’ll want to keep coming back for more once you’ve gotten into it.

More than meals, Tagaytay is also filled with other food stalls and shops where you can have snacks, a cup of hot chocolate or coffee, champorado, kakanin, among others.

Tagaytay food

Photo courtesy of Ramon Reyes

5. Have A Picnic

Having been a city with such cold climate all year round, Tagaytay is also known for its excellent picnic spots. In fact, one or two places in Tagaytay are solely dedicated to picnic and adventure. Picnic Grove is a popular tourist destination in the area, where you can either rent tables and chairs or bring mats to fully experience that picnic vibe. Have breakfast, lunch, or afternoon snacks here while you enjoy the company of nature. Also, you may want to trigger a little adrenaline rush by riding on a zipline, or perhaps a cable car, which costs around 300 to 400 pesos each person.

Aside from Picnic Grove, Tagaytay also has the People’s Palace in The Sky. What once was a supposed presidential mansion awaiting the arrival and visit of a former US President has now been turned into a tourist destination – specifically, a picnic spot.

This is actually the highest point of Tagaytay, so expect higher altitude that gives off more chilly weather. Up here, the “mansion” is overlooking the entire city and some parts of Batangas. This place is basically adored for its ruins-like structure with little footbridges, tables, chairs, and gazeboes. The cherry on top? A life-sized pineapple strangely placed in the middle of it all.

A Taste Of Tagaytay

Tagaytay should definitely be in your top places to visit, especially if you’re in the Philippines for just a few weeks. Having been a favourite family weekend getaway spot, this place can never disappoint.

You can do almost anything here! Go on a food trip, cultivate your spiritual life, reconnect with family and friends, have a picnic, go on adventures, shop for fresh fruits and vegetables, hop from one mall to the other, buy flowers, and so much more. Looking for the perfect spot to unwind down South? Tagaytay is definitely the best place to be.

Tagaytay Picnic Grove Cavite Philippines

Photo of Picnic Grove Tagaytay by Where To Go In Tagaytay

How To Get To Tagaytay

I’ve laid out quite a few options for you for when you want to go to Tagaytay. Here, you can choose whether to take a private vehicle, bus, or van when travelling to and from Tagaytay.

Via Bus

Getting to Tagaytay from Manila through a bus is quite easy. From Manila, you’ll have to ride a bus from one of these four points:

  • Buendia
  • Pasay
  • San Agustin (EDSA)
  • Cubao

As you can see, there are a lot of options to choose from, since travelling to and from Tagaytay has pretty much become a habit for most people nowadays; it’s nothing new. If you decide to ride a bus from Buendia, you’ll want to look for the DLT Bus. Meanwhile, opting for the Pasay terminal should lead you to find BSC Bus Terminal. Taking any of these buses should cost you about 80 to 100 pesos, which is fairly cheap.

Choosing to ride the bus down Cubao at the Araneta Terminal should, however, cost you around 120 pesos. The entire bus ride should take you around an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the situation of traffic.

However, if you’re from the South, and you don’t want to go through all the hassle of commuting to Tagaytay, a new bus terminal has opened recently, which is the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) located along Cavitex-Coastal Road. It houses provincial buses bound for several parts of the metro, including Tagaytay. Bus fares should also cost you about 80 to 100 pesos.

Via Van

Vans are always the better option as compared to buses (well, long before the existence of convenient Point-to-Point buses). Vans going to Tagaytay are located at the EGI Mall along LRT Gil Puyat Station. With vans, the same travel time should be expected. However, vans can cost you a lot more as compared to buses, which is around 200 pesos for each person.

Via Private Vehicle

Usually, there are two ways for you to get to Tagaytay via a private vehicle. First, you can take the Manila-Cavite route either through Zapote or Daang Hari Road, which means you’ll pass by several towns in Cavite like Molino, Dasma, and Silang, where traffic is usually at a moderate level.

Meanwhile, if you want a much quicker way of getting to Tagaytay, you can take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) exiting either at Santa Rosa, Laguna or Eton City.

Photo below courtesy of Lula YMB

Tagaytay Philippines Taal Lake and Volcano

Appreciate The Local
Legends & Food

hanoi-capital-smilng flower seller
Hanoi City aerial view
Hanoi Vietnam Street Vendor

Xin Chào to Hanoi Vietnam

Hanoi is actually two Vietnamese words. Ha for river, Noi for Inner, Hanoi for “Rivers Inner” or perhaps “Inner Rivers.” This is an apt name because it gets something within you flowing. The smell of spices in the air will hit your olfactory senses in powerful waves.

Kwame Antwi Darkwah

My name is Kwame and I am happy to introduce you to Hanoi, Vietnam – one of my favorite cities in Asia. I am a student from Accra, but I have also studied in London and currently live in New York.

The kindness of the people will fill you with a flood of emotions, and the water puppet shows may bring trickles of laughter. My witty water puns aside, Hanoi is a fantastic place to experience Asian culture as it has been occupied both by Japan and China.

The people of Hanoi have held their own against the French and the Americans in war. They came away from the battles with a little bit of those cultures too. Experience how traditional and contemporary Vietnamese culture flow together in this marvellous city.

Hanoi Water Puppetry

Photo of Hanoi Water Puppets courtesy of LoggaWiggler

Hanoi Things To Do & See

1. Ho Chi Minh museum

Visiting the Ho Chi Minh museum is a must. Travellers can learn about the charismatic leader, Ho Chi Minh, who galvanised the Vietnamese people in fierce battles against the French and the United States. The exhibits examine each point of the illustrious leader’s life, from his upbringing to his creation of the founding principles of the Vietnamese Communist Party.

2. Hoa Lo Prison

Hoa Lo Prison was built by the French and originally called Maison Centrale. It was primarily constructed to hold 460 prisoners, mostly political. John McCain ended up in Hoa Lo Prison when his plane was downed during the Vietnamese war. The prison has since become a museum. Some argue that the museum has a polarised depiction of Vietnamese prisoners versus American prisoners. Although most of it was demolished to build apartments, the part of it that exists depicts exhibits from the French colonial period, complete with guillotines. Tourists can also find propaganda from the Vietnamese war period.

3. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

Water puppetry dates back to the 11th century as a form of entertainment for villagers when rice fields flooded. Today it is a sophisticated art form that is sometimes enjoyed with orchestral accompaniment. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is the best place to see puppets come to life across bodies of water.

4. Hanoi Opera House

Another must-see is the Hanoi Opera House, which is a little over 100 years. Here, you can enjoy ballet, modern and contemporary dances, and acrobatic performances that take place on bamboo sticks.

https://travelinspires.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Hanoi-Scooters-1280x640.jpg

Photo of Scooters in the streets of Hanoi by Inactive Account

Ethnic groups and tribes

The government of Vietnam recognises 54 distinct ethnic groups. The Kinh folk are by far the largest ethnic group at 85.7% of the population.

Customs and etiquettes

Travellers must be mindful of some etiquette that can be counter to their first instincts. The Vietnamese frown upon public displays of affection, touching members of the opposite sex and wearing less than conservative clothing. At tables, the Vietnamese wait to be shown where to sit and always allow the elderly to sit first. Speaking in loud tones is considered rude, and so is putting hands on hips or crossing arms or expressing anger and aggression. In business/professional environments, Vietnamese do not look a superior order in the eye. They would sooner bite their tongue than vocalise disagreement for fear of being disrespectful. Another significant unspoken rule is the passing of objects, which must be done with both hands.

Family systems

The people of Vietnam are very family-oriented; their definition of family includes both the nuclear and the extended. In the Vietnamese household, it is not uncommon to see three generations of the family living under one roof. Vietnamese families are patrilineal, and fathers are depended upon to provide for their household.

Hanoi Bun Oc Dish

Photo of Hanoi Bun Oc Dish by Chuong Nguyen

Typical foods

Anyone who hasn’t heard of Pho hasn’t eaten it, doesn’t like it, will have a challenging time in Vietnam avoiding it. Pho is, without a doubt, the most popular meal choice for Vietnamese people. This famous soup dish has made its way across all corners of the globe, but it’s probably best tried in Hanoi. There are other lesser-known but equally traditional dishes such as Bahn Chung, which is rice and pork fat boiled in a banana leaf.

In Vietnam, there’s a sub-culture for casual drinking. Locals often brew alcohol (mostly rice-based) in their own homes. However, when women drink, it is viewed slightly differently. Beer is the drink of choice, and after working days, a beer hall is a go-to place for weary professionals.

Restaurants

When in Hanoi, tourists have so many street food options to choose from, which offer a diversity of meals and the added benefit of having to hustle to keep a place in line to order food. This list of restaurants is for travellers who do not have the stomach for street food culture and would rather wait to be seated. The award-winning Essence Restaurant is on the ground floor of the Essence Hotel in the Hoan Kiem district of Hanoi. People love the customer service and the variety of food offered. The Hung Snake Restaurant is also famous for its customer service and its added benefit of allowing customers to view the preparation of food.

Crafts

Vietnamese lacquerware involves coating craft objects with several layers of resin to create a shiny, polished finish — crafters lacquer puppets used in water puppetry. Crafters do the same with furniture and wood ornaments. In Hanoi, one can see examples of embroidery, batik, and appliqué work, along with all the crafts mentioned earlier.

Markets and shopping

Built-in the late 1800s by the French, complete with French Court style arches, the Dong Xuan Market is Hanoi’s Hanoi’s largest covered market. One can find food, clothing, and more, here. It is a great place to experience Vietnamese shopping culture for the first time.

Hanoi Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Photo of Ho Chi Minh Museum courtesy of Paul Mannix

Music

Vietnamese music is diverse and based on what generation you may be from and what kind of music you enjoy. Younger generations usually listen to V pop, which is starting to incorporate international acts such as Snoop Dogg. The Vietnamese Music charts also boast some western acts. On the Vietnamese top charts, one can find artists like Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and other famous American artists. However, when it comes to concert-going, you’re more likely to find local acts in Hanoi.

Festivals/Holidays

1. Giong Festival

Thánh Gióng is a folk hero in Vietnamese history who magically grew from a boy to a giant hero on an iron horse. This giant hero is said to have led the Vān Lang kingdom to victory against the Han Chinese. Every year in May, a festival is held to celebrate the mythical boy. If visiting in May, catch an enactment of his legendary story at the Phu Dong temple.

2. National Day

2nd September is a holiday which commemorates Hồ Chí Minh’s reading of Vietnam’s Declarations of Independence at Ba Đình Square. There are fireworks, parades, speeches, and all the pho one can eat.

3. Tet Han Thuc

The cold food festival is a holiday that is also observed in China and South Korea, where people do only eat cold food. This is a perfect time for people with constant ice cream cravings.

Day trips from Hanoi

Tam Cốc-Bích Động

Tam Cốc-Bích Động is based in the Ninh Binh province, a 2-hour ride from Hanoi by coach. Visitors can explore three caves in small boats from Van Lam village. Along the way, they can enjoy the sight of rice fields, limestone karsts and more

Languages in Hanoi

Vietnamese is the primary language of Vietnam. However, many people speak French as a second language; this makes sense as Vietnam was once a colony of France.

Hanoi Narrow Houses

Photo of Hanoi Narrow Houses by David McKelvey

Transport

1. Cyclo – Bicycle rickshaw

On a bicycle rickshaw or cyclo, visitors can expect to pay between 12,000d and 25,000d for a short ride, and 25,000d and 40,000d for a longer trip or a ride in the evening. This mode of transport is most likely found near markets and hotels.

2. Xe Om

Xe Om (motorbike taxi) prices are similar to Bicycle Rickshaws for short trips. Xe means motorbike, and om means hug (or hold). Visitors can expect to find a motorbike to hug around every street corner, hotel, and bus station. If you still can’t find one of these, download Grab, it’s like Uber but for motorbikes.

3. Taxi

Taxi’s in Hanoi are safe and affordable, with an average price of about 12,000d to 15,000d per Kilometre. However, visitors are advised to only travel with reputable companies to avoid being taken advantage of price-wise.

Cost of living

In Hanoi, the average meal price is 252,148d ($11), the average travelling price is 936,367 ($40), and the average hotel room price for a couple is 979,014d ($42) for those on a budget. Those who love to live lavishly can expect to pay 634,849d ($27), 2,822,320d ($122), and 3,179,081d ($137) respectively for the same expenses.

Airport and Travel

Visitors will most likely arrive from Noi Bai International Airport, which is a maximum of 90mins north of the city. Travellers from New York will most likely fly with Cathay Pacific or China Airlines; those leaving for London are likely to use Thai, Cathay Pacific, or Emirates.

There are many taxis with fixed rates from the Airport to the city centre. Visitors should look up prices beforehand.

We also have an interesting feature about Da Nang which is located 791 km away from Hanoi. Check out What Vietnam doesn’t want us to see by Robert Bociaga.

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Jaipur Amber Fort
Hawa Mahal Palace Jaipur
Jaipur things to see palace

Jaipur: The Pink City

Known for its aesthetic beauty, architecture, temples, palaces, food, hand printing, blue pottery and jewellery, Jaipur started being called the Pink City back in 1876. So being from Jaipur, I would like to welcome you to my city, just as British Royalty were welcomed in 1876.

My name is Chitra and I am proud and happy to introduce you to Jaipur: the Pink City. I am a student from Jaipur, but I have also studied in London. “Khamma Ghani” (Many greetings) let’s go deep into Jaipur, the historical capital of Rajasthan

Founded in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II, and Maharaja Sawai Mansingh II, who was the last ruling Maharaja of Jaipur state. The Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria visited India on a tour in 1876. As the colour pink denotes the colour of hospitality, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the whole city pink in colour to welcome the guests. Still now the inner city, the Char Diwari is painted in the brick red colour – which was earlier known as the colour pink. This is why Jaipur is also known as the Pink City (Gulabi Nagari).

In 2019 Jaipur India joined the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. Most of the major palaces in Jaipur. are inspired by Rajput and Mughal architecture.

Jaipur India palace views

Jaipur Things To Do & See

Jaipur is known for its historical palaces and architecture.Here are some of Jaipur’s must see sights.

1. Hawa Mahal Palace

The Hawa Mahal Palace was built in 1799 for the ladies of the Royal household. Hawa Mahal means the ‘Wind Palace’ or the ‘Palace of Winds’. It has 953 small windows, which were built to keep the palace cool during the summer time in older times. The landmark is built with pink and red sandstone and resembles a honeycomb structure and is shaped like a crown. It is a perfect example of a Rajput style architecture. To access the Hawa Mahal you need to enter from the side of the City Palace as Hhawa Mahal was built as a part of this palace, therefore it doesn’t have its own entrance.

Hawa Mahal Jaipur India
2. Jaipur City Palace

Located just behind the Hawa Mahal, the City Palace is a fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture. It now has the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum and encompasses several buildings, various courtyards, galleries, restaurants, and the offices of the Museum Trust. The famous structures in the complex are the Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.

city-palace--jaipur private tour
3. Jantar Mantar

Built in the 18th century, the Jantar Mantar is a collection of 19 architectural astronomical instruments. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010. It features the world’s largest stone sundial, and can be found nearby both the City Palace and Hawa Mahal.  The instruments in Jantar Mantar allow the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye.

4. Albert Hall Museum

A beautifully built museum, the Albert Hall Museum displays artifacts and information about the history of traditional arts and crafts of Rajasthan. Located near the Jaipur Zoo, at night with all the lights on it looks even more beautiful. People can buy tickets for both morning and evening entry.

5. Jal Mahal

Jal Mahal means “Water Palace”. This palace is in the middle of the Man Sagar lake in Jaipur city, built with yellow and red sandstone. Consisting of five floors , but when the lake is full of water then only one floor is visible and the other four floors are underneath the water. The Jal Mahal is embraced in its background by the Rahargarh Hills.The Palace looks beautiful both by day and in night when all lights are on.

Jal Mahal Jaipur Water Palace
6. Nahargarh Fort

Perched on the edge of the Aravalli Hills, you can catch a glimpse of the city from the Nahargarh Fort, which was opened in 1734. This fort, as well as the Jaipur Amer Fort, and the Jaigarh Fort, were built for defensive purposes. In those times the Kings used to construct their palaces high above ground in order to secure their kingdom from enemies. These days tourists can take their cars to the top but in earlier times people had to climb a lot of steps to reach to the King’s palace.

7. Jaighar Fort

The Jaighar Fort is also known as the Victory Fort .Located in Amer which is just next to Jaipur, 12 km, the fort features a cannon named “Jaivana”, which was manufactured in the fort area and was then the world’s largest cannon on wheels. The fort is nearby the Amer Fort and is situated near the Aravalli Hill range.

8. Amer Fort

Located in Amer which is 12 km from Jaipur, the Amer Fort is beautifully built and has many artistic style elements. The fort is nearby the Jaighar Fort, overlooking the Maota Lake, which is also the main source of water for the Amer Fort. The fort consists of the Diwan-e-Aam, or “Hall of Public Audience,” the Diwan-e-Khas, or “Hall of Private Audience”, the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), or Jai Mandir, and the Sukh Niwas .The fort was the residence of the Rajput Maharajas and their families.

9. Statue Circle

Statue Circle is a tribute to the founder of Jaipur – Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. It is a statue that connects four roads and forms a circular passage .It is made up of white marble and illustrates the Maharaja, holding an astrological diagram depicting Maharaja’s love for astrology.

10. Vidhan Sabha (Rajasthan Legislative Assembly)

This is the government office for the Ministers of Rajasthan. People are not allowed to go inside but they can see it from the outside. It is an excellently constructed, beautiful building.

The exterior of the building has been designed with famous traditional features of Rajasthan such as Jharokas, Chhatries, Kamani, Baradaries, Arches, Todies etc. Nearby the building there is a another special building known as “Amar Jawan Jyoti” which is a memorial dedicated to the martyred Indo-Pakistani War soldiers, with a continuously burning flame. Both places looks beautiful both in day and night.

Nahargarh Fort Jaipur India

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Private Tour & Festivals

Jaipur Main Temples

1. Mooti Dungri Ganesh Ji

This Hindu Temple Complex is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, who is a son of the Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati .Lord Ganesha is worshipped before all auspicious events in India. On the top of the temple on the hill, there is another temple of Lord Shiva. This temple opens only once in a year on the birthday of Lord Shiva. Nearby Mooti Dungri Ganesh Ji there are three other temples of Goddess Durga, Lord Hanuman Ji and Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi. All of these temples are beautifully constructed.

2. Birla Mandir

Located just nearby Mooti Dungri Ganesh Ji, is Birla Mandri which is entirely made of marble and is an excellent masterpiece in terms of the architecture.

3. Govind Dev Ji

This temple is nearby the City Palace and is also wonderfully constructed, in this instance using both yellow and red stones. The temple idolises both Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha.

Jaipur India palace views

Ethnic Groups in Jaipur 

People from Rajasthani origin are called as “Marwari” although the most widely spoken language in Rajasthan is Hindi, the basic traditional language is “Marwari”. All over the Rajasthan Province, each state has their own minor languages but mostly Hindi is the main language and mostly everyone speaks in Hindi .

Every city has its own cultural significance but every city is connected to the other city in terms of history, religious practices, art and culture. In Rajasthan there are many different castes and communities and they have their own traditions.

Major sub ethnic groups are Jats, Rajputs, Muslims, Gurjars, Meenas, Brahmins, Agarwal, Jains, Bhils, Mali, Chamar and Meghval. Most of them follow many of the same traditions however.

Jaipur people and elephants at fort

Customs & Etiquettes

In Jaipur when we meet our elders we say “Namaste.” To say this we bring the palms of our hands together before the face or chest and join them as if bowing.

In reply the other person also greets you in the same way and says “Namaste”. Or if we are meeting someone who is very old like our grandparents, then we touch their feet to get blessings from them.

When we visit temples then we also do these similar actions such as Namaste but this time we also move our head down in-front of the God to receive blessings.

jaipur customs market goods

Families in Jaipur

In Jaipur or in general in India, many families people live with their parents, grandparents or maybe even their great-grand parents. Generally when a couple gets married then the girl leaves her family and goes to the boy’s family home.

But nowadays in metro cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Calculta and Chennai couples live separately from the family because they are working, so they need to find homes near their offices. But they visit their family on weekends, and during festivals and holidays.

In general family ties are stronger in India when compared to many other foreign countries. Girls are raised in a very respectful manner and in mid class families they generally don’t wear revealing clothes in front of their elders.

Jaipur Amber Fort

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Fun Festivals

Typical foods

As Jaipur is located in Northern India, typically we eat North Indian foods like Chole Bhature, Naan/Rumali Roti, Parathe,Daal, Rajma Chawal, Dahi Vada,curry, rice, papad, raita ,samosas…and the list is almost endless! .In India you can get amazing vegetarian food. The basic Rajasthani food is “Daal, bati and churma”, generally we cook this during festivals and on important occasions.

Every day we cook roti, sabzi, rice and daal for our meals. Meat and other non-vegetarian food are less promptly available in Jaipur. But in South India meat and other non-vegetarian food are easily available.

Some of the famous desserts of Rajasthan are-Gulab Jamun, Rasmailayi, Rasgulla, Barfi, Lassi, Ghewar, Rabri, Gajar Ka Halwa and again the list is almost endless!.In general people consume more sugar through food in India when compared to other western cultures.

Alcohol is not so prominent, in general in India or Jaipur. In some of the families it is strictly forbidden .Although you will find some alcohol shops and bars but much less in comparison to lots of foreign countries. Drinking alcohol, taking drugs, and smoking are considered as very bad habits in India and most of the families don’t like them.

food in Jaipur

Restaurants in Jaipur

Mostly good restaurants’ serve both north Indian and south Indian cuisine .You can see restaurants on Zomato (an app that lists restaurants with their ratings and food delivery ),Swiggy and Uber Eats are other food delivery apps.

My personal favourite for Rajasthani cuisine are Chokhi Dhani and Virasat Heritage Restaurant. Both the restaurants serve Rajasthani food.

To eat Rajasthani food you need to sit on the ground with crossed legs. The food is served in a big thali with different varieties.

Jaipur restaurants Virasat Heritage Restaurant (2)

Markets and shopping 

If you go to Birla Auditoriam you can see different types of exhibitions for clothes and various handicrafts, where you can also buy the items.

Some of the major shopping malls in Jaipur are MGF Metropolitan Mall, World Trade Park, GT Central Mall and Pink Square Mall. You will find different brands in these malls both for Indian shopping and to eat.

There is a market near the Hawa Mahal, which is a very popular place to buy crafts and there are some other markets as well such as the Chandpole Bazaar.

Head to the Bapu Bazaar for textile goods, the Johari Bazaar for Jewellery with precious gemstones, and handmade necklaces, and go to the Nehru Bazaar for Joothis, which are the typical, colourful Rajasthani footwear.

Golden rule never forget to bargain at all of these markets!

Jaipur markets

Jaipur music

Most people listen to Bollywood music in Jaipur but the main traditional dance of Rajasthan is Ghoomar. Some of the less popular ones are Kathak, Dandiya , Kalbelia, Bhavai and Kathputli.

Don’t forget that can see Rajasthani dance and listen to music in the concerts of the Jaipur Literature Festival (this happens every year around mid January), in the Amer Fort and Jahawar Kala Kendra. Note the show timings and dates are not fixed please check before you visit.

Jaipur festivals

Mainly in India Holi (the Festival of Colours) and Diwali (the Festival of Lights) are the most prominent festivals, but in each part of India there are some other festivals that are celebrated as well.

Some of the other festivals that we celebrate in Jaipur are Maker Sanskriti, which is celebrated every year on or around 14th of January. People fly colourful kites on their roofs and enjoy the day with their extended family.

Raksha Bandhan is another important festival in Jaipur, which focuses on the relationship between brothers and sisters. The sister ties a rakhi on her brother’s wrist and prays for his well being.

Some more interesting
Jaipur Festivals

Landscapes outside the city of Jaipur

Jaipur is surrounded by the Aravalli Hills these hills protect Jaipur from the rough winds from the dessert area. The soil is generally fertile and the major crops of the area are groundnuts, bajra, pulses, wheat, barley , mustard and gram.

Major vegetables are peas, tomato, cabbage, chilli and cauliflower. More or less every vegetable is available in Jaipur.

Jaipur landscapes Aravalli Hills

Day trips from Jaipur

Many foreigners come to do Vipassana in Jaipur. This is a meditation camp for ten days and is free of all costs.

Other trips from Jaipur can be to Amer 12 km, Ajmer 135 km, Pushkar 149 km, Sariska 152 km and Ranthambor 190 km.

Other cities that are a must to visit in the Rajasthan are Jodhpur 335 km, Udaipur 393 km and Jaisalmer 557 km. Please note that these roadtrips take from around 6 hours to 9 hours.

Sariska India tiger reserve

What is important to the local people?

Family is the most important for the people in Jaipur. Family ties are strong and parents put an immense effort into their children’s education.

Languages spoken in Jaipur

The main language is Hindi but certain people may speak in a Rajasthani language, called Marwari. English is a commonly used language amongst the younger people.

Jiapur trips Pushkar

Transport

For foreigners I would suggest to use cabs because they are cheap in Jaipur also their rates are fixed so, there is no need to bargain. Uber and Ola are majorly used cab services, you can pay in both cash and online.

Example, for 7 miles 11 km, they will charge you around 180 INR. This is around €2.26 euros, $2.53 dollars or £1.94 and of course these rates may change all the time, since I wrote this guide.

Other forms of transport are metro train, buses, autos, car hire and own vehicles but in general public transportation in Jaipur is not that good as in European countries.

Jaipur on a budget

For budget travellers they can stay at Zostel, Oyo Rooms, other less expensive hotels from the various online booking systems. In general a shared room starts from 400 INR/per day. (€5.02, $5.62 or £4.33).

For food you can pay 200 INR /per meal (€2.51, $2.81 or £2.16), and for travel it depends but around 1500 + INR /per day (€18.87, $21.08 or £16.24) is sufficient. But these prices are only a guide and of course, depend on your choices of hotels, food and how much travelling you do etc. Many foreigners do backpacking trips in Jaipur on this budget.

Jaipur for luxury travellers

For luxury travellers there is no limit of options. Some of the luxury Rajasthani theme based hotels are Taj Rambagh Palace Hotel, ITC Rajputana, the lalit, Marriot and the Hilton. In these hotels, the prices change according to the rooms’ standards.

For example a Palace Room in the Taj Rambagh Palace Hotel can cost around €500 per night.

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