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Tanya Adams, one of Goway’s senior sales agents, returned in February 2019 from a trip to India. Belinda MacNeil, Product Manager for Asia, sat down with Tanya to chat about this once in a lifetime journey.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about India?
In my personal opinion the biggest misconception about India is that it isn’t safe for a single woman travelling. I think there is a bit of a stigma about this and so I felt a little nervous going on my own, to be honest, but once I arrived I realized that most of my fears were just that and people all over were so kind and respectful to me. I felt so taken care of and never felt unsafe or uncomfortable, especially with the assistance of our representatives.
You did a lot of hotel inspections. Which was your favourite?
My favorite hotel has to be The Ranthambore Regency just outside of Ranthambore National Park. The hotel was beautifully designed and had a real safari feel, which added to the atmosphere of being so close to the park and seeing the wild tigers and other wildlife. Every night, the staff would set up bonfires with comfortable chairs and there was a bar to order drinks. The staff couldn’t do enough for me, especially catering to my vegan food requests in the kitchen.
What was your favourite unique stay?
I will still have to say Ranthambore Regency, as it was quite unique for me in design and I really enjoyed sitting by the fire at night watching the traditional Indian dancing and listening to the drumming. I also did a hotel inspection on a property that is presently being built in Ranthambore area, scheduled to finish by next year, named Puratan Qila, which will be in the shape and design of a fort. The designer loves roses and planted all kinds around the property, which already look so beautiful. This property will even offer luxury glamping-style bungalow rooms, which also look quite unique. I am looking forward to seeing the finished result.
As a Goway Asia Expert, was there anything that surprised you?
Probably the vastness, richness, and diversity in the history and culture of the people in India. I had an idea, but really it still surprised me. I was reminded repeatedly by the locals that India has 29 states and each one is so different in its history, culture, food, and dress. Having guides explain all of the sites and historical significance really helped me understand in greater depth how truly ancient the country is, with over 3,000 years of human civilization.
What area would you recommend if clients wanted to extend into another country?
I would probably recommend Sri Lanka if clients wanted to extend. It has so many appealing attributes, especially for the adventurer or nature seeker. It would be a good transition from being in a highly-populated area with lots of big cities to somewhere a little quieter. Otherwise, Nepal is close and also very interesting if clients wanted to see India in conjunction with somewhere else while in the area. I’d also recommend Maldives for anyone wanting a beautiful overwater bungalow stay.
Are there any tips about travelling to India that agents might share with their clients to make their trip even more enjoyable?
If your clients are going during the winter months don’t forget to let them know to pack layers. Even in cities like Delhi and Agra, the nights can get cool and water activities in cities like Varanasi will be better enjoyed with a light jacket. Also, bring a mask to help with the pollution/ dust (if you plan to try a safari).
Do you have a favourite local dish?
I would probably have to say the Vegetable Pulav. It is a rice dish with saffron and raisins and cashews. It was lovely!
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