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India with kids

(26 Posts)
mumonahottinroof Fri 19-Aug-16 16:07:20

Dh will be working in India (Mumbai) a lot from now until Xmas, so we've decided dds - 11 and 9 - and I will join him there just before Christmas.

I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions where could be good to stay/visit. DH will be tired and doesn't want to be too touristy, he's keen on a hotel with a lovely pool probably but not necessarily on a nice beach. But are there any really nice beaches in India, I keep hearing about polluted water etc .... ? Would we be better somewhere like Udaipur/Jaipur in a nice hotel. Budget is reasonably big.

It's possible that I might take dds to the Taj Mahal, while he's still working - he finishes on 24 Dec, so we'd fly London-Delhi do the Taj, then go to Mumbai then go on to Kerala/Goa/somewhere else

Really open to all suggestions.

Another idea is we have our beach holiday in Sri Lanka instead {grin]

bigTillyMint Sun 21-Aug-16 18:18:03

We did Kerala about 5 years ago with DC who were about 10 and 12. It was very laid back and we had a fabulous time. Much less poverty there than in most of India as it has the highest rates of literacy. Also a wide range of things to do which the DC really enjoyed.

We have also been to the Golden Triangle and Goa pre-kids. Much more full-on but great too. Delhi is a shit-holegrin

DearMrDilkington Sun 21-Aug-16 18:24:45

I've been to Sri Lanka and the beaches were ok but not that exciting. It was red flag on the beach most of the time as the sea was so harsh. I haven't been to India though but the Taj Mahal sounds amazinggrin. Have a lovely time and take mozzie spraygrin!

mumonahottinroof Mon 22-Aug-16 08:50:20

bigTilly thank you, what kind of things did you do with your dc? I am leaning Kerala-wise at the moment, it sounds the best option for children and a tired dh. dearmrsd, i will certainly take mozzie spray and a lot of hand gel!

80sWaistcoat Mon 22-Aug-16 08:57:04

Kerala would be much better with kids I think. Unless you went to Rajasthan and stayed. In a castle with a pool!

Plan lots of downtime, it'll be hot and culture shock is a factor too, even though Kerala is a much more prosperous part of the country.

It's likely your Dh will get advice from other ex pats about good places to take kids.

Definitely somewhere with a pool as the sea can be very rough and the beaches are a bit mixed. There's canal trips and tea plantations to visit too, hiring a car and driver is really reasonable and a good way to do it. We stayed in a village home stay which was fabulous.

Taj Mahal is amazing but we found it quite overwhelming too, so many tourists means lots of beggars, the trains were fabulously interesting, the train stations are a scrum.

mumonahottinroof Mon 22-Aug-16 11:29:09

Thanks, I think a hotel with pool in Kerala sounds best option, I think a castle in Rajasthan would be amazing too but maybe best to wait for another time when we have the energy and do the whole golden triangle. Am interested in the tea plantations but my reading suggests the roads to reach them are really dodgy and dh has terrible vertigo - would they be too scary for him?

bigTillyMint Mon 22-Aug-16 19:27:55

We travelled around (backpacked) - Flew into Cochi which was very hot and humid, then rice boat round the backwaters (definitely get A/C rooms!), then bus to Varkala - lovely coastal town, then hill station with elephant sanctuary, etc. Then cab back to Cochi for a flight back which coincided with the ash-cloud, so we had 5 days in the Sheraton in Kuwait on the way We stayed in a mixture of Home-stays and hotels with pools. It was fab!

80sWaistcoat Mon 22-Aug-16 20:07:12

Friend I travelled with gets vertigo and she was fine, the roads are so fascinating and the people on them so interesting that I think she forgot about the vertigo...

Eminybob Mon 22-Aug-16 20:14:39

If you are going to Kerala then Perayar wildlife sanctuary is a must.

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Mon 22-Aug-16 20:33:26

Karnataka is lovely as well, similar to Kerala but much less touristy (Kerala is very busy at that time of the year and you might find that some of the best accommodation is booked up already). You can fly into Bangalore and then drive towards the north Kerala coast taking in the following: historical sites at Mysore (which has a wonderful palace and markets); ancient temples at Belur, Halebid and Srvanabelgola; Nagarhole National Park / Kabini river (which is better than Periyar in Kerala - we have seen leopards and tigers there as well as lots of elephants); Coorg (coffee and pepper plantations, beautiful hill scenery, TIbetan Buddhist settlement), then the coast (somewhere like Neeleshwar Hermitage).

Roads in that part are generally fine (a bit slow and bumpy at times) but you absolutely must (wherever you go) make sure you have a good driver and insist on a car with seat belts. I have had some drivers who have literally made me fear for my life with their driving and others who have been brilliant (stopping off en route to show us small, everyday things of interest, buying us fruits to try, etc).

I'd also recommend a home stay for a couple of nights.

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Mon 22-Aug-16 20:42:08

Just to add, if you do go to Kerala, there is great home stay on a farm with a really nice family that I'd recommend - it's called Dewalokam, and they have a pool as well.

fruitpastille Mon 22-Aug-16 21:16:16

If you want luxury the Leela hotel in Kovalam, Kerala is fab with pool and private beach :-)

bigTillyMint Mon 22-Aug-16 21:35:34

Eminy, we went to Perayar!

We only booked up the first homestay before we left - we did the rest (as we usually do) en route - using the ipad!

This is where we stayed in Cochi - lovely people and great food.

Lucydogz Mon 22-Aug-16 21:36:54

Hampi - a ruined city inland from Goa- is amazing and not too busy

marcopront Tue 23-Aug-16 02:23:15

Will he go to the Taj on his own? It is an amazing sight. I have been three times and it amazed me every time.

I would suggest Delhi, Agra, Jaipur then fly to Mumbai. In Mumbai do Sajiv Gandhi National Park and Elefanta Caves. A trip to Juhu beach is worthwhile, it is an incredible mass of humanity in the evening. There are loads of stalls selling Bombay street food and people selling everything under the sun and lots of pokestops.

marcopront Tue 23-Aug-16 02:26:04

Sorry pressed post too soon.

Then fly south to Kerala. Indian roads even in Mumbai are not the best, get a car with good suspension going into a pot hole in a rickshaw is not pleasant.

I live in Mumbai, so you have other questions let me know. Is your husband here yet? Where is he based?

mumonahottinroof Tue 23-Aug-16 15:27:08

Wow, this is all really, really helpful. Thanks everyone

macro dh isn' there yet and not sure where he will stay, your suggestions re things to do in Mumbai are great. I don't think he will have time to go to the Taj, so I may fit that in with dc and then head to Kerala - hotel and houseboat.

I'm tempted to do more but I think it's better to underplan and have a rest/

The Karnakata schedule is a good one too, will investigate that too! I'm excited.

caramelgirl Mon 17-Oct-16 13:29:38

We are spending our Christmas at Yabyum in Goa. It's meant to be v friendly and good for kids
Before that we'll be up in the Himalayas (Shimla etc.) for snow (live in a hot country so kids keen on idea of cold- tho' I have a wardrobe FULL of merino and ski suits for them as I don't think they'll know what's hit them!).
Boringly- have you had your vaccines? We had our typhoid, twinrix, tetanus diphtheria (boostrix) etc. etc. today and are back for rabies soon. Also taking every tummy protector known to mankind- French clay, Biocare Travelguard, carbon tablets, dead probiotics (apparently work well...).
Glad someone else is going to India btw! My neighbours took their five teenage daughters for Christmas- Golden Triangle and Tiger Camp then Andaiman Islands last year and raved about it. But everyone I tell we are going does the sharp intake of breath and "that's brave...). Which is a bit dispiriting, given how $$$$ it will be as a once or twice in a lifetime trip.
I hope you enjoy your trip.

ArtfulPuss Wed 19-Oct-16 10:32:59

Hope you have a great trip, OP!
We're taking 3 DCs (11, 9 and 7) to India for Feb half term, Golden Triangle plus Ranthambhore, arranging all independently + feeling pleased with myself because thanks to the Seat 61 website I have successfully navigated the IRCTC system and booked two lots of train tickets. But I had completely forgotten about vaccinations! So just wanted to say thanks for your post caramelgirl I shall be consulting the dr forthwith. Ditto re. digestive tract protection; I had been thinking along the lines of probiotic yoghurts for a week or two beforehand, but think I need to do a bit more research!

caramelgirl Wed 19-Oct-16 14:45:08

We wimped out of independent train travel. I booked tickets but just didn't want to face Dehli Central station so will fly to Chandigarh.
Tbf I am not living in UK atm so I just went to our local Polyclinic and had a lovely doctor list all the many, many, many injections that she could prescribe for us whilst DC1 quivered behind me and DC2 wibbled on about Octonauts.
Possibly there are others you could also have but I felt holding them down for that many was enough for one day- I do struggle with the bodily autonomy, "no means no" in the context of necessary medical procedures. #2 is Super brave but #1 would kick and scream in anticipation all day and then is fine as soon as it's finished.
Anyway, major derail but enjoy your trip too!

palanca Wed 19-Oct-16 18:34:50

we took DS aged 8 - we all had a great time. We liked Delhi and did a great cookery course there with DS - saffron palate.

you will have a great time - Agra is grim save for the monuments ,...

do not let people put you off taking DC - they will have a great time

mumonahottinroof Mon 05-Dec-16 14:45:58

OP here. So after a gruelling process getting visas (my fault for doing by post), we're off in a couple of weeks to Mumbai, then on to Udaipur, Jaipur and Agra.

Any tips for things to do with kids in these places very gratefully received. They love shopping as do I, so good shopping tips also fab.

We have all our jabs grin

bojorojo Mon 05-Dec-16 21:26:52

The Government run Craft Emporiums and although prices are fixed, quality is assured. There are a wide variety of shops with a wide variety of prices. It is fun to look and fabrics are amazing.

Get the Lonely Planet Book on Rajastan and Mumbai as soon as you can. We find these books packed with ideas. DK guides are also ok but Lonely Planet has better restaurant recommendations and very good research.

Children can be put off by beggars so decide your strategy before you get there.

How are you travelling around? Driving yourself is hard. Indian drivers do what they want! So do cows, lorries, pedestrians, dogs, camels ...

Do go to the Taj Mahal - it is so special! The Amber Fort in Jaipur is fab. Elephant ride up there! Textiles and jewellery are great here and in Agra there are craftsmen making marble plaques with inlaid semi precious stones like the Taj. Just looking at craft people can be fascinating. Also visit the Itimad-ud-Daulah tomb. Beautiful.

There is so much to see in all these cities. We like The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur - an observatory. There are palaces, temples, sights, sounds - extraordinary things! You will have a great time.

Avoid eating salad by the way. Stay at the best places you can, eat at good restaurants. Do not eat street food and drink bottled water. Eat fresh cooked food. It is fantastic! Just be careful and sensible. Our children were about 13 and 11 when we went. We also went to see tigers at Rathambhore NP. Not that seeing anything is guaranteed! But it is very atmospheric there.

After a very busy day in the hustle and bustle a relaxing hotel is a must!! It won't be too hot either. Just right for sightseeing.

bojorojo Mon 05-Dec-16 21:29:58

I meant to say - India is great for children but not in a Disney way. Everything is authentic. I have never found special things for children but you really don't need it. Everything you do and everywhere you go will be different and stimulating in one way or another.

mumonahottinroof Tue 06-Dec-16 09:37:28

Thank you, I appreciate it won't be Disney! I have been once before but to a different area and for work, so didn't do anything touristy. We're staying in lovely hotels and will have a car and driver from dh's work so I think that will take a lot of the sting out of it.

How easy is it to get to Ranthambore from Jaipur/Agra. Wondering if we can do a day trip (or an overnight), it's not in the schedule but we might squeeze it in. Am going to get a guidebook at the weekend. So excited.

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