We were looking for a bespoke holiday to India as the escorted tours did not fit our needs. I happened to discover that Selective Asia were now providing holidays to India. Having used Selective Asia in the past for a holiday to Vietnam we were happy to use them again. India is still in its infancy as a destination with this company and at the time we booked it was only available to previous customers however it has now been fully launched. We had several telephone calls with Karl, who is the India specialist, until we were happy with the itinerary.
As regards to travel this was by our personal driver, however the holiday did include 4 train journeys. There was no worry here as our guide ensured that we had the correct carriage and seats and we were met at the next destination by our new guide. Using modern technology the guide at the departing railway station Whats Apped our photo to the guide meeting us so there was no need to hold up a card! So rail travel was independent to some extent. We started in Amritsar then travelled to Chandigarh, Shimla, Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur and back to Delhi for the return flight home.
We asked for traditional hotels and were pleased with the choice selected for us. Each hotel had it’s own personality. As the holiday was bed and breakfast our guides gave us suggestions for restaurants and where necessary sorted out bookings and transport. It also meant that we could have a snack for lunch and not a full meal.
Tours included the usual sightseeing but we also had walking tours of Old Delhi, Old Jaipur and a village near Agra. These tours are for 2 people and gave us an insight into normal Indian life away from tourists. We chose a private tour so that we could control the level of activity to fit us late 60s and not too active. However things did not always go to plan, mainly due to weather. Luckily we had built in more leisure time than an escorted tour gives so we could reschedule.
The only drawback was that the Selective Asia app did not cover Amritsar and Shimla. However I am sure that as more people travel to these destinations they will be added.
India is a place of many contrasts and we are aware that we only saw a small part of it.