Bus, oh bus, when will you arrive?

Trip Start May 31, 2008
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61
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Trip End Jun 01, 2009


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Flag of India  , Uttar Pradesh,
Monday, December 15, 2008

Our brief stay in this town wasn't very pleasant. We took an early morning train from Bhopal to Jhansi, hoping to catch the 11:00am tourist bus to Khajuraho.  Once we got to Jhansi, we had a hoard of annoying touts trying to convince us that the bus didn't run anymore / was full / would take 8 hours instead of the published 5 / take their taxi  etc etc.  It got so bad that they wouldn't even let us leave that station and inquire by ourselves.  We basically had to grit our teeth and yell at them to BACK OFF before we got into an auto and went to the bus station.  The tourist bus was no where to be found, and we ended up buying tickets on the public government bus.  It was advertised as "direct, express, and would leave at 12:30".  It stopped a hundred times, and left at 1:30.  AGH.  The whole time, I had to go to the washroom badly.  But there were no washrooms in sight!  Not at the bus stations or at the frequent stops, and there wasn't even a convenient tree!  At about 4:00, we stopped at a bus station that had a restaurant close by, where I finally went to the washroom.  The washroom was not pretty, but it was a very welcome sight.  Sigh.

We finally made it to Khajuraho around 6:30pm that evening.  Really hope these temples are worth it!  :)
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Comments

me_piquant
me_piquant on

Prior booking is essential in India
Hi Calvin,

Your experience is quite common in India. I am from UK and I also have experienced touts there mislead tourists to gain business.

A good way is to book your entire leg of the journey including flights, trains, bus and hotel (wherever possible)

The official train booking site / [http://www.irctc.co.in/ IRCTC]/ is authentic and allows advance booking.

For buses, you can try out / [http://www.travelyaari.com/ Travelyaari]/ . I have found them the most authentic and comprehensive. Their routes are not across India currently, but they have a very robust booking engine backed by their own reservation systems on the ground. This gives me the comfort that my booking is actually real.

For hotels, usually all the major websites cover high end hotels. I believe India needs to evolve in terms of hotel booking. Most of their value for money hotel option is not online - and I personally have found it quite a pain to go to a city and hunt for a good and yet cheap hotel option.

I hope this helps.

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