I hate Varanasi
Trip Start Jan 21, 2007
67Trip End ??? ??, 2008
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Where I stayed
Luckily for us there was a train going to Mughal Sarai (a town 17kms from Varanasi) at 11.30pm so we got that. Got 50% refund on the ticket for the missed train too.
Managed to get a rikshaw to the old city part of town no probs, but that's when the stalkers come out
Yogi Lodge is in the old city which has very narrow winding lanes, they all look the same and I never got to know my way around except from the guest house to the main road and back. The lanes are constantly congested by people, motorbikes, cows, and a huge amount of cow shit. And more cows.
First day, only arrived at the guest house mid afternoon so set off for a quick walk down by the ghats (steps into the Ganges). Didn't see a great deal, but did see the burning ghats where bodies are cremated. I didn't particularly want to see but again there are touts who want you to come and watch, this time so they can tell you about how much wood it takes to burn a body and ask for a donation
That evening Alfonso and I take a walk (not sussed if it's safe for me to be out alone at night yet!) down the main street which is chaos as expected. Walking along the street being harassed to buy silk, or anything else they sell, take a rikshaw ride etc and all while trying not to be run down by speeding motorbikes or have your legs slashed by cycle rikshaws. Not easy to find a decent restaurant here so end up eating in a shady looking local cafe, turns out it's in the Rough Guide!
Next day everyone in the guest house is up and out by 5am. I had planned to be too, but obviously am still in bed come 10am. After a 3 hour walk along the Ganges in the afternoon I'm done in and need to go back to my bed. This heat isn't good for you! Out for dinner in the evening to the Brown Bread Bakery (note the name - it's a potential culprit) with some nice people from the guest house.
Next thing it's 3am and I'm up all night sick
Things I hate about Varanasi:
Being called madam - this is India wide, not just specific to Varanasi
Being called boat "Hello boat?"
The cow shit (try avoiding it in a power cut at night - we couldn't!)
The litter and dirt in the lanes
The men who say "namaste" then fall into step with me, try to strike up a conversation and will not go away no matter how rude I am
The men who want me to go to their shop to buy silk (do I look like I have any use for silk?)
The touts in general
I've been in India 12 weeks, 2 weeks left and I'm struggling to find the energy for it, it's hard work!
Heading to Agra (which I have been told is worse than Varanasi - it better not be!). A quick 2 night stop to see the Taj Mahal then onwards again.