Intro to Delhi’s Aerocity

Intro to Delhi’s Aerocity

Intro to Delhi's Aerocity

Staying at Delhi’s Aerocity is a good choice for those who arrive late at night or with an early morning departure (or the unfortunate combination of both!)  It is just an easy 8-10 minute drive to the airport, allowing you more time resting at your hotel than sitting in Delhi traffic.

Here are some tips to make your stay in Aerocity more familiar. Please notice Worldmark 1 and 3 denoted on the map. 

 

Security

Aerocity’s hotels take pride in their security. When you enter the hotel, your carry-on (and purse) will have to go through a scanner, and you will also be pat down (females will enter a curtained area for a private pat-down by a female security guard). Please be prepared for this every time you enter, not just your initial arrival.

You will also encounter the same security when you enter the Worldmark shopping malls.

Eating

Each hotel at Aerocity has multiple restaurants inside, representing different cuisines from all over the world. However, if you are willing to venture out of the hotel, there is a fantastic food court in Worldmark 1 called “Food Capital,” on the 3rd floor. Although you can find international chains like Subway and Pizza Hut there (each with their own Indian twist) there are some fantastic Indian restaurants there, as well. Karim’s is a delicious Delhi institution and their kiosk is definitely worth a stop. Biryani Blues is also a great option. These are all great values compared to the restaurants inside hotels.

If you are in the mood for SE Asian food, the restaurant “Noodle Republic” on the ground floor of the LemonTree Hotel is quite good. The Northern Thailand noodles (Khao Soi) are one of my all-time favorites there! There is a Starbucks in Worldmark 1, as well (facing the road, on the ground level).

 

Worldmark 1 Facade

Food Capital entrance from the outside

Go down hallway and up escalators to Food Court

Karim's is a North Indian classic

ATM

There is an ATM in front of the IBIS hotel in Aerocity that dispenses rupees (the upper limit is 10,000 rupees (~$145 USD) per withdrawal, but you can make as many withdrawals as your home bank allows).

Shopping

Worldmark 3 has a department store with Indian clothing, cosmetics, home goods, and even a small specialty grocery stocked with imports.

 

Delhi Airport Departure Tips

Delhi Airport Departure Tips

Delhi Airport Departure Tips

Air travel is relatively similar all over the world, but those slight differences in a new place can throw you off your game! Here is a brief preview as to what you can expect when checking into Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India.

Entering the Airport

You will need a printed flight itinerary (or a screenshot of it on your phone) to even enter the airport. It must show your name, flight date and time and number. You will show this and your passport to enter the airport.

Check-in

Check the monitors for your flight to see what counter you should be checking into. Remember that international flight counters don’t open until 3 hours before the flight, typically.

Checked Luggage

If your luggage weighs more than what is allowed, you must pay for more weight. Sometimes you can pay at the counter, and sometimes they will direct you where to go to pay this fee. It’s neither cheap nor fun, so do be mindful of the weight limits on your ticket.

Immigration

If you are leaving the country, you’ll first have to go through Immigration, which has the potential to have long lines. You don’t have to fill out any paperwork for this (as of Summer 2018), simply present your passport to the Immigration officer. If this is a domestic flight, you’ll go straight to security, instead.

Security

You will show your passport and ticket to an officer who will direct you to a screening line. You must put all carry-ons and personal items through the scanning machines, as with any other airport. Definitely remove your laptops, but you may wish to remove most larger electronic items, including cameras and tablets, as they will often rescan the bag if they detect these items. You can leave your shoes on, but do take any jackets off.

Women and men will separate as they go through the metal detector and pat-down. Please bring your ticket and passport with you and present to the security officer. Men are pat-down next to the carry-on scanning machine and women go into an enclosed booth where a female officer will pat you down. Your ticket will get stamped here by the officer.

After your pat down you will retrieve your carry-ons and electronics. Sometimes an officer may want to see your ticket, but oftentimes not.

After Security

Enjoy the shops & restaurants of the airport, but keep your eye on monitors for gate changes and departures. Delhi is a quiet airport, so no announcements are made. India is also the only place we’ve been where planes tend to leave EARLY, so definitely be at your gate at the listed boarding time at the very latest. In Terminal 3’s domestic departure area, the walk can be pretty far (for any gate numbers below 30 or above 39), so please allow yourself 10-15 minutes to get to your gate from the central shopping/eating area.

Jordan 2018

Jordan 2018

JORDAN

In late January 2018, we spent 10 days exploring the beautiful country of Jordan. Our route took us from Amman > Jerash > Dead Sea > Petra > Wadi Rum > Aqaba > Amman. We always felt safe, welcome, and well-fed (and then some!) This country is so much more than Petra (and Petra is SO much more than the famous ‘Treasury’).  Enjoy our photos and explore Jordan from the comfort of your armchair, or let us help you design YOUR Jordan adventure!

Street Dog Care Rabies Vaccination Campaign 2018

Street Dog Care Rabies Vaccination Campaign 2018

Rabies Camp 2018

Island of the Dolls, Mexico 2017

Island of the Dolls, Mexico 2017

Island of the Dolls

Mexico 2017

In November 2017, we visited the infamous Island of the Dolls just outside Mexico City. To learn more about the place, here is a brief summary taken from atlasobscura.com/places/la-isla-de-las-munecas. To read about HOW to visit this place, please keep reading!

Over fifty years ago, Don Julian Santana left his wife and child and moved onto an island on Teshuilo Lake in the Xochimilco canals. According to some, a young girl actually drowned in the lake, while most others, including his relatives, say Don Julian Santana merely imagined the drowned girl. Regardless, Don Julian Santana devoted his life to honoring this lost soul in a unique, fascinating, and—for some—unnerving way: he collected and hung up dolls by the hundreds.

Eventually, Don Julian transformed the entire island into a kind of bizarre, (for some) horrifying, doll-infested wonderland. Don Julian Santana began collecting lost dolls from the canals and the trash near his island home. He is also said to have traded produce he grew to locals for more dolls. Santana did not clean up the dolls or attempt to fix them, but rather put them up with missing eyes and limbs, covered in dirt, and generally in whatever ramshackle state he found them in. Even when dolls arrived in good shape, the wind and weather turned them into cracked and distorted versions of themselves. Don Julian also kept his cabin filled with the dolls, which he dressed in headdresses, sunglasses, and other accoutrement.

Despite the fact that most people found the isle frightening, Don Julian saw the dolls as beautiful protectors, and he welcomed visitors, whom he would show around, charging a small fee for taking photos. In 2001 Don Julian Santana was found drowned in the same area in which he believed the little girl had died.

How to get to the Island of the Dolls

Your ultimate destination will be the Embarcadero Cuemanco Xomichilco. This is relatively accessible through a series of trains and buses (use Google maps or your favorite CDMX public transportation app to see which combination is your best bet), but you can also take an Uber there, which we highly recommend (get money off your first ride by signing up here).  You may find it easier than communicating exactly where you want to be dropped off, and for sure it’s cheaper than a taxi. From the middle of central historic CDMX, we paid $10-12 each way (which took 45-60 minutes).

How much does the boat cost?

We went on a very quiet Monday morning, but if you go on the weekends it is a party with floating bars and mariachi bands! There are set prices PER BOAT to take you to different areas of the Xochimilco canal system. Here is a photo of the prices as of November 2017.

You’ll see that the cost for a boat to go out to the Island of the Dolls (for a roundtrip total of about 4 hours) is 2000 Mexican Pesos (around $100 USD). However, you can also fit 20 people on this boat, so if you have a group, it’s a deal. I don’t really know about sharing boats with other groups of folks, but if you are willing to wait around, I’m sure it’s something that happens.

Please be aware that there is a secondary area that someone has strung up some dolls, obviously to capitalize on the popularity of the original site. I can’t imagine any boat operators faking a trip there, but I have read about it online. If you are using Google maps (which you can pre-load while you are on wifi and still use afterwards), the “fake” is here. We stopped there, too, and in all honesty, it’s got some pretty photogenic dolls, as well. And at the end of the day, is it “fake”? Maybe they are super haunted, too  😉

How much does the Island of the Dolls cost?

It’ll cost you 40 pesos per person (~$2 USD) to get on the island, and a little tip (10-20 pesos) may earn you an explanation (or to be left alone, whichever is more appealing to you!)

When should I visit?

If you want the place to yourself, early morning is best. We arrived on the island around 11 AM and had the place to ourselves for an hour. On the ride back to the embarcadero we started encountering more tourists (presumably) headed that way. If you want a more festive atmosphere, late afternoons are probably where it’s at.

Now without further ado….our photos of la Isla de las Muñecas!