Guide vs. need both?

Old Apr 4th, 2010, 05:46 PM
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Guide vs. need both?

Ok so I can arrange a driver from recommendations on this forum or the hotel can get me one....will the hotel (likely Oberoi) be more? Also it sounds like I need a driver and a that right? Right noe thinking Delhi jaipur, Agra, and shimla....i think!!!
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 08:16 PM
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No, you don't need both - take a guide book. In fact, for your outlined itinerary you don't have to have a car and driver, either, you can take the train (toy train from Kalka to shimla, regular train elsewhere), or fly. See for info on train travel in India.
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 08:25 PM
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hotel driver can be as much as twice the cost of a private driver...

many driver will have limited english, especially for describing what it is that you are seeing, but not all...

i would say it would largely depend on the detail you want in the description and the historical notes....but a book will help, but i personally find it hard to look and read (and chew gum) at the same time when trying to be productive and move along
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 11:25 PM
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Between most towns we flew. We had a driver and guide in each city. They waited for us at every airport and accompanied us all the time.
For us, this was a very convenient solution. It shortened the travel time between cities; it was always nice to have air-conditioned car with us, to take us quickly from one sight to another without having to look for a taxi and without need to negotiate the cost.
Drivers that we had not talked at all English. We had books , we studied them, but was always nice to have a guide next to us, give us details, both about the objectives of the visit and about everyday life.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 06:40 AM
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I agree that flying can save time, but not all cities can connect easily by plane.

You can pick up a guide when necessary. Some monuments have audioguides that can be used at your leisure.

If you decide to book ahead, I would recommend Ramesh Meena has started his own company now. His English is excellent and he is a very safe driver. Many other Fodorites have used his services (travelaw, bonnieheather, MrsMarge, live42day) and all sing his praises.
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