Sunday, 28 August 2016

India Diaries: Our first week in India


Our first week in India started in Kolkata, a place so close to my heart because I'm half-Indian and most of my Indian family live here. I was expecting jet lag and tiredness to last for a few days but actually we were lucky as it just lasted a day or two. Getting a day flight from London was a good choice for us and we arrived in Kolkata approximately 14 hours later (with a stop off in Dubai). It was morning when we arrived so we napped, went out for dinner later than evening then had a long sleep after we returned to the hotel. In the first week, we've stayed mostly in Kolkata and it feels so good to be back. I thought we might be hit by culture shock especially since it's my son's first time here but I think he's just loved all the energy and vibrancy India brings.




It's been lovely seeing my Indian family again, introducing my boy to his Indian relatives and all of his cousins, they all love him and he's been getting so much attention everywhere we go! Several times random people on the street or in shops have asked to take a photo or selfie with him. India is so different to life in the UK and you notice it more when you're travelling with children. People here love kids and are so much more engaged and open than back home. Plus there is so much to keep kids occupied, my son is mesmerised by how much cars beep their horns here! It's a non-stop chorus of beeps. One of the first things he asked when we arrived was 'Mummy, what's that beep, beep, beep?'



We've walked around the centre of Kolkata, including Park Street and the New Market. We've enjoyed visiting the restaurants and little shops and just taking in the atmosphere. There is so much colour here and things to looks at! It is monsoon season but has only rained a couple of times since we've been here. I actually really like the rain and prefer it to rain often as it's a hot summer and rain cools the temperature down.



We had a wonderful stay at the very comfortable Jameson Inn Shiraz Hotel in Kolkata. The staff have been super friendly and welcoming and I'll be writing more about our stay when we return to the UK.



At the end of our first week we travelled from Kolkata on a four hour taxi ride to Digha, a lovely seaside coastal resort in West Bengal. We went for a dip in the sea on our first day here and spent most of the day by the coast. 





Digha is known as 'Brighton of the East' so particularly fitting for me to come here since I live in Brighton, UK. I can see the similiaries. There's a rocky part down to the actual sea then a beautiful patch of sand in low tide, just like the Brighton I know! It was much warmer than the UK version though and so lovely to go for a swim. There is a wonderful atmosphere here, so many people and families in the sea and sitting on the beach!



What started off with a good week has ended on a bit of sour note. My son hasn't been too well, his travel sickness from taxi rides has turned into vomiting after meals and he's got a case of 'traveller's diarrhoea' unfortunately.  I wrote on Instagram that I've tried my best to prevent him getting ill by washing his hands all the time, avoiding all tap water and street food, watching what he eats etc but maybe it's inevitable in a place like India. I feel fine but my son's cousin has been a bit under the weather too. He's still active though and eating and drinking so fingers crossed he gets better soon. Our plan for the next few days is to spend a few more days here in Digha then return to Kolkata :)


Have you been to India or travelled with kids? Would love to hear about your experiences.

Read more of my India posts:
India Diaries: We're going to India

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53 comments

  1. It looks like an amazing place to go. I've been twice but never to that part. And they really do love kids so much. It all feels very relaxed (besides when you're in traffic!) Hope it's been a fabulous trip! #citytripping

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    1. Thanks so much, they love kids so much over there, such a refreshing change!

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  2. Absolutely wonderful! (apart from the Delhi Belly of course). Those first few days in India can be such a culture shock. I'll never forget my first week back in my backpacking days. I love that you've visited the Brighton of India and compared it to your home town. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures. #citytripping

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    1. Thanks so much. Would love to hear more about your backpacking days!

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  3. Get well soon! Your trip sounds amazing
    #citytripping

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  4. Oh I've absolutely loved this. Your photos are amazing and India is somewhere I've always wanted to visit. Looking forward to more!

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    1. Thanks so much, I definitely recommend visiting!

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  5. What an amazing start to the trip (apart from the illness) - I haven't been to India yet although I would love to. I'm a bit torn between loving the colours, history, culture and feeling a bit overwhelmed, especially if I went with my daughter. The beach looks beautiful and reminds of those we saw in Burma, across the Bay of Bengal. The Brighton comparison made me smile - for some reason, I only ever seem to visit in winter when the grey pebbly coast is truly a world away. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

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    1. Thanks so much! I think you should visit especially with all your travel experience. No need to feel overwlemed if you avoid the big cities. It's such an amazingly diverse country, so many places to visit. It was nice having the Brighton link all those miles away!

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  6. What an amazing start to the trip (apart from the illness) - I haven't been to India yet although I would love to. I'm a bit torn between loving the colours, history, culture and feeling a bit overwhelmed, especially if I went with my daughter. The beach looks beautiful and reminds of those we saw in Burma, across the Bay of Bengal. The Brighton comparison made me smile - for some reason, I only ever seem to visit in winter when the grey pebbly coast is truly a world away. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

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  7. haha.. I can imagine the beep beep beep!! I saw the first photo of Digha and was like, Wow, so beautiful and serene. Then I scrolled down and saw the crowd. LOL... #CityTripping

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    1. Thanks for the comment. There are so many people around but everything is pretty slow there, not rushing around like London or other big cities. Lots of time to stroll around and take it all in 😊

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  8. Looks beautiful. Sorry about the illness..but its best it's done with and out the way now !

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    1. Thanks very much, he eventually recovered!

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  9. India is such a fascinating country. I've never been to Kolkata though, but I'd like to go back! hope the illness goes away fast, enjoy the rest of your traveling!
    xx
    Umberta
    https://thesecretlifeofanactress.blogspot.fr/

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    1. Thanks very much, would like to hear more about your travels!

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  10. I hope your son gets better soon! I've not travelled to India with kids. In fact, I've never been at all so I am fascinated to hear all about your adventures and to see how possible it is with kids. I love the observations children have that we may not notice, like the beeping of the horns. Cute. Enjoy the rest of your trip. #citytripping

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    1. Thanks very much! India is a great place for kids, people love them over there.

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  11. Digha beach looks lovely. Sorry to hear that your son is not well though. Hope he recovers soon and enjoys the rest of your travels. #CityTripping

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    1. Thanks very much! He eventually recovered & we had a great time.

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  12. Oh, I hope your son feels better quickly. It sounds like you're having an amazing experience, and I look forward to following the rest of your adventures.

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    1. Thanks so much, it was a wonderful experience!

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  13. Kolkata looks beautiful - I love the narrow street you've included in a photo. True, Digha looks also wonderful - and as a great place for a vacation!

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    1. Thanks very much. Kolkata is such a vibrant city, full of life and Digha is a lovely getaway.

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  14. I've never been to India before, but it's on my list for a while and I would love to visit. It's such an exotic and interesting destination for me, so different from my culture (I'm from Romania)

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    1. Thanks for the comment, I'd definitely recommend a visit. It's a country like no other 😊

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  15. A first visit to India must be overwhelming, even having family from there. I simply love the culture and am super curious on visiting the country one day. Sorry to hear your son got ill. But, like you said, it's kind of inevitable in a place like India.

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    1. Thanks for the comment. I've been many times so it's not overwhelming for me, just exciting. It's a different world, hope you get to go one day!

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  16. Beautiful images, must have been quite special to go with your child and explore the country and introduce him to family there.

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    1. Thanks very much. It was lovely taking my son for the first time, all my family absolutely adore him.

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  17. Wow what a sensory overload!! Sorry your son isn't feeling well-hope he bounces back quickly!

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    1. Thanks very much, he recovered soon after!

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  18. Welcome to India! I guess you can never be bored in Kolkata. It quite beautiful in its own way. Good luck to you people and wish your son a speedy recovery so that you can make a trip to India again . This time to my city, Mumbai.

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    1. Thanks very much. Lovely to hear you're from Mumbai, another beautiful city I've also travelled to 😊

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  19. Digha looks lovely! I prefer the rain too, it does wonders for the warm weather. Hope your son recovers soon!

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    1. Thanks very much, there's nothing like those monsoon rains!

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  20. For some reason I don't think about coastal towns and beaches when I think about India. There are so many other things that come to mind including cricket and Bollywood. Hope your son feels better so you guys can enjoy the rest of your stay in India.

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    1. Thanks very much. India is such a diverse country, something for everyone I think whatever you're interests.

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  21. India really appeals to me - it seems like such a colourful place. I hope your son feels better soon. Sarah #TheList

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    1. Thanks very much. I think it must be the most colourful country! Hope you get to experience it one day.

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  22. Awww have you seen those pole wires meshed together? Thats how it is where I live hehe. India looks so much like home. Thanks for sharing your trip =) #photofriday

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    1. Thank you! It's shocking what you see. My sister in law was with us. She's from the Philippines and said the same thing!

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  23. Crowded, bustling, full of life!
    I found you through Photo Friday and wanted to invite you to join our weekly photo linkup at image-in-ing:
    http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/09/los-viejos.html

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    1. Thanks Sue! It certainly is full of life.

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  24. I am from Delhi and been living in LOndon for the last year and a half. This is such a beautiful post. I can see love oozing from your words. I am sure your son is enjoying all the cacophony ;)
    I love the vibrancy of Kolkata. Do try the fish curry and the Bengali sweets there.
    Aditi

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment. How does London compare to Delhi? I've been to Delhi a couple of times but a long time ago and don't know it too well. The fish curries have been amazing as have all the Bengali sweets! I miss these things in the UK. Ah thank you, India will always have a big place in my heart.

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  25. I'm so jealous. I spent a week in Andhra Pradesh several years ago and loved it. We were mainly in a rural area but spent a day in Hyderabad and the noise and colour was amazing. I didn't even flinch when being driven on the roads in the end :) Hope you're all fine again now.

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  26. I visited India many years ago and would love to return and take my children. Such an amazing country!
    #myfavouritetrip

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  27. Digha looks delightful. I think I'd prefer to visit the coast rather than the big cities if I were to visit

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  29. I've been once to India with my family a long time ago and travelled to Gujarat (where my dad was born), Rajasthan and Delhi. Even with all the preparation and reading my lonely planet book cover top cover, it was still a major culture shock. Once I got over it, I absolutely loved it. I can't to take my girls there in the next couple of years. #myfavouritetrip

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  30. This sounds like it was a great start to your trip, apart from the tummy issues. We haven't been to India but I know we should add it to our long list of lovely places to see #myfavouritetrip

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