Posts Tagged ‘Car Rental’

Daily rental cost of a 4WD is around 500 rmb, while a 7-seater mini van (aka “bread van”, mianbaoche, 麵包車) is around 400 rmb. Please don’t mind paying that extra 100 rmb, and go for a 4WD. Not only it gives a more comfortable ride, but also much safer. Unless traveling alone, the extra spending probably costs less than a McD happy meal when splitting it among with others in the car.

bread van

bread van

The thin metal used to make the mini van makes the car crumble easily in car crashes. In addition, the lack of advanced safety features like stability control or airbags makes this “bread van” not a smart pick, especially for road trips to some snow mountains.


Yik and I are happy that we rent a 4WD for our Meili Snow Mountain trip 😀


Read Full Post »

India car rental: Kalka Travels
Contact Person: Bobby Thakur
Website: www.carrentaldelhi.com
Email: bobbythakur3@hotmail.com, bobbythakur3@rediffmail.com
Phone: 0091-98180-20397
I am sure there are cheaper car rental services, but Bobby offers competitive price at least. What I especially like about Bobby is his professional service. When Yik and I went to his office and met him for the first time, he gave us a 10 minute PowerPoint presentation with his laptop, telling us many of the dos and don’ts when traveling in India, giving us a heads-up of some potential problems and whatnot. In addition, Bobby is willing to book train tickets and hotel rooms for his customers, for a small fee. While Yik and I bought the train tickets by ourselves, I bet many of us won’t mind to spend a few dollars more for saving ourselves from all the trouble of wrestling with the user-unfriendly official website of Indian Railways

Bobby also offers money exchange service. Before getting your money exchanged via Bobby, one should first find out the rate that offered by Western Union or some other major currency exchange services. And if Bobby offers a rate no better than what somewhere else is offering, let Bobby knows. He will probably make some adjustment and give you a counteroffer with a slightly better rate 

India Railways

Here is India Railways Official Website.

Here is a helpful guide to the India Railway System in IndiaMike.com

Back to the main page of India & Nepal – Reviews and Recommendations

Read Full Post »

Cost Breakdown (HKD)

Air tickets – $9,420
(including HK – Delhi round trip, Delhi – Khajuraho one way, Delhi – Kathmandu round trip)

Train – $400

Car rental – $2,220

ABC trekking – $3,050
(including trekking guide, food, lodging)

All others – $6,050
(including lodging, food, local transports, entry fees, service tips, etc)

Total – $21,140

Read Full Post »

In our trip, we have come across many guides, drivers, waiters, hotel bellboys, and many others who deal with customers directly, and the tips paid by their customers play a significant part of their income.

If I were them, I would do everything I could to keep my customers as happy and satisfied as possible. And yes, most of these people I came across tried to give some kind of customer service, but obviously, some were much better than others.

So what makes the good and the bad?

To me, as a customer, the most important character one should have for good service is the sincerity. Let me feel that you are genuine please! Let me feel that you are not doing this just for the tips, but for goodwill, for the name and reputation of your hotel/restaurant, for giving a welcoming, pleasant experience to the tourists who are visiting your beautiful country.

Just don’t put money first.

Well… at least don’t let your customers feel so haha 😛

Actually many tourists would be happy to pay a more generous tips if they are really happy with the service they get, especially for the driver can make a very big difference to the quality of the trip. For example, we would be happy to tip our Indian car rental service driver a double of what we have actually tipped if we had a great time with him. But we didn’t. If I had to give him a grade, it would be a C+. But since we knew that tips played a big role in his income, we still tipped him Rs100/day, more or less the average I guess.

Too much? Too little? What do you think?

Good Customer Service 1

This friendly Indian (maybe a manger of the eatery?) voluntarily helped and explained the different Indian food to us two tourists who looked puzzled in front of the big menu (our first lunch in India). This is what I would call good customer service 🙂

Read Full Post »

When we were in Delhi, our driver of the car rental service kept insisting to drive us to somewhere for shopping, in despite of our fully scheduled one-and-only day in the city. He kept saying, “listen to me…you have the time…” Well…glad that we didn’t listen to the driver and refused to get off the car (he ignored our refusal and drove us to the shop anyways), else we wouldn’t have the time for Qutab Minar. And because we didn’t listen to him, he got all sour for the rest of the day and tried to find excuses not to drive us for dinner before dropping us at the airport.

And there was Vijay, another driver of the car rental service who tried to rip us off by aggressively selling us an Rs200/hour camel ride, while the market price we later found was only Rs50-100/hour. Luckily, we had learned our lesson early enough in Fatehpur Sikri when we found out that the Rs100 tuk tuk ride Vijay got us actually should cost no more than Rs40. Being a little wiser this time, we didn’t take Vijay’s recommendation right away, but did some shopping first and found a very good deal of Rs 50/hour later in Pushkar market by ourselves.

This is just two of our many stories of drivers in India, and one could find many similar stories posted online. Don’t get me wrong, there are also drivers who are genuine and won’t drive to places without their customers’ compliance. And I blame it on the commission system in India. Come to the end of it, these drivers aren’t any bad people, but just like everyone of us, want to earn more rupees for a better life.

So if your driver do this to you, take it easy and don’t get too upset. Just stick to your guns by firmly declining and saying “no” without losing your temper or feeling guilty.

Read Full Post »

Many tourists probably will develop some type of trust issue with people in India after staying for a few days in the country, especially in those touristy cities and towns. It’s very annoying when one, again and again, realizes that the person who is approaching, making conversation and acting all friendly, is just another street tout who keeps pushing tourists to shop in some stores or check in at some crappy hotels.

Of course, I am not saying all people in India who approach tourists are street touts. In fact, I have met and made friends with Indian in different places, who are genuine and offering help and making friends out of goodwill and pure friendliness.

Yik & Sonu getting phone card in DelhiSonu, the driver who kindly helped us got a phone card on the first day of our trip, almost wanted to pay us for compensating us on a minor mistake he made that actually didn’t cost us any. And there was Rakesh, who volunteered to show us around Khajuraho and its old village without asking or hinting us to pay him anything inRakesh showing us the old village in Khajuraho return. But instead, it was us, the mindful ones, who kept doubting his intention and guessing when he would bring us to shops and restaurants for commission (ended up he brought us to none of those). And there were Amit and his friends in Pushkar who patiently answered our questions regarding Indian wedding and shared with us their view of arranged marriage and life in Pushkar.

with Amit & friends in PushkarFor a while, I found myself a bit confused and didn’t know how to deal with the people in India. Should I be cold and ignore these people when they approach me so to protect myself and be less likely scammed? But if I do so, I might also push away all the nice, friendly people whom I could learn from and make friends with.

Later I figured… I could be alert so to avoid from being scammed, while keep myself with an open heart and welcome others to show me the world at the same time.

Sound contradictory? Nay, not really.

Read Full Post »

There is a good chance I won’t go for car rental service when the next time I visit India. Of course, this will also greatly depend on the people whom I will travel with, as well as the purpose of my trip, and the places in India I will visit. If I am going with someone like Yik for a backpacking trip, for experiencing the culture and local life, then I would prefer to go by train, domestic plane, bus, rickshaw, and other local transport instead.India Taxi Driver

Of course, car rental surely has its good.

It’s convenient. There is always someone standing by and waiting for you.

It allows flexibility in your schedule. Unlike going by train or plane, you can freely change your departure time or act on impulse, stopping over at a place that you pass by.

It saves time. Instead of spending time arranging transport for your next destination or bargaining with the drivers all the time, the package has everything set and arranged for you.

But what really turns me off is the driver’s sour attitude when we don’t comply with his suggestion of shopping somewhere or checking in at a crappy hotel.

There is this evil commission system and many drivers will try to bring their customers to shops, restaurants, and hotels where they will get paid commission. And yes, this could happen to one no matter she is on a taxi, or a tuk tuk, or a car of a car rental company. But unlike a one-time taxi or tuk tuk ride, one who rents a car usually has the same driver for at least several days. She would want to build a better and closer relationship with the driver of the car rental service for easierTaxi Cartoon communication and better service. But with this commission system in India, one often finds it difficult to count on the drivers to give them reliable recommendations on hotels, restaurants, or shops. Even if the driver is giving honest suggestions, one may find it suspicious and always give it a second thought. How can one fully enjoy her trip if she keeps guessing and doubting others’ intention?

So, if you are not someone who is totally carefree and don’t mind about getting ripped off every so often, then you might find that car rental service isn’t your cup of tea for it actually doesn’t make your life easier as you might have expected it to be.

But again, everything has its good and bad. The commission system, the pushy drivers, the overpriced tuk tuk fee, the long-way-around taxi ride, etc, etc… all these is a part of the game when you visit and experience India. With a sense of humor, let’s just take it easy and enjoy the ride 😉

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »