Jaisalmer, India travel tips

Where we ate:

  • Natraj – The cooks seem to have tamed down the spice for the tourists, which is a shame: NAH
  • Saffron – A fancy-schmancy place with a nice view of the fort and spicy, local Rajasthan dishes, including plenty of meat options if you’re feeling deprived. Their beer is a little pricy, but scarcity will do that (it’s not always easy to find booze in Rajasthan): YEH
  • Chandan Shree Restaurant – This is a nothing fancy place for thali where you’ll be surrounded by local tourists and rickshaw drivers, which is always a good sign. At less than $3 USD for a all-you-can eat thali, it’s a tasty steal: YEH
  • The Trio – Another solid place for highly flavored local dishes: YEH

Where we stayed:

  • Hotel Golden City – It has a pool, and a clean one at that, a rare find in Rajasthan backpacker hotels. The staff may not have gone to charm school, but they came through when we needed them to: YEH

What we saw:

  • Salim Singh-ki-Haveli – Admittedly, this was the only haveli we toured, but it was fascinating. The family that lives there gives the tours, and considering the Indian government gives them no help, they’re doing a wonderful job. Even the shopping is higher quality than elsewhere. We would have bought some brassware if we weren’t traveling long-term: YEH
  • Jaisalmer rickshaws – Since it’s no longer eco-friendly to stay within the fort, you will inevitably have to take a rickshaw to your hotel. Take time to find one that has all the fixings, Bollywood pin-ups, colored lights, and a booming dance soundtrack: YEH
  • Jain Temples – It’s a bit of a madhouse at the cluster of Jain temples inside the fort. It’s difficult to tell which temple is which, the monks hit you up for donations after a brief minute of broken English descriptions, and the touts are waiting for you outside. But, the temples are interesting stops in your fort tour: YEH
  • Bhatia News Agency – Piles of books, though mostly romance stinkers. You’ll need time to hunt for something readable and will have to bargain to get a decent price: MEH
  • Government Haveli – Located in the cluster of havelis, this is one not worth going in. There’s just nothing special about it and it is overpriced: NAH