When American Express Middle East approached me about an exciting new project to mark the launch of their new Platinum Credit Card, little did I know it would soon become one of the greatest experiences of my life.
From driving Tuk Tuk’s around some of the busiest streets in Asia, to riding elephants and eating the spiciest dish in India, this is my #AmexExplorer adventure to Jaipur. My card takes me places, and off to India I went.
The American Middle East team were wonderful enough to allow me to invite a plus one to accompany me on the trip of a lifetime.
Dory and I landed in Jaipur after catching a connecting flight from Delhi late into Thursday night, where our Oberoi driver (who would soon become our best Indian friend) waited patiently for our arrival. We hopped into our Audi Q7 and were on our way to The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur. Just to give you guys an idea of how this hotel, here’s a photo of the beautiful entrance…
As we entered the main entrance, rose petals were throw from above, before handmade flower necklaces were placed around our necks. Simply beautiful.
After checking in to our private suite, we were starving. The General Manger of the hotel, Abishek, recommended we dine at the international cuisine restaurant for a little more variety. As we enjoyed our delicious dinner, two very talented musicians performed classical Rajasthani music on the elevated central stage. I couldn’t help myself and needed to get amongst the action.
Along with exploring the diverse city of Jaipur, the team at American Express Middle East set me up with a couple of challenges I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into. The first: become a Tuk Tuk driver.
The second, and one of my favourites, was to dress in traditional Indian-wear and visit a historical site within Jaipur. With my bargaining hat on, I visited the nearest retail store on the main strip of Jaipur’s bazaar. There’s a popular saying that states Indians are the most difficult negotiators and will never budge on their prices. Shame they didn’t know I was a Lebanese lad on a mission. After changing into the full shebang, Dory and I visited The City Palace, one of Jaipur’s most popular touristic destinations.
After a crazy first morning in Jaipur, we headed back to the hotel for some light refreshments by the pool as the temperature began to soar past the late thirties.
As the weather became a little cooler, we decided to head back out again for a more extensive tour of Jaipur. As we drove through small villages on the outskirts of Jaipur, we came across a small carpet making factory. I decided to jump out and gain a closer look at how these talented gentlemen were hand sewing the piece of material.
Day three started with an exotic breakfast poolside. After we downed our eggs Benedict and pancakes, we took a quick stroll around the luxurious hotel property and attempted to chase down a couple squirrels before calling it quits. Today was the day we’d go on an adventurous elephant safari.
Organised by the hotel, we rode an enormous elephant around a small Indian village before heading to Mr. Oberoi’s private hilltop palace overlooking the city of Jaipur, where we were invited to attend a private lunch.
Over the years, I am forever grateful at the growing number of people who follow my crazy life and blog. So to give back for all your continuous support, I am running a competition thanks to American Middle East and giving away these gorgeous glass beaded bracelets handmade in Jaipur, India. To find out more, check out the Instagram photo below.
We wanted to go out with a bang on our final day in Jaipur. So today was the day I attempted to eat the spiciest dish in Indian cuisine, Lal Mass. To make things a little more entertaining for you all, I documented the entire encounter and it went down like this.
A video posted by Elias El-indari (@smfblog) on
–On our way to the airport, we stopped by another famous touristic site, the Albert Hall Museum. The museum is dominated by thousands of pigeons that fly around the museum as one. Truly breathtaking scenes, though watch your head!
To cap things off, here are a few of my favourite photos I captured around the incredible city of Jaipur during my four day visit. These will help me shape your understanding on how culturally rich this immensely populated city really is compared to your standard city.
American Express Platinum Credit Card UAE
The American Express® Platinum Credit Card is exclusively for customers in the UAE who seek travel-related rewards such as complimentary flights and hotel accommodations. The central benefit of The Platinum Credit Card is its access to the global award winning Membership Rewards® Programme, where members will effectively earn 1 mile for virtually every US Dollar spent for use with up to 12 Airline partners (including Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways).
The Card’s rich travel features inspired us to adopt the motto “My Card Takes Me Places,” since everyday credit card spend can result in points which may be redeemed for a memorable journey. The Platinum Credit Card also offers countless other benefits such as access to 700 airport lounges worldwide, shopping and dining benefits, comprehensive travel and retail insurances, and 24-hour Customer Services.
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