Stay: We stayed in BMS’s guesthouse on Bose Road near Mother Theresa’s House. (Good reference spot when directing taxi drivers)
Cost: Dorm room with fan 400 rupees per night (we had the huge room to ourselves!) or you can stay in AC room in the new building for 1000 rupees.
Food: Breakfast was included. Not the tastiest but we needed it to start our day before school. It consisted of boiled eggs or omelette, half toasted bread, jam, bananas and corn flakes.
Pick up: I organised with Anu for someone to pick us up from the airport. We were so tired from our flights so we were thankful when he was there waiting for us. We paid 1200 rupees.
Friendly factor: Anu was lovely, we communicated via email before the trip and she was so helpful. She greeted us warmly and her colleague helped us with train information.
People: We met some great people at the guesthouse. We discovered most people there were volunteering at nearby charities. It was awesome swapping stories in the evening of how we spent our day. We met one girl who worked at Mother Theresa’s, she’s already been travelling for 6 months and to us freshers that was a lifetime.
Opinion: We loved BMS. We felt completely at ease there. Our room was cleaned everyday, the staff were so lovely (especially the security man with the best Indian head wobble). We met some awesome travellers, there was filtered water available for free and a kettle and microwave downstairs. A family lived right outside the guesthouse, apparently they have a home but living on the streets earns them more money. The children would come running up to us everyday wanting to play or take our food. They were so cute especially the little boy when Lydia gave him her red top which he wore as a dress.
To stay at BMS visit their website: bmskolkata.org
Our main mode of transport through Kolkata was taxi’s or tuk tuks. There was a taxi strike on our last two days so we found prices for tuk tuks went up and they were much harder to wave down.
We probably paid way over the normal rates. Sometimes it was so bad we got out of the taxi and let him drive on.
We asked one driver to put on the meter and found our journey was so much longer. He detoured us all the way around the city. We didn’t realise until an hour went by because we were so busy looking out of the window. I read that if you show them your GPS they shouldn’t do this.