Today’s the last day in Hyderabad for us. It’s been quite a packed 5 days with zero shopping, so we are sorry that we are unable to get anything for our friends and readers. However, we got some tea back from the airport which we have not tried. So, if you are a fan of tea, we will be most glad to share it with you. Just drop us an email here and we will be most glad to mail some tea to you (yes, my financial advisor actually does that).

We did, however, manage to get to 3 places today – Charminar, San Jung Museum and the Fort (I can’t remember which fort, need to ask Alice when she wakes up). The first place charges Rs. 5 for India Nationals but US$2 for foreigners (or Rs. 100) while… actually, all 3 places charges the same amount with the same tier structure; and now we all wonder why Singaporeans don’t get special rates while visiting our own attractions.

The Charminar was somewhat like a mosque tower where we climbed through small and narrow winding staircases to the top of the tower. It was a big mistake for me because I have fear of heights. Managed to take some photos (which will be posted later by Alice) and captured some videos (oh yes, you have to pay Rs. 25 for “videography”). However, the top offers quite a nice view across Hyderabad so it is something that you can’t miss. There’s a bazaar where Charminar is, but we went in the day and it could probably be busier at night.

San Jung Museum is a place for you if you like to look at San Jung’s collection. Apparently, he died suddenly and the state estate took over his belongings. The collection spans 2 stories and you’d probably need 3 hours to look at everything. Cameras are not allowed into the museum and this includes your phone too. So, if you really want to bring your phone in, remember to tape the camera lens. =P In the event that you did bring a camera and a large bag along, you may want to consider using their free lockers at the cloak room. It’s looked after by 1 person but I think it’s rather safe.

There’s a canteen inside the museum which serves decent food. They even serve sweet corn for Rs. 25 which is about S$0.80. Bottled water is available from the canteen although there are taps labelled “Drinking Water” around the museum. I have not tried that, but I assume that you’d have to drink it at your own risk. There’s also a clock just outside the canteen which attracts a huge crowd at every hour. As we didn’t have much time, we didn’t manage to catch what went on. So, if you know of it, do let us know! =)

While at the museum, you will be able to get some souvenirs and guide books. We got a museum guide in English because we had to rush through the last part of the visit. The Hyderabad map may also be bought for Rs. 295 here, but we are not sure if they will utilize the “foreigners” price.

The next stop was to the Fort, and before you go in, you’d be coerced to get a map of the Fort. Note that if it is photocopied (or “Xerox’ed”), then forget it. The actual colour print costs Rs. 20 and the fat guy outside will try to sell you at Rs. 50 for a Xerox version. Yes, we got conned into buying that version after we realised that the bona fide sells for Rs. 20 by the people inside.

After you get your tickets, you will be approached by another fat man who offers to take you on a tour of the fort for Rs. 600. Don’t fall for it even if he says that he has a licence. In the event that you disagree to that, he will continue to ask you how much you are willing to pay for it. Well, there are more honest people inside the fort, especially the thinner guys. Heh. We may not get the official rate, but I think it’s Rs. 150 for a 30 minute tour and Rs. 250 for an hour 10 minutes tour. The guides are really quite good because we realised a lot of history of the fort and the marvel of science that was built into it. Indeed, being there kind of redefined the terms “wireless” and “mobile technology”.

Unfortunately, the fort got destroyed after during the 7th King’s rule and all 360 wives committed suicide. However, the marvel of the fort still remains till today. If you climb up the 360 steps to reach the top, you’d probably get a good view of the entire Hyderabad and this comes with the hour 10 minutes package. If course, you can take the 30 minutes package and continue to climb on your own, but if you are already utilizing the guides, you might as well just fork out another Rs. 100. 2 things to note here: (i) be wary of using your flash lights because there are bats in the fort and (ii) the guide will ask you for some tips because the Rs. 150 goes to a pool which is then shared amongst 440 guides. We are not too sure about the sharing part, but we were quite happy with the guide and so we tipped him.

We didn’t manage to get to the 7 tombs because we were running late. We went back to the hotel, snapped some photos and headed for the airport. Dinner was a measly fish and chips and we thought that it’s still best to stick to the local food while you are here. =)

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