Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mr. Hakim, Udaipur's Finest Driver

When planning last weekend's trip to Udaipur we purposely didn't plan transportation until the last minute. The reason? Last year, we happened upon a friendly rickshaw driver named Adbul Hakim. To get an idea of fair prices this time around, I sent a note to the travel agent we typically use and priced out a car for the weekend. I also sent a quick request to the hotel to see how much airport transfers would be each direction. Armed with that information, I was confident Mr. Hakim would not only be cheaper but also a more "real" experience for our friends visiting from St. Louis.
Lindsay and childhood best friend Melissa under the watchful eye of Mr. Hakim

Mr. Hakim offered perhaps the best benefit, varying vehicles depending on our need. He had Innova (serves the same general purpose as a minivan) for us at the airport, a rickshaw to maneuver through the narrow streets of Udaipur, and a small sedan for the ride up to Monsoon Palace.

He offers a "pay as you wish" pricing policy that I'm sure Dubner and Levitt over at Freakonomics would salivate over. He doesn't quote a price, tells you to pay for the service he provides, and that's that. I would assume this policy actually leads to higher than normal revenue, especially when dealing with foreigners like myself. Ignorant foreigner that I still am after 21 months, I still justify things like this by convincing myself that I'm supporting the economy at the most local level. At any rate, the net result was still cheaper than either of the options I researched. In addition the price, Mr. Hakim wanted to take us to "the real India", which in his definition was the bustling town market. His assertion may have some merit but trying to encapsulate this country into one location would be like saying "the real America" is the Mall of America. I'd be insulted. But that's an entirely different topic.

At any rate, I mentioned this in May and I'll mention it again, if you want an authentic experience in Udaipur with an honest, reliable driver/tour guide, give Mr. Hakim a call. You won't regret it.

Abdul Hakim
+91 98292 76923

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. Udaipur is a charming city often referred to as "Venice of the East". I would like to share various way to reach Udaipur. Check out direct Bangalore to Udaipur flight for peaceful travel also.