Country Side Resort At Sam Sand Dunes
After returning from Tanot the other night, I had decided to stay a night at “Sam Sand Dunes”. The important task was to pick a resort, because there are quite a few at Sam Sand Dunes and not all of them are good. I found a good deal of 800/night on a popular travel booking website. The name of the resort, “Country Side Resort“. This resort is situated right in the heart of desert national park near sand dunes and had good reviews.
There are many desert camp owners who offer Swiss tents and mud cottages just next to Sam dunes, however one must be cautious while picking them. You can also enjoy special Rajasthani musical and dance program & by night can have dinner prepared by these camps. (both veg and non veg)
Reaching The Resort
Sam sand dunes are located 40 KM’s away from Jaisalmer, the golden city. These resorts are run by the locals, who have hotels in the city as well. If you ask me, these sand dunes are the very much similar to Sahara desert.
The best time to visit these dunes is either sunset (around 4-7 PM) or sunrise (4-6 AM), as the scorching heat wont trouble you then. Also for consideration that there are many activities which one can enjoy, like these dunes have many locals who offer camel safari & jeep safari.
I checked into the resort’s partner hotel in Jaisalmer city near the fort. We were supposed to check in at the resort around 4:00 PM along with two other of their guests. This is the time when you can so for safari in the desert and watch the sun come down the horizon.
I had a brief meeting with Firoz, the person who takes care of maintaining the countryside resort. He was the one who escorted us from the city center to sam sand dunes.
Firoz took us through the non bumpy road which is amazingly and beautifully maintained by the armed forces of India. I made few videos of my trip from Jaisalmer city to Sam Sand Dunes. Putting it together for you guys..!
In about 30 minutes and we reached Countryside Resort at Sam Sand Dunes. We were given a warm welcome at the camp side. I think they’ve got to add a welcome drinks in it, however we were ok with tea/coffee. The campsite was beautiful and mesmerising, the tents pitched up beautifully in a row with a amphitheatre in the middle of the camp.
Staying in style
The camp provides all the comforts features required by a modern day traveler. It consists of exclusive swiss deluxe luxury tent with traditional colourful huts, furthermore all are with attached permanant bath running hot and cold water. This is how the tent looks like from the inside.
We rested for a while, since we were tired a bit and then took off as the Firoz had arranged a safari for us in the desert along with camel ride.
The main attraction or activity rather which the sam sand dunes hold besides camping under the stars, is desert safari. There are two and both enjoyable ways to do it.
Camel Safari at Sam Sand Dunes
The camel rider will take you till the sunset point to see an amazing sight. Here the cost is INR 500 per person on a camel and two can easily ride on one camel. Furthermore 500 INR what they quote, but if you can get your negotiation skills in place you might get a ride for 200 INR a person. I got it for the same!
This isn’t a traditional desert tour, however since 2010 it has become as popular as camel safari. Here you can ride on 4×4 jeep till the sunset point and the experience of driving on sand dunes is fantastic. The cost here again per person and it’s INR 1000 to 1500 INR. Here again, as we got the rides for 500 per person after you know the negotiations and PR skills.
We got into the jeep and hurled towards the interior of thar desert. The ride was amazing, our jeep driver Amit, told us to stand at the back and grab the beams on top of jeep. That’s exactly how you should take the ride. Now at times the ride becomes scary as the camels are generally slow, however the jeep is fast and to add the extra thrill the drivers tend to go very fast on the dunes.
They make the whole ride as a dangerous and scary roller coaster ride. However they know the limits and thus keep the people out of harm’s way by slowing down when necessary.
After a bumpy roller coaster ride for about 20 minutes, we reached the point called as sunset and sunrise point in thar desert. Me along with my two new friends “Carlito Carvalho” & “Geoffrey Mascarenhas” who were from GOA, wandered a little taking pictures and enjoying camel ride.
People like the sunset point a lot, however was also little upset about how people are now flushing out the beauty and cleanliness of sam sand dunes by selling alcohol there. I saw beer bottles lying there around the point where we were standing to watch the sun going down the horizon. People never understand, do they?
Watching the sun go down was mesmerizing. One thing that you need to look out for are desert snakes. yes, not the city one which are lethal, however the desert one who only comes at sun down. Furthermore the sun was coming down so we decided to retreat back to our resort to attend the cultural program which was lined up for us. I made a small video of our coming back from the dunes, although it was tough, still managed to get a short clip of the desert during the sun down.
Watch and share if you like.
Cultural Program At Countryside Resort
The sun was completely down when we reached the resort. People were enjoying music in addition to drinks. We quickly took shower to wash off the sand which we collected on our bumpy jeep safari. I met my two new friends and quickly took a spot from where we could see the cultural program.
We could not sit with the population, because drinks were not allowed in the amphitheatre, furthermore the resort owner now was quite friendly with us, as I showed firoz few tricks and tips for his own website. Spreading knowledge does help a lot, doesn’t it! We were given a VIP arrangements to enjoy our drinks with snacks.
Local singers are best when it comes to enjoying a bonfire, since there is no made up settings, just the raw beautiful voice and instruments which tag along with the singers. The cultural program is done by the local artists every evening, and organized by countryside resort.
I recorded the entire program for my readers, here is the amazing show they put up.
It’s a big long video as I tried to record each essential bit. (13 minutes)
Post the cultural program and few drinks down, me and my two friends got hold of the deliciously cooked Rajasthani food in our tents. Nothing better than a Rajasthani thali for dinner, does give you few extra calories, however it’s fine when you having it once in awhile.
Post a heavy dinner, we thought it would be better to doze off. The idea was not to sleep in the tents, but outside under the open sky watching the stars. So we did sleep, but near the bonfire right outside our tents.
Tomorrow was another day and I was heading to Jodhout, as my ordeal at Jaisalmer was over. The city not only enchanted with it’s glowing golden beauty, but also mesmerised with it’s rich cultural heritage and deliciously cooked food.
I woke up early, as I have now inducted an exercise schedule everyday to be fit while traveling. Jogged a little and did some warming up as I knew that the breakfast will be heavy and would require some calories burning up to do. Heavy dinner was already making it’s mark on my tummy. Breakfast was too amazing like the dinner and while having the same I got a chance to interact with the team, who made this lovely stay possible.
Star Feature: Chacha sitting in the middle, he speaks better english then most of us. He could have easily replaced my few ex-bosses. Married to a Japanese girl and have kids. Been to Japan few times. Phew what a guy!
The kind of hospitality and the service given by countryside resort was top notch and above expectations. Hats off to the wonderful team for pulling this off in a great Rajasthani style.
Finally it was time to bid farewell, in anticipation of what Jodhpur had to offer me. People who served were now friends and there was this trust and bond of friendship.