Every time I tell someone that I love India, most of the times I get reactions like: India? Isn’t it crowded and dirty? Or, best case: I don’t know what to expect, I don’t know if I would like such a trip.
So, if you decided to give India a chance (and I am telling you it’s totally worth it), I have written down a short summary of travel tips:
- Fees at touristic sights: there’s an interesting approach on differentiated fees for touristic sights. The fees vary if you are a local compared to a tourist. For example, when visiting the tomb of Hamayun in Delhi the fee for locals was 40 rupee, whilst for the tourists was 650 rupees (more than 10 times 🙂 ) and a little bit cheaper if you would pay by card.
- If you go for shopping, especially clothes, jewels, etc you might know already you can negotiate the price. But what surprised me was that you could negotiate the exchange rate even inside the airport.
- The Indian stars standard is not always the same as the European one, except the 4 and 5 stars hotels. Of course the international chains do a very good job, but there can be some differences for 3 stars for example.
- The 5 stars hotel have a guest baggage check after the tragically incidents at Taj and Oberoi hotels in Mumbai in 2008. Immediately afterwards, the Hotel Association of India issued Guidelines for Security Measures in Hotels among which is also “Scanning the baggage” of the guests. This is why the hotels (at least the 5 stars hotels) have a baggage scanner like in the airport.
- It is recommended obviously to drink bottled water. Before traveling I read that it is recommended even to wash your teeth with bottled water. I followed the rule of drinking bottled water, with only one exception. I only had one a small stomach problem most probably because of the food (and I also drank a glass of tap water) which I solved in a very simple way: I just drank a bottle of Pepsi Besides that I didn’t had any problems.
- Cars signal by using the horn either if you are changing lanes, or turn right or left. For example, if at some point there’s a curve, you should expect the driver to sound loudly the horn several times so that another driver could hear it if coming from the opposite direction. And there’s the adrenaline when from time to time there’s a car coming right at you and making last minute moves. Nevertheless, they have a special talent to squeeze in without putting you in danger, especially if you are traveling with a professional driver.
- And if we are talking about transportation, if you want to try the usual buses, bare in mind that in Delhi there are several types of buses: the red bus HAS conditioned air, the green bus DOES NOT HAVE conditioned air (these 2 types are from the Delhi Transport Corporation), and the orange bus is owned by a private company and it DOES NOT HAVE conditioned.
- Toilet paper is important for anyone 🙂 So it’s best to know that sometimes toilet paper it’s not at hand. If you keep a roll of toilet paper in your backpack, then you won’t have any surprises. I’m not saying this happened everywhere I went, on the contrary, but it’s best to have one.
A few tips for women:
- The best advice that I received from the driver we traveled with in the last day was the following: if someone tries to sell you a tour or for any other reason tries to talk to you, look down and they will leave. I must say it worked very well 🙂
- Especially if you have a white skin and you have lighter hair, lots of people will want to take a selfie with you. Fortunately, I don’t take many photos, so for me was quite easy. But, if you do accept, expect sometimes even 20 people to come over wanting to take photos of you. So think twice before saying yes.
- Women (meaning tourists’ females, not the locals) is best to walk accompanied by a man. At least in Delhi, everybody recommended us not to walk alone after 8 PM and not to take Uber after 4 PM.
You can find other recommendations before traveling HERE.
This is my list. As I continue to travel to India, I will add new tips and recommendations.
As long as you travel with an open mind and a bit of flexibility, you will be surprised to discover a magical country. I can’t wait to go back 🙂