Have you ever been to India?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Naga
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Post by Naga » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:44 am

I've been to India twice. Both times only in Northern India. First time I traveled solo. And second time with my wife.
Varanasi was very fascinating (but so hot in August). I'd like to see it again in December or January.
Bodhgaya was great. We liked going to the temple early in the morning and sit under one of the shady trees.
The Himalaya were awesome. We hired a jeep and driver for 2 weeks to drive through the mountains of Himachal Pradesh for about 40 US$ per day.
Great memories.
Yes, it was really dirty in many places. In Varanasi and other cities, cows walk around pooping everywhere. And there is a lot of littering. Somehow we made it a whole month without ever getting sick from any food. Touts and beggars could getting annoying and aggressive at times, so you gotta practice to keep your cool.

A good site with a forum all about travel in India is http://www.indiamike.com/ I highly recommend anyone planning a trip to India to check it out.

:namaste:

pintor
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Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:46 am

Re: Have you ever been to India?

Post by pintor » Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:27 am

hi winny,

i grew up in india and have returned many times so my experience of india is not so much from the tourist or visitor's perspective.

You live in jakarta, so india will not hold that many surprises for you. northern and north western india is very different than say southern india. i would say for a first trip plan your visit carefully. tour group prices are of course way more expensive per day that those of us that have travel experience in india and can grab a train and navigate the stations, taxis and culture, but it can be very confusing to hoof it as a newbie. still with the right attitude, patience and confidence travelers still do it all the time.

india is not dangerous if you stay out of danger, that is do dumb things. getting scammed is the biggest problem, like let me get your rail tickets for you, first class sleeper...and you find you've paid 3X the ticket price, or take this taxi [you get the long way around town]. these things still happen to me and in the end i tend to laugh it off rather than getting angry.

the best of plans go awry, a 4 hour trian trip takes 16. be patient.

learn food rules, what to eat and what not to eat and stick to it religiously. i have gone without eating because i could not find food that was not risky. i always carry packaged snacks for instance and fruit that can be easily peeled. it is not true as someone suggested that vegetarian food is safer, nor food in the hotels. i've seen vegetarians get as sick as anyone, same for upper class hotel residents, it all depends on what you order. i have yet to get stomach/digestive ailments in all my trips...even still one of these days it is bound to happen. travel with cipro the wide spectrum antibiotic. i do eat heartily in india, it is important because travel there can be strenuous. travel light. if you are with a tour group though, they will lug your bag around, if not you will notice the difference between a 20 pound bag and a light backpack [one with the little wheels are a godsend].

tip well in hotels, the maid, the desk clerk etc. it goes a very long way to be generous if there are problems. i once sent my levi jeans out to the laundry from a 2 star hotel and got indian knock off jeans back. the desk clerk took up my case and the next day my levis were back even though i had left the hotel.

unaccompanied women traveling alone are safe, though they can be victims of grabbing, lewd remarks, suggestive behavior. women's sanitary facilities are not often much to the liking of western ladies. i have spent time with lone women travelers and their stories have not been much different than mine.

i love india so i encourage you to go. india always surprises me after all these year [since 1956] best of luck.

P

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cooran
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Re: Have you ever been to India?

Post by cooran » Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:51 am

Hello Winnie, all,

This may be worth a read:

Tips for Women Travelers to India
http://www.india-travel-agents.com/indi ... women.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

There are also many helpful links down the left hand side of the page.

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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dragonwarrior
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Location: somewhere

Re: Have you ever been to India?

Post by dragonwarrior » Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:40 pm

Chris wrote:Hello Winnie, all,

This may be worth a read:

Tips for Women Travelers to India
http://www.india-travel-agents.com/indi ... women.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

There are also many helpful links down the left hand side of the page.

metta
Chris
Hi Chris thanks a bunch for the link. Great tips! :idea:

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dragonwarrior
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Location: somewhere

Re: Have you ever been to India?

Post by dragonwarrior » Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Greetings Naga and Pintor! Thanks for sharing with us.
One of my worries is about the foodborne illness. And does anybody know cheap & safe airline in India(domestic)?

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