Monday, March 22, 2010

Top 10 Tips Travel to India

Having traveled to India, which was one of the most unique travel experiences for me, here are some travel tips before you travel to India.

1. Open your mind. India is way different with any country that you can imagine. Cars honking, pickpocket, people taking shower on the road, generally-dirtier roads and crowd. In one of the days I was in India, I wish I had never booked the ticket to India. I was in the bad mood that all those annoying things just made me crazy. But then being open minded and trying to accept it helped a lot. Be open minded and enjoy the rest!

2. Drink only bottled water. Tap water is generally unsafe for first time traveler. It may contain bacteria which may cause stomachache and diarrhea. You can buy bottled mineral water (650 ml) with only Rs 14. Even when you're in restaurant, try to order bottled one.

3. Bargain hard. Everything in India is generally cheap; but almost anything needs to be bargained. Sellers/taxi drivers will always put unreasonable price at the first place. Bargain like Chinese :). For some cases, you don't need to bargain since it won't cost you that much (for example: using rickshaw for 15 minutes will only cost you Rs 10, which is nothing compared to walking for 30 minutes). In addition, you will help community to improve its economy as well.

4. Prepaid taxi. If arriving from airport, try using only prepaid taxi. It is fixed price, not negotiable and it will take you to the place you want. Even though it's a bit more expensive, the risk of being cheated is less. For first time traveler to India, if you use big money, check the change gives you. From 2 times using prepaid taxi in Kolkata airport, they always gave me -Rs 100 or -Rs 200 less. I said to the counter, "Do you think I'm stupid!?"

5. Understand the transportation system. Traveling inside the city is not efficient. You can use metro (in New Delhi and Kolkata), but some places are still unreachable. Try a mix of rickshaw (the cheapest, in suburban area, in main road it's prohibited), auto rickshaw (we call it Bajaj), bus (a bit complicated but worth to try for small distance, use in urban) and taxi (last chance if others don't work for you).

6. Be deaf! Cars honking are the most annoying thing for me at the first two days in India. You can't find a 5-sec without that noise (5 second is a day observation between morning until evening). Be deaf and you'll enjoy the city.

7. Be dirty. Roads in india are generally a bit dirty because garbage, water (showering on the road), spiting and smoke. Expect that kind of thing and you'll like walking on the street with crowd of people.

8. Don't take it personally. I met some friends in India; one of them said that they sometimes say something without any point in an aggressive way. Understand that it is different culture and do not take it personally.

9. Don't get melted. The weather in India can be very hot (to 40 C at max in hot season, between May - July). What you can do is to adjust yourself. Use sexy sunglasses, fabulous short and sunblock if you want.

10. Try couchsurfing. As always, it is the best way to travel overseas. It's not about free accommodation, but more on having someone in the city you can talk to. If you're lucky, they can go to places with you.

Safe travel to India! Don't forget to have proper preparation.

Bookmark and Share

Add to Technorati Favorites

No comments: