Going to India

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Going to India

Postby helmut » Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:24 pm

I am planning a trip to India early next year and I'm feeling sick with excitement... anyone been there and want to share their experiences? I have read all the usual warnings to female travellers to cover themselves head to toe, don't look any men in the eye and be less white :roll: but also I'd like to know where to go, what to do, what to watch out for... I don't know, anything :) i could probably google all this shit but would love to hear a personal perspective....
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Postby SandGroper » Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:29 pm

I think you'll really enjoy it Helmut, once you get over the culture shock - it does stress out a few people but I reckon you'll be right after a couple of days. It's good to have another traveller with you to help ease yourself into it. As you've read, there's not much you can do to avoid being noticed I'm afraid!

I loved the Himalaya. The last couple of times I went over I spent a couple of months trekking and chilling out in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal. The mountains in the south are great too if you are down that way. I didn't like the cities much, but Calcutta (Kolkata) was OK. the West Bangalis seemed the most relaxed of all the people.

It was fun to learn to read a bit of Hindi. I started by learning to write my name and my friend's names. It comes in handy in out of the way places when looking for buses and in little cafes - but you can easily get by without.

The only advice I'd give is to tip (baksheesh) people. Like the porter who gets your bag off the bus and so on. Seems to be the done thing and it helps them and their families out. Try to fit a long train journey in, they're not too stressful and a good way to see the country go by.

The rest you can discover for yourself!

By the way, I'm moving back to Brizzy in a month or so. I might see you at the top of Coot tha sometime (but I won't be going down on the road!).
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Postby skoptic » Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:24 pm

I'm sure you'll have a great time wherever you go :-). My experiences are about 15 years old - but I second the Himalaya recommendation. Hiking in the valleys was brilliant (parvati valley my favourite).. and if you go past where there are roads - you can get away from the advertising and mayhem that can sometimes get you down in such a beautiful place.

I also went round Rajasthan and some very nice places were Pushkar & Jaisalmer.

Like Sandgroper said - the cities can seem very hectic - but its good to experience a taste of everything that goes on in India :-) Have a good holiday!
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Postby KaliBaby » Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:14 am

I want to come with you, helmut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby Shaolin Avenger » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:37 am

My partner and I recently went to India for two weeks with Veg Voyages http://www.vegvoyages.com/ They're a vegan/vegetarian tour company. It was great as they took care of ordering food. My main recommendation is learn how to say no ghee, yogurt, paneer or milk. We were in Rajasthan, which has massive forts everywhere. Udaipur was really nice too. Motor rickshaws are a great way to get around as they are cheap and get a nice breeze, but negotiate the price before you get in. Thumbs Up cola is pretty good when you are stinking hot and need a safe drink. When you change money, try to get small notes and coins as many places can't break large notes for you and you will want small change for tipping. 20 rupees is a pretty standard tip. If you are in Udaipur, check out Animal Aid http://animalaidunlimited.com. They rescue and mend injured and abused street animals. It's run by an amazing vegan woman. Hope this helps.
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Postby helmut » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:18 am

[quote="KaliBaby"]I want to come with you, helmut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


well do :D

thinking about going in march!!!

thanks guys, will take that on board! very helpful. i will definitely try to learn a little hindu before i go :)
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Postby helmut » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:19 am

[quote="SandGroper"]

The rest you can discover for yourself!

By the way, I'm moving back to Brizzy in a month or so. I might see you at the top of Coot tha sometime (but I won't be going down on the road!).


excellent! give me a buzz when you do and we can catch up for coffee :)
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Postby helmut » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:28 am

Hi all! I am going to India in less than four weeks :shock:

Any tips or advice? I'm landing in Chennai, going to Bangalore (which I hear is very vegan friendly), Goa and possibly Mumbai and other small places in the south....
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Hampi is lovely

Postby ratfan » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:08 pm

I'd recommend Hampi, it's full of fascinating history - sadly Unesco are trying to make a world heritage site and fence it all in, chasing out the locals who live among the ruins - so see it while you can.

I found it very vegan friendly - and no hassle from beggars (which, no matter how much you love the people and they are lovely, can get a bit annoying)

If you need a guide go to the police station (you have to do this to sign in - it's a move to cut down on tourist crime - I saw nothing at all threatening while their) and ask for Kali - he's a great guide and knows all the best places to see.

Enjoy it!
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Postby KaliBaby » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:50 am

[quote="helmut"]possibly Mumbai....

my friend Sumeet is in Mumbai, he's a Bollywood actor. you should meet up with him haha.

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