Is India a good place to vacation?

Amazon tVWw77
May 25 26 Comments

I'm a bit of a foodie and have always wanted to travel to India. But after seeing videos and reading travel blogs I'm not so sure anymore. Are the cities really that dirty? If so, what are cities to avoid and cities to consider?

I don't wish to be rude, but just want facts to help plan. Please only want the truth from people who've lived in or been in India.

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TOP 26 Comments
  • Amazon Beff-Jezos
    If you’re a lady, do NOT go.
    May 25 0
  • Amazon broke&dumb
    Yes, cities are far dirtier than you can possibly imagine.
    But that's gonna be the least of your worries.
    Check out this blog post (not mine) for example, it got widely shared and is one of the most common experience for international tourists:

    "I’m currently on a RTW backpacking trip and when I told friends / family of my plan to head to India alone, they thought I was crazy.

    As soon as I landed, I had my dukes up and knew my best bet was to be aggressive here (a necessity). I hired a woman-driven taxi from the airport only to have my bag thrown in the backseat of a male’s car. They didn’t care.

    I dealt with a number of things, some not appropriate to share in this group, but examples are every time I walked around, I got the gawky stares (usually not at my face), I was told by a street vendor to “be quiet because you are lady, I am man, I talk first,” and became overwhelmed to the point I didn’t want to leave my room.

    I tried to stay above it. I saw the Taj Mahal and beautiful palaces and ate delicious beyond affordable street food (and I didn’t shit my pants!). I saw monkeys and cows and goats and dogs and cute children (be weary of the young boys, they pester you for money and they’re just as resilient as the adults), and I went to a cafe run by acid attack survivors.

    But I felt uneasy the entire time. I felt defensive, I felt like I couldn’t afford to blink, I felt like I had to be ready to act at any time. I wanted to be above it, I wanted to love it here. I wanted to prove my friends and family wrong; that India, despite its obvious issues (every country has them!), was beautiful and worth visiting.

    The final straw was yesterday. I booked an overnight bus to Varanasi from Agra, but I apparently booked a portion on a double sleeper, meaning I had to share a bed / spoon with a complete stranger. I did not feel comfortable. I’m all about taking risks; I’ve shared beds, taxis, meals, road trips with strangers. But I had a gut feeling that said “don’t get on the bus.”

    I asked an employee from my hostel to call the bus company to see if they could move me to a single sleeper, and it was sold out but they said “don’t worry, there are cameras.” The realization of having to skip something simply out of fear of being raped, murdered, robbed, whatever, started to settle in. Whether it was in my head or a legitimate fear is still unclear. This all led to a panic attack and a sob fest on the floor of a hostel and realizing I didn’t want to be in India anymore. I never got on the bus. I’m now at the airport heading to Italy for a few days, my happy place.

    I’m not discouraging women from coming here; I met so many women that LOVED India and were having a blast, which made me feel crazy that I was having such a different experience. But it is not for the faint of heart.

    I have no regrets visiting; in fact I’m glad I did. I got to see some breath-taking sights, eat some delicious food, and amongst some of the horrific things I saw, I met some lovely people. But the lesson learned here is don’t risk your safety / well-being just to prove a point or to say you did something. Do what’s right for you at the time that it’s right.

    Thanks for the roller-coaster, India. I can’t say I’ll be back though."
    May 25 1
    • New
      $TSLA

      New

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      Tesla Motors
      $TSLAmore
      It takes meticulous planning to where to go and how. Next time, ask an Indian friend. I agree not all are very friendly but it's certain that with some legwork your trip could've been easier.
      May 25
  • Airbnb / Eng airball
    I was a bit disappointed when I went there. Food poisoning is real, and yes even the major cities are not very clean.
    May 25 0
  • Google HYXS34
    Fuck no - go to a first world country.
    May 25 0
  • Google / Eng
    चाचा चौधरी

    Google Eng

    BIO
    चौधरीकोइँन H Y P E
    चाचा चौधरीmore
    India is not a safe place for solo women travellers. Might be ok if you travel with friends. There's a reason you see constant news stories of violence/rape/assault against females in India.
    May 25 0
  • Apple / Eng
    neverSt0p

    Apple Eng

    BIO
    Just an another engineer. Hoping to find a few friends here :)
    neverSt0pmore
    I am glad to know that you are interested in visiting India!

    I am from southern part of India and I live in California now. Though I am not an avid traveller, I just share a few things that may help you.

    You may be aware of the following but I still reiterate.

    Please keep in mind - India has it's own traditions and culture that varies across the country and that completely differs from a western culture.

    Like any other country, India has it's own downside in terms of safety, hygiene and, crimes. It doesn't mean the whole country is unsafe, unhygienic and full of crimes.

    Don't compromise your safety and hygiene for any reason - Don't even think about it!!

    Plan things better in advance. Know where you are heading. Stick to the timings. Have a back up plan for everything. Get out in the morning and head back to the hotel before it's dark. Don't just listen to a stranger and go with them as they guide you. Stay in one of the best hotels. Don't just eat wherever you go. You may be prone to food poisoning if you try street food - watch what and how much you eat too. Indian food may be too spicy for you especially eastern food. Better eat in one of the best restaurants wherever you are. Carry enough purifier water bottles with you. Speak to your friends who already travelled to India about their experience. Talk to Indian friends. Don't be indulged in photography - watch and be aware of what happens around you. Dress completely - Dress like an Indian if you can or dress that doesn't attract anyone's attention. Don't travel alone anywhere. I guess it's better you book a tour package so they take you everywhere like a group. Don't get into fights or argument over money or anything - You will not lose your life for just letting it go. Take an American male friend (I assume you are an American) with you (if you are a female) - Though travelling alone makes you feel adventurous or intesting, its unwise to travel a country that has a far more different culture of your country or that's not Westernized. Avoid public transport like an auto or bus or train. Use cars thats like Uber or Ola that has a prepaid mobile booking to commute anywhere - Dont think about spending money. Better things are not that cheap! I don't think anything you would find expensive in India because of the dollar value. If you can get a local woman like an IT professional, they can be of big help to you - I guess there are ways to find them. It's not that difficult!

    To summarize - The wise way to travel through India or any other country is that have a male friend from your country with you to travel and stay always together. Pick a tour package from a reputed travel websites. Have a clear plan and back up plan too. Plan always for the worst. Leave when Sunrises and reach hotel back when Sunsets. Watch what you eat. Drink purified water - Health is more important than anything! Avoid eating street food - I know they are more delicious but I am obsessed about hygiene and cleanliness though!

    Feel free to DM me if you need any help or want to know anything else related to India!
    May 25 0
  • Juniper Pliny Jr
    Yes. Go for a refreshing swim in the Ganghes river. Just ignore the floating corpses and human waste that floats by you.

    It's part of the charm! 👍
    May 25 0
  • New
    $TSLA

    New

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    Tesla Motors
    $TSLAmore
    Be careful about food options. Indian guts are stronger to almost digest most bacterial strains but yours may not.

    Cross contamination is not something you can avoid.

    Air pollution in cities are true for most of the metros. I migrated totally because of the pollution.

    Food and culture in South is totally different from North. Bangalore is the California of India. You would get almost all the food options you want.
    May 25 0
  • Wells Fargo startup!
    Visit BJP free cities and you will be safe.
    May 25 2
    • Varian Medical
      abeck

      Varian Medical

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      abeckmore
      Rubbish, wouldn’t find that any more though 😀
      May 25
    • Wells Fargo startup!
      Do you know southern states like Tamilnadu and Kerala.
      Most sensible state with people know who to elect and who to reject.
      May 25
  • Apple / Eng srand()
    No way, specially for women.
    May 25 0
  • Apple some fruit
    No , DO NOT go to India. The whole country is filthy and garbage
    May 26 1
    • eBay costume
      Glad you saw the whole country.
      May 27
  • eBay costume
    Definitely go but be safe and plan things in advance. There is no other country like India.
    May 25 0
  • Apple notyourbro
    Don’t tempt fate! Stay away from India for the next 5 years, BJP just came back to power.
    May 25 0
  • Target / Eng tmDe33
    Depends, do you like being stared at?
    May 25 0
  • Uber / Eng
    B4k4

    Uber Eng

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    B4k4more
    Depends on what you are looking for. Some locations are more tourist friendly like Kerala or Rajasthan. I would recommend looking at some documentaries to see what suits your tastes...
    May 25 0
  • Amazon DlkT15
    Explore food in Pakistan. See ‘mark Weins’ and ‘food ranger’ recent visit and videos on YouTube.
    Jun 2 0
  • Fannie Mae / IT mdarkroom
    Avoid cities in the north, especially the older parts, also avoid traveling in Trains in the northern part of India, they are the absolute worst. And if you are a woman, you better travel with a male and a pepper spray/ Swiss knife as well lol.
    And familiarize yourself with the best hospitals in the places you visit,Healthcare is very cheap comparatively.

    I'm so sorry to be saying this, pls dress fully to avoid nasty stares.
    These things are true of many countries though.

    My itinerary suggestion for you would be - Bombay, hyderabad, Bangalore, kerala, Manali/Leh for a hill station.

    Avoid older parts of Delhi, older parts of Hyderabad, older parts of Kolkata and basically stick to the cool cleaner areas. You can still have the Indian experience.

    Also don't trust just any brand of bottled water and don't expect them to be authentic brands. Check for seal before you open, don't allow servers to open and hand them over to you.

    Use this app called OLA if traveling in Southern India. Always check taxi plates before getting into a cab/auto and match with your uber or Ola app.
    If you are a woman, you need something else-
    If you do hire an auto or taxi, do note the number BEFORE you get in, even if it seems embarrassing to do so on a busy road. Send it to a friend (hope you have someone in India).

    Try to connect with locals online who understand American culture before leaving for India, you need someone to help navigate during initial days, many of them help online for free.
    May 28 0
  • Amazon zonian1
    For a first trip, Go to big cities, stay in a nice American hotel, look at Zomato(Indian version of Yelp) for restaurants, drink only bottled water, don't wander around alone too late in the night.... if you do all this and feel like you need to be more adventurous you can do that on the second trip...
    May 25 0
  • Intel baobao1
    Go as a part of a tour. Don't travel alone. I would recommend Interpried travels. They have a good balance of tour guides and giving you independence to explore.
    May 25 0
  • Intel tar_xzvf
    If you are planning a trip to India, please go with an Indian friend. Else you would need to research a lot.
    May 25 0