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> Southern India Starter Kit, Everything you want to know about Southern India
sharon1306
post Jun 16 2007, 06:26 AM
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sorcerer.png Sharon Dias says:

Just want to quickly introduce myself to the forumÖ I live in Goa, India and I would be happy to answer any questions with regards to travel in India, especially the southern region. Please let me know if I can be of any help smile.gif

Below are some tips for a first time traveler to India:

Iím going to try to keep it as brief as I can, but let me start by saying India is a difficult country to travel in, more so if you are coming to visit for the first time. No matter how much you prepare, India is an assault on the senses. The sights, smells and sounds are overwhelming. Having said that, I am also fairly certain this will be one of your most memorable trips, one that will stay with you always. I guess tips, as such, would vary depending to the region, because India is extremely diverse in many ways. It is a country that has so many different kinds of people, religions, languages, cultures and even landscapes. But generally. I guess I would say:

1.Come with an open mind. You will find dirt, filth and probably more poverty than youíre used to. You have to deal with that and not let it get to you. The touts are sometimes aggressive and so are the beggars. It is best to ignore them. Lots of traffic, lots of people, lots of noise. But that is also what makes India fascinating. It will take you a few days before you learn to cope. In one day your experiences can range from extremely frustrating to extremely magicalÖ

2.The benefits of travel in India definitely outweigh the negatives. You will find India chaotic at the surface, but it really is organized chaos and it takes a while to get used to it. Getting the simplest things done might take more time and effort than youíre used to, but itís definitely worth it in the end. Be careful about what you eat or drink. Drink only bottled water, eat hot foods, avoid ice, desserts and salads and wash your hands. Its good to carry a hand sanitizer for when you don't have access to soap and water, insect repellent, water purification tablets and toilet paper.

3.Just go with the flow. Thereís a lot of craziness around but thatís what makes the country special. Make an effort to strike up conversations with people. Most people are very friendly and open and will be willing to help you in any way they can.

4.Be respectful of the culture and customs. Lots of religions are practiced in the country so some areas might be more sensitive than others. Take lots of picturesÖ It hard to take a bad picture in India, with all the faces, colours, scenes.

5.Donít think about it, just go. India is a very culturally rich country, which engages you with its fascinating art, history and the sheer numbers of everything. There arenít any Ďdangersí as such you should be aware of, just petty annoyances.

This is one trip you will find hard to put behind you, because when you experience India, it seeps into your pores and itís very difficult to just forget about it once you get back home. India is a challenging country to travel in, and you will be taxed mentally and probably physically, but it will also be one of your more memorable trips, if nothing moreÖ

Sharon
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effie123
post Jan 10 2008, 03:18 PM
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Hi,

My name is Becki, Iím 25 and from London. Iím going to India at the end of this year for 3 months. I went to Goa November 07 and on a train Journey to Hampi, I fell in love with the place and people and Iím dying to get back!

i have got lots of questions so sorry to bother you with all this but you seem to have such a vast knowledge after reading your advise to other people.

I donít really have a plan as such. Because Iím travelling on my own I was going to arrive in Delhi and start with a shoestring trip. Its 21 days and covers the main points in North Goa.

From there I want to work my way down the west coast through Mumbai, Goa and Kerala.
My questions are what are the best ways to travel? Is there a good route to take? Or any places not to miss? And how much money will I need with me. Iím told the internal flights in India are really cheap too and was wondering if its worth it or if it better getting a train.

I plan to be pretty basic and live on a fairly low budget. Some people have said £10 a day is about middle range.
Also can you recommend a website to find hotels and hostels across India?

The other thing is I would like to find people now who will be out there at the same time as me. Its pretty scary (more exciting) going alone but it would be good to know some other people who will be ion the same boat.

There are probably loads of other things I will need to ask before I go but I think the is more than enough to start with.

Hope I havenít overloaded you with questions!

Kind regards,

Becks.
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sharon1306
post Jan 17 2008, 06:45 AM
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QUOTE(effie123 @ Jan 10 2008, 03:18 PM) *

Hi,

My name is Becki, Iím 25 and from London. Iím going to India at the end of this year for 3 months. I went to Goa November 07 and on a train Journey to Hampi, I fell in love with the place and people and Iím dying to get back!

i have got lots of questions so sorry to bother you with all this but you seem to have such a vast knowledge after reading your advise to other people.

I donít really have a plan as such. Because Iím travelling on my own I was going to arrive in Delhi and start with a shoestring trip. Its 21 days and covers the main points in North Goa.

From there I want to work my way down the west coast through Mumbai, Goa and Kerala.
My questions are what are the best ways to travel? Is there a good route to take? Or any places not to miss? And how much money will I need with me. Iím told the internal flights in India are really cheap too and was wondering if its worth it or if it better getting a train.

I plan to be pretty basic and live on a fairly low budget. Some people have said £10 a day is about middle range.
Also can you recommend a website to find hotels and hostels across India?

The other thing is I would like to find people now who will be out there at the same time as me. Its pretty scary (more exciting) going alone but it would be good to know some other people who will be ion the same boat.

There are probably loads of other things I will need to ask before I go but I think the is more than enough to start with.

Hope I havenít overloaded you with questions!

Kind regards,

Becks.


Hi Becks,

I'm a little behind on the posts here...

HmmmÖ ok. Sounds like you have a good plan, starting north and working your way down to Kerala. You have three months to explore, which is fantastic. Get a couple of guidebooks and read up on the areas you plan on visiting. I personally like the LP guide for India. Then youíd have a better idea on how much time to spend in each place. Now for your questions:

Best way to travel on a shoestring budget would definitely be the train. India is very well connected by railway. For longer distances, I would recommend flying. There are tons of budget airlines and more routes popping up by the minute. If you buy your tickets sufficiently in advance, you can get really good deals.

Money. Depends on how much on a budget you are, I guess. The great thing about India is you can eat/stay really cheap. I guess you could get by with £10 but I think youíd be more comfortable with a budget of maybe £20. Iím not very experienced with budget lodging, but I could look into it for you.

If youíre looking for likeminded travelers to India, you should check out the forums at indiamike and LPís thorntree.

I would suggest looking through guidebooks, seeing the places that appeal, plotting a rough draft and route. I would also suggest booking your accommodation in certain popular places in advance, as Nov/Dec is peak season in most of the country.

Sharon
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effie123
post Jan 17 2008, 07:55 AM
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Money. Depends on how much on a budget you are, I guess. The great thing about India is you can eat/stay really cheap. I guess you could get by with £10 but I think youíd be more comfortable with a budget of maybe £20. Iím not very experienced with budget lodging, but I could look into it for you.

If youíre looking for likeminded travelers to India, you should check out the forums at indiamike and LPís thorntree.


Sharon
[/quote]

Thanks Sharon,

I will check out those forums. If you do find out anything about budget lodging that would be great.
Also thanks for the warning about the money, may have to save a little more than i though, but it will all be worth it!

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Posts in this topic
sharon1306   Southern India Starter Kit   Jun 16 2007, 06:26 AM
whereshegoes   Great to meet you Sharon! Thank you for volunt...   Jun 22 2007, 08:43 PM
sharon1306   I can understand why you would feel a little nervo...   Jun 23 2007, 07:12 AM
whereshegoes   Hi Sharon THank you so much for the quick respons...   Jun 26 2007, 12:08 AM
wakingdream   Whoa. It better be a damn good spa! :P I ch...   Jul 1 2007, 08:21 AM
sharon1306   Whoa. It better be a damn good spa! :P ...   Jul 2 2007, 06:20 AM
sharon1306   Hi Carmella, Sorry for the delay in response, I w...   Jul 2 2007, 06:15 AM
whereshegoes   Hi Sharon Thankyou! You know, just talking to...   Jul 2 2007, 07:36 AM
sharon1306   Hi Sharon Thankyou! You know, just talking t...   Jul 6 2007, 06:37 AM
whereshegoes   Hi Sharon, At the moment I am practicing Bikram (...   Jul 13 2007, 05:50 AM
sharon1306   Hi Sharon, At the moment I am practicing Bikram ...   Jul 18 2007, 08:01 AM
fourloves   Hi Sharon, Looks like you're the proud helper...   Sep 14 2007, 08:08 PM
sharon1306   Hi Mack, Just saw your post:) Been recovering fro...   Sep 19 2007, 07:49 AM
lauraexplorer   I have heard so many things about travelling Ind...   Oct 4 2007, 04:11 AM
roseyben   [quote name='whereshegoes' post='28933' date='Jun...   Oct 13 2007, 09:38 PM
lighthouse   :hyper: Greetings Sharon: I've been ask to com...   Oct 13 2007, 07:26 PM
lauraexplorer   [quote name='lauraexplorer' post='34375' date='Oc...   Oct 14 2007, 05:16 AM
sharon1306   Hi, How much is your budget for accommodation per...   Jan 17 2008, 07:58 AM
effie123   Hi, How much is your budget for accommodation pe...   Feb 6 2008, 07:09 AM
cindib   I am hoping you'll give me some elementary ti...   Jan 13 2008, 04:34 PM
effie123   I am hoping you'll give me some elementary t...   Jan 16 2008, 04:54 PM
sharon1306   Hi Cindi, Great to hear you are headed to India. ...   Jan 17 2008, 06:59 AM
starlagurl   What do the other people in your group say?   Jan 14 2008, 10:57 AM
bloomer   Goa is a great place to get acclimated to India, i...   Jan 14 2008, 04:46 PM
bloomer   You can definitely find lodging in Delhi for 3 pou...   Feb 7 2008, 08:00 AM
tiag   Hello Sharon, I will be studying and the Universi...   Mar 21 2009, 12:37 PM
c.i.222   :sorcerer: Sharon Dias says: Just want to quick...   Feb 17 2010, 01:39 PM


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