A lot of people asked me questions about traveling in India.
And there are a few things, which are good to know before you start your trip through India. That brought me to summarized my top 10 advises, I can give you from my own experiences:
1. India is almost big as Europe. So travel slowly and don’t plan to travel too much distance in short time.
From Mumbai to Bangalore is like from Germany to south Spain.
2. Traveling in a bus is worth and cheap for a short distance. But be aware: streets are bad prepared and buses old.
First, it happens often that a bus brakes and they have to change the bus. That can take hours sometimes.
Second, they collect additionally (and I think) elegally people on the road for drop On and off.
My last trip from Goa to Mumbai, which are around 800km tooks me 28!! hours.
3. In India one of the official languages is English. But that doesn’t mean, that you can really understand them, when you try to speak with them. The Indians developed their own English excent, which is hardly to understand at the beginning. But after a while you get used to it.
4. Be aware of riding a motorbike in India. Especially in Goa it’s very popular driving proper motorbikes, which are not security proofed (in Germany they are quality standard proofed by TÜV).
The silencer of those bikes are hot and open to the outside. So it happens often that someone is burned on their leg. Even if it’s not yours and you just slightly touch a parking bike which has parked a few minutes ago. That happens to me on my last trip in January. Since that, I have a new big!! mark.
5. If you take the train, make sure you sit in the right waggon. It’s devided in special wagons for women and unisex wagons. By the reason that all women use the women section, in the unisex section are just men – and me.
My first time jumped on a train with 2 other local guys and realized that I am the only woman – and blond and European there.
I had a lot of eyes on me during the trip. But all the men were really nice and friendly.
6. When Indians shaking their head fro side to side, doesn’t mean no.
In general it means the opposite: Yes.
But it’s often used as a “Ok, ok.”
Sometimes confusing, but after a while you start to adopt it. 🙂
7. The traffic in India is loud and noisy. Everybody is humping and trying to find their way through the urban jungle. They hump all the time. I ask one driver why they are doing it. He told me, there is not a certain meaning behind it. It just means: Attention, here I come!
8. Travel as a local and try definitely local street food, which you find in many side streets.
It’s very cheap, local and so delicious.
But be careful with fruits and meat. The ingredients often lay the whole day in the hot sun and are washed with the tub water. The locals maybe bear with it, but European and western people not. An upset stomach could be the result.
9. Take a Tuktuk or Rikshaw instead of a Taxi. The local traditional sweet vehicles are not very typical Indian, it also can save you some time in growded traffic jams, it’s also the best way of sightseeing. You are in the middle of the event.
But be aware of the dust and dirty air in big cities. Maybe you need a protection not to inhale all the pollution.
10. Shop traders and their tricks. If you travel the first time to India, don’t tell that to a shop trader. They friendly ask you in a small talk if you travel the first time to India. It seems to be a very kind conversation, but mostly they just want to check how good you already know about India trading and their prices. If you are new in India they mostly offer you higher prices, because they know, you probably don’t know so much about it.
But if you be aware of theses advices and try to travel as much as you can as a local, you will experience a beautiful country with many facets and characteristics.