I'm flying into Mumbai on 5th November and then making my own way up to Delhi for a flight out 3 weeks later.
I was wondering if anyone has any advice on a vague itinerary for this fairly short amount of time in India, and also any advice on HOW to travel around? I was expecting to use the trains there but an Indian friend said that even she wouldn't risk public transport and advised getting a car and driver to take us around! This seems fairly extreme to me, and I would guess a lot more expensive, but is it quite usual?
ALSO, I would really really appreciate it if anyone could recommend safe and clean but cheap accomodation in Mumbai and en route to Delhi that you have stayed in before? The travel agent I booked through only recommended hotels from £50 upwards per night and there's no way my budget is going to last with those kind of prices! I kind of assumed (ignorantly perhaps) that India would be reasonably affordable but does that mean I would have to expect poor conditions?
Sorry for what probably seems like a totally naive and uninformed post - I would really appreciate any help at all!
Don't be so aprehensive about India. Its a better place than you think. You can easily move around in public transport. You can use the trains without any fear. You can hire a taxi or a prepaid auto or a bus to move around the city. But for long distances it is best to go by trains, which is quite cheap.
Regarding accomodation, the hotel rooms start from pound 15 onwards
both in Mumbai and Delhi. If you have any other specific queries just let me know. I will be glad to help you.
Hey Tabi, that Indian friend is totally wrong....believe me. I agree totally with bibs, Indian transport works.....its total chaos but it works believe it or not....hahaha. The trains are fine. Foreigners get reserved places. The buses in India are also quite good. Don't hire a car with driver, way too expensive and totally not necessary. Don't worry about travelling through India....it's easier and more comfortable then you would imagine.
You are talking about cheap and decent accomodation. Have you bought the lonely planetguide of India allready???? This is very practical for you (don't use any travelagency.....they ripp you off!!!!). All decent accomodation/restaurants and even the touristic spots are included with prices. You get a decent and clean hotelroom for as low as 1 to 3 US dollar.
Bibs is talking about 15 pounds and more in Delhi and Bombay. I stayed in respectively main bazar (delhi) and Colaba (Bombay) for 4 usdollar and 5 usdollar per night.
Wouterrr, I was just giving Tabi a idea about the prices of hotels. you are right. You can get hotel rooms in that range. But It is not for every one. I suggested that price of 15 pounds looking into the 50 pound range of Tabi.
Tabi , wouterrr is right .Stay away from those travel agents....
If you can manage yourself ... its best. BTW I am not a travel agent or anything of that sort.
I travelled India last year by myself and its one of the most friendlist countrys in the world.
I started of using trains but ended up using bus's as they are fast!!!!!!!! and cheap,its all hustle and bustle but all I carried was a shoulder bag with a couple of tee shirt,1pair of cargo,spare pair of flipflops as you can buy everything out their 50times cheaper than carrying it about.
Accomodation is good and cheap and plenty of it.
Also sometimes I met other travellers and we jumped a minibus but any and all the info you need is as "wouterrr" says is in Lonely Planet India,I travelled the other way on the route you are taking.
All I did was jump on train or bus appox 0800 and jump off 1200 and have a day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or two and then a little bit more LP reading and away the next day.
I enjoyed beachbumming in Goa but you are heading the other way!!!
Have a great trip
al de bes