I am a 21 year old Australian about to set off on an overseas trip in four weeks with my g/f, and I am doing some last minuet research. I am arriving in Mumbai mid-March and am planning to stay in India for 5 weeks. I was thinking of travelling south to Goa first (after a few days in Mumbai) and then north by trains and buses to Udaipur, then Jairpur, onto Agra, and then East to Varanasi and then back to Mumbai for takeoff. Do you think that this is too much for a five week trip? Also, what is everyone's opinion about carrying cash in India. Do you think carrying no more than 1000r at any time is correct?
there is no much theft in India. 1000 rupees is a (tight) daybudget for two people in India. I always got 200€ out of the ATM each time. it would be handy if you have a moneybelt or some document bag for underneath your clothes (together with ticket, passport and all that). 5 weeks is possible. but goa and rajasthan are great and you should enjoy. I think I would left out Varanasi. It is very out of the way and there are also ghats in Pushkar.
thanks for the reply. Sounds great.
Dont hurry, in India. Go to as many places as u can comfortably fit in, with the time u have.
It has been 10 years, since I was in India, so maybe things have changed. But, 10 years ago, it would have been necessary, to carry quite a lot of cash, because it was difficult to find some place to change money and travellers cheques.
I would advise u not to sleep, on trains or busses, when travelling over night. I heard quite a few stories, about people who had somebody cut right through their shirt and money belt, and take their money, without waking them up. Or else, take turns to sleep.
1) It has been 10 years, since I was in India, so maybe things have changed. But, 10 years ago, it would have been necessary, to carry quite a lot of cash, because it was difficult to find some place to change money and travellers cheques.
2) I would advise u not to sleep, on trains or busses, when travelling over night. I heard quite a few stories, about people who had somebody cut right through their shirt and money belt, and take their money, without waking them up. Or else, take turns to sleep.
1) in 10 years much has been changed in a positive way in India. its easy to change money. whether cash or with travellers cheques (they are in the museum nowadays btw). its also very easy to get cash outg of an ATM. Every main city is connected to the international ATM network these days.
2)i don't agree here. you should sleep in the train. because you booked a sleeper. its very difficult to steal a moneybelt. you have to be extremely unlucky if that happens. I've been two times in India and both times for more then 5 months. never i encountered some theft. I always have been very careful with my belongings. i also locked my backpack to the seat. in 3AC (the more expensive sleeper with AC) its even safer. the people here are mostly richer and more intelligent. they always keep an eye on each other. i wouldn't be worried about theft in bus or train.
Thanks for the info Wouter
I am glad, to hear, that I wont have such money changing problems, the next time, I visit India.
I think you have enough time to see everything on your list as long as you don't get stuck in Goa for more than a week or so. 3 or 4 weeks should be good enough to get up to Rajasthan and to Varanasi. Don't miss Varanasi. It may be out of the way, but I think it's the highlight of the country. The ghats in Pushkar don't even come close to comparing.
1000 rupees is only about $25 or something, so i would imagine you will have to carry more than that. I usually got 15000 or so out of ATMs and carried it with me. As others have said, get some sort of money belt that is concealed and hard to get to, to carry your passport and cash with you. Never take it off unless you are in your hotel room (except if its in a safe while on the beach in Goa).
I also disagree that sleeping on trains is a bad idea. I slept on trains quite frequently and never considered it a problem.
the weather will be a problem if u intend to visit Rajasthan in March...it starts becoming hot...the best time to visit Rajasthan is Dec-Feb. U can also consider visiting the beautiful valleys of himachal pradash.... it will be better in march as the snowfall would have stopped... u can take a horse ride on snow in the enchanting Solang Valley near Manali...If u need more information feel free to ask me