We are two female travellers from Scotland who are looking to head to India (arriving in New Delhi) on December 14th. We then plan on travelling around India by train using an Indrail pass for a month. We are still working on the finer detail of the exact locations as we know we have to book trains in advance, but we are looking to go south from New Delhi to perhaps Jaipur, Surat, Mumbai, Goa, Kerala and head north from there to kolkata if we have the time etc.
I am reading some very mixed reviews on whether its safe enough for female travellers to do this alone as i keep reading that the men are a nightmare, groping, leching etc. having blonde hair, i am aware i will stand out regardless and we are a bit concerned that it will ruin the trip. Obviously we will be dressing appropriately and behaving ourselves so not to draw any unwanted attention but we would like to know how safe this is to do this trip and if there's any good recommendations on where to stay in New Delhi to meet fellow travellers etc that might want to come along with us too! We are also hoping to head to Nepal after a month in India for 2 weeks then from there to Bangkok on the 24th Jan where we will make our way to Singapore a month later (route to be determined) then it's on to New Zealand at the end of February for a year.
Anyone else planning a similar route around this time or has done similar, any advice would be greatly appreciated as we have been saving and are now pricing flights, insurance and planning our route but the options seem endless and the flights are pretty expensive. Also has anyone used Travel Nation, they seem very good price-wise. Sorry i could ask a million questions but best stop there.
Rach & Luc
Hi Rach & Luc,
I'm a girl from India and would like to put you at ease about your safety concerns. Like anywhere else in the world, the men are troublesome only in shady seeming areas, so stay in busy, public places and you should be fine. Yes, dressing up conservatively (in jeans and t-shirts....you don't have to wear Indian) is a must-do, because any sign of legs seems to make the men go wonky.
Also, late night roaming on the streets would be a strict no-no. If you are planning to be out late (plenty of watering holes in Delhi!), then cab it back to your hotel with a radio cab service like meru cabs (ph. 4422 4422).
For nice places to stay look up www.hungrybags.com for help, also there is a B&B listing on http://delhitourism.nic.in/delhitourism/accommodation/bed_breakfast.jsp
Hope this helps for now
Have fun in India!
Thanks for your response. I agree, men can be troublesome everywhere and its best to be careful but i wouldn't like it to ruin my adventure, i won't be showing any leg that's for sure. I have even read on one site that you should consider cutting your hair short before you go!
Thanks for all your advice, its much appreciated
Rach & Luc
i am an indian guy and your concerns about indian men in general are valid(i am not saying i am one of those groping/leching types)
your idea to travel in trains is wonderful...the best way is probably in the second class sleeper to experience india...this comes at the expense of crowded accomodation/dirty toilets and being in close proximity with the general public..also the likelihood of getting your stuff nicked is very high.you can also travel by AC 2 tier/3 tier or ac first class.unfortunately these bogies dont allow you much of a visual treat like the open windows of the sleeper class allows you.but its safer and generally cleaner.
like chichi has suggested, dress conservatively and late night excursions are best avoided! as far as travelling goes--agra(taj mahal, agra fort and faehpur sikri) can be done as a day trip from delhi(i suggest you hire your own taxi from delhi)- shouldnt cost you more than a hundred quid to get you back to delhi.to jaipur there are good buses run by the rajasthan govt...some people also find trips to jodhpur/jaisalmer worth thier time.if you were coming a little earlier in the year, i would have also suggested a trip to ladakh-leh...its beyond description , that place.
varanasi, khajurao, shantiniketan ,puri are places worth visiting from calcutta(kolkata).darjeeling is always wonderful, but will be cold in december and make sure there is no political turmoil before you get there.
bombay, south goa are definitely worth a visit as well.hampi down south in karnataka along with the backwaters and beaches in kerela are good.some of the other hill stations down south..kodaikanal are also worth considering!
i always suggest that people read this book called "shantaram" by gregory david roberts.i personally feel that it gives you a good idea for a westerner of what to expect in india.i can also perhaps offer suggestions on nepal/thailand if you require.!
have a good adventure and trust me, india is wonderful.i am sure you will find yourself feeling a bit more fulfilled after being in india
.if you guys drop into aus..brisbane in particular, you can buy me a beer
best of luck
Hi Rachel & Luc,
my fellow travellerspoint members already gave a lot of good advice. I just wanted to reasure you a little bit more by adding that one of my german friend (she also have blond hair) has been travelling through India since March alone (!!) and so far hasn´t had any bad experiences. I guess like everywhere else on the planet keeping a few simple rules in mind like avoiding shady places or being more careful at night keeps one out of trouble.
Have a nice and safe trip to India!
Thank you so much for all the tips Sonam, it's much appreciated. I will take onboard your advice about places to visit as we are about to start planning our route round India. I think we are going to buy an INDRAIL pass as we intend on doing a lot of travelling by train. Is it easy enough to visit the Taj Mahal without the expense of a taxi?
Thanks for the reassurance Niels, i'm sure if we use common sense we will have a great time and avoid getting into bother.
Thanks for all the help and tips guys
Rachel & Luc
Hey Rachel and Luc.
Do pm me when you drop by Singapore Would love to bring you around. Could do with a meetup with new friends
I will be near India myself in Dec too. Sri Lanka. Looking for someone to travel with. So if you have any plans to travel down South to SL, let me know!
i am jas and i am 30 year old man . I have been working from last 6 years continously and need to have a much needed break from everything.
All my friends are committed in their jobs and can not take off from the jobs and i am also looking for travel companions like you guys
i am flexible with your dates of travel as i am a self employed man running my own venture in IT .
If you are interested then reply me here or ping me on skype : -snip-
[ Edit: Sorry, no personal details please. ]