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Travelling to India Alone Oct 2011

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1. Posted by hannah_p (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y

hannah_p has indicated that this thread is about India

Hey guys

I have recently planned a trip to India next Sunday 23rd with a friend but due to unforseen circumstances my friend cannot now make it so I have decided to do the trip alone!

I plan on flying to Mumbai and arrive early morning of the 24th, then I plan on getting the train down to Goa for 2 weeks.

Is anyone else travelling around this time or have any advice on where to stay etc???

Would love to meet up with people in either Mumbai/Goa!!

I am 24 from London and love new adventures and meeting new people!

Please get in touch if you around at that time! :-)

xx

Post 2 was removed by a moderator
3. Posted by Beckiboo (Respected Member 134 posts) 4y

Hi Hannah

Not around at that time but done the same trip a few years ago. Mumbai is a brilliant city... overwhelming at first but persevere and you'll see it's true beauty eventually!

I'd suggest heading towards the Colaba area for your first stay. It's the area of Mumbai slightly more geared towards backpackers. There isn't a backpacker district as in Bangkok for example, but Colaba definitely has the most budget guesthouses, cafes, bars etc and most backpackers head here.

Have a good search on Lonely Planet, Tripadvisor and this website to find a decent hostel/guesthouse for your first few nights. Mumbai is pretty crazy especially when you first arrive, you'll be getting haggled left, right and centre so it's always a good idea to have somewhere booked. You'll also get touted pretty much all the time from people wanting to take you to their friends hotel/shop/cafe etc etc! Just remain firm and if they don't want to take you to where you want to go, move on and take another taxi/rickshaw. At the end of the day the local guys want your business so normally after a firm word you'll get to where you want to go.

Check out Leopold's Cafe online and when you get there. It's a cool bar/cafe that a lot of backpackers head to. Could be a good way to meet people.

Also a boat ride over to Elephant Island is fun too.

Just do a lot of research and keep your wits about you when you get there, you'll be fine.

Goa is totally different, very relaxed beach life! I'd suggest booking the train from Mumbai station sooner rather than later as they get very booked up. It takes about 13hrs I think. We couldn't do the sleeper train as it was full, so done it during the day which was a bit of a mission but on the other hand we saw some amazing things along the way. Oh - don't believe anyone who tells you the ticket office is closed, it normally isnt!! Make sure you buy your ticket from the proper station office and not any of the travel agents who will try and get you into their shop (sometimes within the station)

Once you arrive in Goa you'll notice the difference straight away, it's almost like being in a different country! My favourite places were Vagator and Benaulim. I didn't get down as far as Palolem but that's supposed to be great too.

If you have time I'd also recommend taking a train to Hampi - about 6hrs from Goa (you'd have to stay overnight) but an absolutely amazing place!! Looks like something out of the Flintstones. But be careful there as a single girl, don't go walking around on your own (can be quite lonely). But again it's definitely on the backpacker route so you should meet other travellers.

Have a great time! Very jealous :)

4. Posted by vinu81 (Budding Member 8 posts) 4y

hi, if u r planning to visit kerala and the backwaters of alleppey i would be able to help u out.

5. Posted by hannah_p (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y

Thanks so much for your response!

I think what I am going to do is head from Mumbai straight to Goa by train. I have booked this already and this says unconfirmed however- how does this get confirmed??? My flight arrives at 3am and the train is around 6.30am will this be enough time to get to the train station from the airport??

I think I will spend 10 days in Goa travelling from Arambol down to Palelm Beach- this has been recommended by many friends to do...

Then I think I will either train or fly back up to Mumbai for 2-3 days toward the end of the trip and head to Colaba.

I have been reading the Shantaram so definitley want to visit Leopold's! :-)

As a lone female travelling does anyone have any tips/suggestions???

Thanks :-) xx

6. Posted by Beckiboo (Respected Member 134 posts) 4y

No Probs - There's not many posts regarding India, especially regarding first time solo travel there, so happy to help :)

If your flight is on time you should be ok to jump straight in a cab to the train station. Check out prices online first so you have a rough idea of how much to pay for a taxi so you don't get ripped off. All the taxi's have the same decor, some are brand new some are old bangers but they should charge you the same price.

The train station is pretty much in the middle of town and it's about 30mins or so to the airport (I think?) so you should have enough time.

I'd say practically every train we got in India was late though. Often we'd arrive for the 6am train, wait around, go and ask someone in the office and they'd say "oh no, the 6am train always leaves at 8am!" So bring a good book

7. Posted by realprinceb (Budding Member 11 posts) 4y

Hey Hannah,

You are travelling to India at a fabulous time. You will love Goa and Bombay. Lots of sun and great beach in Goa.

Not sure what specific suggestions you are looking at. But just broadly for GOA:

1) Stay somewhere near Anjuna Beach- Good crowd and many pubs / restaurants around
2) You can consider taking an early morning flight to Goa leaves from Mumbai at 5:50 AM- Jet Airways
3) Visit Cape Town Cafe
4) Try to visit Casino Roayale goa- its a casino but very happening party- you need not gamble if u dont wish but party is rocking- its on a cruise and rocks whole night
5) you can visit Dauna Paula
6) enjoy a local drink - fenni- its like an alcholic drink made of cashew
7) they have street shopping on wed- try it out - good music and good bargains- u need to bargain a lot though
8) visit the church in city- very famous- forgot the name
9) also go to Baga beach
10) if you like u can go for Goa spice plantation- only if u interested
Most importantly enjoy yourself and carry your sun screen :-)

For Mumbai, i guess 2 days are not enough but would suggest must visit:
1) Hanging garden to get a complete view of the city
2) walk at marine drive
3) Visit Mani Bhavan (Gandhi's residence, very peaceful and quiet- must visit)
4) colaba is good for pubs- but leopold sucks- go to Bandra for drinks in evening - visit Elblow Room, Hawaain Shake rocks
5) visit Dhobh Ghatt- worth a pic
6) if u adventorous - go to Chor Bazaar (its a theifs market) they sell lot of antiques and classic stuff. Hold ur wallets tight :-)
7) In colaba, you must visit taj mahal hotel

drop a mail if u need any other help. -snip-...and if u wanna catch up for a drink in mumbai. I would love to.

hope u have a great trip.

[ Edit: Sorry, no personal details please. ]

8. Posted by AJ2010 (Budding Member 13 posts) 4y

Hi Hannah,

I might be in Goa in the first week of November, we can meet then.

I've been to Mumbai umpteen times, and been to Leopold's as well, nothing great bout it, it's quite old, and crowded and congested.

Anyways, please keep in touch, maybe we can meet in Goa.

Cheers!
AJ.

9. Posted by realprinceb (Budding Member 11 posts) 4y

Hey Hannah,

I wrote a whole mail but it just got deleted to answer ur queries:

1) You should pick up a pre-paid cab from International Airport after you check out of immigration. You have to tell them VT Station and pre pay the whole amount (Approx. It should be about Rs. 500-600). You need not pay anything to driver. If you like just tip him

2) if your flight lands at 3 am, you may be out of airport by lets say 4:15 am. You will easily reach train station in 45 minutes at that time of the morning.

3) if your rail ticket is not confirmed- that means u are in waiting list. keep checking it on site. You will get your final seat no at the station if its not confirmed by that time.

4) From International airport- ask cab driver to take this route- Bandra Worli Sea LInk (its like express bridge you will have to pay Rs. 50) - Haji Ali- Peddar Road- marine Drive- VT station. This route is quick- clean- safe and you will also get to see good part of Mumbai

feel free to get in touch if you require any info. DOnt know much about backpacking accom. in Goa & mum. But Colaba is best place to live while in Mumbai.

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