India for beginners

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1. Posted by Clarabell (Travel Guru 1696 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!


I have hardly been anywhere and next year I am travelling out from the UK through Thailand and Malaysia to Australia and then New Zealand. On the way back, my ticket includes several more stops in Asia which I have not yet decided on.

I am really interested in visiting India. I would love go to but I am worried that it might be a bit too daunting and a bit too intense, even though by this point I will have more experience of backpacking. I have read some other threads where people have not enjoyed India and found it just too stressful, chaotic, scary etc, while other people have totally fallen in love with it.

I'll probably be there around October/November 2005. It would most likely be the last place I go before returning home and I probably would only want to stay about 3 weeks. Can anyone offer any advice about where are the easiest places to visit in India and where would be a good place to start? Goa and Kerala appeal to me.

I don't think I'd want to go there on my own either, so would be keen to meet anyone else planning on travelling from Australia to India around this time.


2. Posted by babul (First Time Poster 1 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hi Lil

It depends on your interests that you would be deciding to go to AUS or NZ or India first. Information beforehand will help you decide your journey.

If you are interested, I can be of help to you for any specific question.


Babul Gogoi
email: babulgogoi AT hotmail . com

3. Posted by georgep (Respected Member 201 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

India is a great place to go.

Ok it's busy, scary and probably a lot more. But it's great.

I went to delhi, agra (and some small towns) but i don't know if i would do it on my own (i went with my wife and parents in law and they are indian)

Have a good trip and just see how it feels.


4. Posted by zagzee (Budding Member 6 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I was born and, to a certain extent, brought up in Kerala....Have been to Goa and some parts of the north as well......I currently live in the US

Kerala and Goa are phenomenal in natural beauty (but similar), and entirely different from any other portion of the country....Kerala being my home state, makes me kinda biased, but I terribly miss being there, now that I'm here.....The north is more 'architectury' and historical than the south even though there is phenomenal acrchitecture in the south

In general, if I had to pick a couple of rules on traveling in India....

1. Do not trust heckling taxi drivers and porters (@ airports, train stations etc.) irrespective of how helpful they seem....They are after you because they know that you are foreign and presume you have a lot of money....Ignoring them is the best way to deal with them....

2. Use prepaid transportation at airports, train stations...which is usually available......& to travel by bus, use tourist buses (lil more expensive but safer)

Buzz me if you have any questions in particular...will be more than glad to help!

5. Posted by worm (Budding Member 2 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I've visited both Rajastan and the south. India is still one of the most impressive countries I've visited and it's probably a good idea to do that last (less of a culture shock but also save the most impressive for last lest you become blasé at the start of your trip). Rajastan is incredibly busy, lots of touts, filthy, terribly poor, people trying to scam you, but also incredibly colourful, impressive culture, religion, buildings, scenery... etc. etc. I visited Bombay, Udaipur, Jaipur, Delhi (then Pakistan) and back for Calcutta (the most filthy, poor city I've ever been but still amazing looking back on it).
A few years later I visited the south, Chennai, Pondicherry, Tiruchirapalli, Kochi Alleppey - Kollam, Varkala and Trivandrum. Also beautiful but different... a lot easier to travel on your own. (this trip is on my site: If you're wary of India, this is the better choice. But both parts can be visited in 3 weeks! If you want more info, e-mail me...