Travel India: Tourist scams to avoid

For tourists all over world,  it’s hard to avoid meeting touts and scammers coming up with ever new tourist scams. These cheats are always looking for new ways of  stealing money from unsuspecting tourists. We have written this article to help tourists avoid losing money due to such scams .
Some common tourist scams faced by travelers
1) Let’s go to this shop owned by a friend of mine
For shady guides and taxi-drivers, it’s a very common line. They offer tourists a free tour of a shop, factory, showroom etc and claim that it’s just part of the tour or owned by a friend and they are under no pressure to buy anything. But once tourists enter the premises, salesmen don’t let anyone leave easily without buying anything. They will find any excuse to keep you in and it could go on for a long time. The unsuspecting tourists are very often tricked in to buying useless, overpriced items like  rugs, clothes or random trinkets at hugely inflated prices
2) Providing false information
This is also very common and there are numerous variations.  Latest one we heard was from an American guest of ours who wanted to visit Red Fort (Lal Qila) in Delhi. He was staying in a hotel  Paharganj, which is a drive of 15 minutes from Red Fort. When he started searching for an auto-rickshaw to take him there, a random guy from street came up to him and offered him to take him there in his ‘private car’, and for fare, quoted a price which was 6 times the fare of an auto-rickshaw. He tried to bluff by saying that  only private cars were allowed inside the fort due [...]

By |December 3rd, 2013|Advice, Travel|1 Comment|

Travel India: Transport

This article is written as a short India travel guide for travelers who are searching for about suitable means of transport in India . Any first time traveler in India almost always feels overpowered by all the diverse people, cultures, food, languages, climates and more. We can’t write a complete India travel guide which can claim to be helpful in even a small percentage of situations that a traveler may come across in India. We just wish to cover as many important details as possible without overwhelming the readers. We have posted some India travel guides on IndiaFoodTour.in already. Please check bottom of post or blog for those. This one is covers various aspects of transport in India. Let’s start with :
Travel by car or private vehicle in India

A car with driver is safest and most convenient  means of transport in India. Tourists can hire a car of their choice  and drive it themselves, if they have necessary qualifications.  But not every foreigner can handle the chaos of Indian roads. It’s much safer and potentially cheaper to hire a driver too. Approximate pay for a driver in most places is Rs. 150-300 per day. Quite often, it is inclusive of rent for the hired vehicle and the customer doesn’t pay for his food or hotel expenses. Depending upon condition and model, different vehicles can be rented for different prices.  Price per km for them varies between Rs 8 per km to Rs 20 per km for majority of models in market. Some of more popular ones include Tata Indigo, Tata Indica, Ambassador,  Toyota Qualis and some others.

Hiring a car gives travelers much freedom as they can travel freely without worrying about train or [...]

By |November 18th, 2013|Advice, Travel|1 Comment|

Travel India : Monsoon tourism

Tourism in India during monsoon season
Contrary to prevalent opinion, traveling in India during rainy monsoon season can be fun and cheap. Some people advise against it due to factors like blocked roads, unreliable weather etc. An unexpected flood or landslide can upset planned travel itinerary. Inspite of all this traveling in India during monsoons can be advantageous in a number of ways. One being tourists getting good discounts on high-expense factors like air fares, hotels. They can also enjoy their sightseeing in relative peace as peak season tourist crowds are absent.

Let us explain a little about monsoons in India before going any further.

India is a a huge country and is rightly classified as a sub-continent due to it’s size as well as the large diversity it enjoys in form of different landscapes and weather. You can find cold snow covered Himalayan mountains in north, evergreen tropical forests in east, hot Thar deserts in west,, temperate coasts in south and more. All of these all provide tourists with large varieties of options and time periods in which to travel across the country. Actually there is no definite or set time to for tourists to visit India. Different regions in India have different peak-seasons for tourists. Writing about it wil need another article by itself.

Monsoon is the rainy season of Indian sub-continent which lasts from June to September in different regions. It reaches southern parts of India in early June and travels northwards over the next few months. Northern India receives first monsoon showers in late June or early July. Not every region in India experiences equal monsoon rainfall or at same time period. All of them have different experiences with monsoon rains. Monsoon rains [...]

Travel India: Street Food in India

Different people have different opinions about street food in India as well as abroad. A few people don’t like eating out in open, standing and surrounded by crowds. Few others have concerns about cleanliness. These are valid points indeed, but it’s a fact that no one can deny that the innovation and unique flavours offered by street food vendors can be very rare in fancy restaurants. Street food in India as well as other countries all over the world is cheap and very delicious. As far as hygiene is concerned, most good vendors have better cleanliness standards than many established food chains. One reassuring point is that one can see the food being cooked right in front and conditions with own eyes. It’s quite unlike most established restaurants. Apart from that, vendors have their recipes for generations and guard them zealously just like big businesses do.
Street food in India

India in is blessed with an amazing variety of street food. A truncated list of food available here can easily fill a small book. Different regions in India have their own unique cultures and cuisines. Some one traveling through India will go through enough cuisines for a large continent. For sake of simplicity and focus, some more popular traditional Indian street food snacks are Bhel poori, Chole Bhatoore, Gol Gappe, Poori Kachori Aaloo Tikki, Dahi Bhalle, , Chaat, Samosa, kathi roll, Pakode with stuffings and many many more. Different types of chaat are some of more popular among street food dishes in India. When one considers the numerous varieties of food available here, neither one of which tastes, smells or looks like any other, it’ boggles mind. You can choose almost anything depending upon what [...]

Travel India: How to avoid water & food related problems while traveling

Many tourists suffer from problems like upset stomach and similar illnesses by consuming unsafe water and food while traveling. Very few people are have iron stomachs and immune systems better than those special forces soldiers. But for rest of us mortals, a lot of effort is needed for just not getting sick whenever we travel for any period of time.

This is very important people who travel abroad. Tourists will find different benchmarks of hygiene, cleanliness and different pests and germs in different places across the world. Just as an example, communicable diseases like malaria, dengue are almost completely eradicated in developed western nations, but they still claims hundreds of thousands of lives in many other countries across the world, specially in tropics. Although,this can go very detailed, time and space constraints mean that we limit this article to advice related to food and drink related hygiene and safety rules only. These general instructions which true almost everywhere. So let’s begin with
1) Water safety for tourists
a) Portable Filters
Portable filters are another viable option. There are many types of big and small filters available in market. One particular portable filter   is as big as a pen and is used as one would use a straw. It’s very lightweight, small and can be carried in a pocket. Additionally, you can use special bottles which come with water filter already fitted in. Most of other filters meant for home use are usually too big to carry around comfortably. If you are not carrying your own water filter, then best options are bottled water, juice or soft drinks, in that order.
b) Bottled Water
Contaminated water is the biggest source of preventable infectious diseases worldwide. A [...]