INDIA TRAVEL TIPS
The best time to visit is between October and April when temperatures are cooler and therefore more conducive for sightseeing. In the summer months of May to August/ September it is less crowded, the hotel rates are lower, but the conditions are quite harsh and hamper sightseeing or photography, as parts of India are extremely hot.
Travel as light as possible. Clothing and laundry are both quite inexpensive. It is better for women to avoid tank tops or short skirts / shorts or clothes that are too revealing to avoid attracting undue attention. The best outfit, especially during the hot summers, is a T-shirt worn with loose cotton trousers. Please carry a pair of socks when travelling to Agra, as you are expected to take off your shoes at the entrance of Taj Mahal. Same rules apply at Jama Masjid at Old Delhi.
In India, public toilet facilities are few and far between. Take every opportunity you can to use a clean toilet in places such as hotels and restaurants. Make this a habit wherever you go.
Cyber cafes and phone booths are aplenty across India. Tourists can stay connected with all cities and many small towns and tourist destinations. Mobile telephone services are widespread across India. English is widely spoken across the cities and towns in India and street signs are also usually in English.
The Indian Rupees (INR) is the Indian currency and is only available in India. Pounds Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are easily exchanged upon arrival at any major bank or your hotel. ATM’s are also available in all major towns and cities, but some have a limit of INR 15000- 20000 that can be withdrawn on a particular day. Exchange ratesare subject to fluctuation.
The present rate is:
USD 1 = INR 62, GBP 1 = INR 93, EURO 1 = INR 68
TIME & VOLTAGE
India is 5 hours 30 mins ahead of GMT. Standardvoltage is 230-240V (usually 240V). Pack a universal travel adaptor that will allow you to use ahairdryer, electric shaver, charge a mobile phone and other electrical items. When choosing an adaptor for India, be sure that it is suitable for Indian sockets that accept round 3 pin plugsthat are similar but not identical to European plugs.
A small backpack to carry your day-to-day needs. A photocopy of your passport data pages. Please keep your passport in a safe place and do not carry it with you when sightseeing.
Insect repellant to guard against mosquitos, specially when you are travelling to places like Goa, Kerala or to Wild Life Nature Parks.
Spare camera batteries/memory card soyou can be snap happy. These are easily available in shops near the monuments, however can be more expensive.
Exchange some Indian Rupees at the airport onarrival.Keep a supply of small notes for localtransactions.
EARLY MORNING ARRIVALS
If you are arriving at Delhi prior to 9am on day 1 (essentially on aflight that arrives very early in the morning)it is advisable that you book the hotel for an extra night, from the previous day onwards, to save you waiting until standardhotel check in time, which is generally 12.00 pm.
When you arrive at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, our arrival process is as follows:
Arrive at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, where after you have attended to customs and immigration formalities, please proceed to the arrival hall. Please look out for our representative who will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall, holding a prominent GO DELHI LUXURY TOURS signboard, ready to escort you to the awaiting transportation and onward to your hotel for check in formalities.
If, for any reason you have trouble locating our representative (after waiting 20 minutes in the arrival hall) or your flight to India is delayed please call the contact number that will be provided to you, of our representative, or our all time contact number who will then advise on the best course of action. This procedure is followed for all destinations that you will be visiting while touring with us.
ATM & CREDIT CARD
Exchange facilities are available at various bureaude changes, banks and at most hotels in major towns. Bring cash in US Dollars, Euro or Pound Sterling. Commission charges vary from place to place and bank to bank. Werecommend you take a mixture of cash and credit/debit cards (for ATM usage). Travellers Cheques, in a major currency can also be used, although they can sometimes be difficult to change. Creditcards are easily accepted in mostshops, Hotels, restaurants andbusinesses.
Do not drink the tap water in India, it’s advisablefor visitors to always drink bottled water. Bottled water in India comes in two types – packageddrinking water, and pure mineral water such as the Bisleri brand. There is a difference between them.Packaged drinking wateris water that has been treated and made healthyfor drinking, while mineral water has been obtainednaturally at its underground source and hygienicallybottled. Both are safe to drink, although mineralwater is better as it’s chemical free.
Taxis & Rickshaws
Taxis are cheap and readily available in most ofthe bigger towns in India. Most of them possess meters, although taxi drivers who actually use theirmeter are rare! Try and get an idea of the likely fare before you leave your hotel. Motorised three-wheel rickshaws are available for hire throughout the country. Powered by a 2-strokemotorcycle engine with a driver upfront and seatingfor 2 – 3 at the rear, with no doors and a canvasroof, these rickshaws weave their way speedily through oncoming traffic. Alwaysnegotiate the price before settingoff. A cycle rickshaw is a 3-wheeler bicycle with a seat forpassengers behind the rider. Although not often seen in big cities, you’ll find them in Old Delhi andall the smaller towns, where they are a common mode of transport. The radio cabs such as Meru & Easy Cabs are also available, they are air conditioned, Safe and though slightly more expensive than the usual cabs, are a better option.
With more than 350 million people in India living onless than USD$1 per day, inevitably you will comeacross many people begging for money. The Indian government,however, would like to regulate begging morestringently.Though begging is common, you are not underobligation to give money and we request you, not to encourageit.
FOOD IN INDIA
Curry is the word that springs to mind when peoplethink of Indian food. Believe it or not, there is no such thing as ‘curry’ in India. It’s an Englishinvention, an allpurpose term to cover the whole gamut of Indian spicing. For the most part Indian foodis very, very aromatic, since the spices used by Indian chefs and cooks in India are fresh & specially ground to prepare that particular dish. Indian chefs and cooks have about 25 spices on theirregular list and it is from these that they produce the curry flavour. Curries can be vegetable, meatlamb,mutton or chicken in content, though never beef.
The cow is sacred to the Hindu people and India ingeneral, so it is extremely rare to see beef on any menu across the country. Lamb & Poultry also substitutebeef at McDonalds in India.
If Indian food becomes too much and you wish to get back to something familiar, Western-style food is available, all over North India, however it is not easily available in South India. Many menus in hotels and restaurants will feature dishes loosely based on Western recipes with perhaps just a hint of curry flavouring or spice. Indians like to experiment with other cuisines as well. In the bigger cities, you’ll find restaurants specialising in international cuisine, like Italian, French, Continental, Thai, Japanese, Malaysian, Chinese, besides the regular American fast food chains.
Street food, although tasty and fabulous looking,cannot always be relied upon to have been safely and hygienically prepared, so to this end,we suggest you sample ‘street style’ food from an established restaurant or from somewhererecommended by your guide.
FLYING IN INDIA
Please be aware that when flying domestically inIndia you are not allowed to check in any unsealed bottles. The check in time for all domestic flights is 1.5 hours prior to departure time. So for a flight at say 2.00 P.M, you should be at the airport by 12.30 P.M
SAFETY OF YOUR BELONGINGS
Be very careful with your personal belongings and do not leave them unattended under any circumstances. Take special care of your baggage when loading it in the car, taxi or bus. Expensive items like cameras, video cameras, jewellery etc, should not be left in the car, as they can be stolen from there. Our company will not be held responsible in the event of any stealing, loss or damage to your baggage and expensive items, while you are touring with us.
IN A DIFFERENT LAND
Travel to farflung corners of the earth involveslifestyles and conditions that are sometimes very different from what you are used to back home.You must come prepared to cope with unusual situations, local inadequacies and unpredictableevents as and when they occur. Experience India with an open and receptive mind, expect theunexpected and you’ll have a ball.
Our holidays combine comfortabletransportation, comprehensive sightseeing and good hotels, allowing you to concentrate on gettingthe most out of your stay. Despite some of the inevitable ‘ups and downs’ of travelling in India, youwill generally beaccorded great respect. In return, pleasedemonstrate sensitivity and respect for localcustoms.
This Go Delhi Guide has been compiled with care and good faith to give you an idea of what to expect when you arrive in India. Stay safe,stay healthy&have a great trip!