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  1. #1
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    travelling to india - help appreciated!

    Hi all,

    I am a 27 year old guy in Australia. For some reason, I have always wanted to travel around India to have a look. But have no idea about the country really. So can anyone share their stories about travelling/living there.

    The plan is for this April for about 10 days maximum (most I can get off work. I know, longer would be nice but all I have for now)

    (need to go to Mumbai for salsa (dance) festival in April 3 to 6th (should be great.


    April: India
    ----------------

    Issues:

    Return from Perth to Mumbai: $1400 cheapest
    Return from Perth to Chennai: $955

    So is it feasible to go from Chennai to Mumbai? How? Train? Plane? How much please? How long? Risky? Recommended? How much is accomodation for non congress nights generally?

    My idea would be so far:

    Thursday 27th March fly to Chennai from Perth ($525)
    Friday 28th March - arrive in chennai
    Saturday 29th March - arrive in chennai
    Sunday 30th March - arrive in chennai
    Monday 31st March - arrive in chennai
    Tuesday 1st April - arrive in chennai
    Wednesday 2nd April - arrive in chennai
    Thursday 3rd April - arrive in chennai
    Friday 4th April - arrive in chennai
    Saturday 5th April - arrive in chennai
    Sunday 6th April - finish dance congress and travel to Chennai at night
    Monday 7th April - * Fly from Chennai to Singapore ($130) plus fly from sing to Perth ($200)

    Total cost flights about 855 PLUS travel to and from chennai (have seen flights for about 40 one way

    The advantage is that I would also get to see the country as I travel across it from Chennai to Mumbai (maybe through goa?)

    Eg bus? (how much?)
    train (how much?)
    hire car (how much and how hard to drive in India?)


    Do you recommend? Why/why not please?

    Figured it would be great to explore things along the way but need to be in Mumbai by the 3rd for the congress Maybe from Chennai to Goa to Mumbai (and things along the way?)

    Then going home may not have as long so would take the quickest route. perhaps fly to chennai from Mumbai then home.

    thanks!!!!!!!!!


    Also, what are some things to do there? I figured I will dance my butt off in mumbai (a passion of mine) so that is sorted but what about along the way. Also, NOT the only reason I am going but it would be a nice bonus.........I find indian girls super hot. How are they with Aussie tourists. Any hints or tips

  2. #2
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I think you've got your bases covered. Try learning some of the language for 3-months beforehand. Really goes a long way towards making your journey more enjoyable. Couple of ideas, depending upon where you go:

    - be prepared to see lots of dead bodies on the side of the road
    - Indian chics aren't easy (certainly not as easy as Aussie chics when presented with an American accent )
    - buses will get you pretty much anywhere. Cars tend to get stuck in the traffic of cities. More freedom with motorcycle w/sidecar.
    - India's a fairly conservative country. If you want a booty-tour, come to the U.S., chics love the Aussie accent!

  3. #3
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Is it really worth learning any particular language? I don't imagine Hindi would be all that much more useful than English (correct me if I'm wrong), and I don't see the point in learning one of the regional languages unless you're going to be spending an extended period of time in one region only.

    Though I guess a few words in Tamil for the girls in Chennai might improve your chances

  4. #4
    Senior Member tasr's Avatar
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    Get your inoculation up to date. Tell the doctor where youíre traveling to. I would imagine the Hepatitis series of shot would be a priority.
    James

  5. #5
    Senior Member kwrides's Avatar
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    Yep, you definately need to get your shots up to date.

    I've always been in the city, so take this with a grain of salt. The rest of the country may be very different....

    Be prepared for the most amazing traffic jams and white knuckle travel you've ever seen on city streets.

    Unless you are of Indian desent, I would not expect to meet girls, but I would expect to get stared at...a lot. Especially if you are very tall.

    Don't eat anything that involves water...that means salad, peeled fruit, smoothies, tap water, etc. Take this very seriously. Make sure you see the water bottle opened at the table. I know people who have spent days confined to the hotel toilet. On the other hand, I ate some AMAZING Indian food.

    Poverty and wealth co-mingle. You will see people in suits standing next to people starving and cooking dinner on the side of the street.

    Make sure that you compliment your hosts and speak well of the country. My experience was that the Indian people know their country is on the way up and they are very proud of that. They are EXCELLENT hosts who really want you to enjoy their country.

  6. #6
    Dude wheres my guads? skinnyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb View Post
    Though I guess a few words in Tamil for the girls in Chennai might improve your chances
    Trust me dude. Tamil girls are the toughest to get any action out of. Ask me how I know . That being said the changes off late have been for the better. Night clubs and night life in Madras is starting to take shape these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    be prepared to see lots of dead bodies on the side of the road
    - Indian chics aren't easy (certainly not as easy as Aussie chics when presented with an American accent )
    - buses will get you pretty much anywhere. Cars tend to get stuck in the traffic of cities. More freedom with motorcycle w/sidecar.
    - India's a fairly conservative country. If you want a booty-tour, come to the U.S., chics love the Aussie accent!
    Danno, cant say I have seen too many dead bodies on the side of the road.. .where were you at? But you got most of the others right. Getting a bus is a PITA as you really need to know you stops and routes. Tough to do on a short trip. An Auto-Rickshaw/(tuk-tuk for those who have visited Thailand) will get you anyplace. Be prepared to bargain.

    As for trains from Bombay to Chennai, I am guess AC sleeper will probably cost you 2500-3500 Rupees. flights are pretty cheap these days and that way you can spend more time in Madras and Bombay respectively. I have never done a train trip that stops at places for the sake of sightseeing. You could probably rent a taxi and drive from Madras to Bombay but not sure how feasible or cheap that it. Goa is ok, same old beach resort. I would say ditch all of that and go see some architecture. There are tonnes of places to see such as Mahabalipuram near madras and trichy(a bus/train ride away). If you fancy you could even head down to Mysore/Bangalore for a day or two. Bangalore is kinda where its at for the south in terms of nightlife/tail!

    Anyway if you have more questions, let me know.

    PS. In case people dont know, we got cows.. on the street. don't act surprised ..
    Last edited by skinnyone; 01-11-08 at 11:44 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member hanshananigan's Avatar
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    One question I have is whether you might return someday, or is it one shot in India? If it's one shot, will an extra several hundred bucks really put you out that much (in terms of flying somewhere less desireable just because it's cheaper)? This is a dream vacation for many people!

    If it's likely one trip only, would you want to see the Taj? Dig on Buddhism on the Ganges in Varanasi? Mountains or jungles? Bollywood, Octo***** (edit - that's so funny! the forum censored Octopu55y, a great 007 movie filmed in Udaipur!), or Kashmir?

    I visited for about 10 days about 10 years ago (holy cow! it's been that long?!?!?). Basically, Delhi to Agra (Taj) to Jaipur to Pushkar to Udaipur (by hired car - not as expensive as you might think, and had perks like getting directions and booze in "dry" states), then by air to Mumbai (Bombay) where my friend's family picked us up and drove us to a small town in Gujarat for 4 days.

    First step is to pick up a Lonely Planet guidebook (or whatever would be best these days). That will answer most of your questions. Concerning Indian tail, I can't speak from experience, but usually cities are the way to go, mate, if that's your objective. If that's your goal and you got mad skills, you might as well stay in Mumbai and strike up a relationship with someone you meet at the festival.
    Hi!

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  8. #8
    Dude wheres my guads? skinnyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanshananigan View Post
    I visited for about 10 days about 10 years ago (holy cow! it's been that long?!?!?). Basically, Delhi to Agra (Taj) to Jaipur to Pushkar to Udaipur (by hired car - not as expensive as you might think, and had perks like getting directions and booze in "dry" states), then by air to Mumbai (Bombay) where my friend's family picked us up and drove us to a small town in Gujarat for 4 days.
    You get a driver with the car too right? I am sure what the rates are these days though but back in the day it was cheap in Dollars.. (this info is about 8 years old) it was 300-400 rupees/day + meals + driver tip which would add up to say 500-500 rupees/day)

  9. #9
    Dude wheres my guads? skinnyone's Avatar
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    I just checked fares for Madras - Bombay and it worked to 2586 Rupees. Ac first class, highly recommend the ac part of it, especially if you are a person who spends a lot of time in an air-conditioned environment. You could save a bit by going 2nd/3rd I would guess.

    http://www.indianrail.gov.in/

    There is also a link for Rail Tourism on the top which might be worth checking out.
    Last edited by skinnyone; 01-10-08 at 10:58 PM.

  10. #10
    Clever Title Here...
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    Yendor28: I highly recommend that you head on over to IndiaMike.com and peruse the forums there thoroughly. A highly recommended site for travelers headed to and in India.

    I can tell one thing: It is going to be HOT in April. Not as hot as in May and June, but hot nonetheless.

    Have a good time!

  11. #11
    Senior Member hanshananigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnyone View Post
    You get a driver with the car too right? I am sure what the rates are these days though but back in the day it was cheap in Dollars.. (this info is about 8 years old) it was 300-400 rupees/day + meals + driver tip which would add up to say 500-500 rupees/day)

    Yup. I felt funny having a driver - so bourgeoisie. I don't recall the price. In some ways, it offered flexibility and helped us to get off the beaten path at times, without getting into trouble. High speed road travel in India is really something not to be missed - zipping along at 100km, death-defying passing, burned-out buses and cars in the road, ox and carts using the same roads, just nutty.
    Hi!

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  12. #12
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb View Post
    Is it really worth learning any particular language? I don't imagine Hindi would be all that much more useful than English (correct me if I'm wrong), and I don't see the point in learning one of the regional languages unless you're going to be spending an extended period of time in one region only.

    Though I guess a few words in Tamil for the girls in Chennai might improve your chances
    I'd agree. Learning the language can help, it puts you in the not a rude foriegn guy. But the OP is from OZ, just brush up on the latest Indian Cricket matches, not all that much work. All the Indian guys at work can always remember the Austrailian Batsman who walked off after being called not out, when the call was wrong. I always remember the story and forget the name.

  13. #13
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    brilliant, thanks so much everyone!!!

    will read through and update you

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