Planning an independent trip to India
When planning an independent visit to such a distant and unexplored country, the first step is to take care of obtaining a visa. And here’s the good news: in 2014, the Indian government made this task much easier for Ukrainians. And now the coveted mark can be obtained directly at the airport, however, three days before the trip you need to submit an electronic application for authorization.
There should also be no difficulties with buying air tickets, regardless of whether you prefer a direct flight or a more profitable option with transfers. Especially if you are used to (following our recommendations) booking them in advance and keeping track of great deals from carriers. The most popular host cities in the country are Delhi and Goa. Keep in mind that in summer, tickets for charter flights to these destinations are sold out like hot cakes, so it is important not to miss your chance.
Accommodation will also be the easiest to solve at the preliminary stage of travel planning. However, in this case, you will not have the opportunity to evaluate the real offer, the view from the room, service and so on. Therefore, experienced travelers are advised not to be tempted by the most economical options and stay at those where rooms start at least $ 30 per day. Thus, you will reduce the risk of falling for unkempt Indian exoticism.
If you decide to orient yourself upon arrival, you will also not be left homeless, because there are an incredible number of hotels (of a wide variety of categories), hostels and guesthouses. Be guided not only by the Hotel signs, but also those on which the Guest House or Lounge appears. In case you want to rent accommodation from local residents, follow the Rent sign.
In either case, try to bargain – most likely, you will easily be able to knock out a better offer for yourself. Before paying for the room, ask to inspect it, paying special attention to cleanliness (including bed linen), as well as the presence of hot and cold water in the taps and showers. Also, inquire about the presence of cells or safes for guests and stock up on business cards of the hotel (or write down its address and contacts of the manager).
There are many ways to get around Indian cities. Train is one of the most popular modes of transport among the local population. Moreover, its popularity is its main drawback. Have you seen in the films the images of Indians jostling at the entrances of the carriage or climbing the roofs of trains? So, this is not an artistic exaggeration. However, the problem of too close (noisy, numerous) neighborhood is solved if you ask for a ticket in a higher class (it is better to ask the ticket office how they differ in a particular train).
Have you seen in the films the images of Indians jostling at the entrances of the carriage or climbing the roofs of trains? So, this is not an artistic exaggeration.
You can also travel all over this considerable, let’s face it, country by bus, because there are a lot of flights to a wide variety of destinations. If you want to admire the roadside beauty and undisguised Indian life, use this method. There are two types of buses: with advance purchase of tickets (here each passenger must have a ticket with the specified seat when boarding) or with free boarding (where payment is made inside the bus at the conductor).
It should be understood that on a simple bus you will most likely have a leisurely trip with many stops and inexplicable delays. For those who need to be in a certain place on time, transport with an Express or Superfast sign is more suitable.
Slower (but seductively colorful) is the option with a rickshaw or the famous Indian taxi. Remember that the first is not very convenient, and therefore is not suitable for long trips, and the second will cost you a pretty penny, because gasoline is much more expensive here than here.
Indian cuisine is definitely worth a try. It is as tasty as it is original. Remember that excessive spiciness is optional – in absolutely any institution you can easily ask for a slightly peppery or not at all peppery dish.
There are a lot of gastronomic opportunities for vegetarians – there are quite a few locals whose diet is based solely on non-meat food. Street food should be treated with justifiable caution, but it should be understood that rumors about widespread unsanitary conditions and cases of food poisoning in India are often greatly exaggerated. Not only tourists, but also Indians themselves are often happy to devour the local “fast food”, so why not ask one of them about a proven place?
So we come to the most important and at the same time the most difficult item on our list – where is it worth going. Let’s face it – this choice falls entirely on your shoulders, because it all depends on what kind of vacation you are planning. If you wish noisy and cheerful companies, parties until the morning – go to the party part of Goa. Strive to enlighten and follow the Buddha’s route – visit the places where he once visited. If you want a secluded contemplation of the natural beauty – discover the deserted part of the country.
Special attention should be paid to what time will be chosen for the trip, because too rainy or too hot weather can seriously cloud your tour. Already starting in March, India is incredibly hot everywhere except the Himalayas, where it is noticeably cool even before mid-April. There are hot days in June, but at this time they are often replaced by rainy ones.
Fans of urban recreation are advised not to give in too much to the calls for local holidays. For example, the popularized Holi holiday does not always find a positive response in the soul of a traveler, because at this time the transport system in cities literally paralyzes, and you are involved in watering and sprinkling with paints, as soon as you appear on the street, regardless of your desire.
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