Quite keen to try to get to India in the next year or so as have never been. Thinking possibly Mumbai and then looking at Chennai, Kolkata and Puducherry on the east coast. But open to any tales that Dissers might have of travelling there. Any input welcomed!
Went for a work trip a few years back. Only ended up going to Pune (for work) Mumbai and Goa. Would recommend the last two a lot.
Stayed on Agonda beach in Goa, liked it a lot.
Been a few years, but we did a combined trip of Mumbai (or Bombay as all our hosts still insisted on calling it) and Kerala.
We stayed at an AirBnB in Mumbai with a host who was amazing, she took us loads of places we’d never have seen without a local, was very intense but also very diverse, just saw loads of stuff.
Kerala was beautiful and very relaxed, staying mainly in Cochi, there’s lots of travellers there and there was an art biennial on at the time which was cool. Also had a couple of days in Munar, up in the mountains in a tea-growing region, was very beautiful and saw a lot of stuff.
Best bit was probably back in Mumbai where we got a luxury boutique hotel and ate at really nice restaurants for a couple of nights though I mean travelling is nice but it’s nicer in beautiful air conditioned room with delicious food.
Colleague came back with typhoid a few months ago, so don’t skip your vaccinations!!
This reminds me, I didn’t get typhoid but I did get the shits for a day or two (seems to happen to most people at least once), unfortunately for me it happened on a day we were hiking up a mountain. Just had to drop my shorts and do in a tea plantation. Happy memories.
Ah, Dehli belly.
Was planning to travel out to India in 2020 (thank you, Covid), spending time in Mumbai and then travelling down by train to Kerala. Have a friend from Kerala who states that it’s heaven on earth. Less developed than Goa, fewer party goers. Hopefully in the next couple of years we’ll eventually go.
I really struggled in India was there for 2.5 months. If you’re planning on doing any travelling that isn’t flying it takes absolutely ages to get anywhere. Getting decent train tickets is an absolute fucking nightmare, ended up having to get sleeper coaches a lot and these take a long time, Goa to Mumbai took nearly 24 hours.
It’s also like visiting about 10 different countries as the culture is wildly different region by region
In the mega cities just stick to the tourist places I went exploring and it really wasn’t safe and was extremely grim.
Kerala is lovely but got really ill there (you will get ill in India, i don’t know anyone that’s been and hasn’t), would recommend varkala thought it was great there.
Goa is a vibe and just so much easier than everywhere else. Hampi to the east of there is cool to.
As i said i absolutely hated mumbai, have a look at the smog indexes for any of the mega cities you’re going to, if you’re going in a smoggy month it’s really bad, i mean like unbelievably bad, as in same as smoking 40 a day
I really liked rajasthan, went to udaipur, jodphur and jaipur. Food is great in this region. My missus got hassled and men would only speak to me though.
Delhi was grim because of the smog and there was race riots happening.
One thing that really really shocked me is the really open racism to muslims from the hindu nationalists it’s absolutely awful
I’ve done 2 trips there, both around 3 weeks long. First time I got pretty ill in Nagpur - think it was from the water they were giving out at the cricket stadium. Second trip I wasn’t ill at all - I think it can be done if you’re super careful and a bit lucky. Ice cubes are very dangerous, as are salads.
Had a great time in Rajasthan - saw a wild tiger at the Ranthambore wildlife reserve. Hampi was great, had fun doing cookery lessons with a family then got lost in a banana plantation for several hours with no water. Went kayaking with dolphins off the beach in Canacona (Goa) and enjoyed Kerala too. Delhi was not too pleasant, Chennai and Pune were fine and Mumbai was great.
@safebruv is right about getting around the country by train or bus - getting tickets is a nightmare, nothing is ever on time and journeys can take several hours longer than they are supposed to. That said, if you go in expecting all that and try to be as philosophical as possible then they can be quite memorable experiences (in a good way).
It’s not a great place for boozing in general. Drink as much ridiculously sweet milky chai as you possibly can though.
I went to Kerala back in March 2018 and had an amazing time - just a week in a town called Varkala, didn’t do much travelling, didn’t get ill, did eat incredibly well. I’d do it all again tomorrow if I could
I got annoyed by this in Sri Lanka. It was like I didn’t exist. I booked and paid for pretty much all accommodation and never even got a thank you or welcome myself, they’d always thank my boyfriend instead.
We went to Sri Lanka because we wanted to go to India but the logistics of it like you’ve described put me off. Sri Lanka is far easier to get around and see a lot of it as it’s just smaller.
Went to Jaipur for work a few years ago, amazing city. Got the train over to Agra to see the Taj Mahal which is one of the few massive tourist attractions I’ve ever been to that surpassed expectations, absolutely unbelievable.
Also got the shits, lasted about two weeks, horrendous night sweats.
The whole trip was organised for me start to finish, which I was very glad about, but does mean I have no useful practical advice other than ‘get someone else to organise everything’.