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So, you want to travel India

Delhi, India


Here is a blog on how I'm travelling through India as cheaply as possible. Lets start with accomodation. You can get free accomodation at most ashrams in India. It will save you a bomb. For a comprehensive listing on Ashrams in India buy the book. "From here to Nirvana".

In India there are two things I remember. Be clean and take advantage of how much Ican get for so little. If I have to stay in paid accomodation I make sure it is clean. I am not going to get anything acceptable for under 500 rupees which is around 12 bucks a night. For this I get a queen size bed and a shower and toilet. Although some backpackers are OK, most of them can be more expensive than hotels. Walk around and check out a few of the hotels first. Always look at the room before you check in and you should never pay more that 500rps for a good clean room. For that the rooms in each hotel vary greatly but there are lots of hotels and they are all competing against each other so find the best one.

Food can be tricky. If you stay in Ashrams they will feed you for a few rupees a day and sometimes food is exchanged for work. When you first arrive in India avoid food off the street. That is open food vendors that operate on the roadside or in markets. When you first arrive here always head for restaurants that are indoors. You can get a good 3 or 4 course feed for between 3 or 5 dollars AUD if you hunt around. After you get used to the food and youv'e had Delhi Belly you can eat from almost anywhere. Simply be aware of hygiene.

The best way to travel long distances in the cities is by auto (motorised) rickshaw but never forget that you are in India and if 4 bucks seems like a cheap one way auto rickshaw ride chances are it isn't. Cheaper still are the bicycle rickshaws but they only take you short distances. Whatever rickshaw type you take ou have to barter with the drivers. Always approach drivers one by one when you see rickshaws in a line to barter for the best price and even when you are flagging them down don't settle for their "off the top of their head price". Barter with them and if you have no joy find another one. I can get a rickshaw to take me across Delhi (around 20k) wait for me until I've done what I have to do and then take me back to where I started for 230 rps or $6.50 AUD.You have to barter for it though otherwise you can be paying 10 to 15 bucks a pop which might be OK in Sydney but in India you are being so ripped off. Always pay at the end of the journey and remember you are on India pricing which seems so cheap already but in India you do as the Indians do. If you take this advice you will get more rides for your dollar.

I barter In all market stalls in India but its harder to get the price down in an etablished shop. The best way to begin to barter is to know how much you want to spend for the item you are purchasing and don't pay a penny more. . Firstly find out its price then offer less than half the price quoted, then work it out. Doing it this way usually gets me an item for a little bit more than half the quoted or ticketed price. The thing to keep in mind is that the vendor wants to sell but if they can rip you off they will

Technology is the most expensive thing in India. They pay 100 bucks more for an Ipod than we do. All other types of products are as cheap as chips apart from some special items.

permalink written by  Eric Broome on November 26, 2006 from Delhi, India
from the travel blog: Journey to the Arts End
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Eric Broome Eric Broome
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I am a fine artist from the mid north coast of NSW, Australia. I work with different media including photography, painting drawing and. For me, art making is about the process. My work is abstract style. It is included in collections and has been shown world wide. I have also made site specific...

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