An ABC for
travel in India
For the first-time
Travel to INDIA
generally good advice for western travellers going far.
- Air tickets + passport +
insurance must not be left at home !
- Alcohol, is officially
strictly frowned upon, most of India is 'dry.'
- Animals, do not touch, not
even domestic pets.
- Atmosphere, India's values
are neither Christian nor Western.
- Beggars and lepers are
everywhere, some are in genuine need.
- Baksheesh is paying for
service, normal in India.
- Bribery, is baksheesh fallen
into greed, common everywhere.
- Confirmation, do it twice, or
return flights are lost.
- Confirmation, get proof of
reconfirmation, a stamp or reference.
- Confirmation, they really do
cancel your flight 3 days before - unless you do it!
- Collar, an inflatable one,
and earplugs will help you sleep on the flight home.
- Constipation, is another
problem, take something gentle.
- Churches and pastors may seem
traditional or legalistic to western visitors but may be
great men of God.
- Check your shoes and beds
morning and night for visitors.
- Cheap in India: quality
spectacles, shoes, and clothes.
- Departure tax of 300 rupees
may have to be paid on exit.
- English, outside of big city
centres very few speak it.
- Food is spicy, usually eaten
with right hand, never, ever with left.
- Fruit and veg, if you can't
cook it or peel it ~ leave it !
- Flip-flops, never go barefoot
to the bathroom, or anywhere else.
- First-Aid kit, with Imodium,
Setlers, Strepsils, aspirin etc is useful.
- Fever, for 4 months after the
visit test any 38º fever for malaria.
- Fear, no need ~ the poor
areas are generally very friendly
- Fifty pence or 50 cents in
India is a good tip or gift to the poor.
- Growth, the church is
exploding in South India with many martyrs.
- Gifts, some small gifts from
home will be well received.
- Gods, you will see gods
everywhere, notice how they reward the millions who
- History, India had
universities when we lived in caves.
- Hindus, most are non-violent
Hindus, but extremists hostile.
- Hat, or baseball cap,
essential for sun and rain.
- Insects, take repellents,
bite cream or TCP.
- Insurance, absolutely
essential, make copies of help numbers.
- Judgements, pour out of our
western lips, and are usually wrong !
- Kagoul or plastic pakaway
raincoat, take one rolled up, you need it if it rains.
- Mosquitoes, major danger,
always use net and all precautions.
- Money belt or similar hidden
wallet makes you feel more secure.
- Muslims, keep a very low
profile if they are gathering to protest.
- Medicines, take any you need
or a prescription.
- Monsoon, nothing dries for
days, take enough socks/underwear.
- Money, an easy answer but not
always the appropriate solution.
- Officials, treat with respect,
colonial irritation produces nothing.
- People are much more simple
in Bible belief than we are.
- Photocopy twice your passport
data page, insurance, air ticket.
- Preparation, they say nothing
can prepare you for India, so relax!
- Phone or fax home, ask for an
international line or telephone shop.
- Prayer, vital to organise
daily, committed prayer cover at home.
- Rupees, about 62/Pound, buy
at airport, keep the certificate safe.
- Real India: make sure you ask
to see where the people live.
- Roads, people drive
differently to us. Try and relax.
- Showers (or buckets for
washing) don't swallow the water !
- Spectacles, take a spare pair
in case, or a prescription.
- Sunglasses, don't forget
- Snacks, enticing street
snacks always mean days in the loo.
- Sleep, it may be noisy at
night in city and jungle,
so people use afternoon hours as well.
- Sterile syringes, take an
anti-AIDS kit just in case of injection.
- Toilet-paper, take your own,
expect the very worst en route.
- Torch, essential to always
have it with you after dusk.
- Teeth, never brush them with
tap water, used bottled or boiled.
- Water, only drink boiled,
bottled or self-purified water. Be warned !
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