First timer to India
Replies: 19 - Last Post: Jun 28, 2012 10:44 AM Last Post By: bodyartforms
Apr 11, 2012 11:15 AM
First timer to IndiaHey guys,
This is probably going to seem like a really amateur post, so apologies in advance.
I am in the very early stages of planning my trip of backpacking some part of India.
What do people think of the book flight + land option? With no plans? And solo?
I did it in South East Asia (success) and East Africa (disaster). What would it be like in India?
If I want to land in India in August, should I apply for my visa now? It lasts 6 months I believe. I am an Irish citizen. How do I apply for one?
Is it generally a cheap country to travel? (student budget)
Thanks a lot!
Apr 11, 2012 11:37 AM
You havent mentioned how long you are going to stay in India and what kind of a traveller are you - what are you looking to do or like to do.
I just got my India travel visa. From the time you apply to the time you get your passport visa, it could be anything from 4-8 days. The cost of a 6 month visa and a 10 year visa is also not much so I opted for 10 year visitor visa. I recommend 10 years over 6 months. You are most certainly going back there after your first visit.
August is good time to visit just after the summer. You could start travel from North and come down south as it will start to get cold in August in North/West/East.
You havent mentioned which country you are in currently located. For visa, visit http://www.indianembassy.org/visa.php
Yes, you can travel on student shoe string and have a good time. Carry a good back pack. I can help you with accommodation in South India and other places. Being a Ham Radio Operator, I take advantage of that fact and get good care in almost every part of India where there is a Ham.
Reply back and lets exchange notes
Apr 11, 2012 11:39 AM
2No reason why you cant travel solo around India....its been a popular pastime for many for many years...yes its cheap...but inflation is rife ...accom is nowhere near as good value a much of SE Asia...cheap is very often grotty. Trains, buses are very cheap.
Apr 11, 2012 11:43 AM
3I am located in Ireland (southern) so I will have to post my passport to London I guess.
I plan to backpack for 4 weeks. I don't know "what kind" of traveller I am! I just like to spend time with like-minded people, relax and party (I'm 20).
I plan to travel by train a lot, it really interests me!
Thanks a lot for all the information so far! :)
Apr 11, 2012 1:44 PM
4Ten year visas are, I believe, only available for Americans.
I suggest you don't apply too early for your visa since it starts running from the day you get it.
Prices in rupees have indeed gone up quite a bit, but the rupee has also become cheaper. Overall I think India is still the place where you get the most and best for your money. I think India is at least 30% cheaper than Thailand, maybe more.
August is low season in most of India, due to the monsoon. I have heard it it is still a very nice time to be in India. But you may not find all that many other travelers there.
Apr 11, 2012 2:42 PM
5I wouldnt go with no plans at all, but solo travel is ok, you should meet people anyway if you want to. If you're a female you should think about where you're going and the times you'll be travelling.
There isnt much to recommend Indian cities unfortunately, especially if you're on a budget, so if you want to hang out and get your bearings I would head for the countryside or beach while you figure things out.
Apr 11, 2012 4:34 PM
There are thousands of people doing that each day - you won't be any different to the others.
Personally, I would recommend that you read the section here about scams, work out where you want to visit and, how to get from A => B. Also, have a few backup plans available, so if your first option doesn't work, you can try something else.
I am an Irish citizen. How do I apply for one?
Not sure how Irish citizens apply. If you're only going there for four-weeks, apply now. You'll have plenty of time up your sleeve to get the passport; and be out of the country before the visa expires (just make sure you request a six-month visa).
Some main cities are more expensive than others (Mumbai; Delhi; Kolkata; Chennai - in that order).
If you are travelling in the more remote areas, it will be cheaper. Also, depending on whether you go during the early or later part of August, it could still be very hot or, bucketing down.
Dress appropriately (take a fold-up raincoat in case it is required).
Apr 11, 2012 10:44 PM
Apr 12, 2012 12:28 AM
8What could possibly be the point of getting a visa 4 months before the dude is even going?
Hopefully the Irish will actually get 6 months visa. I don't know, but I recently met Swiss and Dutch who had only been given 3 months visa, in their home countries.
Apr 12, 2012 8:12 AM
9Yep- just go - get an up-to-date guidebook -this'll give you itineraryideas also-
My advice would be to start and end in Delhi - just flop in PaharGanj for 24 hours, amongst other backpackers and pick brains.
Having lived 3 years in both East Africa and SE Asia, India is in the SE Asia league and probably not much different in costs - the one big difference is the extensive railway system and not-as-good buses generally.
Apr 12, 2012 11:30 AM
10I was going to get it now because of convenience. I have exams coming up just before I plan to set off so it would be easier. I must look into the visa time frames further.
Thanks for all the replies guys. I see that a lot of people land and depart from Delhi - so it seems like a good option.
Glad to hear people recommend it :)
Apr 12, 2012 6:40 PM
11Get the visa first...then the flight... Most Land travel can be arranged on the spot...without boxing yourself in in advance...
Its dirt cheap if you stay at the right places...and they are very nice in many cases...
The tourist infrastructure is very much like South Asia...very efficient and cheap trains...buses are good...and even flying is reasonable...on Spice Air and other low cost carriers domestically...
Apr 13, 2012 12:02 AM
Jun 9, 2012 5:02 AM
13Hey guys, I have a visa sorted :)
What will the weather be like in August? What clothing should I wear?
Should I visit North or South India?
Jun 9, 2012 5:12 AM
14The questions that you are asking indicate that you have not done much research of your own - I hope I'm wrong -
Have you got that guidebook yet? You will save the initial cost within 2 days when you need to look for accommodation and will reduce the chances of your being conned by a tuktuk driver who knows the best flop. It'll also motivate sensible contributors to answer your more sensible questions more sensibly.
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