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First time in India

UK
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37 posts
5 reviews
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First time in India

hey

I'm planning on travelling to India next month for a week, and I have a few questions..

I've heard it's unadvisable to go on my own, but unfortunately I have no one to go with. Is this going to be a big problem, or ok if I'm sensible?

I love wearing saris, but wondered if I will be looked down upon or thought of to be ridiculing religion and culture if I do this in India? (I'm not Indian, I'm white british).

Also if you have first timer tips, that'd be wonderful!

Thankyou

Mumbai, India
Destination Expert
for Mumbai, New Delhi, Kochi (Cochin), Chennai, India
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1. Re: First time in India

Dear little-legs - I wrote an article called "the western woman and the saree" - perhaps you'd care to read it? You might find it interesting.

…blogspot.com/2008/02/western-women-and-sare…

If you have worn saris before, I'd say, go for it.

Mumbai, India
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for Mumbai, New Delhi, Kochi (Cochin), Chennai, India
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2. Re: First time in India

I run a tour company, and often our customers are single women on their own. They do feel uncomfortable going out at night, and usually have dinner in the hotel where they are staying.

The experience of India that a single woman has is dramatically different depending on whether you are travelling on a budget or in luxury. In the luxury hotels (or even the better class of hotels) you will get treated like royalty and will feel always cosseted and safe. The budget hotels on the other hand, tend to feel unsafe.

- Deepa

India
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3. Re: First time in India

Depends where you are going. North India tends to be distinctly single woman unfriendly but Kerala, Goa should be okay. As another member says, in high end hotels there will not be any problem, for that matter as long as you are not in the cheapest guest house, there ought to be no problems. Take the usual precautions like not venturing out alone at night, and avoid overnight road / rail travel on your own. Also dress sensibly - avoid shorts, strappy tops, low necks, any kind of revealing clothing that would attract unwanted attention. Saris, for those not used to them, can be quite inconvenient for everyday travel. Definitely no one would look down upon you for wearing a sari, but you will attract attention - some unwanted! If you say where you are headed, I could give you some more relevant information.

Mumbai, India
Destination Expert
for Mumbai, New Delhi, Kochi (Cochin), Chennai, India
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4. Re: First time in India

Bang on, syn. Can I nominate you for Mumbai Destination Expert? Your advice is always sensible.

UK
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5. Re: First time in India

I was looking at the Chateau Windsor hotel.. that’s the kind of budget I’m on.

Deepa, you’ve made me feel a little more confident about going on my own, thankyou! I think I may take a sari with me and brave it one day and see how I feel. Just love wearing them, seems to change the way I hold myself instantly.

I’m still trying to decide between chowpatty beach or colaba area, and I have no idea how near or far away from each other they are. I have a lot more research to do this weekend!

What I’m looking for is just to see some sights, get a feel for India, look around little shops. Casual touristy things.

England
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6. Re: First time in India

Hi

I went on my own and did all the tourist things including catching train and bus. Mumbai is abit like London and New York so many people going about their business and though you strand out they don't tend to hassle you at all.

I had a great time and i did go out in the evenings but not too late, i always felt comfortable as many people are around in the evening especially around Colaba but best to be careful all the same.

Northampton, United...
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7. Re: First time in India

I would say if you are happy as a white woman wearing a sari in UK, you will be fine in India and attract much less attention - after all in India a sari is just normal clothing. Or you may be admired, but in a nice way. Go for it! And think of all the sarees you can buy... but watch out for the sales pitch.

As for 'Eve-teasing', you will probably not escape entirely, but try to copy the way Indian upper middle-class women behave and you should have less hassle. Ladies' carriages on suburban trains are a great boon. If you are in a mixed compartment or a bus you are perfectly within your rights to move so that you are not sitting next to a man, many people do this. Be wary of men who approach you - they may be quite innocent, but if they were they would probably be too shy to approach a lone western woman. But make the most of meetings with women (generally 'ladies'), you will probably find many will be keen to talk to you and help you.

Once you get used to it, and provided you are not on a rock-bottom budget, India is actually one of the easiest countries to travel in on your own.

UK
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8. Re: First time in India

Thankyou for the heads up on Eve teasing.. I hadn't even heard of it before now. I will take extra caution.

Does anyone know how far away Hotel Arma Court is from colaba? I've tried searching but can't really find any details.. thank you.

And thankyou for the confidence boost, coburg.. was a little nervous now am getting more confident and just want to go!

Pune, India
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9. Re: First time in India

Hi,

If you are intent on staying in Colaba (aka"town side" in local parlance) Hotel arma Court would be quite far. It is located in BKC, a commercial area in Bandra which is towards North Mumbai. It would take you 30-40 mins by local train to town plus cab (10-15mins thereon) to colaba. By road, it would take 1 hour (assuming regular traffic) from this hotel to Colaba area.

Would not recommend you to travel by train, atleast not during the peak hours.

UK
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174 posts
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10. Re: First time in India

Chateau Windsor is well located (in the Churchgate area). My wife & I will be staying there in a couple of weeks time.

From the hotel you can walk to Chowpatty Beach in about 15 minutes. Also, Colaba is just a short cab ride away.