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33 yr single traveler itinerary for comment

33 yr single traveler itinerary for comment

Sep 3rd, 2007, 07:49 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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33 yr single traveler itinerary for comment

hi, first time in india, on my own on my break from hectic job. i realize it won't be relaxing but staying in mostly lux hotels. i am obsessed with india and just want to see something besides my office and nyc! i wish i could stay longer but only have two weeks from work. will be by myself, 5 nights in jaipur/agra, 5 nights in mumbai, 5 nights in cochin. would love to hear your comments before i confirm. i've learned great things from this board in the past. thanks so much.
sirengurl is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 04:17 PM
  #2  
 
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Hi,
I think I am smarter than a fifth grader, however, if you only have two weeks off from work, how can you do 5 nights in jaipur/agra, 5 nights in mumbai, and 5 nights in cochin? If you are flying on that magic carpet, fly over to Glen Oaks in Queens to experience India! If you want to experience India in two weeks, look for a standard package with you and a driver to visit, Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Khajuraho, Varanasi, and if you can steal a couple of more days, include Kathmandu, Nepal. Varanasi is not to be missed and Nepal is magical. We did this last Christmas and New Years and it was great. If you are going in December/January, be prepared for long delays in planes and trains due to the fog. We stayed in 5 star hotels the whole way. We used Rama tours in Chicago. They made it a turnkey trip for us including getting the India visas for us. Ask for Ahmit or Sharmur. We're planning on going back this Christmas to spend more time in Nepal and some time in Southern India.
Make sure if you go to get a prescription for doxycycline in New York.
Dr_Ralph is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 08:20 AM
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sirengurl, since you are going luxe, I recommend the following hotels:

Jaipur - Oberoi Rajvilas

Agra - Oberoi Amarvilas (this is not to be missed)

Mumbai - The Oberoi or The Taj Mahal, if you want to be in the city. Closer to the airport I recommend the JW Marriott or the Grand Maratha Sheraton or The Leela.

Cochin - Brunton Boatyard.

Varanasi - Taj Ganges or Ramada.


agtoau is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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Don't do 5 nights in Agra - there is not much there and I didn't think it was the nicest place. Instead try to get to Udaipur - it's beautiful and interesting. I think you only need a night or 2 in Agra.
hlsam is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 06:28 AM
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Hi,

It's hard to know how to reply to this, but as no other previous respondents sound like a 33 year old (female I assume) holiday maker, I'll have a go.

First - your itinerary does not add up.

Second - Are you sure about 5 nights in Mumbai? Why?

Unless you are thinking of visiting the caves at Ajanta. But then that doesn't sound quite right for you somehow, which is sad.

5 days in the Cochin area is a good idea.

So cut down on Mumbai.

Don't worry about being alone - though I have a feeling that your mode of travel (luxe) might be a lot lonelier than staying in cheaper places and taking public transport.

Your choice.

But you aren't the first solo female, and we mostly came out alive, happy, and envigorated.

Happy travels.
chimani is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 08:24 AM
  #6  
 
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Don't even think about staying in cheaper places and taking public transportation as a 33 year old single traveler. As a first time traveler to India, a reputable driver and car will insulate you from the parts of India you want to avoid. When the driver glances at the unfortunate that will try and hussle you, they simply disappear. If you are alone on public transport, you will not want a second chance at India. You do not need a hectic vacation to go back to your hectic job in NY.
Take it from one who loves to travel but realizes he is not 18 anymore.
Regards,
Doc
Dr_Ralph is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 08:35 AM
  #7  
 
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I concur with Dr_Ralph. First time in India and going el cheapo is not for the faint of heart. Best to go luxe - if budget permits - and enjoy the place. Furthermore, single western women are easy targets. Violent crime against women tourists is very rare (and you would have to be stupid or supremely unlucky to be a victim - like wandering in a dark alley at midnight etc). But most Indian men form their image of the white woman based on Hollywood films, so you would do well to take some basic preventive measures.



agtoau is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 09:25 AM
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Hi Sirengurl

Good to know YOU are planning a trip to India. I am actually a woman from NYC who has been in/out of India for over 20 years and living/ there now for the past decade. I am a defiante India insider and would be happy to chat with you about your trip.

I am actually in NY for my summer hiatus from India.

And yes, in terms of a two week trip to INDIA, so many options, depending on your intersts, etc. Also, you do not mention when you are going, but as tourism is booming in INDIA and u want to stay at the good properties best to get planning soon, as many places are heavily booked through the high season.

Anyways, i have led tours in India for over a decade, and have been to all the places you mentioned numerous of times and they are all some of my faveorites, so yes, u are defiantely onto some great places!

hOWEVER, all the places your shortlist are located in very differnt parts of India, so you will have to do alot of travel to cover the distance, and of course, adjust your numbers.

OR i might suggest to just concentrate your time on one part of India, such as the North. There are many ways to route the trip..Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Khaj, Varanasi.

Or fly into Delhi and out of bombay and then combine a week in the North with a week in the South. For example, u can do the golden triangle, (delhi-agra-JAIPUR) AND then fly to Bombay and Cochi from there and back up to Bombay..Or u might consider Goa too..

So many options.

Would be happy to chat with you about your plans. Feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]
Bonita is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 04:40 AM
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I just have to reply to Dr_Ralph.

And my reply is you really haven't the faintest idea.

For the OP maybe independent travel is a step too far, but your sweeping statement about first time travellers and what they can and cannot do, I find condescending, sexist, and ignorant.

I have a feeling you've never ever travelled on a public bus in India.

Such an ecpf
chimani is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 05:47 AM
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Hi chimani - I'm agreeing with you again. At first I thought Dr. Ralph was being sarcastic, but on re-reading I realize he's serious. As a 50-something, female, first-time visitor to India I managed fine using trains, buses, rickshaws and cheaper hotels. I wouldn't want to spend my trip in posh hotels and always using a car and driver - I'd feel like I was in a cocoon or a bubble.

It's not clear from the OP's choice of India whether she's looking to rest up from her job, or have an unforgettable experience, and those are two very different trips.

And I'm not sure what agtou means about western women being "easy targets". From what I could see, any westerner in India, regardless of sex, is an easy target for beggars and touts. It is a good idea to dress conservatively, or even in local clothes, and to take the usual precautions with your valuables.
thursdaysd is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 05:50 AM
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chimani - I didn't understand your remark (directed at Dr_Ralph) about traveling in a public bus in India. You unwittingly strengthen Dr_Ralph's case. Crowded public buses in India, especially in the big cities, are a nightmare for women, they being snakepits of sexual harassment. Ask any Indian woman who has traveled in public buses. She will tell you about being pinched, fondled, and groped at at least once (once, if they are lucky).

So sirengurl, you will do well to avoid public buses in India. Take it from an Indian.

agtoau is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 05:54 AM
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thursdaysd, by "easy target" I mean western women are seen as promiscuous, more so if you show a bit of skin. So you will get a lot of shameless oggling, and in some circumstances you may be propositioned for sex, depending on your dress and comportment. Now, if you are in Goa, Goans will not give you a second look (well, in a manner of speaking - I always give a beautiful woman a second and even third look , but the same cannot be said of non-Goans in Goa or elsewhere in India.



agtoau is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 05:58 AM
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Some of you westerners have an unusually romantic view of India. There are many Indias - the magnificent India, the beautiful India, the unbelievable India, the spiritual India, the miserable India, the pathetic India and the ugly India. If you are lucky, you can experience all these aspects of India within a space of an hour.


agtoau is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 06:24 AM
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agtou - from what you say, Indian women have problems with Indian men, too, and that presumably has nothing to do with Hollywood.

I didn't have that kind of problem, but I was in my fifties. I also dressed conservatively, no bare legs or shoulders (although not as conservatively as for Pakistan!). And I stayed off city buses and suburban trains.

I wouldn't say I have a romantic view of India - I'm all too aware of the poverty, the dirt, the gap between rich and poor, the caste system... And after ten weeks I was so tired of the hassles I was definitely ready to leave. BUT, India is fascinating and I very much want to go back (so many places, so little time).
thursdaysd is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 06:48 AM
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thursdaysd wrote: "agtou - from what you say, Indian women have problems with Indian men, too, and that presumably has nothing to do with Hollywood."

My answer: Correct. Different situations/contexts call for different causes/explanations. Also - keep in mind that generalizations ("Indian men" etc), while useful, have to be used judiciously.

agtoau is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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agtou - I agree that generalizations are best avoided, but wouldn't you say that "most Indian men form their image of the white woman based on Hollywood films" with which you started this line of discussion, is a generalization?

Going back to the OP's original post... I'd suggest starting in the south, which I found cleaner and calmer (another generalization, I know!) than the north. Cochin has a very nice airport, with direct flights from the Middle East, and you could decompress on a backwater cruise, followed by a stay in Fort Kochi.

I would then consider a few days in Goa, for the beach and Panaji, and then Aurangabad for Ajanta and Ellora, before tackling Delhi and Agra, and perhaps Khujaraho and Varansi. I know many posters here would suggest Rajasthan, but I found it the most touristy part of India. Not surprising - ask the locals about job opportunities, and they say agriculture and tourism. And agriculture doesn't look very promising there.
thursdaysd is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 04:49 PM
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thursdaysd wrote: "agtou - I agree that generalizations are best avoided, but wouldn't you say that "most Indian men form their image of the white woman based on Hollywood films" with which you started this line of discussion, is a generalization?"

Response: I didn't say generalizations are best avoided. In fact, generalizations are very useful, else we would never be able to observe much about anything. It is just that you have to be judicious in your conclusions. For instance, in the issue at hand, while Indian men form their opinions about western women from Hollywood movies is a valid generalization it does not follow that every Indian man you meet will act out his Hollywood-induced fantasies. This is so elementary I am surprised I have to spell it out. At any rate, this has now veered from the main topic so i shall say no more.


agtoau is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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agtoau,

It may or may not be true that Indian men form their ideas about western women from American movies. More fool them if they do, seeing as American movies don't generally deal with much other than soapbox drama, which is why I hate them so much. And think their insidious takeover of the planet is a Bad Thing (ha ha).

But the real issue, don't you think, is the rampant inequality between the sexes, and the fact that Indian men have little to do with women as everyday companions, or friends, after puberty. I would really like to hear your opinion on this.

As far as groping goes - not for the OP but for anyone else who happens to visit this thread - I travelled on city buses in both Delhi and Calcutta. I was in India for six months. I got groped once, had a few experiences where idiot puerile Indian men said something I couldn't translate, but understood.

All for show - and seriously pathetic.

I think Indian men need to grow up, don't you?
chimani is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 03:14 AM
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chimani - The issues you have raised and the questions you have posed are important, and require a considered response, something that is outside the scope of this forum's charter. I will say this: just as many Westerners form romantic notions about India, equally as many draw facile observations (often incorrect) of its social life & character. Indian society is complex, far more complex than what appears to the casual Western eye. The bewildering diversity of Indian customs, mores, and social exchange means one cannot make sweeping remarks without sacrificing truth. Furthermore, we are all prisoners of our respective backgrounds and upbringing. The West does not have a lock on ethics, and the Western standard of ethics is not the norm for the rest of the world to live by (sure there are universally accepted norms, but you get my drift). It would not do to be Euro-centric or America-centric while judging other systems and societies. You say Indian men need to grow up. I have lived for almost 20 years in America, and I used to say in my initial years that American men need to grow up. To many Europeans, too, Americans appear childish. But as the years went by and my knowledge of America deepened I came to appreciate the strength of the American spirit, its robust institutions, its remarkable social awareness (never mind your views on the current political dispensation).

Apropos of the specific issue here - that of public misbehavior of urban Indian men (to be sure, it is a minority), a large part of the problem will simply go away if the law enforcement apparatus did its duty. The Indian men who engage in such conduct know that there are no consequences to pay, no pain to suffer, that they can get away with it. Indian law enforcement is a joke, the whole system ravaged by corruption.

agtoau is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 05:13 AM
  #20  
 
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For an interesting look at India I suggest reading "In spite of the gods: the strange rise of modern India" by Edward Luce.
thursdaysd is offline  

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