Going to India/Nepal in September

Apr 17th, 2018, 07:13 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Going to India/Nepal in September

My DH, my cousin & her DH and myself are all headed to India & Nepal in September via a 13 day tour with Gate1 travel. Looking for any pointers, warnings, good advice, travel tips, must-do’s, mustn’t-do’s, etc. from anyone who’s been there recently. Many thanks!!
czarria60 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2018, 04:41 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Do you have any free time on this trip to do what you want to do, or is it all scheduled for you? And where in India will you be going? India is a large country.
Kathie is offline  
Apr 17th, 2018, 06:32 PM
  #3  
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We are starting in New Delhi, where we will have one afternoon/evening free, primarily for dinner; then onto Jaipur, where we have no free time. From there to Agra, where again we have a couple of afternoon/evenings for a little exploring. Then onto Kathmandu, where again we will have a little free time on one or two afternoons. Gate1 schedules these tours fairly tightly from our limited experience, but you do have a bit of time, even if you do optional tours.

We we are looking to possibly enjoy regional cuisine if anyone has recommendations in ND or Agra. Our hotel in ND is The Park and in Agra, we’re at the Trident Agra. In Nepal, it’s the Soaltee Crowne Plaza. Is it safe to take taxis in any of these places? Do we need local currency or do folks recognize USD? What foods should we try - or avoid? What about souvenirs? What’s worth looking at and what’s not?

LOL, hope I didn’t overdo it. Thanks for any and all info!
czarria60 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2018, 07:20 PM
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You will need to use local currency in both India and Nepal. This is easily obtained from ATMs in both countries. Yes, people recognize US dollars, but it is not the local currency. If someone allows you to buy something with US dollars, you will pay a much higher price. Also, changing money is a pain for the locals, so you do them no favors by using US dollars.

You are right, you have very little free time. Yes, it is safe to take taxis in Kathmandu. The Kathmandu Valley is filled with UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I assume your tour will take you to many. I have photos at marlandc.smugmug.com/Nepal-2008. You might want to browse through them to see which sites appeal to you that are not included in your tour. Here is my trip report, with much more detail than you will need: Trip Report Kathie Returns to Katmandu 2008 - Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

For shopping in Kathmandu, I highly recommend a fair trade crafts shop, Mahaguthi, located in Kopundol (an area of Patan).

If you find the noise and activity of Kathmandu overwhelming, you might make a short visit to the Garden of Dreams, located on the edge of Thamel.

Others here have traveled more extensively than I have in India, so I will let them make India recommendations. I hope you have a wonderful trip!
Kathie is offline  
Apr 17th, 2018, 09:23 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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The 'Indian Accent' Restaurant, which has now shifted to Hotel The Lodhi; 'Varq' at Hotel Taj Mahal (Mansingh Road) - These are both centrally located and offer great food/ambiance. You will need to book both much in advance.
I am very reticent having meals especially non-veg at restaurants other than perhaps the 'The Embassy' inner circle, Block D, Connaught Place & 'The Host' in Block E. The locals come in great numbers to dine here and you may need to wait a wee bit for a table if you come in late evenings. You can tell them to keep it less spicy or as you like to partake of it.
Some other big and delightful names in Delhi are Bokhara, Dum Pukht, Orient Express and a couple of restaurants in The Imperial etc. All are great restaurants to dine in.
The Trident Agra dishes out a great buffet/Ala carte meals. The other may be 'The Peshawari' at ITC Mughal.
I am currently hooked to Lucknawi cuisine, the slow cooked and delicately flavored dishes from the House of Awadh...looking fwd to cooking & trying the 'Lucknawi Keema Pulao' at home, where I would be reading the recipe and my better-half doing the cooking!
Enjoy!!!!
vp_singh is offline  
Apr 17th, 2018, 10:50 PM
  #6  
 
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While in Delhi I never would miss a feast at Karims in the Old Delhi Jama Masjid area. Unreal mouth-watering fare. Mind-Blowing Mughlai.
Here is a old article in the Independent when the restaurant celebrated its centenary,way back in 2013. Getting better by the day.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-s...y-8586968.html
inquest is offline  
Apr 18th, 2018, 11:07 AM
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I trust that Gate1 has warned you about water precautions? Be careful with food, if you have doubts eat vegetarian.

Be prepared for beggars and touts. I usually give to a charity beforehand so I don't feel bad about ignoring beggars.

Have you read this? https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destina...ler/none/india

Be aware that India is not as safe for female travelers as one would like, there is safety in numbers and staying off the streets late in the evening.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 25th, 2018, 03:02 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
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I'd second Thursdaysd's advice re: water as September is the wane of monsoon season and the rains are when waterborne diseases are at their peak. Even without trying, most foreign travelers fall prey to a stomach infection of some sort - usually amoebic dysentery, girardia or diarrhoea (mild). Stick to bottled water, stay away from cut fruits or salad outside of major hotels, street food except what has been deep fried, etc. If you do not wish to spend the kind of sum that Bukhara charges, try Frontier at ITDC Ashok - it's an older, Nehru era hotel , not worth staying in, but worth a visit otherwise, and the food is good, portions generous.
Regd taxis, you can use Uber - same app and if you have a credit card linked with it, it will work fine. I've used the app installed on my phone here in India on my work trips to US over last one and a half years and it worked just fine. In Jaipur as well Uber works, not sure about Agra as didnt use it there.

Last edited by AroraV; Apr 25th, 2018 at 03:09 AM.
AroraV is offline  
Apr 25th, 2018, 06:07 AM
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I rarely get sick when traveling, but I would not eat street food in India, deep fried or otherwise. You cannot rely on expensive hotels, either, the only time I got sick on my last trip to India (six weeks) was at the most expensive hotel of the trip.

No fruits and veggies unless you can peel them yourself or they are cooked. Be wary of fruit juice - it may be diluted. No ice unless you know it is made from purified water. Use bottled water to clean your teeth. Travel with Immodium abd an antibiotic.

Have you checked the CDC web site for the inoculations and anti-malaria pills you may need?
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 27th, 2018, 11:38 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Take plenty of medicated hand sanitizer, and use it often.....very often.

Don't feel bad about ignoring beggars.....giving to beggars only encourages them.

You'll find that most taxis in Kathmandu are tiny things, about 850cc, and close to being clapped out.....fine for v.short journeys, but that's about it.

There are plenty of money changing kiosks in Kathmandu, particularly in Thamel. Clean notes only, and only accept clean notes, preferably low denomination.

Include on your Kathmandu itinerary, Boudhanath [dawn or dusk are best], Patan or Durbar Square and if you have time Bhaktapur, and Pashupatinath [unless you're squemish]. Garden of Dreams is great for an hour away from the noise and pollution.
LancasterLad is offline  
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