Souvenior ideas

Old Sep 27th, 2003, 09:35 AM
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Jayne1973
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Souvenior ideas

Hey seasoned travelers,

What's a good souvenior to bring to back to the U.S. from India? A family member is going on business and probably won't have much free time, so a few ideas would really help.

Thanks!
 
Old Sep 27th, 2003, 09:25 PM
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Well, there are lots of choices, but on my trips I like to bring back at least two items.
A book about the destination I've been to (for my coffee table collection)& a photo album from the place I've been.
Every album I own is original looking and in most cases hand made.
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Old Sep 28th, 2003, 11:27 AM
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What about a t-shirt, magnet or shot glass that says it's from India? Not only a real souvenir but cheap as well
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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 12:18 AM
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if he she is busines man/women with a computer why not pick up a bunch of dirt cheep bootleg software. movies, music cd's.. it's a gift that may keep n givin unless it's inporperlty burnt...
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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 07:25 AM
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Not all foreign software, VHS tapes are compatible to US machinery.
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Old Oct 1st, 2003, 09:38 AM
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Thanks for the posts so far. I read on the web that pearls are a big item there. Does anyone have experience with that? I also thought about a sari for my daughter. The city is Hiderabad.
 
Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 01:29 AM
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Fabric such as sari fabric is a good buy in India and you can usually find a good selection, although I can't speak for Hyderabad. If you are buying a sari, be prepared to wade through a huge selection. If you want to whole sari, you will need to know your daughter's measurements for the blouse and approximate length from waist to feet for the petticoat slip. However, just a length of sari fabric itself is a very nice gift as it can be used to make cushion covers, tablecloth, wall hanging, bed cover, etc. Items like tablecloths and napkins are also a good buy.

As for pearls, I would make sure you know what you are buying and compare prices before you leave. Hyderabad is known for pearls because the Nizams who ruled the state until 1947 had a huge and basically priceless collection and brought artisans to the city. However, after many years living in Asia, I am a bit wary of buying pearls. Good fake pearls are very hard to tell from real, so be careful when buying esp loose pearls or a string. A pearl ring might be a good choice. You also should look at gold jewellery and stones, which are easier to tell if they are genuine. Much of the gold jewellery in India is 18 or 24 karat, which Caucasian women often find too yellow for their skin.

You can buy bangle bracelets in glass, brass, wood and other materials, these make nice gifts.

The hotel will most likely have a shopping arcade where you can shop. Two other places to shop are the state-run handicraft emporiums. Both of these are in Secunderbad, which is a separate city but is essentially a district of Hyderabad. Prices will be fixed, but still cheap and they are reliable:

Cauvery Karnataka State
Arts & Crafts Emporium
Seven Hills Plaza, S.D. Road,
Secunderabad

6. Central Cottage Industries Emporium
94, Minerva Complex, S.D. Road,
Secunderabad
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Old Oct 3rd, 2003, 09:49 AM
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Jayne1973
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Thanks for all the information, Cicerone. Since my daughter sews, she would probably love sari fabric. Perhaps the hotel shops would be more likely to have genuine pearls, although it sounds like we might want to think twice about buying them.

This trip is going to be quite an adventure. Is it true that you need to wear long sleeves and pants the whole time to avoid mosquitos? Also, are jeans ever acceptable there?

 
Old Oct 3rd, 2003, 10:46 AM
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In my experience, jeans are perfectly OK in India, you will see many Indians wearing them, more men than women, but really liberated Indian women will wear them as well (OK mostly in the privacy of their homes). Indians are extremely accepting about dress, esp on foreigners. You don't have to cover up knees or shoulders when visiting temples or churches like in other parts of Asia or Europe.

Take a look at weatherbase.com and worldclimate.com for average temps and rainfall in Hyderabad and other cities in India you may be visiting. Your message did not say what month you are going. Hyderabad is actually fairly temperate except during the late spring and summer months when the intense monsoon heat begins to build. The rainy season is from about July through mid-September. At other times, it gets little rainfall, so mosquitoes are not a problem. Many parts of north India are actually cold and dry from about late October through March.

Even in tropical places like Goa, I never really had a bad mosquito problem. Just use bug spray. I am not a fan of malaria pills, too many side effects and not 100% effective. If you are going in the winter months and will be in northern India, malaria is not an issue, IMO.

Buying pearls at a hotel shop is probably the best way if you are going to buy. Do some comparison shopping before you leave.

Have a great trip. India is extreme and has an extreme effect on many people. But they have a saying that if you spend 3 days in India you will come back so. . . .
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Old Oct 4th, 2003, 01:13 PM
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Thanks once again --all this information is helping us feel so much more comfortable with this trip. Now, another question...
Some of the coworkers going want to see the Taj Mahal. What would be the best way to travel there from Hyderabad? Train? Air? Other considerations?
 
Old Oct 5th, 2003, 09:23 PM
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At the risk of sounding obvious, why don't you tell this person to experience the place and buy something they can tell stories about...I have travelled a lot and the things I am most pleased with are the things that were bought with a great story attached - gifts with meaning are the best things we can share with our friends and loved ones.
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Old Oct 6th, 2003, 11:27 AM
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I brought my mom some jewelery back from Thailand--she loves it when people comment on it and she can say nonchalantly, "Oh, yes, it's from Thailand." I also took a picture of the woman who sold me the jewlery standing beside her cart full of items and gave her the picture with the jewelery.
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Old Oct 6th, 2003, 12:01 PM
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I'm 1/2 way thru a 4 week stay in Delhi, and have found the following to be excellent values & bought a variety to give as souviners (prices are approx. what I paid): wonderful soft wraps/scarfs for cool weather (US$5 to 100), beaded evening bags (US$3), cute casual handbags--great for women or girls (US$2), cotton placemat&napkin set of 6 (US$3), woven throw rugs (US$3-8), huge variety of bangle bracelets available in a wide variety of colors, textures, prices. Also you will find many "cushion covers" that are flat square throw pillow covers that range from about $1.50 for the hand made on the street variety, to $8 for a silk embroidered one in a store. Instead of a sari, think about a kurta pajayma for women that she might be able to wear...there are some beautiful ones. Or kurtas (blouses) that are embroidered are about $4 for cotton or $6 for light wool. I was told to haggle over price, but my fair skin & US accent don't give me much leverage. I'm not tough enough to haggle over insignificant amounts, and found the prices to be reasonable (usually), but have run into occasional rip offs. Have fun!
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Old Oct 7th, 2003, 04:20 AM
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Well, I am definitely going to have to make an official souvenior list now, leaving room for the gifts that come with a good story (and maybe a photo.)
Thanks again to Cicerone for the names and addresses of the two shops.
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2003, 02:57 AM
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Post again if your daughter has not left or mail me on [email protected]. Hyd is a good place to shop and I can suggest some specific shops and stuff.
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