#1 11-22-2017 4:03 PM

lauro
Germany
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INDIA (monsoon season), private car hiring, women and vistara air.

ok, were planning to go to india in the monsoon season, we chose this time because our main trip is to ladakh, it will be the best season to go because its in the rain shadow and not too cold.

other than that in between - we will be spending days in delhi, agra and jaipur. we weill be there in the middle until the end of july. i know the weather is now erratic because of climate change, but in general - how effective it is to travel in the monsoon season? would the roads and streets be flooded like i saw in pictures and videos? i came from the philippines and the slightest of heavy rain can cause flooding in streets. are malaria /  leptospirosis (and rat diseases) common in northern india during monsoon? (delhi, rajashtan, uttar pradesh).

were thinking instead of gong by train to agra and jaipur we would be hiring a pricate car and driver through an agency to make our trip less stressy and easy - any thoughts about this? has anyone hired a private car in delhi? were also thinking of doing a priate tour of delhi to save the hassles.

i would be travelling with women again, i had been to nepal alone but well, im a guy - and nepal is fairly safer than in india (delhi / haryana) for women. what are the places to avoid in delhi? clothing? how to deal with agressive indians if they dont let my girls alone? (apologies for the generalization).

we booked through vistara air flying to ladakh from delhi instead of jet air coz its cheaper, has anyone booked this airline? its fairly new and the route to ladakh is also new, so not much review on the net on the route.

 

#2 11-23-2017 7:15 PM

Lotus28
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Re: INDIA (monsoon season), private car hiring, women and vistara air.

India is not really a dangerous country. I have been to India three times already (and I always visited alone and I am female) and met so many solo females who were traveled India extensively but they did say the same thing like I did.
Though local common senses were quite different from the one I had in my own country so I did need to be careful. But as long as you're careful, you can easily avoid big problems.

As a female, I tried my best not to stay out late, and completely avoided pubs and clubs. Most sexual assaults and group rapes are happening when alcohol is involved. In India, people's view about alcohol is very conservative and most women except some with advanced education levels or dedicated in international jobs etc drink but big majority don't. And even men, wide majority of locals only drink in special occasion so people are not used to alcohol and some even don't know their limits. In order to feel safe, I would recommend not to drink local pubs and only drink in your rooms or high-end hotel bars targeted for foreigners. And if your friends go somewhere alone in the dark, you can always arrange female only taxi service in major countries. Such company only has female drivers and only serves female guests.

Speaking of local tour operators, it's very difficult to find a very reliable company.
There are countless companies who says "government's tourist bureau" are fakes and they try to charge huge amount of fee. Don't even trust prepaid taxi driver's recommendation. I met some people who was cheated and sent to Kashimir on houseboats and had been confined for a week until they lost money so be very careful when you arrange a car.
The only reliable tour operator I know is Shigeta Travel in Main Bazar, New Delhi. They're not the cheapest but still very reliable. It's very famous tour operator among Japanese backpacker and I've never met anyone from Japan who doesn't know this company when I was traveling in India. If you don't have any ideas with whom you would book a golden triangle trip, you may be interested in contacting them.

I can't tell much about monsoon season but I would recommend you to keep your schedule a bit flexible. When I was traveling to Uttarakhand, there was a massive landslide and I was stuck in the middle of nowhere for entire day until the road re-opened (I barely arrived back in Delhi on the day before my flight to Japan would leave!) 

Be careful and enjoy your trip!

 

#3 11-23-2017 11:59 PM

sarahjayne87
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Re: INDIA (monsoon season), private car hiring, women and vistara air.

Iv done India 5+ times now, been once with a girlfriend and then every other time with my partner (he is originally from India so yes it does make it slightly easier for me)

As a white, red head in India - it can be interesting and some places I like more than others. Delhi for example I avoid, or I really cover up. I tend to try and fit in and wear long pants and long sleeve indian style tops. In Delhi I even resorted to a scarf over my head as the men were just too much. However I feel this is just a Delhi thing, I never felt any fear anywhere else. Im sorry to anyone from Delhi, I really dont want to cause offence, this is just my opinion.

My top tip for Ladakh is be careful with driving there, the cliff tops are very dangerous and even more so in moonson, if however you are flying then of course this does not apply.

Agra and Jaipur - Iv never had any issues with, locals were lovely. Yes of course most people want to take photos with me but I dont mind that at all.

Traveling in Moonson in India can be completely fine or a complete disaster. Iv done it many times before without issue however about 2 years ago I was stuck in Chennai. I was actually stuck in a hotel for 2 weeks with locals sleeping in the corridors as the whole city was under water.

I had hired a car from Jaipur to Agra with no problems at all, again I was with my partner and am not sure how safe I would feel doing this on my own.


if you have any questions at all, feel free to ask smile

 

#4 11-24-2017 10:15 AM

pfsmalo
Paul
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Re: INDIA (monsoon season), private car hiring, women and vistara air.

Early 2014 (End Feb, beginning March) I hired a car and driver in Delhi for a two week tour of Rajasthan for four of us. Here is the tip I wrote back then on VT with web address and price.

Private driver for Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan.
I negociated directly with a company in Delhi for our 17 day tour of Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan. after a couple of e-mails each way a price was agreed upon after a couple of changes were made to the original itinerary. I am really pleased we made this choice. Our driver, Kuldeep, earned our estime and gratefulness through his thorough professionnalness at his work. I used to drive 40 ton lorries for some time so know what it's like to be on the road. Admittedly, the traffic in India is quite frightening, by the sheer mass of traffic, tuktuks, camels, cows, overloaded buses etc etc, but Kuldeep negociated all this with aplomb and a certain humour. Although, of course his English is not perfect, this is not a stain on his competence, neither as a driver nor as a companion. He is able to understand much of my "British" humour and partake in conversations when necessary. He was a thoroughly enjoyable person to have along with us for this trip, and we much appreciated his competence. A fact that made our journey much more enjoyable. He even took us to a couple of places that are pretty much off the beaten track such as Lake Khichan for the wild birds and also to Kundhara the abandonned village, after first giving us the story surrounding the village.
The price agreed was 58000 INR (690€) at March rates for the four of us. This included the car, driver, all road tolls and petrol. The tour took us from Delhi, to Jaisalmer, Udaipur, up to Jaipur and Ranthambore and then back to Delhi via Agra.Fresh bottled water was also provided. Kuldeep also stopped from time to time to buy different bits of streetfood to make us try and never asked for a penny.
All hotels and other b/fasts and food were paid directly by us.
We were pleasantly surprised with the ease with which our reservation went, with all contact with "Bunty" and above all with our driver Kuldeep. No hesitation at all in recommending the company. You'll find all contact info below.
Mode: AROUND
Other Contact: http://www.indiaprivatedriver.co
Phone: (91) + 98.1081.1292
Type: Car/Motor Home
Website: http://www.indiaprivatedriver.com/

 

#5 11-24-2017 11:22 PM

ulis
Uli
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Re: INDIA (monsoon season), private car hiring, women and vistara air.

I was traveling 2 times with a woman in India for well over 2 months  (and several times without), there  was never a problem (but both did dress sensible), the main difference sales persons and  beggars where much more persistent.
Long distance by car is not fun in India (had a continuous trafic jam from the Nepali border to Varanasi), first class train is very safe and comfortable, easy to get at the foreign tourist quota office in the New Delhi station, first floor (International Tourist Bureau).
Close to Agra (40 km) is Fatehpur Sikri is very nice and not many tourists.
Can't help with monsoon or Lee.

 

#6 11-26-2017 8:41 PM

Lotus28
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Re: INDIA (monsoon season), private car hiring, women and vistara air.

I agree with ulis. Traveling on first class trains is quite effective and comfortable.
I personally have never been to Agra yet but took such a train (Rajdhani Express) from Ahmedabad to Delhi and my experience was so much positive.

Also totally agree about how to buy a ticket. The "first floor" he mentioned was "second floor" in American English. There're signs to show the way at New Delhi stations about the location of ticket booking office for foreigners and strictly follow the sign. There will be some touts come up to you telling " the ticket office is closed" and they'll try to take you to their tour company which is a scam, but the ticket office is always open in accordance to their open hours. Just don't follow the touts.

 

#7 11-26-2017 10:41 PM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
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Re: INDIA (monsoon season), private car hiring, women and vistara air.

Lotus28 wrote:

There will be some touts come up to you telling " the ticket office is closed" and they'll try to take you to their tour company which is a scam, but the ticket office is always open in accordance to their open hours. Just don't follow the touts.

Yes, there will be touts, completely ignore them, even not telling them 'no', at best they would waist your time... (also best to deal with any unwanted sales persons and beggars).

 

#8 11-27-2017 3:18 PM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
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Re: INDIA (monsoon season), private car hiring, women and vistara air.

I can't speak the rest of your question, I visited India in groups. I remember our guide said we can wear anything we'd like, but if you had respect with the culture then dress moderately.

 

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