Tips for India First Timers

For me, India is not a country where you can just hop on a place and Google your way around when you get there. I've been to a few countries where I didn't make itinerary before hand but trust me, you shouldn't be so adventurous when it comes to India :D. So here's a few tips from me:


  • Visit in the winter!
I was there at the end of November to first week of December and the weather was just perfect! It was sunny but breezy. A light jacket is all you need. Nggak kebayang sih kalo ke India pas lagi musim panas. Pasti bikin cranky banget. Karena lagi winter juga jadi rasanya udaranya sedikit lebih bersih dan orang-orangnya juga nggak bau bawang :D. I would love to go back to India, as long as it's during winter.


  • Private Tour
I've never used a private tour before but I'm glad I did this time because they make the travel stress-free. Syita recommended me Gets Holiday so that's what we used and they have been so helpful since the beginning. First they arrange the itinerary based on our request, they booked the hotel for us, picked us up at the airport, they buy the tickets for sightseeing for us, recommended us restaurant if we don't have preference and everything else at our request. There is always the driver (same driver and same car from the first day to last day) but different tour guide for every city. They have representative too when we checked in at the hotel to help us with the administration stuff and everyday someone from their office call us to make sure everything is ok. They are very organized, very helpful and professional and the most important thing is they take care of us and make us feel very secured. Be careful when you choose a tour agency, just make sure they are certified and have license from the government.

  • Five Star Hotel
Menurut gue standard India dan Indonesia itu beda. 4 star hotel di sini jauh lebih bagus daripada 4 star hotel di sana. If you don't care of course it's fine but if you are very particular about the place you'll be sleeping in then I suggest to take the most expensive hotel you can afford. Di sana hotelnya nggak terlalu mahal kok so I think it's worth it. Kemaren kita sempet di Le Meridien Delhi dan Marriott Hyderabad dan itupun masih mengecewakan. Sempet juga di Jaypee something waktu di Jaipur dan walaupun hotel bintang 5 tetep aja yahh kasurnya udah tua banget yang berasa gitu spring/pegasnya. Spreinya juga udah butek dan selimutnya bukan yang fluffy gitu. 

  • Learn the history and the culture
The place is so much more than it looks, there is so many stories from a few hundred years ago that will make you appreciate it more. The tour guide will explain everything for you and in some places there's an audio guide you can rent from the ticket counter. And of course, there's always Google! 

  • Sneakers/flats all the way
Riana brought her heels and they never came out of her suitcase..haha. Di sana tempat sightseeingnya besar-besar banget, huge palaces, forts, mausoleums, markets and all that yang harus jalan jauh banget dari tempat parkirnya dan areanya sendiri juga luas-luas. So leave your heels at home, nanti beli aja sepatu sepatu flats ala India yang lucu lucu dan murah-murah. 

  • Always prepare small changes
Di sana muka orang-orangnya tuh macam ngarep tips banget sih :D, belum lagi yang suka nyamperin untuk nawarin suvenir, trus juga untuk ke toilet. Dan entah kenapa susah banget kita punya uang kecil di sana. Jadi siapin aja dan kalo bisa ditaro di dompet terpisah. Jaga-jaga aja biar ketika kita mau kasih tips jadi cuma ngeluarin uang dari dompet yang isinya uang kecil. Selama di sana sih kita nggak pernah ada kejadian copet atau apa ya, beda banget dibanding ke Paris atau ke Roma yang setiap lampu merah suka adaaa aja yang kecopetan. Tapi ya waspada aja nggak ada salahnya.

  • Buy local numbers
Internet was not always smooth during my trip. Jadi paket Telkomsel cepettt banget abisnya, begitu juga batre handphone karena dia  nyari sinyal terus. Kalo di Jakarta kayanya sinyal selalu stabil kan ya, kecuali kalo ke basement gedung-gedung tinggi. Nah kalo di sana memang nggak stabil aja walaupun di jalan raya. Bisa dari yang 4G trus dalam beberapa menit langsung no service. Jadi mendingan beli nomor sana aja, akan membantu juga ketika kita perlu nelpon supir atau siapapun di sana.

  • Bring wet tissue!
Penting banget yaa...haha. Tapi bener deh ini wajib dibawa soalnya yaa di sana kan nggak begitu bersih. Selain itu di beberapa tempat juga kita harus lepas sepatu, jadi sebelum pake sepatu lagi bisa bersihin kaki dulu. Truussss sering banget di sana di colek-colek orang karena nawarin dagangan, atau disamperin serombongan anak kecil yang pengen aja salaman trus ngajak selfie :D. Dan kadang-kadang yaa anak-anak ini bentuknya kaya belum mandi dengan bekas ingus di mukanya..hahaha..jadi setelah itu harus lah langsung bersih-bersih. Oh yaa nyambung dengan si anak-anak yang suka nyolek itu, ngeselin banget kalo kita pake baju sleeveless atau yang lengannya pendek. Untung gue selalu pake lengan yang lumayan panjang jadi ketika dicolek nggak langsung kena kulit.


  • Bring extra dose of patience
Asli, orang di sana itu semacam nggak punya sense of urgency, they are just sooo..sloowwwww. Beneran, mau itu di hotel, di Mc Donald, Starbucks, Airport..semua pekerja bergerak dengan sangat santai :D. Trus juga orang-orang di sana nggak ngerti sama yang namanya personal space. Kalo lagi antre, walaupun di ATM, mereka akan mepet-mepet dan ngelihatin layar atm kita dengan muka nggak sabar. Begitu juga kalo antre di supermarket. Trus juga di sana macet parah. You think Jakarta's traffic is crazy? You haven't experienced Delhi traffic yang setiap beberapa meter bisa matiin mesin saking macetnya. Trus yaa pokoknya di sana in general nggak tertib lah, jadi mesti ekstra sabar. 





Overall, like I said in my previous post, I like India. If you love photography you will LOVE the country, semuanya dapet deh dari city scene, historical buildings, parks, street photography, human interest, market/city life, etc. Everything is cheap there...belanja di marketnya itu menyenangkan sekali. There you will feel like a celebrity because everyone is asking for a selfie with you :D



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