Keep calm and curry on…

I never thought that I would want to visit India. One of my best friends has family from India and when she would go back to visit she would tell horror stories of people eating with their hands, no toilet paper, smelly and crowded… you get my drift. Until a few years ago I also couldn’t handle spice of any kind (fortunately that has changed!). So I never thought India was for me. However, I then started travelling to a few different places in Asia (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Bali, Vietnam and so on) and realised how much I enjoyed exploring countries that were so incredibly different to New Zealand. India epitomises that. Once I made the decision to go and started doing some research, my excitement levels increased quickly!

My Indian blog posts:

  • Capital: Delhi
  • Population: 1.2 billion
  • Currency: Indian Rupee
  • Language: Hindi, English
  • Highlights:
    • Mumbai: as India’s largest city, Mumbai is an extremely international and diverse place. There is a lot of pollution so it is grey quite a lot of the time, but there is heaps to see and lots of different suburbs to explore.
    • Goa: beach, beach beach. Also home to the world-famous Goan fish curry. There are lots of package deals here from the UK, so it is quite a popular place with tourists generally.
    • Jaipur: the pink city. It is an extremely beautiful spot with lots of forts and castles to visit.
    • Agra: obviously a must-do, Agra is home to the Taj Mahal and a bunch of other World Heritage Sites. The Taj Mahal is seriously a bucket list experience.
    • Udaipur: my favourite place in India, it has a chilled out vibe to it that the other more hectic cities didn’t have. It was charming, the markets were cute and there is a beautiful lake and palace which makes it all very scenic.
  • Did you know?
    • India undergoes an annual monsoon. Do not travel to India at this time!! (Although if you do, it will be very cheap!) They experience so much rain that year after year there is problems. I visited in September which was at the tail end of monsoon – I experienced some patches of rain, but I found it quite cooling in the humidity.
    • Mahatma Gandhi is from India and is world famous for the work he is done. He played an important part in gaining India’s independence.
    • The most popular sport in India is cricket. The Indians loved us as New Zealanders, and would often talk my ear off about cricket!
  • Useful tips:
    • Indians drink their beer at room temperature, so if you want a cold beer you have to request it.
    • When crossing the road, obviously take caution but also walk with confidence. If possible make eye contact with the driver, and stick your hand out in a stopping motion.
    • Do not drink the water, EVER.
    • If you are travelling there, make sure you have toilet paper on you. Not just for in case you get sick, but also because hotels seem to be quite stingy about actually providing enough toilet paper for a standard female Westerner!