Women-only rooms or floors are on offer in a few big Indian hotels including the ITC group of luxury hotels itchotels. You'll need to prepare for being stared at - more blankly than lecherously - but it's best to avoid curious gazes since returning them can be considered flirtatious. Dress conservatively loose ankle-length pants or skirts, tops that cover your shoulders and shawls , and avoid travelling alone during festivals when thick crowds can be used as an excuse for a pinch or a grab. The large wealth divide in India means lots of beggars, particularly in urban and tourist areas.
While it's heartbreaking to see, by giving money you can contribute to the problem as many are kidnapped, abused and exploited by bosses who force them to beg. It's best to give something consumable fruit, rice, medicine or contribute through charities or by volunteering. In big cities, it's auto rickshaws and taxis all the way. Sure, they're ancient and beat up and might break down, but they're an experience in themselves and are as cheap as, well, papadums. If you're getting a taxi from an airport to your hotel, organise it from the pre-paid counter inside most terminals, or risk being scammed.
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Ditto for overnight sleeper coaches. A great option is to hire a car and driver, particularly if you're travelling within one state for a few days. Private cars are surprisingly affordable by Australian standards, however roads can be choked beyond belief and cruising down an Indian highway can often mean taking your life in your hands.
Perhaps, then, the quickest, most fuss-free way to get around is to get up in the air. You can get super competitive internal flights with budget airlines such as IndiGo and SpiceJet sites such as Skyscanner.
Budget options are generally OK, but mid-range is where you get the best value for money, though if your budget can stretch you'll find the luxurious five-star hotels of the Indian-owned Taj group tajhotels. The chain also has hotel brands, such as Vivanta and Gateway, offering more affordable four and three star-level rates. Boutique stays are becoming popular.
In Delhi, a personal favourite is The Rose. It's in the heart of the hip Hauz Khas village therosenewdelhi. In Udaipur, another favourite is Hotel Madri Haveli madrihaveli. Rajasthan is where it's at for colourful embroidered textiles, as well as miniature paintings, papier mache puppets and embroidered leather shoes Ganesh Emporium in Udaipur is a textiles and antique jewellery mecca; more than 20 rooms overflow with treasures sourced from around the country. To buy precious and semi-precious gemstones head to the "pink city" of Jaipur, where gorgeous blue-glazed pottery is also made.
Marble wares inspired by the Taj Mahal, some of them exquisitely detailed and inlaid with semi-precious stones, can be sourced in Agra, while Varanasi is a popular place to pick up silk and saris. Take in the glitz and glamour of the home of Bollywood, tour the world's biggest slum realitytoursandtravel. A former Portuguese colony turned beachside hippy party town, Goa's the place to head for sun, surf, seafood and, if you're game, one helluva beach party.
Possibly the most beautiful natural scenery you'll see in India think palm trees interspersed with sculpted boulders stacked against the hills , Hampi also has some of India's most beautiful architecture. A slice of southern France in the Bay of Bengal, thanks to French colonisation until Take in the French Quarter on bicycles or stroll along the seafront.
Boulevards are lined with chic boutiques and pastel colonial mansions. Cruising along the palm tree-lined backwaters of Kerala on a houseboat, watching local villages and lush jungle slip by while your on-board chef cooks up a storm, is an essential South Indian experience. Fly into the nation's capital and spend 24 hours zooming about in an auto rickshaw, acclimatising to the chaos. By Agra we mean the Taj Mahal, because aside from this stunning wonder of the world, Agra isn't very inspiring.
Try to arrive at sunrise for the best light. Built around Lake Pichola, India's most romantic city is all traditional Mughal architecture, gorgeous textiles and delicious North Indian cuisine. From Udaipur, it's a five-hour drive to Rajasthan's bustling Blue City.
Its signature powder-blue buildings are scattered about the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, which begs to be toured, as does the Umaid Bhawan palace, where Liz Hurley once got hitched. Rajasthan's Golden City rises majestically out of the sands of the Thar Desert; the modern city spills outside the old walls, but inside it's relatively tranquil. The royal cenotaphs of the erstwhile Maharajas of Jaisalmer are stunning, and a sunset camel trek through the desert just might change your life.
Two days in the holy city of Varanasi are a must for any Indian neophyte, but we wouldn't suggest staying much longer - its gaggle of ash-covered holy men, bodies burning on the shores of the Ganges and warren of teeny laneways can overwhelm. Take a sunrise stroll along the river to see the morning fire ceremonies, or a wooden boat ride at sunset. Tucked away in the far north of the country between Kashmir and the Chinese border, the "land of high passes" is where to head for otherworldly Himalayan treks and visits to 15th-century Buddhist monasteries.
An overnight trip to Pangong Lake - a kilometre expanse of crystalline blue water - is bucket-list stuff. The home of yoga and where The Beatles found enlightenment, Rishikesh is a spiritual wonderland full of ashrams, holy men and schools teaching every esoteric art from palm reading to tarot. Tea is the order of the day at this peaceful Himalayan hill town. Well, that and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, temples, ponies and the UNESCO heritage-listed toy train that takes visitors chugging through the mountains. The main drawcard, however, is getting a public audience with His Holiness; when he's in residence they're scheduled regularly.
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India for beginners: what you need to know
Sydney's west gets its own world-class zoo Contains:. It's not Mars, but it's out of this world Contains:. Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for South Africa for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.
If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic. Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling. If your doctor prescribed antimalarial medicine for your trip, keep taking the rest of your pills after you return home. If you stop taking your medicine too soon, you could still get sick.
Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness.
Your Survival Guide Travelling In And Around South Africa (1)
If you become ill with a fever either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home for up to 1 year , you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the doctor about your travel history. For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel. Map Disclaimer - The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on maps do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
Approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement are generally marked. Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content. Going to American Tropics? What kind of traveler are you?
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Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir. Hide Vaccines and Medicines. Find Out Why Protect Yourself All travelers You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Routine vaccines Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. Most travelers Get travel vaccines and medicines because there is a risk of these diseases in the country you are visiting. Hepatitis A CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in South Africa, regardless of where you are eating or staying. Typhoid You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in South Africa.
Some travelers Ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US. Hepatitis B You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so CDC recommends this vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.
Malaria When traveling in South Africa, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. Rabies Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in South Africa, so CDC recommends this vaccine for the following groups: Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving that put them at risk for animal bites. People who will be working with or around animals such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers.
Organising a conference or event?
People who are taking long trips or moving to South Africa Children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck. Yellow Fever There is no risk of yellow fever in South Africa. All travelers You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination.