India is a diverse nation with splendid cuisine. As soon as you will step into the country, you will be greeted with spectacular colors and the culture will captivate your senses. The intricate details on the pillars of Taj Mahal and the sanctity of temples will leave you spell-bound. But if you are first-time traveler to India, the experience can be a tad overwhelming as you will get some huge culture shocks; the roaring traffic, staring locals and unhygienic food can put you off but the whole experience is worth it once you learn how to deal with it. Here are some tips that will come handy if you are planning to travel to India.
Buy bottled water
Filling up the plastic bottle with tap water and selling it as mineral water is a common practice followed by sellers in India. before buying the bottled water, make sure to check that the cap is sealed and is not tampered with. If you find that the cap is not intact, you can ask to exchange the bottle which will be complied to without any questions.
India stresses on dressing modestly and you might attract unwanted attention if you dress otherwise. Respect the culture and simply cover your shoulders and legs and you are good to go. Plus, always remember to take off your shoes before entering a temple or someone’s house and you will be regarded warmly by the locals.
Eat with your hands
Indian food is not meant to be eaten with a knife and a fork. You are supposed to pull back your sleeves and dig in using your hands. Don’t ask for a knife and fork or you could be mistaken for being a snob and indulge in the flavorful meal using your hands.
Don’t mind intrusion in your personal space
India has a dense population and personal space is not given much regard. While boarding a bus or shopping in a crowded market, people will take up most of your personal space unapologetically and you will be squished. But that’s just natural for the locals and don’t be offended by it since there’s a lack of space.
Bargaining is as common as breathing in India and you should be ready to haggle with shopkeepers while street shopping. People will be ready to rip you off your cash upon seeing that you are a foreigner and will deliberately sell you things at five times the original price. If you don’t want to be scammed, bargain as much as you can with local vendors and if that’s too much for you, enter a shop that has “fixed rate” sign hung over their door; they mostly sell things at a reasonable price.
Beware of auto-rickshaw drivers
Taking a ride in an auto-rickshaw is a unique experience that you must not miss out while you are in India. But be on your guard because they are the biggest scammers of all. They will either charge you unreasonably high for a ride or will suggest you hotels that give them commissions for bringing in customers. And this commission will be dished out from your wallet.
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