Friday, 3 February 2017

Why India is a must see...

From hectic Delhi to relaxing Goa, you must absorb the culture along the way.

RULE No. 1: BE KIND! The shocking sights of rich and poor next to each other will make you think twice about haggling. When trying to buy their products, be kind. If they give a ridiculous figure then you can haggle them down to what you think is an appropriate figure, but remember minimum wage is $0.28 an hour, so if you're generous, your contribution will make a significant difference to their income for that day. 

RULE No. 2: BLEND IN! In India if you're a foreigner you're going to stand out, be stared at and sometimes a target for thieves. Want to experience a local way of life? Wear their clothes. The amount of stares I got at the start of my trip was overwhelming but as soon as I bought some clothes from the local market, people stopped glaring and treated me as a local not a tourist - it was refreshing!

RULE No. 3: PUT YOUR BLINKERS ON! Deciding between a local bus or a luxury air conditioned bus? The local bus is half the price (£3 from Delhi to Jaipur around 6 hours) so if you're on a budget it's got to be done! I would say go on it for the experience, but be prepared to be constantly stared at for the entire duration of the journey! Necessities: headphones, phone, neck pillow = sorted! If you were thinking of sleeping on the bus... think again! The air con bus is a lot more comfortable so for £7 it might be worth the extra money!

RULE No. 4: DELHI BELLY! Don't be afraid to try the local food. It tastes awesome! The spices that they have are amazing and you really shouldn't miss out! Check it is cooked, eat with clean hands and take the necessary precautions but don't be overly cautious! 

RULE No. 5: WATCH OUT! When taking the subway be aware of thieves. Women should be extra cautious of standing too close to men: I witnessed and experienced men touching in inappropriate places. To avoid this get on the women only carriages (the last carriages). 

RULE No. 6: ENJOY IT! The best way I got around was hiring a tricycle for the day in Jaipur. It is around 800 rupees for the day though this is dependent upon the city you're in. Hiring scooters in Goa is also a MUST!

Tip: Look up festivals around the time you go as this was my favourite experience in India!

Why Mongolia is in my top 3 favourite countries (so far) ...

Great white lake

Our host family cooking us dinner

Camels chilling in the Gobi desert
Enjoying the hot springs somewhere in the middle of Mongolia!

Broken down in the middle of we stopped to help them.

Ааруул - dried yak milk curd eaten as a snack. A vital source of vitamins for the nomads.

And finally before going to Mongolia, make sure you read up on Genghis Khan - a crucial figure in Mongolian history.