TIPS FOR OVERSEAS TOURISTS
FOR AN ENJOYABLE TRIP TO INDIA
- Visitors from most countries will need a visa to enter India.
- The Indian unit of money is called Indian Rupee (INR). The approximate conversion rates are as follows at the time of writing this page. These vary slightly from day to day. PLEASE CHECK THE LATEST RATES JUST BEFORE YOU TRAVEL TO INDIA.
- 1 US dollar=62.46 Indian rupees
- 1 British pound=103.37 Indian rupees
- 1 Euro=85.34 Indian rupees
- 1 Canadian dollar=55.91 Indian rupees
- 1 Australian dollar=54.59 Indian rupees
- India is still a cash oriented country. Though big hotels, restaurants, stores etc.
generally accept credit/debit cards issued by foreign banks, you are better off using local money in cash in India. ATMs are available everywhere in India. For overseas tourists it is easiest to withdraw local money from ATMs using their ATM/debit cards. Most smaller businesses simply do not accept credit/debit cards.
- Good doctors and hospital services are available in all urban areas. But bring refills of your prescription medicines and a pair of spare eye glasses from home. Some areas (specially rural areas, national parks etc.) may have problems of malaria or other diseases from time to time. Check with your health service provider in your own country to see if you need any innoculations or preventative medication before arriving in India. These needs vary depending on the area in India you are visiting. It is best to check with your doctor at least one month prior to your visit.
- It is advisable to always drink bottled water in India (available everywhere), not to use ice in your drinks, and not eat fresh garden salads and cut fruits in less reputable places.
- Do not accept anything from an Indian with your left hand. Similarly, do not handover anything with your left hand.
- The most common and polite way of greeting an Indian is to say "Namaste" with your hands folded. Good morning, good afternoon etc. are not Indian greetings, though educated Indians have picked up these customs from the British.
- Refrain from showing affection (kissing, hugging etc.) to your partner in public. Indians generally frown upon these things as these are discouraged in Indian culture.
- Ladies, try not to wear shorts, mini-skirts etc., even in summer, in India. Exposing your legs in public is thought to be of bad taste. Similarly, do not wear blouses with plunging necklines in India. You will unnecessarily invite attention/remarks from people.
- Try to learn a few common Hindi words before arriving in India. Here are a few words/phrases that might help:
- Thank you=Sukhria
- How much (price) for this?=Yeh kitne ka? OR Iska bhao kya?
- How are you=Aap kaise hai?
- Yes=Haan (The 'N' is for nasal tone)
- Meat=Gost (Soft 'T')
- Chicken=Murg OR Murga
- I am hungry=Mujhe bhuk laga hai
- I am thirsty=Mujhe pyaas laga hai
- I am tired=Main thak gaya hun
- What is your name?=Apka naam kya hai?
These few words/phrases should see you through. Print these out if you cannot memorize them all and keep them in your wallet for easy reference. Always use the universal sign language when you don't know the word. For example, use your fingers for numbers.
Foreigners visiting India for the first time please don't miss Eating Indian (in India). The page is loaded with practical tips, India's eating habit's and culinary customs, and illustrated with several pictures.
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