Travel advice for Kashmir, India.

Posted by Don Pinnock on 16 September 2009 Tags:, ,

Getting there
This is a Getaway Adventures trip organized by Albatros Travel. For more information or to book, e-mail [email protected] It costs R25#955, which includes flights from Cape Town or Gauteng, all internal flights and vehicle transport in India, all food and accommodation and a trip to see the Taj Mahal and Red Fort.

When to go
The passes to Leh are under snow in winter, so you can visit only between late June and late October. Temperatures can range from 36C to -40C. Take appropriate clothing.

Entry requirements
A visa is required to enter India. It can be obtained from the Indian Embassy in Pretoria and takes about a week.

Health and food
Be careful about what you eat and drink. Use only bottled water (easily obtained) or purify tap water with chlorine tablets. Eat only what you know to have been recently cooked and avoid salads, ice cream or fruit you haven’t just peeled. Food in four or five star hotels can generally be trusted. Don’t let these precautions deter you from trying spicy Indian cuisine – it’s among the most exciting and flavourful in the world. It’s advisable to have Hepatitis A and typhoid shots before going and use malaria prophylaxis in hot, lowland areas. Carry medication for diarrhea and a general antibiotic. In the Himalayas, travel up slowly to acclimatise or take medication for altitude sickness.

Travel tips
When shopping, you are expected to bargain. Always ignore the first quoted price, but keep it lighthearted and not aggressive.

India is a safe country for travel with little crime, but in crowded areas keep a lookout for pickpockets and lock your luggage.

Most towns have an Internet caf and you can buy Indian cellphone cards quite cheaply, but ask which areas the cards cover. The ATMs work well and most hotels will take credit card payments. US dollars are easily exchanged, but shop around for a good exchange rate.

Tipping is expected and constant, so add R1000 to your budget expectations just in case.

If you want to travel the loftiest road in the world, with a pass of nearly 5000 metres, it goes from from Manali in Himachal Pradesh to Leh.