Spa Shangri-La in the Himalayas
Know Before You Go...
Make an appointment with your travel doctor. Be sure your
shots are up to date and get a prescription for anti-Malaria
most up-to-date medical information for travellers can be
found online at such sites as:
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Health Canada's Laboratory Centre for Disease Control
Although street hawkers can be unbelievably persistent and in
your face, they generally aren't dangerous. Keep your eyes averted
if you don't want to buy their wares. In cities like Delhi I
took walks by myself downtown during the day and it was fine
since there were other people out on the busy streets. I wouldn't
recommend women go out alone at night and generally it is better
to do your sightseeing with a government-approved guide (this
way other would-be guides won't harass you). For more information
on government approved guides, e-mail the India Tourist Office
at: email@example.com (US) or
||Food and drink
Hopefully you like curry. Indians eat it for breakfast, lunch
and dinner. Take some power bars and other transportable foodstuffs
just in case your stomach rebels. Stick to hotels and higher
end establishments to dine and never eat from the street vendors
since sanitary conditions are less than perfect and flies are
abundant. Drink only bottled water and always make sure that
the cap has been sealed. Dishonest vendors have been know to
refill bottles with ordinary tap water.
Agra and Delhi in the north are dry, dusty, hot and polluted.
Beware if you have respiratory problems. Temperatures average
around 70ºF in January, rising to over 100ºF in the summer.
The south, around Cochin and Trivandrum, tends to be very humid
and temperatures remain in the 80s throughout the year. In the
mountains, it's definitely cooler.
Try to go in your hotel as conditions outside are poor to say
the least. Always carry toilet paper with you. Expect that public
bathrooms will be very dirty and smelly and more often than
not they're the hole in the ground variety. A little trick --
to combat the odors carry a mentholated Chapstick and dab some
under your nose to make breathing bearable.
||Clothing for women
For women, loose fitting pants and a light-weight, long-sleeved
shirt will go a long way, as will a long skirt and a shawl for
over-air conditioned interiors. Indian women dress very conservatively
in saris and salwars (a dress and pants combination) and usually
cover their shoulders and ankles, so it's best to follow suit.
Leave your shorts, halter tops, clingy sundresses and other
provocative outfits at home. Sturdy walking shoes are a must.
To enter holy areas such as temples and mosques you must take
off your shoes. As the ground isn't clean, I carried an extra
pair of socks that I slipped on for these occasions.
For lots more information about India, click here
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