Have you ever been somewhere that has been so amazing and had such an impact on you that you’ve never wanted to leave, even if everyone else thought you were mad because of it?
That pretty much sums up my feelings towards India. I had such an amazing time there that I was pretty gutted when it came to leaving.
Oddly (in my opinion) since my visit in January I’ve met quite a few travellers who have claimed they would never EVER want to go back. I kind of get it – it can be noisy, dirty, hectic, you can get hassled every time you leave your hotel, there’s a fair bit of poverty and certain places stink. But when you think about it, every country has those things, yes maybe on a much smaller scale but they’re still there.
India is a crazy, crazy place but that’s part of what makes it so fantastic. And in actual fact, it has a hellava lot going for it.
1. The people
The people there are unbelievably friendly; okay, living in poverty seems like it must suck to us and I’m not saying it’s a bed of roses for them but, it’s refreshing to see the contentedness the people who live in the countryside have with their lives. It makes you question your own values in life. During my time in India I was also welcomed into people’s homes with a level of hospitality I don’t think I’ve experienced before.
2. The food
I couldn’t write this post and not talk about the food. The meat may be a bit dodge in places but OHMYGOSH are Indian curries cooked in India delicious (and I come from Birmingham where the curries are pretty darn good if I do say so myself). I’m drooling just thinking about them.
3. The transport
This may seem like a bit of an odd one but tuk tuks are SO MUCH FUN. They’re a great, cheap way to travel around the cities, giving you the opportunity to take it all in in a truly Indian way. Just don’t stick your head out the side when whizzing along at risk of swallowing a fly. I can tell you from first hand experience it isn’t pleasant.
4. The buildings
There are heaps of gorgeous monuments, palaces and temples to see in India. Take the Taj Mahal for instance, you’ve most likely seen pictures of it but it’s 26283939372 billion times more incredible up close in the flesh. The same goes for places such as the Amber Fort in Jaipur. Basically, you won’t be disappointed with the array of gorgeous buildings India has for you to see. There’s also a range of architectural styles going on from Gothic to Portugese to Mughal.
5. The size
India is a huge country which means there’s a place for everyone whether you prefer beaches, the countryside or cities. It’s all there.
6. The cost
I got told by heaps of people that Thailand was cheap but when we rocked up there it actually seemed expensive in comparison to India. 100 INR is currently equivalent to £1 or $1.60. You can get quite a lot for your money in India which means that you can travel as inexpensivley or as expensively as you like. It’s great if you’re on a budget like I was but there’s also lots of upmarket resturants and hotels if you want to splash out a bit more.
7. The shopping
So this may appeal to some more than others but the majority of items in India are irresistible. Different regions specialise in different products but on the whole you’ll probably want to buy most of what you see. It’s a shoppers paradise. Just remember to barter!
What makes you want to visit India, or not?