Fun Facts (and Travel Tips) about India!

Disclaimer: these facts and travel tips are based on my observation while visiting Mumbai for my friend’s wedding. They may not reflect all of India.. but here goes:

1. Beef is banned in Mumbai.Β 

Before coming to India, I had the knowledge that majority of Indians are vegetarian. Still, I did not expect that beef is banned in Mumbai. Being an avid beef eater, I could last around 4 days being a vegetarian. Every food I had was delicious, but my cravings for beef started on my last two days in Mumbai and I was soooo happy to found beef burger in Singapore’s Changi airport during my transit. Hahaha. Oh one other thing, I found it interesting that some restaurants use water buffalo meat as a substitute for beef. I did not dare to try it out though.

Veg lunch – Chapati + Dal

2. As a tourist, It is not that easy to buy a SIM Card.

I never activated my network’s roaming when I go abroad. Mainly because I believe that we can easily buy pre-paid SIM Cards everywhere. In some places I’ve been in Asia, like Taipei or Kuala Lumpur, I could find SIM Card sellers in the arrival terminal at the airport. But not in Mumbai. Plus, from what I’ve heard,you need a permanent India address or a letter of guarantee from a resident to be able to purchase one. If it’s hard for you to get such things, I’d recommend for you to activate your network’s roaming prior coming to India, because wifi is not that easily to be found anyway. But, maybe don’t do so if you are traveling to India to find peace and get disconnected for awhile πŸ™‚

Mumbai Airport

3.Not everyone you meet on the streets can speak English.

Contrary to popular belief, English is not the official language of India. Though a lot of Indians (especially those with higher education and the youngsters) speak English very fluent, when I was in Mumbai it was rather hard for me to speak with a cab driver or store assistant without the help of my Indian friends. So if you would like to travel there, perhaps keeping a cheat sheet of basic local language might be beneficial for you.

Marine Drive – Mumbai

4. Keeping safe – the basics

I have to say that I felt safer walking at the streets of Mumbai rather than some parts in Jakarta. I know I always had my Indian friends as company, but at least we were free from any kinds of harassment, embarrassment, and the likes. No one gave me “the look” nor calling me names. I may not be blond and not have blue eyes, but one of my friend does. But still, when we were walking it felt like we were invisible, no one actually paid attention to us, and I felt safe.

But still, remember the basics – dress properly. Contrary to western world, it is not appropriate to show cleavage. But feel free to show your belly! (as most Indian women do when they wear saree, hehe). Always be alert of your whereabouts and don’t go out alone at night. Don’t follow strangers, trust your judgement.. ah, you know the tips, right? πŸ™‚

Oh one other thing.. carry your water bottle and hand sanitizer everywhere, they will be handy.

A temple in Shivaji Park – Mumbai

5.Come with an open mind!

India is incredible. Even though I’ve only seen so little, but I definitely want to come back. I’m amazed with the culture, the people, and the mix of modernization and culture that I saw in Mumbai. I can’t imagine what it feels like to visit the rural parts. I believe it will be even more amazing!

But… come with an open mind! Prepare to see what you have never seen before. Cow on the street? check! Constant honking? check! People meditating? check! good music? check! good food? check! There are just so much to see in India.

VT Station – Unesco World Heritage Site

Until my next post on my friend’s Indian wedding! stay tune! hehe πŸ˜€

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43 thoughts on “Fun Facts (and Travel Tips) about India!”

  1. Can’t wait for the wedding story πŸ™‚ .

    I always choose hotel with free wifi so internet connection is not a problem for me, haha πŸ˜† .

    Ah, the first picture alone makes me miss India so much!! πŸ™‚

    1. My hotel has wifi but it was rather expensive (250 rupee a day) and slow as well.. 😦
      I know, now that I’ve left India I missed the food hahaha πŸ™‚

  2. iya chris.. kyknya ga semua negara bs langsungbeli simcard deh..
    pas di jepang itu.. aku juga beli simcard.. tapi harus beli 2 minggu sebelum keberangkatan, dan di kirim ke kantor pos terdekat di sana.. jadi kita harus ambil simcard di kantor pos sanaa.. haha.. dan biasa.nya sih kalao simcard untuk tourist. cuman bs dataplan aja. ga bs telpon atau sms.. hehe.. di china juga gt katanya.. hehe..

    btw, india looks nice yahh.. hehe..

    1. wah ribet juga yaa.. tapi di jepang bukannya wifi gampang Jen? bagiku yang penting tuh data plan supaya masih bisa liat google maps, bisa liat translation software kalau bingung bahasanya hehehe.. kemarin pas di India untung ada temen2 selalu sih, kalo ga bingung juga tuh ga ada dataplan..

      Iyaa nice banget Jen padahal itu baru Mumbai doang hehe

      1. ga banyak bngt sampe gimana.. tapi di starbucks2 gt ada.. tapi kbanyakan ga ada sih di jalanan gt.. jadi beli dataplan dehh.. takut kepisah juga kitaa.. jadi beli 2 dataplan.. haha.. di tunggu yah crita berikutnyaa.. hehe

  3. Christa aku penasaran sama cuisine nya disana, kamu sempat nyobain apa aja selama disana? hehe. Menurut sumber penellitian nya Thomson Reuters, India menduduki peringkat ke 4 sebagai Negara terburuk di dunia untuk perempuan. Peringkat pertama adalah Afghanistan, lalu kedua Congo, ketiga Pakistan, dan kelima Somalia. Nah kamu cerita kalo you felt safe jalan di Mumbai drpd Jakarta, bikin aku bertanya2 … Segitunya kah di Jakarta???

    1. Aku nyobain segala macem sampe lupa namanya Pie, kan ke kawinan tuh berhari – hari, makanan nya beda2 terus dari berbagai region, dan banyak yang aku ngga bisa pronounce hehehe. Tapi yang aku paling inget dan favoritku ya si Dal, Chapati, sama Dosa itu hehe.

      Nah itu dia aku pun berangkat ke India dengan pengetahuan begitu, tapi pas disana kok berasa aman – aman aja. Mungkin aku belum lihat banyak dan mungkin aku cuma di kota besar, tapi setidaknya selama jalan di Mumbai, bahkan ada yang di jalanan kayak pasar gitu, aku ngga diliatin, ngga di colek2, ngga di siul2, ngga di panggil2, dan sempet keluarin hp buat foto aman aja rasanya bener2 ngga ada yang ngeliatin. Sementara kalau aku di beberapa bagian Jakarta yg padat di daerah kota aku kebayang banget minimal pasti ada yang manggil2 atau ngeliatin, apalagi kalau sama bule kan. Lebih ke situ sih perbedaan nya… hehe

    1. Oyaa… iya bagus banget Fe, aku masih penasaran masuk ke dalemnya soalnya kemarin cuma sempet numpang lewat aja dari luar hikkss. Ohhh aku baru tau kamu di Antwerpen ya πŸ™‚

    1. I love Chapatiiii! hehe penasaran disini ada restoran India yang jual Chapati ngga ya? taunya Naan doang kalau di Jakarta yang umum.

      Tapi itu berdasarkan pengalaman pribadi yaah Ryan. Kayak aku jawab ke Oppie di komen diatas, disana aku jalan kaki cewe – cewe ngga digodain dan di ignore aja gitu, lain sama kalo jalan di Jakarta misalnya di terminal gitu kan minimal banget diliatin tuh,.. apalagi kalau bawa bule. Gak bermaksud ngejelekin Jakarta kokkk πŸ˜€

      1. Memang kenyataan sih Christa. Walau sedih tp itu adalah nyatanya.

        Chapati blm nemu. Gak nyari juga sih. Hahahaha. Pengen bikin sendiri tp tepungnya khusus kan yak

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