India is a country full of culture, history, amazing landscapes and of course lots and lots of people! With a fast growing population you’ll understand just how chaotic this country can be, but nonetheless still a place many go out and seek, taking the time to explore and marvel at its awe inspiring landscapes.
If you’re female and planning on travelling to India, here are a few things to keep in mind:
India is quite a modest country and many Indian women dress conservatively. Wearing clothes that cover your shoulders, chest and are below the knee are best. I also suggest choosing items that are quite loose fitting (this is great for the hot weather too).
Tons of kaftans, long skirts and pants are on sale for so cheap in India, so one or two will come in handy. I also got some clothes made which was cheaper than actually buying clothes from the markets!
There are some places which are a little more liberal in their dress and in Goa for example, around the beach towns I felt perfectly comfortable wearing a singlet and shorts for the day. Many travellers also sunbathe on the beach in their bikinis, but I still didn’t feel that comfortable doing so. Occasionally I would, but most of the time I had a loose singlet dress over me. It’s really a personal decision.
There are Men…Everywhere
On the streets, in restaurants at shops wherever you go you will find there are much more men out and about than there are women. It can take some getting used to; not only the lack of women about but also men staring at you. If you are a female solo traveller, you will stick out like a sore thumb and will mostly be staring more out of curiosity than anything else and is quite harmless. Even though I was travelling with Anthony, I still had men staring at me wherever I went. It is just something you have to get used to, of course, dressing respectable helps to stop the more imposing stares.
You’ll have the Indian version of the Paparazzi
You will notice that mobile phones will be held up and photos taken of you a lot of the time. Half the time, because they are so quick at snapping your picture, there isn’t much you can do about it. If it’s really obvious and you don’t like it, a firm ‘stop’ or ‘no’ will usually suffice.
I was constantly having my picture taken or being asked if men could have a photo with me. At first, to be honest, I didn’t really mind. After a while though, I got over it-especially the men who would pretend to be looking at their phone directly out in front of them, and then when I walked past heard a loud and obvious ‘click’ sound like a camera shutter coming from their phone.
Decide how you want to Travel
If you are travelling by yourself, I would suggest planning places you want to go, booking good accommodation that has been recommended by other female travellers as well as transportation. I know many women have travelled in India solo, and I admire them because I don’t think I could have done it by myself.
Teaming up with other travellers or females may be a good choice too. Having another person or people around may make you feel safer and good can be good companionship. I guess it comes down to how well you can travel by yourself and/or meet new people.
If you’re a couple and your partner is male, when asking questions or trying to organise tickets etc. you’ll find most of the time the men won’t even answer of talk to you! Many a times, I was trying to ask a question about travel or transport and they would either ignore me or just answer to Anthony because he was standing there. The majority of the time the men will only answer to the men.
Got any other tips for women when travelling in India?
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