U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-07-2010, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,269,594 times
Reputation: 16497

Advertisements

Taking off to India in 2 weeks and I was just looking for any words of wisdom from people who have traveled there without getting food poisoning. I will be there for 3 weeks with my girlfriend and I would really prefer to not get sick. I understand I really can't eat the street food.. but is there anything else I should look out for?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-07-2010, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,451 posts, read 21,283,365 times
Reputation: 24296
Carelessly, bravely, I eat street food everywhere I travel, never got sick eating street food even in India. Just make sure whatever you eat is cooked thoroughly. No runny eggs and raw vegetable plates.

India is extremely spiritual, to me, it was one long spiritual bath everywhere I went.

As they say, you never leave India without being permanently transformed, in some way or another. India completely changed my religious beliefs, I thank India for that. Tantric Buddhism will always be with me.

Just be careful around Agra if you insist upon seeing the Taj. Aggressive, pushy, street touts everywhere. They'll spoil your whole trip there if you let them. Many will not take No for an answer!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2010, 12:39 AM
 
476 posts, read 1,016,053 times
Reputation: 948
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
Carelessly, bravely, I eat street food everywhere I travel, never got sick eating street food even in India. Just make sure whatever you eat is cooked thoroughly. No runny eggs and raw vegetable plates.
Street food is generally a safer bet than restaurant food. There is no credible FDA or health inspection governing food preparation in developing countries. The logic is with street food, at least you can see how it's prepared, determine whether it's cooked over sufficiently high heat/ thoroughly, and see how the food is stored. In a restaurant, you're flying blind.

I didn't get sick in India either; was there over a month. It's a roll of the dice so carry some Cipro for serious food poisoning or parasites (symptoms more than 3 days) and bring Imodium for diarrhea.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2010, 09:29 AM
 
8,266 posts, read 10,721,779 times
Reputation: 4774
I'd third a vote in confidence with street food, just be careful with fruits/veggies that are unpeeled.

Those guys maintain a relatively small stock of food compared to restaurants so they move thru it quickly.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2010, 11:51 AM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,430,595 times
Reputation: 4849
When it comes to Asian countries, street food is a huge part of their culture. If you avoid eating it, you'll miss out on some of the best food you'll ever have. I eat and seek out street food everywhere I travel. It usually ends up being the best meal we have and we've never been sick from it. You're more likely to get sick from restaurant food, since it's prepared in the back kitchen where you can't see how they handle it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2010, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,950,046 times
Reputation: 2978
Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
Taking off to India in 2 weeks and I was just looking for any words of wisdom from people who have traveled there without getting food poisoning. I will be there for 3 weeks with my girlfriend and I would really prefer to not get sick. I understand I really can't eat the street food.. but is there anything else I should look out for?
A fourth vote for eating street food. Yes, you can see the whole process, from the raw materials to the finished product, and if you're worried, you can just ask them to turn up the heat or BBQ it longer.

Indian food is WONDERFUL! The beer ain't bad either, and can really make things seem brighter, and let you forget a little about the abject poverty, dirt, feces, trash, and grime that becomes an everyday part of your life.

My wife and I backpacked a Delhi-Jaipur-Agra-Mumbai-Goa-Bangalore trip and didn't get sick--unless you count the runs, which are just a fact of life when it comes to that irresistable, delicious, and oh-so-painful (going in and out) curry! Take enough immodium for two big daily doses throughout the whole trip. When you are staying in one place for a while, stop the dosages and... uh... "flush" your system. Be sure you've got some TP with you. I dunno about anyone else but the butt-washer just spreads it around and makes everything worse IMO; hose, ladel, or bucket and hand.

...

Some non-food tips, assuming you're not on a package-tour and will be making your own way around:

...

Carry pocketfuls of candy. You can get a bag of it incredibly cheap. Give it to kids who come up to you and beg. It'll make you feel like you made their day. In my experience, beggars (especially children) in India are some of the nicest you'll find in the world. One experience that sticks with us: We were waiting at a train station in some small town when a group of children approached us. A young boy asked for money or food, but an older girl with them pulled him away and gently scolded him. She then returned and talked with us, all compliments and smiles. Even though we had nothing to give (not even candy) she and the group of children saw us on our way with happy smiles and waves. It was a very bittersweet encounter.

Be friendly but firm in saying no and ignoring touts. They'll follow you for blocks if you waver or engage them even a little bit. They may follow you for blocks, anyway. People don't just come up to you on the street and make conversation unless they're a tout.

Women should not go out alone, especially if you are western-looking. You'll notice that almost 100% of the people you see on the street are men, and maybe 60%-70% in the markets. We didn't have any trouble as a couple, but friends of ours have been harrassed, and felt unsafe in several situations when they were a single female walking by herself.

Haggle everything. The first quoted price is usually 200-400% or more of the fair price. Aim lower than you think it's worth. Smile and joke. It's not a battle, but a game. Walking away at least once is usually necessary to get a fair deal (and it's not like there's not a million other autorick drivers, fabric sellers, food stands, etc. you can try if they don't chase you with a better price). If you hear a good joke or a clever turn of phrase (and you probably will), go a little higher than you otherwise would. Buy fabrics in the north!

If you're going less than a few miles or so, you don't want to walk, and you're not in a big hurry, go by bike rickshaw. They're cheaper, quieter, and more pleasant than the autoricks. Don't haggle the bicycle rick drivers overmuch. Those poor skinny old guys have to haul your fat ass around on a rickety old single-speed under the blazing sun with crazy traffic roaring all around, cut them a break.

Trains are nice (compared to Chinese Trains, at least). AC3 is sufficient, I would say. The AC usually works, and it's pretty spacious if you don't mind sharing a "cabin" with 6 Indians (often students or businessmen) and the two of you. I forget which bunk is best. Maybe the top, since everybody sits on the lower 2 during the day. The 2 wall bunks are good, but I think they cost more. It should be obvious but: DO NOT EAT TRAIN FOOD! That's where you can get some seriously bad bugs. Carry packaged food and bottled water with you for long hauls. The bunks are pretty sturdy and will hold two medium-sized westerners (280 lbs or so) to a single bunk if you want to pile your stuff on the other bunk. Use judgement if you see frayed straps or rusty chains.

Busses are not so much fun, but sometimes they're the only choice. Pick the highest grade of service if you can, these are sometimes A/C. Sometimes saying "Volvo" will indicate to the ticket seller that you want the better bus. Sometimes there just aren't any good busses. Don't expect to sleep on the bus (unlike the train). If the driver isn't honking the horn, then he has stepped out to pee or something. Same goes for all motorized transport.

India is an experience, that's for sure. Have fun and watch out for monkeys; they're real jerks.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2010, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
5,713 posts, read 8,620,389 times
Reputation: 5817

YouTube - Introduction to India Travel

I've also eaten street food in India without any problems. I thankfully haven't had any problem with food even in restaurants.. remember to go with an open mind, you're traveling for a really different experience so that is what you're going to get

Also visit this forum, it's a terrific resource for everything about India:

http://www.indiamike.com/india-artic...dia-confusion/
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2010, 10:19 PM
 
476 posts, read 1,016,053 times
Reputation: 948
Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Some non-food tips, assuming you're not on a package-tour and will be making your own way around:
...
Carry pocketfuls of candy. You can get a bag of it incredibly cheap. Give it to kids who come up to you and beg. It'll make you feel like you made their day.
Great tips from sponger42. The only one I'll take kind exception to is giving candy to children who have no access to dental care. This is one of those well-intentioned cultural mistakes that we folks from developing nations often make. If you must give candy, make it sugar free. They won't know the difference and will still smile for you.

I'd suggest stickers, coloring books/crayons, bubbles, pretty postcards that show the "big city" where you're from, etc. They have lots of smaller toys at the dollar store you could pick up. Just don't get something so tiny (like jacks) that it presents a choke hazard for the smaller children.
It won't take much to make these children smile, no need to rot their teeth in the process.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-08-2010, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,358,037 times
Reputation: 6670
Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
Taking off to India in 2 weeks and I was just looking for any words of wisdom from people who have traveled there without getting food poisoning. I will be there for 3 weeks with my girlfriend and I would really prefer to not get sick. I understand I really can't eat the street food.. but is there anything else I should look out for?
I've investigated India for a potential trip in October. Although I have delayed it until at least the completion of my chemotherapy, I still want to go. From everything I've heard and read, be prepared for sensory overload. And that means all senses...the **** and **** in the streets and the fragrant pujas, the heart-wrenching poverty and the beautiful caves and temples, etc., etc., etc. This has been the consensus in all that I've read. You ought to drop the idea of not eating street food, too. You can become sick off anything in India, and as long as you take the normal precautions (no raw vegetables / fruits, lots of women and children customers, etc.), you should be about as good as you otherwise would be. Again, from what I have read, street food is major part of daily life in India, and a great way to experience the local culture. Plus, Indian street foods are soooooo good.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-09-2010, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,950,046 times
Reputation: 2978
Okay, good advice there. Giving away stickers or something from the US is a better (if more expensive) idea. Whatever you give (if anything) have a lot on hand, as you may get mobbed. We had been on the road for 8 months prior to India, and we were pretty broke, so we just picked up some local candy.

In some situations, those treats might also keep little hands from trying to pick your pockets.

Do keep in mind that, as a westerner, you're a target for everyone from beggars to theives to touts, and a lot of time there's not so much distinction between them. It's good to be friendly, generous, and represent your country well as a considerate guest of the Indians. However, use good judgment and don't let yourself be pressured. If you are foolish or easy to take advantage of, you make it harder for those who come after you. Say no, walk away, and stand up for yourself when you can safely do so; which is most of the time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top