15 Unspoken Rules About India That All The Locals Know

List Rules
Indians: vote up the rules that all tourists should know before they visit.

India could be an ideal place for your next vacation, but as always, you should listen to the locals before you hop on a flight. These India tourist tips will help you learn exactly what to do in India. Take note of these local Indian rules and tips to get ready to live a very colorful experience.

  • 1
    6 VOTES

    Western Karnataka Is Untapped By Tourists

    From a former Redditor:

    If you're up for places untapped as far as tourism is concerned, you could try western Karnataka. The hills are quite secluded; most of them are protected forests and are considered the "hottest" biodiversity hotspot in India. There are many wildlife sanctuaries in the region, including tiger reserves, with Bandipur probably being the only one popular among tourists. The locals in the hills of Northwestern Karnataka are the most intelligent, well-educated, and open-minded people I've met in all of India. Getting there may not be as easy as getting to Goa, but the region isn't completely inaccessible. You get to stay away from tourist hotspots and the negatives that come with them. Specific places you might wanna look up would be Coorg district (AKA Kodagu) and its towns like Madikeri, Virajpet; North Canara district (aka Uttara Kannada) and its towns like Sirsi, Dandeli, and the Dandeli national park; Shimoga and Udupi districts with a border town/hill station called Agumbe, the temple-town of Sringeri and Bhadra Tiger reserve (Shimoga town has a railhead to reach the region but I wouldn't suggest staying there); South Canara district (aka Dakshina Kannada). I'd suggest living close to townships but not in them.

    6 votes
  • 2
    5 VOTES

    Plan Ahead For Your Peace Of Mind

    From Redditor u/seriously_chill:

    You should plan ahead for peace of mind. India is not really set up [for] last-minute trips and getaways (unless you know your way around). Make reservations through your hotel's travel desk or large, reputable travel companies. Still, be prepared for little things to go wrong - delays, reservation issues, etc. You need to be able to take some of these hiccups in your stride, but never accept a drastic last-minute change of plans, such as a change to an unfamiliar hotel, etc. Keep your hotel or agent's number handy and let them handle it - if you've chosen well, they should take care of this stuff for you.

    5 votes
  • 3
    5 VOTES

    Don't Buy Anything From Stores Taxi Drivers Take You To

    From Redditor u/pbfact:

    If you decide to give money or food to beggars or children, that's fine - but be prepared to be swarmed. Trust me, they move quickly.

    If a taxi driver (forcibly) takes you to a store, it's likely they're connected to the store owner and get a commission from your sales. That probably means you've paid too much for the item, by the way.

    Unlike other parts of Southeast Asia, it's probably best to avoid street food. While you can certainly eat outside to some extent, definitely stay away from meat, curry, or anything that looks unhygienic.

    Be careful with water - that means drinking water, ice cubes, water while you brush your teeth, etc.

    5 votes
  • 4
    4 VOTES

    Kerala Is Touristy; Sikkim Is Not

    From Redditor u/rustysnoopy:

    I think you can find many touristy places in Kerala. I may be biased, coming from there.

    Off-the-beaten track go to Sikkim and the northeast of India. I had a really wonderful time there. People are the best. Travel might be difficult, but it is worth the effort. And you get to see a very different sort of India there.

    4 votes
  • 5
    3 VOTES

    Drink Bottled Water

    From Redditor u/seriously_chill:

    For water/food: definitely stick to the bottled stuff. In Bombay or the south, coconut water is fine if it's prepared in front of you (or in a restaurant). Be careful about ice as well. The better hotels should have no problems keeping you well stocked. In Delhi, we bought crates of water and always had some handy in the car. India has some of the most incredible street food, but the best way to experience it may be in a more controlled environment - in Delhi, try the Haldiram's restaurants or even some of the hotels - Agni at Park makes a mean "chaat" platter.

    3 votes
  • 6
    3 VOTES

    Keep Your Distance From Street Merchants

    From Redditor u/seriously_chill:

    Unwanted attention (staring/ touts): We got some of this, but it was not as bad as folks make it out to be. We didn't have a problem with staring. We did attract touts, especially in Agra, but they quickly left us alone when I told them to. Maintaining a hard line with touts and beggars generally works well, even though you may feel like [a jerk] at first. For instance, don't make a lot of eye contact or let them touch you - if they do, decisively shake your head and continue your own conversations. To feel better about this, donate to a charity.

    3 votes