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Is Delhi Safe for the Solo Female Traveler?


Ellen Shapiro
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I'm flying to Kathmandu in October and my choices of stopover cities are Singapore (S'pore Airlines), Bangkok (Thai Air), and Delhi (British Airways --> Royal Nepal Air). I've been to Singapore enough times that, though I like the place very much, I don't feel compelled to return immediately. It is, however, one of the safer places in the world to travel. Bangkok I won't do alone. I've done it. It's too stressful. I've never been to Delhi, though.

Is it reasonably safe there for a woman traveling alone? What level of hassles should I expect? And if I do go, what should I be doing, eating, seeing -- assuming maybe three days total time.

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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What you do is you meet me before you leave.  We get aquainted and then I make calls and e-mail friends to meet you when you are there.  

Delhi like any other city around the world, is a totally different ball game when you are being shown around by those in the know.  Yes, Delhi for the most part is safe.  If you stay at a hotel of at least some repute, I am sure the door men will ensure you get into regular cabs.  I have had many friends travel alone to India.  Never heard of any troubles.  I am sure there is a fair amount of that happening.  It may just have not come to my knowledge.

There are great restaurants, great museums and wonderful historical sites.  Markets, shops, emporiums selling handicrafts from the many different states of India.  In fact through those stores you get a great look at all of India just by walking from store to store on one long avenue.  

But, closer to when you are ready to make your trip, do let me know... and it is best that you get to Delhi, knowing someone.  It will change the flavor of your trip. All of a sudden, you are in the know, in the loop, and seeing things like an insider does.

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Ellen,

Have you ever considered writing a book specifically about the trials and tribulations of a woman traveling internationally?  If it was a combination of a dramatic travelogue and practical observations, it'd be "Oprah Book of the Month" Club country for sure for you! :p  :p  :p

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Suvir, you are too kind, and I will be taking advantage of your generosity to the greatest extent imaginable.

Jon, it's so difficult to sell travelog-type books these days, at least in the U.S. market. The publishers want either 100% practical trade-paperback reference-type books, or they want the author to be a celebrity or otherwise notorious (or a witness to notorious events). In the British market, I see more of those books, but I doubt the authors get paid enough to live on. The books I write fall into the reference category, and it's a real struggle to imbue them with any of my personality at all. I mean, I'm currently working on the manuscript for my book on discount furniture shopping in North Carolina. You tell me how to make that into Oprah material! So if I could sell a book about solo travel for women, it would probably be more how-to than narrative. Plus, although I find my travels endlessly fascinating, I can't pretend to believe that others will; and while I'm somewhat neurotic, I'm not nearly self-pitying or unfortunate enough to write the kind of degrading garbage I'd need to write to be a big success on the talk show circuit.

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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By the way, if anybody is interested in joining me on this trip, I've posted some details here.

The pointer you posted is to some one else's post. Did you mean your trekking

trip to Nepal ??

Delhi is reasonably safe. However do excercise street smarts as you would in any

major metro area in the world. If you joinup with someone local enjoying the city

will become really fun. I'd still take SIN on SQ as opposed to DEL on BA.

In DEL last week, I used a  car service with driver to take me around most of the weekdays

- It was 450INR for8 hours & 80 km, and then 4INR/km over the mileage or

15INR /15 minutes over the number of hours. I averaged approx 600INR

( approx 13USD) As you probably know, SIN offers a vast variety of good street food.

http://www.makansutra.com if you didn't already know always has something new

for one to try.

anil

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  • 2 years later...
I think you should meet Suvir and Ellen...

:biggrin:

I know rich friends that would be happy to take a culinary trip with Suvir Saran. And I can then enjoy the trip vicariously. He has changed the way Americans think of our food. A friend gifted me a copy of Methome Magazine with several pages about him and his recipes. The dishes were amazing (made me cook Indian food at home) and the photography just so fresh, I could not believe our food could look so good. The recipes were also real, home type and easy. It made me order the book and also Monica Bhides. They are supposed to arrive tomorrow.

Do Ellen Shapiro and Suvir Saran give food related tours of India? Information on that?

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Although travelling ANYWHERE with local people and local knowledge is better, I went to Delhi on my won when i was 18, 22 years ago, and loved it. It is a big city, and as such you need to use some common sense. But then again, I am quite happy in Bangkok on my own too, so perhaps our comfort levels are different. But i certainly have never had any kind of harassment or fear in Delhi.

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Although travelling ANYWHERE with local people and local knowledge is better, I went to Delhi on my won when i was 18, 22 years ago, and loved it. It is a big city, and as such you need to use some common sense. But then again, I am quite happy in Bangkok on my own too, so perhaps our comfort levels are different. But i certainly have never had any kind of harassment or fear in Delhi.

Welcome to the India forum. Do tell us about yourself. Where are you posting from?

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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There are many folks who give tours. IACP can give you information on that. It was a good article in Met Home I believe, I have not seen it. Did his coauthor Stephanie pen it?

I was interested in knowing if Suvir Saran gives tours. There are many others that do. I hear about them every time one reads stuff in India Abroad and other magazines. That was not what I was going after.

My girlfriend fell in love with the Methome Story and her parents who have more money than I can make as a artist, were the people I was going to send to him.

If you have not read the piece, I guess you are going by what you hear. I urge you, who leads us to go get a copy. It is not just a good article, it is a first for Indian food. It can sow seeds for the change that needs to take place in how Americans think of our food. It shows what new blood like Suvir and you Monica can do and have done for Indian food.

My girlfriend is a designer and gets the magazine and always loves the food stories. And it was a first for them to give so many pages to food and to top it, to her boy friends native food.

Stephanie Lyness is the writer and yes she is the coauthor. It is beautifully written, simple style of the Americans and sharing the intricacies of our culture and food and showing how Suvir is leading the movement to change perceptions about our food.

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