Tips for solo female travelers

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Since 2008-2014 India has seen and increase in crime and crime against tourists. Women thinking of traveling on their own should consule a psychatrist first. This is the price of modernization unfortuately.

The media has however exagerated the conditions in India. Keep in mind that India is not filled with crime and violence, in a country with a billion crime is relatively low.  Africa and South America are still much more dangerous but people do not see it that way.

Indians have many funny ideas about western people. I remember meeting an Indian fellow on the train on my first trip to India years ago.  After chatting some time he inquired with me candidly

"Why did your parents dye your eyes that color blue?"


Be prepared to fend off some strange ideas and Indians. As a solo male traveller your are free to talk to any other Indian males. A solo female will have to be more selective and careful who she gets in casual conversation with. A hostile attitude is not recommended. Don't forget that Indians are extremely sociable people so don't be surprised when people just come up to you and start talking to you. Of course they've all watched western movies and know exactly what your like.

Western Culture VS Eastern Culture

In India women do not backpack solo. In India it is a cultural practice where most good girls stay at home until they are married. Single western women appear rather like fallen women to many Indians (even Indian women.)  In India, males are free to roam about and take to anyone they wish --- it is a jungle. As a single women you will subjected to this behaviour or questioning. This may indeed  be harmless, but it will no doubt make you feel UNCOMFORTABLE.

Attacks and harassment of western women have increased.  There is very little security in India, no police will come if you are attacked. You should carry a cell phone that you could call for help.  All and all though, statistically India is very safe for women travellers.

New Delhi is the rape capital of India - but for Indian women.

1.3 billion Indians, a quarter are male and under 25 years old - they are horny! Solo women should avoid taking the 2nd sleepers or lower class trains, should avoid public buses in big cities, should avoid bigger cities all together.

If your nervous about travelling on your own you can stick to the tourist trail (but this may be worse.) At least on the tourist trail (Dharmasala, Varanasi, Pushkar, Goa) you can meet plenty of other travelers to perhaps join up with a travel some distances together.

These tourist ghettos may create a new set of problems giving a false sense of security. The problem with the busy tourist ghetto is that workers will come from all over India for jobs in tourism; nobody really knows who they are. Unlike a small village where everyone knows everyone else, tourists will be very safe..

Having said that I think that the small villages in India are the probably the safest place, and more rewarding as a traveler. 

Keep in mind Thailand and Indonesia are countries that many tourists find them inselves in trouble too. India may be safer than these countries.

Be wary of massages and other holistic types, the yogic fakir may over step their bounds. It doesn't help that many western women come to India and Nepal looking for romance.

Travel Slow, go slow, be slow, fast is danger in India. When your tired you be more vulnerable and you will miss what's really going on.

Dress like a man, wear big shirts that cover your arms. baggy jeans, hat, dark sunglasses, handkerchief.

  • Try to look ugly. Sounds funny but wearing makeup or sexy outfits is not advisable.
  • Carry a book, and put it up in front of you. This is a polite way of telling people to leave you alone.
  • Look for families to latch-on-to, find a group of Indians that you can sit with and they will help you and make the time go by.
  • Don't over react, anger may make a situation worse,  try to make peace with a sense of humor. India behave like mirrors.
  • Taxi drivers maybe a risk in India.  Avoid young 'cool' drivers. Look for a driver who is over 40+
  • Take 3AC,2AC and better class trains avoid regular 2nd sleeper class.
  • Try not to get paranoid. India has a way of doing that to you anyways. You have to accept the patriarchy.
  • Don't mind if people stare at you this is a normal activity in India.
  • Carry a cell phone with you. If someone is bothering you or pushing you into a situation, threaten to report them to the tourist police! Dial 100 for emergency, 102 for ambulance.
  • Always keep in control the situation. If things are getting out of hand do not wait. Just leave (get away) from the situation. Do not hesitate to ask someone passing by for help. In India you are rarely alone.
  • Do not assume you can just invite your new Indian male 'friend' up to your room for a visit and all will be yoga...Beware of yoga instructors or gurus, massages, healers, new friends etc.
  • Do not go to a secret rave party in the jungle and drop something with your 'new friends...' Full moon parties from Nepal to India to Ko Phanyang are famous for sexual assaults and date rapes.

 


Well according to some people it isn't. But did you know that a female tourist is 40x more likely to be assaulted while traveling in France or Greece than while in India?



  
www.rachelchitra.files.wordpress.com





     I believe that the official word from the India Tourist Department, they recommend that females NOT travel alone in India.

 

This is simply because they can not guarantee or provide any guarantee of safety to tourist other than what is offer to every Indian. Other than there are no warning officially not to travel solo. If there are they will be listed here

Jennifer's story: a lesson for all women travelling in India or Nepal (based on a true story)

 

Jennifer is an Australian or Canadian or English women who decided to go from Bangkok to Kathmandu one day on whim. She had no idea about the culture of India, Nepal or the subcontinent.  One her first day she was strutting around taking in the sites, Durbar Square, the Monkey temple, etc. She was dress just as she was on the beach in Thailand: a very low cut blouse, that pronounced her cleavage. She was a vivacious and attractive female and made no bones about hiding this. She felt it was her right as an western women to dress and behave as she pleased.

As the day went on Jennifer was walking through the alleys of Thamel in Kathmandu, the shop owners, touts and other locals where slowing getting on her nerves, 'Why can't they just leave me alone?"

A small group of men started walking beside her, make some small talk, Jennifer gave them a harsh look, 'mind your own business!" With that one of the men reached over and grabbed Jens breast which was somewhat extruding from her very low cut blouse. Her breasts where large and subtle and attractive to men.

With this Jennifer screamed out,  but the man only laughed and squeezed a bit more. With that Jennifer hit the man and backed off. She then became very angry for all western women travelling and went at the man with fists flying. She started to beat the fellow much to his surprise.  Just at the moment the local police arrived, one women police officer and one man officer carrying bamboo sticks.

What the police observed was a western women (dressed like a prostitute) attacking some local Nepali man. With this the police both the women and man starting beating Jennifer with the rattan sticks, Jennifer was taking into custody and eventually let go. Jennifer was badly injured by the police because she was consider the attacker.

So the moral of the story is never to over react, and never take for granted that life or law is the same in a foreign country. Never take the law in your own hands. Never attack someone in a foreign country.

Romance on the Road

 




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Comments   

 
0 # Marg 2011-11-11 20:19
Me and my boyfriend traveled through India and never felt safer. If you go to Sri Lanka however please be very careful! They did not care that i had a boyfriend at all.
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0 # donman 2012-04-10 12:04
vamp
Do not trust local kashmir men! Don't go to their room alone!

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Decomposed-body-in-hotel-was-of-French-national/Article1-836703.aspx
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