Delhi - Srinigar scams

#1 Oct 5th, 2009, 15:07
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  • danny-uk is offline
#1
Hi there. I'm due in Delhi in a few days, and it's my first time in India. I have a friend who arrived there last week who I was planning on meeting to travel around with. But when I heard from him the other day it sounded like he'd had a bad time in Delhi and been ripped off, and he said he'd moved on to Srinigar. He said it was great and that I should go and join him as soon as I arrive, and that he was with people who could make arrangements. The thing is, I've heard some bad stories about tourists being scammed in Delhi into trips around Kashmir. And I hadn't planned on going around that region. Am I right to be concerned about that at all?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks a lot!

Danny
#2 Oct 5th, 2009, 23:42
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  • Beena450 is offline
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by danny-uk View Post Hi there. I'm due in Delhi in a few days, and it's my first time in India. I have a friend who arrived there last week who I was planning on meeting to travel around with. But when I heard from him the other day it sounded like he'd had a bad time in Delhi and been ripped off, and he said he'd moved on to Srinigar. He said it was great and that I should go and join him as soon as I arrive, and that he was with people who could make arrangements. The thing is, I've heard some bad stories about tourists being scammed in Delhi into trips around Kashmir. And I hadn't planned on going around that region. Am I right to be concerned about that at all?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks a lot!

Danny
Yes it is quite possible that they will try to scam you, esp if you stay in Paharganj. I was approached within half an hour of checking in on my first ever trip. I just said no thanks I don't want to book a trip. If they persisted I said no thank you again and then put in a few choice swear words. Why should I be kind if they are not respecting my wishes. Going of on a tangent this guide would not leave me alone in Fatehpur Sikri and after a few polite no's I let him have it and he turned round to me and said I'm only doing my job don't talk to me like that. My reply to him was if you don't want to listen to it them walk away it's as simple as that.

OK going back to your situation in hand. First this, small talk is never small talk, they are sizing you up my friend. As soon as I say it's my 6th visit to India and my 12th time in Delhi so go find another goat to slaughter they pretty much leave me alone. I find Kashmir just as bad as Delhi when it comes to scams but I would go to Srinagar and surrounding areas again in a heartbeat. Just don't let one you are new to the game and they will not waste thier time on you. Also you can make your own way to Srinager. Take the train to Jammu and then a bus or shared jeep in Jammu to Srinagar. They will try to getyou on a house boat but tell them you are visiting a family friend, get a hotel for the first night and then get a feel of the place and oh get ready to be harrased, it's gonna happen. If they ask any furtehr questions just tell them you're a private person and stop being nosey.

Don't let on you haven't been there before and if I want to get out of any conversation I just ask them why they are interviewing me and then throw questions at them. I find the more arkward I act the more they think I am a waste of time and try to find someone else more "normal".

My last piece of advice would be never part with money there and then. Tell them you will think about it, they can't force the money out of you. Never take money out in front of any one. I say I have't got any on me. The whole way they get the money is by confusing you by continually talking and invading your space. If they are too close tell them to take a step back.

After all that all I can say is enjoy india, don't worry about scams and whatever you read about India, if you spend too long worryign you will not enjoy, just have your wits about you and you'll have a great time. Trust me I've been back 6 times.
#3 Oct 6th, 2009, 00:27
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  • dillichaat is offline
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Check the security situation before heading off to that part of J&K. Don't mean to scare you off but lots of tension and things that go 'boom' around police stations lately. I know, 99 times out of a hundred nothing will happen and you'll have a great time. But the 100th time coud make you pay for all the rest.
"It is preferable to have a criminal for a servant rather than a fool because a criminal's actions are predictable and you can protect yourself against them, whereas there is no telling what a fool's next move will be.
#4 Oct 6th, 2009, 01:21
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  • sarkar is offline
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I think a safest scam free way will be by Delhi-Jammu train. Then bus between Jammu and Srinagar.
Hire some local driver there. He will show you Kashmir better than a Delhi tour operator. And the get back to Delhi in train.
#5 Oct 6th, 2009, 01:52
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  • machadinha is offline
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Agree with the others: ignore the touts and get there by your own means (bus, train), then meet your friend there and enjoy.

If you take bona fide public transport (not some dodgy and all-too eager private tour bus operator), there should be no one to scam you on that part, right. Then on the ground in Srinagar, sounds like your friend knows his way already.

For the latest on the political situation in Kashmir, you could read around this site's Jammu & Kashmir forum some.
#6 Oct 6th, 2009, 09:16
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  • namaste_cat is offline
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by danny-uk View Post But when I heard from him the other day it sounded like he'd had a bad time in Delhi and been ripped off, and he said he'd moved on to Srinigar. He said it was great and that I should go and join him as soon as I arrive, and that he was with people who could make arrangements.
Danny, the business about being with people who can make "arrangements" has a scammy ring to it. Arrangements aren't hard to make, so I'd be leery of an ulterior motive.

I would not venture to Kashmir if I were you unless it was already in your plans, certainly not based on your friend's urging. I hope your friend is just fine, but anyway, check this thread, and others like it so you know what to look out for, also read the Kashmir threads because the situation in Kashmir can be quite variable:
Solo female wanting to trek in Kashmir/Ladakh
#7 Oct 7th, 2009, 04:27
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  • danny-uk is offline
#7
Thank you so much for all the advice! I'm going to stay in Delhi for a while, and travel onwards and meet up with my friend somewhere other than Kashmir. Much apreciated!

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