Finding "No Shopping" Guides? And Itinerary Suggestions?

#1 Feb 21st, 2006, 10:10
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  • soundbyte is offline
#1
I've listed our itinerary below and would very much appreciate suggestions and reactions.

But as a spin-off on another posting, can anyone suggest a way to convince a guide that you REALLY, REALLY, REALLY don't want to shop? Is there such a thing as a guide who is willing to forego the inevitable cousin's silk shop in exchange for a few extra rupees?


Mar. 6th
Arrive: 9:15 p.m. Delhi, India (DEL)

Mar 7th
Overnight Delhi hotel TBA

Mar. 8
Fly From Delhi To Varanasi
Arr Varanasi afternoon

Mar 8-11
VARANASI (Guest House)

March 11th
VARANASI->GAYA
2382 POORVA EXPRESS (reserved)
Dep VARANASI JN 05:20
Arr GAYA JN 09:04

Day at Bodhgaya (need to hire driver from/to Gaya -suggestions?)

GAYA-KOLKATA OVERNIGHT TRAIN
2312 KALKA MAIL (reserved)
Dep GAYA JN 23:48
Arr HOWRAH JN 07:25 (next day)


Sunday March 12

MORNING IN KOLKATA (AM GUIDE? Any suggestions?

FLY from KOLKATA to Bangalore
Arr Bangalore 18:55
Overnight Hotel

Mon. March 13th
Drive to Shravanabelagola
Overnight (Hassan)?

Tues. 3/14
Train/Car to Kannur
Overnight Kannur

March 16
Kannur
Overnight Kannur

March 17th
Drive to Cochin

March 18th
Cochin

March 19th
Cochin

March 20th
AM to Kumarakom –
House Boat Overnight stay

March 21st
Transfer to Airport Cochin.
Fly Delhi evening
Overnight Delhi


March 22nd
Overnight Delhi


March 23rd
Depart Delhi: 11:45 p.m.
#2 Feb 21st, 2006, 12:07
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  • iwanttogoback is offline
#2
can you explain why you don't want to shop?
#3 Feb 21st, 2006, 12:14
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#3
Just some silly desire to see things, not possess them.
#4 Feb 21st, 2006, 12:18
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#4

Thumbs up That’s fair enough. But.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundbyte Just some silly desire to see things, not possess them.
Then say “no” to the shopkeepers (not the guide ) after seeing his stuffs .
Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.

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#5 Feb 21st, 2006, 12:25
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#5

Sure, I can spend time politely visiting stores but ...

why can't I just say "no" before we travel to a shop in which I am not going to buy?

By the way, I WAS hoping for some comment on the itinerary (vs. the shopping .......)
#6 Feb 21st, 2006, 12:34
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#6
Do not miss Belur & Halebid while around Shravanabelagola. The black stone carvings of the temples of Halebid are unbeliveable.
While you employ a guide(why & where you need a guide is a question though) lay down a condition that nothing pertaining to shopping should be broached. Be firm on the first mention of something similar & remind the guide of the condition!
#7 Feb 21st, 2006, 12:48
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#7

Thumbs up Then say “no”, that’s all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundbyte why can't I just say "no" before we travel to a shop in which I am not going to buy?

By the way, I WAS hoping for some comment on the itinerary (vs. the shopping .......)
We were confused about the ‘Priority‘ . The first part of your post was regarding Shopping ( no shopping) and that’s why ……….
Itinerary is not the secondary part, iwanttogoback .

OK, I am trying to comment on your itinerary. My personal experience says Varanasi and Gaya-Bodhgaya need some more time.
You are going to arrive on 8th March evening and leaving for Gaya on early morning of 11th – so only 2 days in Varanasi.

11th you are arriving at Gaya – going to Bodhgaya and coming back to Gaya for the train to Kolkata!!!! (plz correct me if I am wrong). Is it practical?

And you are not ‘traveling’ in Kolkata just using as a passage to South India. I prefer to split my tour to cover one part. That saves time and money. Your plan will not allow you to explore. Any special purpose to just touch these places?
Last edited by somnath; Feb 21st, 2006 at 14:00..
#8 Feb 21st, 2006, 13:53
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  • seventies'hippy is offline
#8
Quote:
But as a spin-off on another posting, can anyone suggest a way to convince a guide that you REALLY, REALLY, REALLY don't want to shop? Is there such a thing as a guide who is willing to forego the inevitable cousin's silk shop in exchange for a few extra rupees?
Very easy, Just tell him from the start. what you are interested in & what you're not.
You're paying him,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
#9 Feb 23rd, 2006, 21:34
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#9
Your itinerary seems so rushed! No time to stop and enjoy Bodhgaya and Varanasi. I stayed in each of those for four days and wished I'd stayed much longer.

You'll get drivers who want to take you shopping for commission. It's all in a day's work for them--they have to earn a living too. If you don't want to shop, tell them you don't want to shop. If they take you to a shop anyway, either get out of the car and shop, or don't get out of the car. It's all up to you. If you hate being pressured to buy things you don't want, you will hate hate hate hate hate India. You will especially hate Bodhgaya--a wonderful place, but also a very poor place where locals rely on tourist money to survive. There is a constant swarm of salesmen outside the temple grounds trying to sell you postcards, CDs of Buddhist chants, pressed leaves from the Bodhi tree. If you let it ruin your trip, it will.

So you've got to have an easygoing attitude. If you don't want it, don't buy it. Or buy it anyway, because it costs less than a cookie at a Starbucks back home, and you'll have something interesting to give your friends when you come back.
#10 Feb 23rd, 2006, 21:48
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#10
I know exactly how you feel!

It isn't just the fact that you do not want to buy anything, don't want to look in any shops and not have any hassle with shopkeepers - it is also the fact that you don't want to politely turn people down.

Pleople can be very insistant, and even theough you tell them you don't want to visity ANY shop, they'll try to get you into one or two - even if it is just to meet your guide's "brother" who owns the shop!

The best way to avoid this is to get a guide through personal recommendation - one who you can trust to keep the touts and shopkeepers at bay.

I know one such in Cochin, so if you want him for March 17th, 18, 19th let me know and I'll put you in touch. He can also book the houseboat for you, drop you off at Kumarakom and deliver you to the airport.

Please send me a private message if you'd like the contact details.

All the best,

John (who doesn't like shopping either!)
Last edited by john.sw; Feb 24th, 2006 at 00:12..
#11 Feb 23rd, 2006, 22:19
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#11
Thirdreel, thanks very, very much for your detailed reply. About the itinerary ... It is terribly rushed. Alas, the alternative is NOT to see Varanasi or Bodhgaya with my son. I don't have the luxury of time nor the certainty of returning any time soon.

By the way, I've already decided not to work with an agency in Varanasi which looked at the itinerary, said I was spending too much time there, and added a stop in Lucknow on the way to Varanasi.

As for the shopping, I've been to India and understand the system. It's not the selling I mind (I understand it's part of the system). It's the time lost traveling to this store and that. I'm capable of saying "no" politely and brusquely. But as you point out, the time is SO short.

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