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Advice on safety for a women on her own in New Delhi

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Melbourne
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Advice on safety for a women on her own in New Delhi

I am going ton a Rajastan Safari for 3 weeks in December 2007 with a local tour company in Australia.

However, I will be 3 days on my own in new Delhi prior to tour.

The hotel they have booked me in

The Suncourt Hotel Yatri

Address :8A/33,W.E.A Channa Market Karol Bagh New Delhi - 110 005 .

An Indian friend living in New Delhi has emailed me with great concern about the area for a women to be on her own.

Please advise?

Also if anybody who has knowledge or stayed at the Suncourt Hotel Yatri could give me a review of the place.

thank you

Sue

Chennai (Madras...
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1. Re: Advice on safety for a women on her own in New Delhi

Sue,

I don't think you should worry being alone in Delhi provided you follow some basic precautions.Never walk in a secluded areas alone and in dark streets. Never take any taxi after 9pm and go out alone to a place you don't know.Never let others know that you are alone and dress modestly.Never let stranger in your taxi other than you and a the driver even though the driver may say the third guy is his brother!! Ask your hotel to pick up you from airport even if it costs a bit more than usual.These are a few precautions to be followed.

The area-Karolbagh- is always full of people and a very crowded area with shops, restaurants, etc etc..so any shout from you is enough for someone to come to your rescue.There have been many lone woman travellers visiting Delhi so no need to worry i guess.

Relax and have a nice trip.

Madrid, Spain
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2. Re: Advice on safety for a women on her own in New Delhi

Yes, don´t worry, Delhi is quite safe, take the usual precautions and be on guard especially at night.

I think that you can safely take a taxi after nine, but a taxi, not a guy with a normal car without meter (sometimes they send me this when I call the taxi stand!). And yes, don´t accept more people than the driver to go with you. Sometimes 2 guys go with you for the driver´s protection or for whatever reason. Tell the driver you don´t want the other guy. If you don´t like the driver, don´t take the taxi, there are more.

I had never heard of any attack of any autorickshaw or taxi driver to foreigners or locals but just as a rule 2 guys vs woman doesn´t look good.

I have taken taxis with 2 drivers without problem but it´s sounds logical to avoid it.

Also don´t take any drinks from people you just met, especially lassis, and don´t be too friendly with strangers or men in general at night, as they might misinterpret your friendliness with something else...

Don´t be scared, you´ll be fine, Delhi is very safe for foreigners at least.

Kolkata (Calcutta...
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for Kolkata (Calcutta), Darjeeling, India
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3. Re: Advice on safety for a women on her own in New Delhi

Hi,

I have stayed at the Suncourt Yatri earlier this year. Its a medium range budget hotel. The Superior/deluxe rooms are ok, I don't know about the regular rooms. Their resturant was under renovation when I was there so all meals were served in room, but the food quality overall was decent.

The area is ok, its walking distance from Karol Bagh Metro stop. I would not suggest anyone to be out on the roads late at night in Delhi, but otherwise you will not have a major security concern.

Melbourne
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4. Re: Advice on safety for a women on her own in New Delhi

Thanks for your responses. I feel a bit relieved now.

regards

Sue

Mumbai (Bombay...
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5. Re: Advice on safety for a women on her own in New Delhi

I think these responses are too positive and will lull you into a false sense of security. New Delhi has an atrocious record on women's safety.

It is certain that you will need to be more cautious in New Delhi than most other large Indian cities like Mumbai, Chennai or Kolkata.

I think for you travel by public taxis after dark isn't the most sensible thing to do.

Mumbai (Bombay...
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for Mumbai (Bombay), New Delhi, Kochi (Cochin), Chennai (Madras), India
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6. Re: Advice on safety for a women on her own in New Delhi

Delhi is unsafe for lone women. Your friend is right - Karol Bagh is not a good area. It is downmarket, mix of commercial and residential and many budget hotels for tourists are in this area. Don't go wandering on your own. Suncourt Yatri is among the better hotels in this area.

- Deepa

Kolkata (Calcutta...
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7. Re: Advice on safety for a women on her own in New Delhi

Having stayed at Karol Bagh on many occasions while in Delhi, I can only agree partly with Deepa and MR.

In the daytime, the area is choc a bloc with people, locals, tourists, vendors and whatnot. There is absolutely nothing to worry about during the day.

In the night, Delhi as a whole has a poor safety record for women. Its best to complete your sightseeing and shopping during the day and plan to be back at the hotel by about 7 pm unless you are with other people.

Deepa is quite correct, the Suncourt Yatri is just better in comparision with other hotels in that area. Do not expect too much, and you will be ok.

London
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8. Re: Advice on safety for a women on her own in New Delhi

I'm with brave1 here, having stayed in Karol Bagh several times. Daytime and even early evening when the shops are still open it's busy and bustling- nothing but the normal "watch your bag when in a crowd" rules apply.

I've never had more than a few persistent beggars and shoeshine boys bothering me.

But I didn't go out too much at night. If I did, I would be with my pre-booked car and driver, so time spent walking on the street was minimal, and I never had to get into taxis or autorickshaws. Your tour company may be able to get you a car and driver, your hotel will, or there are plenty of reputable car tour companies to choose from.

There's also crime and crime- I don't know the figures but I would guess you are not at a high risk of violent or extreme crime and you shouldn't let fear of something unlikely put you off too much. Be as sensible as you are in your own country's cities and a little extra as you don't know Delhi.

If you do use taxis/autorickshaws, find an honest/reliable one and stick with him rather than using different people all the time which ups the chances of meeting a dodgy one.

Miami
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9. Re: Advice on safety for a women on her own in New Delhi

Hi Sue,

I'm American, young blonde hair and blue eyes so I stand out and just back from Delhi last week. I had 2 days there on my own before joining my group. Some advice:

Connaught Circle is the best area and closest to everything. It was a challenge finding a midrange hotel but found fantastic Euro chic and super clean hotel -- Hotel Palace Heights D-26/28, Connaught Place, New Delhi. www.hotelpalaceheights.com Tel: (011) 43582610-20-30. It is super clean by western standards, not "India clean." It has a totally new renovation that's very South Beach (USA) -- looks like an Ian Schrager hotel inside (the famous hotelier). I actually took pix of the room and bath for ideas for my South Beach flat. Rooms v. small but chic -- 5,000 Rs for a single + 625 Rs VAT. The outside of the bldg. looks a bit ugggg, but the reception is on the 2d floor. At the entrance, you'll see the valet parkers for the restaurant, Zaffran and the name on the outside. Take the lift to FL 2. I was very pleasantly surprised! There's all western stores in the blocks around it (Benneton, etc.) and a Citibank ATM and Thomas Cook right across the street.

Dress conservatively. Crew neck T's and no tight pants (even jeans). I wore baggy cargos mostly.

Start out to sight see or shop early in the morning and come back to your hotel when it starts getting dark. That's around 5ish right now. The hotel has a posh looking restaurant Zaffran with a big plate glass window where you can watch the chefs in the kitchen, but its the same price for food as the dives I ate in all over India.

I actually felt safest traveling in an autorickshaw since you're out in the open not in a closed car. A must to negotiate price before you hop on. The drivers do a standard drive through Old Town pointing out sites in limited English, for a 1 hr. or 2 hr. This is judging by the other westerners I saw doing the same thing. The drivers seem to know the drill.

I had a private driver to take me around and he was associated with my tour company so I felt safe. He was very nice, respectful, and was patient and kind even when I shopped and insisted he go on the autorickshaw with me (which I'm sure he wasn't thrilled about since he had a nice new SUV which he didn't seem to want to leave unattended). His name was Jogi, and he was with KVT Tours, which is the local contracted tour company Exodus subcontracts its India tours with (I booked my group trip with Exodus).

I took a cab from the airport at 2am when I landed -- pretty much one of my scariest travel experiences and I've traveled all over the world and several countries solo. Pay the extra for your hotel to send a car at any price -- its worth it. If you must take a cab, get the prepaid taxi you pay at the stand immediately upon leaving the airport doors over to the right. Stand in the que b/c they won't take you if you try to hop a cab down the line (I learned). They record your name at the window when you pay but will likely get it wrong. The cab driver has to give the ticket with your name on it to a cab security stand before leaving the airport. YOU WRITE YOUR FULL NAME AND HOTEL INFORMATION ON IT for your own safety if you must take a cab on your own from the airport at night. Insist the driver hand it to you before giving it to the security guy -- tell him they didn't get your name right. The security guy records the info. and then cross your fingers, pray and hope for the best.

Have your hotel # in your cell phone handy at all times, and #'s for any driver you take and his company.

No one smokes in India -- they will give you nasty stares and reprimand you (even the children).

The only way to deal with hawkers is to not acknowledge them in any way. If you even say no -- they're on you. Just keep walking like they're invisible. This seemed to work best.

Take a scarf to cover your face unless you can breathe and survive heavy pollution (worse than Bangkok). Especially if in an autorickshaw.

Otherwise, just be constantly vigilant like you would be in any other city in the world. Of course, don't talk to strangers, although school children are curious and may want to say hello at the sites. They were cute and fine.

Indians, especially those who don't see westerners too much, will want to take pictures with you and ask for an autograph. Even if you insist you're not famous in the west. I indulged a couple of times when in an area I felt safe (in the Red Fort, lots of security around), but be on guard in case its a ruse to distract you.

I know this is quite a lot, but if you have any other questions, please post again.

--Adventure Girl

Iowa City
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10. Re: Advice on safety for a women on her own in New Delhi

There are some good advice,especially,the last one. Just couple of comments, from the airport, take the prepaid taxi-there will be a kiosk just as you leave the luggage area-they are safe, they the Police, have records of the taxis they rent to passengers. I do not feel safe in those autorickshaws, I would much rather get a taxi either the hotel, or the Tourist Office for a whole day or a half day, they will arrange for an English speaking, knowledgabale driver-it willcost you a bit more,but will be far more relaxing and enjoyable, in addition to being safe. I relate to the last post-my wife is also blue eyed blonds,I know exactly what she is talking about.I hope you will have a great time,

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