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India for seniors

(41 Posts)
Bluebell18 Wed 08-Mar-23 19:03:51

Has anyone been to India? Its a country I've always wanted to visit never got round to as a younger person. Mt kids have been and said its amazing. As a (young) 67 year old, is it a place to go.....with hubby?

Farmor15 Wed 08-Mar-23 19:32:08

I've been to India a good few times as OH is originally from there. We got married in India and my parents and uncle went there for the wedding. They were in late 60s and did some travelling around to tourist places after the wedding. That was in early 1980s when facilities weren't as good as now, and they enjoyed it.

Some aspects of India are a culture shock, but most tourists stay in good hotels and have a car with driver. In earlier years, our trips were mostly visiting relatives, but pre-Covid we did a few touring holidays, and had no problems, despite being in late 60s. We did it independently, booking flights, trains, hotels etc. as I enjoy all the planning! There are lots of package trips available too.

If your children have been they may be able to advise you on where to go. Personally, I prefer the South- Kerala and areas around. Trains are a good experience but flying is easier when older.

Bluebell18 Wed 08-Mar-23 19:49:26

Thank you Famor 15

Yes I have heard it is a culture shock. My son absolutely loved it and was in the Leopold's café a week before the terrorist attacks in, I believe, 2008. He just loved India and has always said I should go. I think I should but need to convince my other half.
Thanks again for your post.

Farmor15 Wed 08-Mar-23 19:54:25

Glad my information was helpful. If you want any specific information feel free to PM me.

Other posters may either encourage or discourage you, depending on their own experiences!

travelsafar Wed 08-Mar-23 23:43:28

Yes, please go if you have the chance. Its amazing, pure luxury in the hotels and another world entirely outside their walls.....a real eye opener!!!! My sister and I went on the golden triangle tour, a lot of travelling involved but I would not have missed it for the world. Was due to go back again to Shimla in 2020 at the foothills of the Himalayas but covid struck, now not in a financial position to do it, plus mobility issues. I would go in a heartbeat if things i were able to. Just be aware it is sooo different.😊

crazyH Thu 09-Mar-23 00:07:20

As Farmor says, you must go to Kerala, God’s own country , the most beautiful part of India but then, I am prejudiced …

Katie59 Thu 09-Mar-23 07:48:03

India is a must see destination, it’s not expensive and tourist facilities are good and safe, take an organized tour, you will have a local guide with your tour who will arrange everything. It will be a culture shock, you will see extreme wealth and extreme poverty and some of the worst traffic jams on the planet

If you have mobility problems many/most of the places of interest have many steps which will limit your access. You need a visa to visit India, it’s complicated and expensive, make sure you use the official application website.

Humbertbear Thu 09-Mar-23 08:08:20

I’ve been twice , both times with Riviera who really look after you and have an office over there as well. We did the Golden Triangle and Shimla and then we went back and did Chennai to Cochin. Both trips were wonderful. Yes, it’s a culture shock but well worth doing. We were told to use hand sanitizer every time we touched any money. The tour manager tells you if it’s safe to eat the salad or have ice cubes . Nobody was ill on either trip. Once you’ve done India go to Vietnam and Cambodia. That’s a real eye opener.

Riverwalk Thu 09-Mar-23 08:19:58

I also did the Golden Triangle and Shimla tour with Riviera - highly recommend you have a look at their brochures.

silverlining48 Thu 09-Mar-23 09:26:45

We visited Kerala just prior to Covid on a 15 day coach tour.
Our trip started in
Cochin and we travelled all the way down to Trivandrum in the pointy bit at the bottom.
We added a 4 night beach break in a 5 star hotel at the end of the trip. Disappointing that the beach was impossible to access and our room was damp. Using the pool was an unusual experience. Indian men were in trunks, the few wives who did get in were all fully clothed including faces covered while we were in our swimming costumes... felt a bit naked by comparison.

Anyway, on the journey down we used different hotels. They were mainly 4 star but though adequate were basic.
If you are a curry fan and can face that for breakfast, lunch and dinner you will be happy but it didn’t suit me. I got home having lost half a stone. Some of us had diarrhoea which was awkward as we were on the coach fir most of every day and public toilets were filthy.
Be aware you won’t be allowed inside any temples, think that’s just in Kerala but it was disappointing.
It was a colourful and interesting experience and am glad I went but if I were to go again I would go independently, use Cochin as a base and take trips out from there. A friend did this and they saw a lot of what we had but in a much more relaxed way..

silverlining48 Thu 09-Mar-23 09:29:10

Would love to go to Vietnam and Cambodia Humbert.

Nannynoodles Thu 09-Mar-23 10:56:25

Yes, we went a few years ago in our sixties and are looking to go back.
Admittedly we were a little apprehensive before we went and decided to use a company who arranged it all for us, including having our own driver and guide and it was just fantastic!
Started off in Delhi and did the golden triangle and then spent a week down in Kerala which is totally different but amazing.
As long as you are reasonably careful about what you eat/drink it’s fine, we didn’t get ill at all. Even the smaller cafe type places work on reputation and were fine.
Certainly didn’t have curry for every meal either although we could have done!
We are also lucky enough to have gone to Vietnam & Cambodia and found it equally enjoyable but a very different vibe. The food there is just some of the best I have ever eaten and the people are so warm and welcoming which is surprisingly really when you discover the history of their lands.
I would certainly say go if you can, it’s certainly an eye opener.

Grantanow Thu 09-Mar-23 11:04:15

Yes. It is a worthwhile visit but quite a culture shock. We went aged about 60 with Saga. All well organised - flights, good hotels, train and bus. You need a visa. Guide very well informed. Drink sealed bottled water and don't eat salads! Beer is ok, wine quite expensive I recall.

Katie59 Thu 09-Mar-23 13:21:26

The only person ill on our trip disliked the local food and went off to a local MacDonalds for a burger and salad, he was sick for the whole week.
Eat where the guide takes you, no salads, no ice only bottled water.

Fleurpepper Thu 09-Mar-23 13:30:51

India is a massive country with vast cultural, religious, geographical, econmic, etc, etc, variations. What do you mean by 'going to India' - many go to Goa and sit around the pool sipping cocktails. Others go town to town and back country... and so on.

We have friends from Kerala, so if we went this is where we would go. There are many parts of India I just could not go, as I really could not enjoy a holiday surrounded with abject poverty and suffering.

Nannynoodles Thu 09-Mar-23 13:48:21

Yes, Fleurpepper, of course there is great poverty in many parts of India, as sadly there is in much of the World but it is there whether we see it or not.
Tourism actually helps communities and brings many jobs where otherwise there would be nothing.
One of our guides took us to meet his family in the so called slums of Mumbai, an amazing, humbling experience that could teach us something on community. Actually his parents had been offered a small flat in a pleasant suburb along with other families as part of the slum clearance but they didn’t want to move!

Riverwalk Thu 09-Mar-23 13:50:53

We have friends from Kerala, so if we went this is where we would go. There are many parts of India I just could not go, as I really could not enjoy a holiday surrounded with abject poverty and suffering.

So you would go to a sanitised touristy area and pretend that all is well?

India is a fabulous country, warts and all.

mumski Thu 09-Mar-23 13:53:18

Humbertbear and Riverwalk. Thanks for your really useful comments. I've booked to go with Riviera on one of their Solo tours to India in April. I'm excited but a bit anxious too. Is there any 'must pack' or ' must do' to make the holiday go well? I'm taking lots of Immodium just in case. grin as I always go down with every stomach bug going. Any advice is very welcome.

Riverwalk Thu 09-Mar-23 14:06:10

Mumski Riviera is a great company - I'm usually an independent traveller but have been on a number of their tours and they've always been excellent.

Long before Covid they stressed hand hygiene so take a few of the small hand gel bottles with you.

Wherever you go in the world the food, water, climate is different and your bowels can react - doesn't mean you've picked up a bug. On day 2 my stools were a bit loose so I took some Immodium and that was it, everything fine for the rest of the trip.

It's quite a packed itinerary but so well organised and I'm sure you'll have a great trip!

dogsmother Thu 09-Mar-23 14:22:53

Perfect thread. Just been discussing whet her or not to try India…..convinced now that we will do it.
Have been to Vietnam twice also Cambodia. So agree with others on comments. Don’t drink the water unless bottled. Keep washing hands and remember the same with teeth brushing only bottled water.

Farmor15 Thu 09-Mar-23 15:47:08

As there are lots of misconceptions about India, after a visit a few years ago I put together some photos as a slide show for my local women's group "Everday life in India". It's in pdf format and I can send by email to anyone interested.

Nannynoodles mentions visiting a slum in Mumbai. We've done that too, with a local resident who was working as a dental receptionist for OH's niece. She was so proud to show us around and introduce us to her friends. One of our sons goes to India as often as he can and she always invites him to her place for a meal, even though her accommodation is very basic.

India is very much "in your face" - there are few sanitised touristy areas. But the colour, noise, heat, smells are such a contrast to our normal experience that it's worth a visit.

pascal30 Thu 09-Mar-23 15:59:01

I went to Kerala about 10 years ago and stayed in a fabulous hotel with an ayurvedic clinic. We did not find it a culture shock as over 90% of the population are educated and have good health facilities. We visited many places by taxi, seeing Cochin, wildlife parks and the backwaters but when we went over the border into Tamil Nadu to see some temples it was like a different country with so much obvious poverty and illness. we found the people to be amazingly vibrant and welcoming andthe climate is gorgeous in our winter. Just do a bit of research before you go I'm sure you'll love it there Bluebelle

aquagran Thu 09-Mar-23 16:04:41

Golden triangle with Cox and Kings. Luxurious hotels and personal driver. Wonderful!

biglouis Thu 09-Mar-23 16:18:18

I went there many years ago and organised my own trip around Rajasthan. Loved Jaipur. Took a side trip to Kathmandu over christmas/new year and fell in love with Nepal. Have been back three times to Nepal.

PernillaVanilla Thu 09-Mar-23 16:33:35

I have been twice, once on the golden triangle plus Shiela and once on a riding holiday in Assam on retired race horses in the tea plantations ( I was 64 then). One thing I did notice is that there were lots of older tourists in their 90’s or so. As you stay in good hotels on the organised trips and can have a private driver and guide it is not a physically difficult holiday. The yak mahal, tigers at Rathambore, an evening jungle ride on a retired elephant and everything about Shimla where we talked to lots of ladies who were dressed up in their wedding saris for the “festival of the married women” was incredible. Assam is a long journey but there was lots of culture and amazing scenery there too. Yes. You must go!