Dos and Donts for Foreign Tourists
Hiring a good guide makes sense. He’s sure to give you the right information and also help you manage your time as there’s so much to do and see in this city. Guides, however, may try and take you to select souvenir shops where they’re likely to get a commission. Though a minor point, it’s good to know this so that you can look at a wider range of shops. The same is true of rickshaw pullers and drivers. So do make sure you leave your driver at a different place while you shop.
If you’re shopping for gems and stones, something Jaipur is famous for, it makes sense to do some homework before you set out. Good at bargaining? Then you’re at an advantage. Visit reputed shops that give you a guarantee for your purchases.
Lastly, it’s advisable to dress modestly. That way you won’t attract unnecessary attention from potential - eve-teasers.
Have you visited the Pink city of Jaipur? What are the attractions that you think are truly amazing? Are there any you’d recommend other tourists avoid? Do share your tips and tricks for a Jaipur getaway!
- Always use the services of the licensed guides of the Govt.
- While checking into the hotel do ask for the tariff. There is a considerable difference in the off season and in season tariff.
- Do not change money through unauthorised dealers. It is illegal.
- Do not get lured by the lavish hospitality extended by strangers. Women in particular, should be extra careful.
- Do not accept edible items from strangers or the so-called friends during a train journey as at times you can loose conciousness and open your eyes in the hospital and discover that you have been robbed of all your belongings.
- When shopping do see beyond 'Govt. Authorised' they are not Govt. approved shops but money changers
- Compare the prices. Heavy commissions are paid by the shops to your professional agents licensed or unlicensed, whoever takes you to the shop. At times even the shops listed in your tour programme could have paid an advance commission. So go on your own to save yourself from being charged extra to pay commissions.
- Please note the famous Lonely Planet guide calls the shops around the monuments as 'tourist traps'.
- You may feel disheartened to know about the shop that you so much wanted to visit has closed down or the owner died recently.But if you check out personally you will discover that many tourists have heard this story before you!
- If you have any complaint do write to the Director, Deptt. of Tourism, Western Gate. Govt. Hostel, M.I. Road, Jaipur.
- Your insisting on a price tag will help in solving the problem of fluctuation in over charges. For the objects of silver & gold do check the day's rates. In most shops you can also bargain on the displayed price.
- Unless quoted specifically the rates are in Indian rupees. If you ask the price is in rupees or dollars then more than often will be in dollars!
- Auto Rickshaws - in the event that an auto rickshaw drivers stops at a shop, make it very clear that you are not interested and will not leave the vehicle. They are simply after their commission from the shop
- Bookstores - the main bookstores in Jaipur are on the MI Road and Bhagwandas Marg
- Cashpoints - 24-hour ATMs are situated on the Ashoka Marg, Bhagwat Bhavan, Ganpati Plaza and various parts of MI Road
- Digital Photographs - a number of photo shops around Jaipur are able to save your digital photos onto a CD for a relatively small charge
- Drinking Water - tap water in Jaipur and throughout India is poor in quality and should be avoided, unless boiled first or you use purification tablets
- Gem Scams - don't be talked into buying gem stones, expecting to be able to sell them in your home country for big profits. They will be worth only a fraction of what you actually pay for them
- Haggling - when purchasing goods from markets in Jaipur and shops targeting tourists, be prepared for some friendly haggling, to ensure that you don't pay over the odds
- Hawa Mahal - when taking photographs of Jaipur's spectacular Hawa Mahal, you may be approached by locals persuading you that the upper floor on their house offers the best views. This is just a rouse to try and persuade you to buy jewellery or similar goods
- Hustlers - Indians may approach you on a motorbike and try to persuade you to come with them. Whatever the reason may be, simply say no and move on
- Internet Access - many places around Jaipur offer Internet access and charge per hour, regardless of the connection speed
- Jewellery - much of the jewellery for sale around Jaipur is fake, so be especially careful of the quality and stick to the main jewellers, rather than smaller, expensive backstreet stores
- Pickpockets - the crowded markets in Jaipur are a pickpocketers paradise, so always be aware of your valuables, keeping them safe and hidden
- Tipping - restaurants, porters, auto rickshaw drivers and taxis will all expect to be tipped at your discretion