Scouting the Internets for good travel information can be a difficult task. Who do you trust? Do you check out the tourism sites for the country you want to go to? Do you spend time on Lonely Planet/ Rough Guides? Do you believe travel agents and their line of bull?
Its even harder when you are looking for specific information about the country in which you are planning to travel. Take India for instance… Do you trust information from tourist sites, or do you go directly from the people who travel or live there and know exactly what you are asking?
I found a great alternative to the Thorn Tree Forum (which, by the way, is great in it’s own right) called IndiaMike. I have never seen a travel forum that is so active and filled with thousands of people that are so passionate about India. I am happy to recommend them if you are looking for travel information to India, Nepal, Tibet or Bangladesh. You can also check out their user uploaded photos section for some great shots of India through the eyes of travelers.
T-minus 79 days, 20 hours, 29 minutes and counting! We are in the process of gathering all of our gear, getting immunization shots, and waiting for my freaking passport renewal to get back from the US Department of State so I can go get my Visa for India.
For those who don’t know, the US has decided that in the interest of “Homeland Security,” all American citizens planning on traveling to Mexico or Canada, must now have a passport. That means every Tom and Jane Midwesterner has clogged up the passport renewal system by applying for their passport for their annual vacation to their timeshare in Cabo so they can gorge themselves on buffet food and wear shorts that they pull up to their chest. When you look at the statistics of how many people in the US actually have a passport (9%) you can see that the probability of a backlog was enormous. And because of that, I have now waited two months to get my passport renewed. Way to go State Department! Thumbs up to you! See the story here.
As of right now, we are flying into Delhi on September 10, 2007 and staying in the Tibetan enclave just north of Old Delhi. After that, we are planning to travel up north into the Himalaya to Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama, and then a visit to the Golden Temple of the Sikhs in Amritsar. After that we plan to follow the Ganges toward Rishikesh and Varanasi.
I’ll post a picture of our gear later as well as keep you updated on our planning. Until then, check out this video about Indian traffic on YouTube, hey did you hear a horn?