Travelling to Kashmir is a dream to everyone. Travel tips is an outcome from one’s travel experience. This born from many things like missed buses, foolish behavior, cultural unawareness, and countless tiny errors. Then, one day, you begin to seamlessly move through places and integrate yourself into new cultures like a fish in water. Here in this post I will share 26 essential tips from my Kashmir travel Experience.
1) Understand your tour plan very cautiously like how many points cab driver will take you. Take everything in written.
2) Fix your payment plan while booking a cab at a travel agency. Like how much you will pay in advance and how much will you pay in subsequent phases.
3) Tell your driver clearly that he should stop where ever you want.
4) Take your Songs inventory (of your choice) with you otherwise, you may end up other songs, not of your choice.
5) Check that your driver had proper sleep because it is very risky to drive on Jammu-Srinagar Highway.
6) Don’t pre-book your hotel or houseboat. Without seeing you should not decide.
7) Do thorough research on the internet about good hotels, restaurant, houseboats, and prices etc.
8) Always leave early for Gulmarg and Pahalgam else you may miss a few beautiful places.
9) Make a proper Itinerary and stick to your plan. Don’t trust your driver or Local people; they will tell you things beneficial to them only.
10) Have all important contact numbers with you.
11) Don’t purchase Chingu from any shop in Kashmir. I guarantee you will lose your money.
12) Make sure your TV, Geyser and other appliances are working in a hotel room.
13) Try to bargain for everything there. For Shawl, carpets and other local made things, you can expect a discount of up to 70%. Don’t hesitate in telling your price.
14) There are benefits of booking vehicle on day to day basis. It would be up to you to drop the vehicle if the behavior of driver does not suit; whereas you can always continue the driver if his behavior is okay!
15) Even if you book a vehicle for the whole trip, don’t give more than one days fare as advance. Several time drivers insist on getting the tank full for the whole trip, but you would have to deny it.
16) Take Postpaid mobiles only, as prepaid mobiles from outside the state are banned by Government and will not work.
17) Weather in Kashmir is very unpredictable. Get some woolen clothes and raincoat along with umbrella which is required while staying in the Hotel. Otherwise, Raincoats and Snow Jackets are easily available for Rent in Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam etc.
18) While booking Hotel asks for a price with a room heater and electric blanket (for all season) and Warm water availability. Always bargain. Why should you feel shy if Kashmiris don’t feel it when quoting astronomical prices? As I said earlier, Kashmiris have got a lot of Experience in tourism; they leave no stone unturned to extract money from their big source: TOURIST.
19) If you are a couple or going in a small group then always prefer Jammu Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) buses (Available near Tourist Reception Center (TRC)). They run especially for tourist and are on same day return pattern. If you are planning to halt then return by a bus next day evening then book tickets accordingly. They are very cheap compared to Taxi (Rs. 220 v/s Rs. 2200) and are very reliable. Don’t buy things where the driver of bus stops. They also might have a commission. Reach the destination and look out for things on your own.
20) Only buy Dry-fruits (Walnut, Almond and pista nuts only, other dry-fruits are imported). Don’t buy clothes and shawls (even from villages). All are very costly and are imported from Ludhiana, Amritsar and Delhi.
21) Take precautions while going high altitude, some breathing problem may occur.
You can read ALL ABOUT ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS
22) Never believe on the words of locals, howsoever nice, friendly and trustworthy they seem to be. Everyone is linked with the nexus of commission. Always discover your own ways and resolve as per your wish.
23) Never follows the advice of Hotel receptionist or Taxi driver (remember Commission Nexus).
24) Never opt for photography by Local Photographer.
25) Pony Ride: Never agree to the amount of which Pony-wala tells you at first. Start with 10 % of that amount and settle within 20 %. Always be ready to walk up to the point. It’s easy and more enjoyable. Never believe the words of Pony-wala about the difficulties and dangers. Don’t argue or bargain too much.
26) Shikara Ride: Rates are displayed everywhere in Dal lake. Even in that, bargain a little.
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