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02/27/2011

India outside India - Part 1

Not many posts this month: I was travelling!!

Two countries, the antipodes of each other but with a common points: the population (of the Indian subcontinent). Yes, you know me by now… 

So first, Dubai, with its Indian workers:

1.9 millions people in 2011 and 30% of Indians (about 570,000 Indians) and 60% of people from the subcontinent (including Bangladeshis and Pakistanis). In 2008, “for India, financial transfers of the migrating workers represented 45 billions dollars, 3.7% of its GDP (according to the United Nations”.

And with its Indian tourists also : more than 35% of the 357,000 Indian visitors (estimated) in the UAE in 2005 have stayed in 4 or 5 star hotels and 40% would be business travellers. This figure (357,000 Indian visitors) excludes Indians working in the UAE and just visiting India for holidays or going to the UAE to look for a job.

I felt really weird during the last part of our dune safari. We were having dinner in the desert when a belly dancer came in. She was Russian (Russian in India generally means, however sad it is, prostitutes). Among the 200 Indians, a good part of it just rushed to the stage (literally running) to stare at her and throw notes like if she was a bar dancer. And drunk on top of it. I know the image of the French tourist is pretty bad but the beat us flat!! 

Well, there is one guy who really made me laugh: 

Indien à Dubai.JPG

He absolutely wanted to be photographed in front of my car, holding a lollypop. How weird???!!

Sources : http://www.lesechos.fr/economie-politique/presse-etrangere/020244987260-dubai-le-cauchemar-des-travailleurs-indiens.htm ; http://www.hindustantimes.com/Dubai-targets-Indian-leisure-tourists/Article1-88362.aspx ; http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5444.htm ; http://www.dsc.gov.ae/Publication/Dubai_Population_09_eng...

12/21/2010

6 day trip in Darjeeling – Sikkim – SIKKIM

To reach Sikkim:

-          Foreigners need a permit. From my experience, the easiest way is to get it at the border post in Rangpo. It is free and it takes 10 minutes : you just need a copy of your passport and visa, and 2 identity pictures.

-          By air: Bagdogra airport (and 4h by jeep till Gangtok OR 30 min by helicopter for 2 200 Rs (around. 40€) – be aware that you have to carry less than 10 kg to be admitted)

-          By train: New Jailpaguri ou Siliguri (then 3h30 by jeep till Gangtok)

-          By route from Darjeeling : 4h on a beautiful road!

 

To see in Sikkim :

 

-          Gangtok, not well rated in guides, I kinda liked it : the huge pedestrian place where I drank an excellent hot chocolate, the surrounding mountains, the cleanliness (5 000 Rs and 6 months emprisonment if you are caugth throwing your garbage on the street – they will be inspired starting it in some other places (and parallely to start a waste management system), urbanism (they had fly overs for pedestrians in order not to block the main street !) and the very fashionable style (hair and clothes) of people there. And to finish people leave you move around in peace. In such a peace!

 

-          I also loved the night at the Sungay Guesthouse in Rumtek, inside the monastery premises. A night of quiet and nature!!

 

-          In Rumtek we were lucky enough to attend the lunch prayer!!

 

-          And then helicopter above Sikkim, simply impressive…

6 day trip in Darjeeling – Sikkim – SIKKIM

To reach Sikkim:

-          Foreigners need a permit. From my experience, the easiest way is to get it at the border post in Rangpo. It is free and it takes 10 minutes : you just need a copy of your passport and visa, and 2 identity pictures.

-          By air: Bagdogra airport (and 4h by jeep till Gangtok OR 30 min by helicopter for 2 200 Rs (around. 40€) – be aware that you have to carry less than 10 kg to be admitted)

-          By train: New Jailpaguri ou Siliguri (then 3h30 by jeep till Gangtok)

-          By route from Darjeeling : 4h on a beautiful road!

 

To see in Sikkim :

 

-          Gangtok, not well rated in guides, I kinda liked it : the huge pedestrian place where I drank an excellent hot chocolate, the surrounding mountains, the cleanliness (5 000 Rs and 6 months emprisonment if you are caugth throwing your garbage on the street – they will be inspired starting it in some other places (and parallely to start a waste management system), urbanism (they had fly overs for pedestrians in order not to block the main street !) and the very fashionable style (hair and clothes) of people there. And to finish people leave you move around in peace. In such a peace!

 

-          I also loved the night at the Sungay Guesthouse in Rumtek, inside the monastery premises. A night of quiet and nature!!

 

-          In Rumtek we were lucky enough to attend the lunch prayer!!

 

-          And then helicopter above Sikkim, simply impressive…