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Old Nov 19, 06, 5:56 pm   #1
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How safe is India for Americans?

How safe is it for a WASP American to travel around India? Where is safe, where is not? How about the Tiger Reserve? Where not to go? What not to do?
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Old Nov 19, 06, 8:29 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by drbond
How safe is it for a WASP American to travel around India? Where is safe, where is not? How about the Tiger Reserve? Where not to go? What not to do?
Well, I'm not a WASP, but I am an American. Never a problem of any kind in 9 years of traveling there--that's about 10 trips and approximately 5 months on the ground in total, all over the country.

As a woman, I have been warned by Indians to not walk alone in the emptier parts of New Delhi (as opposed to Old Delhi) at night--but this has nothing to do with my nationality. I've also been warned to be careful in the state of Bihar and the far northeast of the country, but as it happens I've never had occasion to go to these places anyway so can't comment on them. None of this has to do with the fact that I'm American--there's just supposed to be more crime and political tension in those places.

As in every country, staying safe is mainly an issue of not acting like an idiot, and keeping your eyes open. If you're in a place where you feel uncomfortable, leave. That's worked for me in 20+ years of traveling to developing and developed countries.
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Old Nov 19, 06, 9:28 pm   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelmad478
Well, I'm not a WASP, but I am an American. Never a problem of any kind in 9 years of traveling there--that's about 10 trips and approximately 5 months on the ground in total, all over the country.

As a woman, I have been warned by Indians to not walk alone in the emptier parts of New Delhi (as opposed to Old Delhi) at night--but this has nothing to do with my nationality. I've also been warned to be careful in the state of Bihar and the far northeast of the country, but as it happens I've never had occasion to go to these places anyway so can't comment on them. None of this has to do with the fact that I'm American--there's just supposed to be more crime and political tension in those places.

As in every country, staying safe is mainly an issue of not acting like an idiot, and keeping your eyes open. If you're in a place where you feel uncomfortable, leave. That's worked for me in 20+ years of traveling to developing and developed countries.
You might say as in most countries but definetly not "as in every country", an American is not safe in some Middle Eastern countries.
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Old Nov 19, 06, 10:27 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by drbond
How safe is it for a WASP American to travel around India? Where is safe, where is not? How about the Tiger Reserve? Where not to go? What not to do?
Ok I have tried looking in the glossary first.

What is a WASP?
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Old Nov 19, 06, 10:30 pm   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbond
an American is not safe in some Middle Eastern countries.
Just curious to know which countries you had in mind as being unsafe places for an American.

I'll kick things off for you...
1. Iraq
2. ...
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Old Nov 19, 06, 10:41 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by Taiwaned

What is a WASP?
White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.
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Old Nov 20, 06, 12:10 am   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbond
How safe is it for a WASP American to travel around India? Where is safe, where is not? How about the Tiger Reserve? Where not to go? What not to do?
Most of India's as safe for such a person as for a well-off Indian (including Indian "WASP" which are also to be found, even if not in the numbers as used to be the case during the British occupation of India). With regards to tourist places around India, use common sense and you should be fine. Just be prepared for some hassle from a combination of people selling things and/or begging (far less of an issue in the last few years than the decades before).

The only word of caution: if the Indian paramilitary (CRPF, etc.) are running around engaged in larger scale police actions -- anti-militancy operations -- like in Nagaland, Kashmir, etc., then there's more of an issue. I doubt you'd end up in either place given that far eastern India isn't much on the foreign tourist path and that Kashmir is usually visited in the summer (while most foreign tourists not of Indian origin visit during the non-summer period when it's possible to check out more of India without extreme weather issues).

Which Tiger Reserve? Some have almost no tigers, others still have sufficient numbers to see something.
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Old Nov 20, 06, 3:30 am   #8
 
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You'll be safe where Indians are generally safe. So don't worry. If you know a place has issues (kashmir etc) for Indians, then its probably not safe for Wasps either. Enjoy India!
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Old Nov 20, 06, 5:32 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by drbond
You might say as in most countries but definetly not "as in every country", an American is not safe in some Middle Eastern countries.
I disagree with that statement too (having traveled plenty in the Middle East). I have never found anyplace to be more unsafe for Americans than for anyone else. If you conduct yourself in intelligent fashion, you will be perfectly safe in any place that's not a war zone. And those are unsafe not just for Americans, but for everybody.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhlyingRPh
Just curious to know which countries you had in mind as being unsafe places for an American.

I'll kick things off for you...
1. Iraq
2. ...
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Old Nov 20, 06, 6:27 am   #10
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I don't think I would be safe (kidnapped, beheaded) in:

1. Iraq
2. Iran
3. Syria
4. South Lebanon
5. South Phillippines
6. Sinai Peninsula


These are the areas that I have been told could be hazardous to my health. I have been told that Afghanistan, Pakistan and several African countries could be VERY dangerous. I don't know if I believe that or not but, there are plenty of safe, beautiful, friendly, don't care that you are an American places to visit that I can avoid them until the day the climate changes or I cease to exist.

Last edited by drbond; Nov 20, 06 at 10:44 am.
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Old Nov 20, 06, 6:49 am   #11
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Originally Posted by drbond
1. Iraq
2. Iran
3. Syria
4. South Lebanon
5. South Phillippines
6. Sinai Peninsula


These are the areas that I have been well informed could be hazardous to my health. I have been told that Afghanistan, Pakistan and several African countries could be VERY dangerous. I don't know if I believe that or not but, there are plenty of safe, beautiful, friendly, don't care that you are an American places to visit that I can avoid them until the day the climate changes or I cease to exist.
I don't consider that as "have been well informed".

Iran and Syria are quite safe for visa-holding Americans; the danger only comes if some US government-affiliated state actor moves on you, authorizes a bombing (by military or terrorist outfits) or if you are engaging in serious criminal activity and get caught by the authorities there. Much the same could be said for Americans visiting South Lebanon.

I find most of Pakistan safer at all hours than I find many metropolitan urban areas in the US at the same hours; and, ex-Karachi, it's comparable in safety to much of India.
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Old Nov 20, 06, 7:15 am   #12
 
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Whatever is unsafe is unsafe for all not just WASP.

Unsafe for all:

Kashmir
Northeast (Beyond West Bengal)
Bihar
Any area with majority Muslim population

Word of advice for all:

Keep you cash and credit cards very safe. In cities like Kolkata, Mumbai and many others pick pockets are galore.
Don't be alone on the streets very late at night.
Try not to be left alone in any place. If few people are around its always better.
Never leave your baggage and expensive stuff like camera, laptop etc, unattended.

Tiger reserves in India:

http://indianwildlifeportal.com/project-tiger/





Tiger reserves
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Old Nov 20, 06, 7:23 am   #13
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Ndelted

Last edited by drbond; Nov 20, 06 at 10:45 am.
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Old Nov 20, 06, 7:58 am   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AA25
Whatever is unsafe is unsafe for all not just WASP.

Unsafe for all:

Kashmir
Northeast (Beyond West Bengal)
Bihar
Any area with majority Muslim population
Not true about the last one. Old Delhi is just fine, as are most various other areas in India with majority-muslim populations. And Bihar is fine for "WASPs" using common sense.

Kashmir's tourist locations in the summer are again generally ok too for non-Indians. (I wouldn't have said that ten years ago.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by drbond
Now I am not trying to open a can of worms but in my experience Hindu is not a religion with any anger toward Christians or Americans. (ie no radicals). In other words the people I have me that are hindu all seemed kind.
Why am I not surprised.

Most all areas in India with majority-muslim populations are as safe as other areas in India. Old Delhi is majority-muslim and it's even been safe for the children of ex-Presidents of the US wandering without an army. Same thing with various other parts of North, South, Central and East India.

Perhaps you aren't aware that the a significant number of hindu-fundamentalist thugs can't stand christians in India either? That's why some christian missionaries have ended up in trouble and there's the annual Valentine burning and bashing of card shops and more.

You might want to tell Mahatma Gandhi's descendants and Nehru's great-grandchildren that there are no radical hindus. It would come as news to quite the number.
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Old Nov 20, 06, 8:42 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
Why am I not surprised.
...
Perhaps you aren't aware that the a significant number of hindu-fundamentalist thugs can't stand christians in India either?
...
You might want to tell Mahatma Gandhi's descendants and Nehru's great-grandchildren that there are no radical hindus.
Yes, from the overall tone of the OP's original question, I am not surprised either. So far, we've got a lot of well-informed and well-traveled people all saying the same thing, with the OP (clearly not as well-traveled, and misinformed) continually disagreeing. Why bother asking? Why bother answering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drbond
I have been told that Afghanistan, Pakistan and several African countries could be VERY dangerous.
Specific zones of unrest in Afghanistan--perhaps. (Again, dangerous for EVERYONE, not just US citizens.) Pakistan--your "well-informed" source is quite mistaken. "Several African countries"--which ones? Somalia? Sudan? When's the last time you heard of Americans getting killed or kidnapped due to their nationality in any place that was NOT a war zone? Believe me, CNN would have reported on it if such an event had happened. The hysteria is far overdone.
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