• delhi scams

Don’t Go To Delhi Until You Read This!

Delhi was not kind to me and Delhi scams can be harsh to handle. Luckily I had already been in India a month before I came here or I would have thought India was a drag. So what happened in Delhi?

1I got Dengue Fever

2. Couchsurfed at a creep’s place

3. Almost got scammed while the police did nothing

Doesn’t sound like fun, does it?

Many travelers in India have had negative experiences in both Delhi and Bombay. After re-visiting Bombay many times with friends that were born and raised there, I see a whole new fun side of the city. Delhi could have been the same way, but I’m not looking forward to going back because my experience was so negative.

As a backpacker, I would advise either wandering Delhi with a friend, or meeting a female couchsurfer to show you around and help you avoid popular Indian scams.

I go by my policy of India, that if you keep and open mind and heart, India will show you its magic and beauty. But, if you let the negatives of India bring you down, India will stomp on you until you book an early flight home or decide not to leave your hotel room.

Sadly, I let the negatives bring me down in Delhi; I was punished by seeing none of its charm!

delhi scams credit: flickr

delhi scams credit: flickr

delhi scams credit: flickr

I was meeting a French girl, Chloe, in Delhi. We met on the Couchsurfing page as we were both looking for someone to go to the mountains with. I’d been solo for four weeks and was hoping for a travel buddy. The host she got for us said last-minute he only had room for one, so she found me another guy on Couchsurfing as I was moving around and had no internet. Traveling solo in India is safe for females if you’re smart about it, but I was happy to have a friend in the empty mountains off-season.

Acquiring Dengue

Unbeknownst to me, there was an epidemic of Dengue fever in Delhi while I was there. I got bit 4 times on the metro and that was it- I was delirious from the fever. Damn you Delhi mosquitos! If you haven’t read about what having dengue is like, you should. It’s worth a few minutes of your time.

It also made me SO thankful that I had travelers insurance because I spent the next month in and out of hospitals and clinics. I use World Nomads Travel Insurance.

delhi scams This is my second time using this Snooki GIF on my blog; someone slap me

The Couchsurfing Creep

I went to our public meeting place, which is one way to stay safe using couchsurfing, and my host was about an hour late. When he did show up, he asked me to pay for a cab to his place, and I said okay not thinking anything of it. I should have sensed something was off when he was trying to negotiate a cab down to hardly pennies while showing signs of anger that the drivers wouldn’t budge.

I was promised a separate room with a single bed. Seeing that he could hardly pay for cab should have made me perk up and think, “wait then how does he have a two bedroom home…?” Maybe I was just too sick to think.

We arrived at his place. One room with a hard floor or a yoga mat type piece I could have shared with him. I was annoyed by this but didn’t say much because my fever was getting worse. It was way too late at night to wander around looking for a hotel. Plus, on this trip I didn’t travel with 3g only calling, so had no way to search and Delhi is not the place to trust a driver to take you to a nice hotel.

delhi scams

He had no bottled water and told me it was “too dangerous” to go buy some. He offered me water from his fridge saying, “it was from a bottle that I poured in here.” I was pretty sure he was lying but drank it anyways as I felt like I had a furnace inside me.

In the middle of the night in his non-A/C room on the floor I started getting delirious. I didn’t know it was Dengue and thought I’d been given bad water. I tried to wait it out.  I asked if I could turn the fan on, and he said “no, I don’t like it”. So I went through the fever in 105-degree heat while on the verge of tears.

Around 5 am I said that I felt like I was dying and needed to go to a doctor. He tried to hold me hand and rub my chest, as if that would calm me? This guy was a weakling so I wasn’t afraid of him, I just pushed him away like “ew you whack job”. I told him basically to fuck off, and I left to find Chloe at the metro early.

Chloe’s host said he’d make room for me so Chloe came with me to get my things and we were off to her host’s place. Thanks for that guy being awesome and dealing with me staying at his place while I was seriously sick. He was from somewhere in South America; I hate to make such a bold statement but don’t stay with an Indian man in Delhi on couchsurfing. There are some good guys, some of my best guy friends are from Delhi, but it’s not worth the risk.

Keep in mind when I was there the infamous “Delhi Gang-rape” hadn’t happened and there was no tales of women at risk in the papers until after that made international news. I didn’t have fear in Delhi because I didn’t know better.

I did some research seeing where other bloggers prefer to stay in Delhi and hostel chains that I’ve worked with in other areas of India who have opened rooms in Delhi to make a little list of options for you to consider in Delhi. It’s the same list I”ll be referring to when I go back.

The Leela for 5 star heaven

If you want hostels, these are come highly recommended: Zostel, Madpackers, & Moustache 

Shanti Home & Scarlette Boutique hotel for boutique properties in Delhi that are under $100 a night

The Delhi Train Ticket Scam | Delhi Scams

After Chloe and I met, and she probably assumed I was a bit pathetic because I just kept saying, “I feel like I’m dying”, we went to find a ticket out of Delhi, while stopping every twenty minutes for me to sit down as blackness came over my eyes and I fought the urge to pass out.

We walked for ages looking for the train station, neither of us having a map or internet. Once we found it, we saw that the tourist quota line was shut down for construction.

Tip: Now that I know how 3g works in India, there’s no reason not to get a SIM and pay the 100 rs for 1 gb data!

The trains were booked out, so the tourist quota I’ve used before helps travelers like her and I keep backpacking with separate reserved seats. They (men in uniform) told us to go to the new office, gave us the address, and a rickshaw driver knew just the place.

The place was his friends fake train ticket office.

We walked past a police officer into the fake office where about four guys were eating lunch and no computers were in sight.

One guy pulled a laptop out and said he’d book them for us. He told us there were no beds on the trains and we’d have to take a bus. He said there were no sleeper buses, just locals, and it was going to cost a figure that I knew from experience was at least 5x the normal rate.

Being that I had no sleep thanks to dengue, felt like I was going to vomit all day, had just been walking in the hot sun for a few hours, and had a guy try to rub me down… I lost it a little. A little… a lot…  I called him on his scam, realizing it wasn’t even a ticket office, and the site he was on wasn’t the booking site.

Him and I yelled at each other, he waved his fist in the air calling me a bitch. It was messy. I went completely bonkers. Chloe told me to chill out and we would just leave.

I told the cop outside, “you know they are fake, how can you just stand here!?”   I haven’t had this much aggression in me since my soccer days when girls would elbow!

I judge a cities safety on whether or not I can trust the police. In India the answer is no, you cannot trust them. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Delhi gang rape I mentioned above. It shook the nation. That year 1 in 700 people were actually prosecuted for rape. There is a culture here that puts the blame on women and this video by an Indian comedy group explains that a little bit more through sarcasm. Just read the comments by Indian men and you’ll see what women here put up with.

We finally found the real “new” office and got tickets out immediately just so I could get sick on the bus as it winded up the mountains. Turns out, other bloggers have written about getting scammed by this same exact thing and it’s one of the top India scams. Real shame I didn’t know about travel blogs a year ago!

Giving Delhi a Second Chance

Looking back, I hate that I got so mad at the man. I think it’s a perfect example of how you don’t know what a tourist has been through before an incident happens. India had been beating me up and I was ready to snap. Now that I’ve found peace with the sometimes-unfair rules here, India has become an easy place to live and travel in.

I was in such a bad mood that little things were upsetting me. I was annoyed at the pollution, traffic, and car horns.Why did the men get 5 lines at the metro, and the women had to wait in one seriously long line? Wasn’t that sexist? Why were the Delhi scammers so much meaner? How dare that man kick that little dog! Why am I getting charged three times more for my chai? It’s the same all over India, but because I was feeling low, it was all intensified.

What did I accomplish in Delhi? Nothing. We went by the red fort but it had shut down for the evening. I know I need to give the city another chance, but I did have two of the worst days in my travel history in that crazy city. Now that I have some friends who live in Delhi, I will go and stay with them and see it from a more relaxed local point of view. Luckily I didn’t start in Delhi; I’d already seen a month’s worth of kindness and beauty before these horrible two days.

I can’t imagine how my trip would have changed if this had happened at the beginning of my trip. I wrote in my journal, “Delhi is the worst place I’ve ever been. Everyone is cheating, lying, and pushing”. It can only get better on a second visit.

delhi scams

delhi scams I was handed this baby when the bus stopped, once we got off I couldn’t even find his parents for 10 min. I thought they’d left him!

If you see a tourist snap while you’re traveling, don’t get mad at them, because you don’t know what they’ve been through leading up to that moment. Solo travel isn’t always fun, and backpacking India isn’t always easy; when things get hard you need a friend!

Thank God for La Fe Chloe and finally making it to the mountains (all while holding a barf bag to my face). First stop: Shimla.

delhi scams

Update: It’s been 6 years since I wrote this blog post, and I never left India. I’ve been traveling all over and even wrote a book which is the ultimate guide to traveling in India. Read more about it here.


About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Jake1 May 16, 2014 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Hi sorry to hear about your dramas in Delhi, travelling can become so difficult when you are seriously ill, i got dengue and can still feel the “im about to die” pain but the worse only lasted a few days then about 6 weeks before being 100%.

    I personally love delhi and when travelling india and nepal used it as a gateway to many other places such as rishikesh and amritsar. However before leaving uk all my indian friends told me delhi was scam centre and the people are some of the craftiest in India..i found this the case but learnt to deal with it. However i remember taking an airport taxi at 11pm and the driver who looked like a thug stoppin in an alley way on route my heart was beating..turned out he just was buying some pan!

    I cant help but feel your problems with couchsurfing/trains arose as you relied on a friend you didnt really know to sort it out, firstly couch surfing has a rating system/reviews and you can get an general idea of the type of host you are contacting and to be safe you should have just paid $10 for a nice guest house in pahar ganj/karol bhag there you could have recovered until you did your own research. Also trains can be sorted out by high street travel agents and they have always been honest with me. Taking you to a fake office is a well known scam.

    That is all in hindsight and you were ill so not thinking staight, hopefully the experience doesnt put you off but will definately make you more prepared next time!

    • Rachel Jones May 16, 2014 at 6:35 pm - Reply

      With couchsurfing, I didn’t want to anywhere in India except Bomb and Delhi because I wanted a “freind/local” to help me see the right areas- it was a bummer that mine fell through last minute and after using couchsurfing at least 50 times, this was the first time I didn’t interact with the person myself and make a clear judgement call. Anyways, luckily now that i’m living in india and have friends in Delhi they promise they’ll let me stay with them and take me to the best places. I think learning hindi this summer will help a lot too!

  2. Suman Panta May 16, 2014 at 11:21 am - Reply

    It is real whatever you had faced. My clients also did faced this types of problem. I am from Destination Nepal Tours & Travels, i sent my one clients to one of the best agency in Delhi. here is the feedback given by my clients.
    “Alex Ngiam”
    Point 2
    “It was at the historical monument site where a saint was buried, I was told to pay for 1000 rupees for the blanket, flowers and wishing threads
    After that I was brought to the souvenirs place where they said I have to buy something. I told them no several times so they brought me to another place and again pressed me to buy souvenirs, in the end I paid 2500 rupees for an elephant souvenir just so they let me go. But when I’m going they said I have to pay 200 rupees for the tuk tuk taxi to bring me back to the car park, and finally that guy tour asked me for tips, another 1000 rupees gone. So in total that historical site cost me 4700 Indian rupees, which is about US$80”

    • Rachel Jones May 16, 2014 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      Shame that it happens to travelers. I know it’s not just India, but it does happen very often here. Your client had a rough time!

      • Suman Panta May 16, 2014 at 9:55 pm - Reply

        Yes, you are right. Last time was ok with few more clients but this time i did not got good feedback.

  3. Nick May 16, 2014 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Ah that sounds like an absolute nightmare. I’ve heard a few bad things about Delhi and think I’ll skip it all together.
    Like you said with the police standing by while people get scammed, I found it strange in Pushkar that all these so-called holy people can stand by and let people get scammed at their lake.

    • Rachel Jones May 16, 2014 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      It’s probably much better with an Indian friend but I think the shame is the whole police situation. I mean you see the corruption all over in India but for them to stand guard in the middle of Delhi while it happens is just redic.

  4. Erin May 16, 2014 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    You poor thing!!! What a horrific thing to happen to you. I’m so sorry you had to experience that. Thank goodness you are okay and nothing truly bad happened to you physically…
    That rape video is powerful. I salute those women for making a mockery of the social system in India.
    You know chica, it’s okay to hate a place sometimes. Some things don’t deserve a second chance. If you hated Delhi and don’t want to go back, let that be okay. The world is big. Plenty of other places to love :) Hugs!

    • Rachel Jones May 16, 2014 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      It’s such a great video! You’re right, it is ok to hate somewhere! Lol, I assume over the next few months I’ll get some mean comments about what I said, so I’ll come back up and read yours!

      • Nishita May 17, 2014 at 5:00 am - Reply

        Hey sweetie, this is just the right blog and i support your views. Many people down south hesitate visiting Delhi, and many have told me that just because i’m south Indian I think Delhi is unsafe. This is a known issue since long, it just unsafe for a traveller, even if you are from the same country. It is really sick that these scoundrels roam scot free.

        • Rachel Jones May 17, 2014 at 12:20 pm - Reply

          It is a rough place is some areas, I agree. I’d love to go back with friends that are from Delhi and explore it again.

  5. Alex, Speaking Denglish May 16, 2014 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    You are a freaking trooper; pretty sure I would have been halfway home after the first incident. One of my best friends in German is from Delhi, which has made me very eager to explore that city, but now I’m 100 percent sure that I’d only go if he were there to show me around.

    • Rachel Jones May 16, 2014 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      I can’t wait to go back now that I have friends there I think it’ll be a 180 difference.

  6. Justine May 16, 2014 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    What an awful experience! Dengue is terrible. My boyfriend caught it a few years ago during our trip to Cuba. It was NOT a fun experience. Plus, for you to go through all that in one city … well it’s no wonder you have such a negative impression of Delhi. Glad you made it out of there safely!!

    • Rachel Jones May 17, 2014 at 11:57 am - Reply

      Thanks Justine, sorry to hear about your bf too, it’s such a hard illness to get over- esp when most people haven’t had it and can’t relate to how sick you feel.

  7. Rebekah May 17, 2014 at 6:03 am - Reply

    thats horrible. You make a good point about not judging tourists for freaking out- I tend to ass ume when I see people getting upset that its the FIRSt thing thats gone wrong for them when its quite possibly the last thing in a long line of incidents. Also I’m now terrified of Dengue and have been trying to figure out if I’m at risk in China. It sounds entirely awful.

    • Rachel Jones May 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      it is pretty bad but as long as you catch the result early you will be ok :) and it’s a good idea to not judge crazy tourists lol, i’ve learned b/c i was a crazy tourist for a couple days!

  8. Nadja May 17, 2014 at 9:28 am - Reply

    Sounds scary! But I still want to travel to India:) Thanks for the tipps

  9. Emily from Let's Roam Wild May 17, 2014 at 11:12 am - Reply

    That sounds absolutely awful. Dengue, creepster, scams – that would make me go crazy too. I appreciate so much though, you’re openness and excitement about trying that city again. I’m looking forward to hearing about your second try in Delhi!

    And – the fact that you were only on the verge of tears – powerhouse. I probably would have just sat in that sweltering corner, crying.

    • Rachel Jones May 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      I can’t wait to try again, although if I didn’t have friends born n raised there I would be hesitant to go back, it’s definitely a big part of me giving it a second chance. My friends from there all say, I can’t believe that happened to you! But say couchsurfing was a dumb idea, which is why I said in the post probs don’t do it. haha maybe only verge of tears because I was so dehydrated that I couldn’t cry! lol

  10. John May 17, 2014 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    Lol, I was going to write, how come I am the only guy who writes here, and to my non-surprise, males responding here, so now go guys go
    I love reading your blogs about India, like I am there, thank you hippie in heels

  11. Rachel May 18, 2014 at 11:54 am - Reply

    Wow how awful! Shocking video. At least there are plenty of other places to go explore..although second chances are always appreciated :)

    • Rachel Jones May 18, 2014 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      Yes, it’s a great video, they were very clever about it!

  12. Hannah b May 19, 2014 at 7:55 am - Reply

    My step dad is Indian and since moving to the UK 40 odd years ago has pretty much vowed to never go back ( he does, but normally returns after a few days), my mum wanted to go whilst she was backpacking (what a mum right?!) and he ordered that she had a bodyguard with her at all times to keep her safe. I’d love to travel India one day, but really dont fancy doing it solo! x

  13. Shelley May 19, 2014 at 1:55 am - Reply

    What an absolutely horrid 2 days!! What bad luck to get Dengue Fever on top of all the rest! We also ended up in Delhi, after traveling Rajasthan for a month, but strangely didn’t have any issues. Actually really enjoyed our time there. However, we were there just after the Delhi Gang Rape, so I’m not sure if that incident had an impact on the experiences we had… it seemed like the men were somewhat on better behaviour. Still lots of staring though. :(

  14. James May 19, 2014 at 4:03 am - Reply

    Wow, you seriously had some bad luck … no matter what happens, you are sure to have a better go of things this time!

  15. Agness May 20, 2014 at 12:50 am - Reply

    Your couchsurfing experience sounds really creepy and I guess I would not do it when in Delhi. A friend of mine was nearly raped by a bunch of Indian guys there and her story really frightened me!!!

    • Rachel Jones May 20, 2014 at 10:17 am - Reply

      Yeah it was creepy, and I agree with you (now) that I wouldn’t do it again in Delhi.

  16. Jen May 20, 2014 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Wow, that was definitely a creepy couchsurfing experience you had there. I would have been scared to death!

    • Rachel Jones May 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm - Reply

      Yes, it was weird. I guess he was a tiny innocent thing and I wasn’t so scared because he was so scrawny, it was more like annoying I suppose.

  17. Glamourous Traveller May 26, 2014 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    That sounds really tough! As one of your other readers commented, it’s ok to hate a place sometimes. Funnily enough, mine was Hanoi which I thought had even bigger scammers than Delhi! I guess I had my guard up the whole way when I was travelling Delhi after all the warnings friends gave me and was extra vigilant, unlike like when I was in Hanoi and getting scammed (and got my only food poisoning experience when travelling!) I deff think getting sick and scammed on the same trip correlates to a negative reminder of the place =)

    Unfortunately though, even though I worked in Delhi and went back a few times, I generally didn’t feel safe walking around there. Something about it deff kept me on high alert the entire time. I did get to enjoy the local sights, but like you said, only because I had a local (male) friend help me out (and even let me stay at his home)

    • Rachel Jones May 27, 2014 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      It seems that a lot of people have this same feeling in Delhi, luckily there aren’t a LOT of places to see and you can get in and out in one day!

  18. Kathy June 18, 2014 at 7:11 am - Reply

    With Couchsurfing, as with Airbnb, you have to read the listings and reviews carefully. I’m a single woman, but I’ve never had a bad experience in Delhi, though I’ve stayed at the homes of some single men, or men whose wives/girlfriends didn’t happen to be present when I was there. Every one of them was helpful and respectful. If details are missing, ask. If something seems a little off, go elsewhere. And always pay attention to your gut feeling.

  19. Franca September 5, 2014 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Sorry to hear about your bad CS experience Rachel, we have been lucky enough to have only positive experiences so far, there were some more pleasant than others that’s for sure, but overall nothing bad or like yours.

    • Rachel Jones September 6, 2014 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      Yeah, it was my own fault not researching myself but you know, when you’re on the road bad decisions are bound to happen. I should have been more alert.

  20. Liz Gazzola December 23, 2014 at 10:54 am - Reply

    I would definitely say go with friends to Delhi. I had been in India for about a month before I went but I still got incredibly sick. I didn’t end up going to the hospital, so I don’t know what it was from, but I couldn’t stop puking for three days, and couldn’t even keep any water down. That being said once I wasn’t sick I loved Delhi. It felt like a vacation from India. I went to the movies, got coffee from a really nice shop, ate delicious western food. Having friends who were from there made it so fun and relaxed. We went out every night after I felt better, I know some people say that the clubs in Delhi aren’t safe but I felt totally fine. I am friends with a bunch of people who work at a few of them, the DJ, the promoters, etc. and felt completely safe. Most of the people there were westerners. The Lotus Temple is a must-see in India. Delhi is great as long as you have people you trust there with you, but I wouldn’t go as a solo-female.

  21. RADEN January 28, 2015 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    Your blog makes for a great read Rachel. Some more scams…

    At Delhi station, a ticket checker will come up to you and ask you what train you are travelling in? When you tell him, he will say that it is cancelled and ask to see your ticket and passport. Then he will offer to get you onto another train but for that he will require you to wait where you are, while he goes off with your passport. You can guess what happens next. He is a fake ticket checker and you will have to pay a huge sum to get your passport back.
    If you have escaped from that scam, an elderly couple will accost you on the platform and ask you for ticket money so they can return home, their son having kicked them out of the house. They are part of a scam-gang who operate regularly on platforms.

    On Delhi roads, while you are in an auto rickshaw, a pregnant woman will approach you at a traffic light and request you to drop her to hospital, once she is in your rickshaw, she will chloroform you and run away with your belongings.

    Even official ticketing offices will say the flight is full but they can book you a seat for a premium price. You pay and get on the plane only to find it nearly empty.

    As you share your experiences with others so that it may help them, so do I :-)

    • Rachel Jones January 29, 2015 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      Wow those are some scary scams. THANK YOU for sharing!

  22. Rasitha February 22, 2015 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    Ahh, I wanted to see the comments on that video. Big mistake.
    I’m thinking of travelling to Delhi. Me being a dude and I also have a friend there, assume things would be much better for me.
    Thanks for sharing your experience though, I will still be cautious of scams.

  23. Deepak kala February 26, 2015 at 3:27 am - Reply

    Hello Rachel,
    I was shocked to read that all these things really happens with foreigners in India. As an Indian I feel really sorry for all these thing. But believe me India as a country has a lot to offer for tourists. If there are some bad people then there are good people as well. I guess its same everywhere in the world. I just want to share a experience with you. I live in Germany now. I am an Intermediate user in spoken and written German. Whenever I use English people(few not all) try to take an undue advantage of me but whenever I use German everything go well. This is because when I use English people always think of me as new in Germany but when I use German they think that I am in the country for a while. So all I want to say that wherever you go,if people will find that you are new they always try to take advantage . These are some sick people. I too was there in New Delhi for 2 years. I come from Dehradun which is about 350 KM north of New Delhi. Believe me I too have experienced some of the things mentioned by you. When they can try these things on Indians who are new in New Delhi then obviously they will do same with foreigners. As I said that these are some sick people who has nothing to do.
    I also dislike New Delhi because of many reasons like its a bit crowded and very conjusted blah blah. But if you will look at its good side then it has a lot to offer. The kind of historic thing it has I guess you will rarely find anywhere else. I visited Qutab minar, Museum(related to old civilisation like harappan and indus valley), tombs like Humayon tomb and other tombs). I am sorry that I dont remember their names now. Believe me the kind of things I saw there I have never seen anywhere else. Other than this it has everything you want like western cuisines restuarent,pubs etc etc. You just need to have a friend who is from New Delhi or who has already been there. I hope it will change the way you look at New Delhi. Believe me New Delhi as a city and India as a country is awesome to visit. I am again sorry on behalf of Indians for the negative experience u have had while visiting India. I hope you will have a great time next time…….:)

  24. Jacquelynn March 1, 2015 at 1:06 am - Reply

    It’s a shame you had a bad experience in Delhi. It worries me a bit because I will be traveling there this summer from late May until early August. I will be completing an internship at a hospital there. I was awarded a scholarship from my school and one of the committee members is from Delhi. She did express concern about my safety and said Delhi is not very female-friendly. I will be meeting two of the members from the research team that I will be working with when they visit here in early April, but hopefully I will be in contact with someone closer to my age who is willing to show me around otherwise I’m somewhat worried that my experience will not be as rewarding as I am hoping.

    • Rachel Jones March 2, 2015 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      With a contact you’ll be fine! It’s a whole other world when you have a friend along for the ride & a local at that. I don’t mean for the post to be worrying as I just had a lot of bad luck :)

  25. Jenny Jaunts March 11, 2015 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Oh sweet lord after reading this now I am re-thinking plans, lol. Well, like you said it seems like if you do take precautions and keep your wits about you you should be ok, and now that I have read this I am at least am aware of things that never would have crossed my mind. Hopefully you are feeling better and travels since have treated you well.

    • Rachel Jones March 12, 2015 at 12:55 pm - Reply

      Definitely head to Delhi haha don’t let me scare you! This was written a long time ago, and I really need to give Delhi another chance :)

  26. kevin April 29, 2015 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    I came across your blog as I read the things happen to you in Delhi I feel bad and sorry for that and for solo backpacking or couchsurfing find families or women who can host ,thats best every where.

  27. bilal May 2, 2015 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Okay so Delhi is sorta crazy
    Dyu have any contacts or friends that can show me around the place
    Coz im goin to delhi in 4 weeks
    Im from Zimbabwe and came to india for college
    Please help me out I dno shit bou delhi and I’d really appreciate if u gave me a contact

  28. Chetan July 23, 2015 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    I am really sorry you had to face all this in Delhi. Like you said, give Delhi another chance and explore it with friends. You will love it.

    Also, visit other cities in India, especially the south Indian cities like Chennai, Hyderabad and Kochi.

  29. Davie Towers August 7, 2015 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    Dont know why you silly white women go to countries like this,

    India and Pakistan are shitholes and not worth risking your life over.

    • Rachel Jones August 7, 2015 at 4:02 pm - Reply

      I’ve been living here in India for almost 3 years so have to disagree.

  30. Gerard September 18, 2015 at 6:24 am - Reply

    You sound like my sister. Always on some adventure. Always in some bs and then comes back to my parents to ask for help.

    But seriously, after reading this, you would give it a second chance? Lack of logic. This is ridiculous.

    • Rachel Jones September 18, 2015 at 12:46 pm - Reply

      Well, I didn’t call anyone asking for help & yes I have been living in India nearly 3 years and have been to Delhi many times since writing this and have had a great time!

  31. remin September 25, 2015 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    I’m a proud Indian and im really disappointed about ourselves after reading this..in the past ,India was known for how she treated her guests. There was a slogan itself made from this “adithy devo bhava ” and surely you would have heard of this.. But now all that great things about us Indians have changed.. But believe me ,there are still people in our country who are ready to help and true in heart..for example: once a foreigner forgot his purse in rickshaw and when the rickshawwala saw the purse he drove all the way back about 5 or6 km to return the purse.
    And also he rejected the money the foreigner gave him for bringing back the purse.this news came in a local newspaper..of course there are people here who are there to cheat you..but people like them are there in almost all the countries in the world..believe me ,once you have seen the true side of India ,u will just love our country..poverty and situations around us are the main reasons that force a good man become bad and its a bit high in our country..its the reason why u had to face these problems..India’s power is its growing generation, (the youth)and believe me ,we will bring the difference..

  32. Jasmine September 26, 2015 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    I love all your posts, they are all from true real life and I think that’s why I love ur posts…

  33. Deepika Arora March 22, 2016 at 1:06 am - Reply

    Hey Rachel! Hi, I am Deepika originally from Delhi, now living in Hyderabad for work and travel.

    I read that you had a real big nightmare in Delhi. Well, it happens if you are not aware enough.
    Due to your illness and no-cooperation of Delhiites, you had a negative image of Delhi. But, i would urge you to travel with someone who knows Delhi inside and out, its a bliss to live and work in Delhi. The culture here is very vibrant. Live here for few months, roam in the narrow streets of old Delhi, taste the authentic spice food, then see the modern culture. Visit the north and south campus – where there are 1000’s of cafes, lounges, eateries where you will find live music with dinner and good people.

    Visit the Hauz khas village, a beautiful fort with a lake view -One can spend all day doing photography, reading a book, spending time with a loved one. Grab a drink or two at the roof-top restaurants in the heart of Delhi – Connaught Place.

    Definitely staying with a unknown man alone is not a good idea here or anywhere in the world (My personal opinion).

    I would invite you once again, come to Delhi – I would be your host. For the sake of meeting a new person and for the sake of changing your view on my home city.

    Deepika Arora
    Digital Marketing professional by profession and an self-inspired traveller!!

  34. Raj April 15, 2016 at 4:22 am - Reply

    It’s unfortunate that you had a terrible experience in Delhi. Unfortunately, there are many such creeps and scamsters..and the Indian police is to be blamed.

    One thing I wanted to point though (not that it’s important..but..), “Why did the men get 5 lines at the metro, and the women had to wait in one seriously long line? Wasn’t that sexist? ”
    The reality is that there are no lines for ‘men only’. Anyone can stand in those lines. It’s about having preferential treatment for Women. You would know this by now having lived long enough. In a way, it’s sexist against men.

    • Rachel Jones April 15, 2016 at 11:52 am - Reply

      If a woman stands in those lines she would be judged. If something happened to her as well, she would be blamed – like the ladies spots on the trains, a woman who had something happen to her on the “mens, but it’s for everyone” area would be blamed for going to that area… In the airports women have their own line which always has less scanners than the men so I would not say it’s preferential treatment at all. In my 3 years here, I have never encountered a moment I thought was sexist towards men but I have seen hundreds I thought were sexist against women.

      • Raaj April 15, 2016 at 5:08 pm - Reply

        If you twist to interpret in all weird ways,.. One can’t help. In Q’s, we always used to get my mom get tickets since it’s always faster
        …I can bet, all Indian ladies would agree with me.
        If you have a notion that I will be judged,..In India, you(men/women) will be judged for anything by many..you are using that to twist it in weird ways…
        In airports too, it’s according to demand..I never saw I get to the counter faster than the women.
        In all kinds of transport, special treatment (seating) given to women..(not that I am complaining)… I as a kid, when riding a bus during work time, never used to get a seat while many young ladies easily get a seat (there were occasions though when they offered to carry my heavy school bag)..same with old men not able to get a seat. In school, boys are beaten and girls are never beaten.
        If you haven’t seen preferential treatment for women, it looks like you are not in India.. that’s some other country.

        • Rachel Jones April 15, 2016 at 5:29 pm - Reply

          I have seen these ladies seats on local buses, yet no man gave me that seat while they sat in it – I have stood in the isle for hours on local buses holding my luggage…. sorry I disagree, but women in India are lucky to even get equal treatment in my opinion of 3 years, not twisting anything. I don’t like to argue on my blog so this will be my last comment in this thread :)

  35. Nelly September 22, 2016 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Now that you’ve had the opportunity to spend more time in Delhi, do you have any recommendations for a solo traveler headed that way? I’ bit fearful after reading about your past experiences and would love any advice you have to offer regarding how to tackle the city safely

    • Rachel Jones September 22, 2016 at 3:35 pm - Reply

      Hi Nelly, Since I’ve been back I’ve stayed with friends who can drive there, so I didn’t see it as a “backpacker” really. I suggest checking out breathedreamgo.com who writes a lot about Delhi and can give more tips :)

  36. Ambuj December 31, 2016 at 10:18 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel
    I’m from Delhi and really sorry to hear what you had to go through..
    But if you’re ready to give Delhi a second chance I would suggest you to book a bed and breakfast in south Delhi where host stays on board. You’d get a nice homely atmosphere and if the owner is free, he/she can show you around too…I’ve been meeting some bed and breakfast owners and their behaviour is good and so are the rooms on offer. This way you would avoid going to shady areas like Paharganj

    • Rachel Jones December 31, 2016 at 12:13 pm - Reply

      I think you’re right I do want to come back and do a nice homestay. I have been again just to visit a friend at her home but we didn’t go exploring.

  37. anurag March 22, 2017 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    So sorry too hear about you experience in delhi. Am a delhite and i wish i could make some excuse,Though bad fellows are only a minority albeit very visible. I know how difficult things can get for a traveller who doesnt know the nitty-grittys of managing delhi life.You are probably right that one needs some local friend to travel with or one should travel in groups. It does have a lot to offer though ,once you can manage difficulties as it is such an old city and centre of culture, it finds mention even in mahabharatha the 2000 BC text..As a delhite, I do apologise on behalf of the scoundrels and mosquitos if that makes any difference.

  38. Saahil April 24, 2017 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    It’s sad what happened to u BT little sad and u sound too mean when u say u can’t trust men in Delhi I live in Delhi and have my travel company not every one is a scammer here . I have people who recommend me there friends esp girls and they know how safe I m .But honestly u need to see Delhi in a different way don’t spoil a cities imagine just for d sake of getting likes and views or being abbest blogger…..

    • Rachel Jones April 24, 2017 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      I didn’t say you can’t trust men in Delhi. This post has nothing to do with “getting likes” or being the best blogger, it’s about sharing the truth of my experiences on my blog – this is how I saw Delhi when I was there.

  39. anonymous April 25, 2017 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    you are right. i am live in delhi and delhi men are basically sexually frustrated and one of the primary cause is the sex ratio is too bad as there are more men than women

  40. Aimee Zara May 19, 2017 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Rachel, what a story!! My dad just landed in Delhi and was scammed right off the metro and so I’m frantically looking up what these scams are. Some “guard” showed him to a rickshaw that took him 40 mins away to a “tourist office”. How disappointing! Thanks for sharing your story

    • Rachel Jones May 19, 2017 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      Ughhh yes that is the ultimate scam isn’t it!? I am so sorry that happened. It’s so sad.

  41. […] Don’t Go To Delhi Until You Read This! […]

  42. eseimeara911 September 3, 2018 at 2:16 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel I really want to go to Goa but I am afraid to. Doestn’t seem safe Do I have to tip in India?? That also puts me off

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