I’ve made 2 trips to  India, one just around Kerala on a motorbike with the addition of an overnight train to Goa.

The 2nd started on the east coast in Chenin and travelled, mostly by train, across the country to Kerala with stops along the way.

Smiffy’s India

             Really Useful Info On India

How to use the ATMs!.

They are the slowest ATMS in the world! I’ve walked away thinking it doesn’t work, but it did!

How to book a train

There are travel agents in Goa & Fort Cochin  but outside of that you’re on your own (it’s easy & cheap to book it yourself anyway!)

Indian Visas.

Rules and costs change all the time but it is an efficient online process for visas not exceeding 60 days. Beware of bogus or agency websites!  

Food & No Beer Days!

Food is cheap & great and watch out for ‘no beer’ days which are strictly enforced        


(Some people leave their card in & because it doesn't work they remove their card & walk away leaving the ATM active!!!)

1st Class Air Con Sleeper on Express train. Sheets, blankets and modest curtain

 More room than an airline seat!

2nd Class fan sleeper. No blankets, no curtains what you see is it!

Unreserved train

.No, it isn't a sleeper, the guy is sleeping on the luggage rack! Free for all, very crowded & Slooooow

The Booking Form

Indian Food

One of the highlights of India is their food.

Varies from state to state, but unlike the curries of UK

Lots of veggies & very cheap

Top left Lunch Talia £1.50

This is typically lunch and not served by ‘tourists’ restaurants but well worth tracking down.

For breakfast, Dosa often as much as you can eat!

Middle Plain Dosa 40

Bottom Dosa Marsala 90 p

Wot no beer!!!!

Even in states that are not ‘dry’, there are still ‘No beer Days’

First Monday of each month.

This is payday for most Indians and the Government wants to ensure you make it home with your pay packet in tact!!!

Alcohol.  Not all states sell alcohol, some  restrict sales to 5 star hotels. In a few dry states even possession is an offence (although not strictly enforced for foreigners, maybe) With the except of Goa & Pondicherry it is expensive compared to food.

The Ticket

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India by bike
India Traveling by Train

A railway station somewhere! Note the sign ‘6’ there will be a board stating which number carriage stops here.

The important carriage number. Somewhere you will find  a notice board the tells you the ‘Stop’ number you want

Indian Visa

Indian Food & Drink

Indian ATMs

As well as alcohol being available in hotels & restaurants (depending where you are), off sales are available.

These are normally identified by the large scrum outside and iron bars & cages around the shop!!

Beer & the like are much cheaper, but beer will not be cold!

At time of writing, in Kerala, it is not allowed to sell alcohol in restaurants unless part of a hotel. For most of the beach areas this is solved by serving it in a brown bag, cup or other disguise!

Read more below

Booking &Travelling by Train

Train travel is fun, but maybe not always the quickest way to travel.