Jaipur Hassle, Annoyance and Touts
One of the primary reasons that many tourists leave disliking Jaipur is because of the levels of hassle experienced by people who supposedly work within the tourist industry.
This hassle extends to rickshaw drivers, shop owners and even passersby on the streets. Sometimes it can feel as if everyone in Jaipur is after your cash by trying to con you! All of this hassle can be lessened by a couple of simple measures which even the uninitiated traveler can pull off.
How to Deal with Jaipur's Touts and Hassle
The first measure is to use your common sense in every situation. If a taxi driver is pushing heavily to go to a certain shop it is almost guaranteed that he will be on some sort of commission with the seller even if not directly employed. If going to a shop on the recommendation of a drive or guide expect to pay more than if you just turned up on your own accord. If hiring a driver or rickshaw for the day start by making it clear that you do not wish to go shopping. This may need reminding during the day on numerous occasions.
There is no such thing as a hassle free shop in Jaipur
While out on the streets always look confident, never given the impression of lost or unsure. An uncertain appearance will draw out the touts and beggars who will plague you for the remainder of the excursion. Never assume that by giving into one begging request or street purchase will conclude the onslaught. Usually a successful sale will encourage others and within minutes you may be surrounded by a crowd.
The usual confusion in Jaipur.....
If you want to purchase an item do it in the semi-comfort of a shop. Beggars tend to working in collectives and may be simply professional with more money earned than working. For children it may be even worse blatantly exploited by older gangs and the donation only encourages future generations. Poverty is rife in Jaipur but consider donating to local charities instead of impromptu handouts on the street. Expect to be approached by many different groups of people while exploring the centre of the city.
The snake charmer will want a tip or face the wrath of the snake!
Learn to be polite whist affirmative with your decline of service or object. A simple no thanks and a look away is usually sufficient but if the person persists simply ignore. Ignoring the person is usually the easiest method to lose an insistent seller while repetitive declines usually fail to work and lead to exasperation by the visitor.
In the heat of the midday it can become very stressful but try to control levels of aggression expressed at sales people as they are often trying to eke out a small wage to support large families in a very unforgiving country. Assertive and confident is much better than aggression or submission – if it is all getting to much find a tea shop and have a break.
Haggling while shopping in Jaipur
For most other India destinations it is perfectly acceptable just to arrive and hunt down your own accommodation but in Jaipur it is strongly advised not to. With pre-booked accommodation you can confidently inform the rickshaw driver that the hotel has not closed down in the last 6 months or even burnt down!
Hotels were quick to catch on to recommendations found in guidebooks, sneaky under performing hotels were known to change their names and have a fleet of rickshaw drivers to bring in the business. Just asking a driver to take you to a hotel in Jaipur with no booking will bring on a convoluted process and delay to the usually exhausted traveler.
Tip, Tip, Shopping? Gem Shopping? Best Price? - Yeah Right!
One of the factors which aids to the hassle factor of Jaipur is the intense heat of the mid day sun. This factor is completely under the control of the visitor. It is best to days start early especially if the excursion involves substantial walking and return to the hotel during the mid day heat. Exploring the city at dusk is another good option and some sites, such as the sun temple, are best viewed at this time of the day.
One of the primary reasons that many tourists leave disliking Jaipur is because of the levels of hassle experienced by people who supposedly work within the tourist industry. This hassle extends to rickshaw drivers, shop owners and even passersby on the streets. Sometimes it can feel as if everyone in Jaipur is after your cash by trying to con you! All of this hassle can be lessened by a couple of simple measures which even the uninitiated traveler can pull off.
Jaipur India Holiday Travel Guide