Wednesday, March 22, 2006


The Indian rupee is the official currency of the Republic of India. Although there are no checks in practice, importing and exporting Indian rupees by foreign nationals is theoretically prohibited. Foreign currencies can be easily exchanged at airports, some hotels and foreign exchange providers.


-While prices asked by street hawkers should be negotiated, prices in retail chain stores are usually fix. For packaged goods, stick to the Maximum Retail Price (incl. taxes) indicated on the package.
-Avoid shopping in tourist areas where prices are often inflated. 
-Buy more than one item at the time to increase your bargaining power.


Money Management 

-Don't flaunt large amounts of cash in public.
-Always carry small notes as street vendors or autorikshaw drivers might not be able (or willing) to give the change.
-Tips are unusual in most restaurants but are given to those providing services such as cleaning car windows or carrying luggages.
-Avoid common scams such as 1) "free" services including guided visits or religious ceremonies for which you might be pressured afterwards into making tips or donations and 2) "friendly" recommendations to hotels and shops for which the recommender gets a commission.
-International banks and major Indian ones accept the majority of international cards at a nominal charge.  Reduce the transaction cost per unit by withdrawing large amounts of rupees by transaction.

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