Mar 14th, 2023
Kashmir is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful destinations in India, with its breathtaking landscapes and rich culture. However, it's essential to be aware of potential scams that can occur during your visit. By understanding these scams in advance and taking necessary precautions, you can protect yourself and ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are the top 10 tourist scams in Kashmir.
1. Overpriced Souvenirs
Overpriced souvenirs are one of the most popular scams in Kashmir. Some local sellers may try to exploit naive tourists by selling items at exorbitant costs. To prevent becoming a victim of this fraud, check costs before making a purchase. Bargaining is extremely widespread in Kashmir, so don't be afraid to bargain for a reasonable price.
2. Fake Guides
Beware of those who approach you offering their services while posing as authorized tour guides. These fictitious advisors can be inexperienced and unqualified. Always employ a guide from a reputable company like OurGuest or a licensed tourist information center to keep yourself safe. You may get a certified guide from them who will look out for your safety and provide you factual information about the region.
3. Shikara Boat Rides
Visitors may enjoy shikara boat rides on Kashmir's Dal Lake, a well-known tourist destination. Nevertheless, some boatmen could try to overcharge visitors once they get there. Before getting on board, agree on the fee to avoid being ripped off. Negotiating and confirming the exact cost of the journey in advance is always a smart idea.
4. Unofficial Trekking Guides
Beware of accepting assistance from unauthorized guides who may approach you on the path if you intend to go hiking in Kashmir's gorgeous highlands. These people might not have the required skills and education, endangering your security. To ensure your safety and have a stress-free trekking trip, always employ a licensed trekking guide from a reputable service.
5. Fake Handicrafts
Kashmir is renowned for its exquisite handicrafts like carpets, pashmina shawls, and woodwork. However, there have been reports of tourists being tricked into buying fake handicrafts at exorbitant prices. To avoid this scam, only purchase from authorized stores or government emporiums. These outlets guarantee the authenticity of the products and provide a fair price.
6. Overpriced Pony Rides
A bunch of pony owners will greet you almost wherever you go, whether it's a tourist site, a hiking route, or a gondola trip. You'll be informed that the only way to go about this area is on a pony. You can't sightsee without a pony, according to your cab driver, who will likely vouch for you.
Typically, the pony owners would give you a very high price quotation and guarantee that you will exhibit 3/5/7 spots. The costs are outrageous, and they won't ever take you to all of those locations. Some even take you for a ride, show you an unplanned piece of property, and then leave halfway through to pick up another client. Make sure you agree on a price in advance and avoid arguments later because they could genuinely side with other nearby pony owners against you.
7. Taxi Fare Negotiation
When hiring a taxi in Kashmir, it's essential to negotiate the fare upfront or insist on using the meter. Some drivers might attempt to overcharge tourists, especially if they sense unfamiliarity with local rates. To save yourself from this scam, do a little research about typical taxi fares in the region and agree on the fare before starting the ride.
8. Restaurant Price Inflation
Certain restaurants could raise their pricing for meals and beverages in well-known tourist locations. Ask for a menu with pricing and make sure taxes and services are included to avoid overpaying. To make sure you're dining at reputable restaurants, think about looking up internet reviews or asking locals for advice.
Like many tourist destinations, pickpocketing can be a problem in crowded areas of Kashmir. To protect yourself, keep your belongings close to you and be mindful of your surroundings. Use a money belt or a secure bag to carry your valuables. Avoid displaying expensive jewelry or carrying large amounts of cash. Stay vigilant, especially in crowded places like markets and public transportation.
Why Choose OurGuest as Your Tour Operator?
By partnering with a reliable tour operator like OurGuest, you can save yourself from these scams and enjoy a hassle-free trip to Kashmir. OurGuest provides certified guides and offers trustworthy taxi services to ensure your safety and enjoyment. We offer customized tour packages that cater to your specific needs and preferences, ensuring a memorable trip that's unique to you. Our vetted and experienced travel agents can make hotel reservations, take care of your transportation, and assist with any travel-related needs.
Kashmir is a safe and beautiful destination, but it's wise to be aware of potential scams that can occur during your visit. With proper precautions and the support of a reliable tour operator like OurGuest, you can explore the beauty of this region without any worries. So, choose OurGuest as your travel partner and make your Kashmir trip an unforgettable experience