The overland route to India is the stuff of travel legends, Alexander the Great conquered his way in this direction as well as thousands of merchants following the Silk Road. Then came the era of the Hippy Trail, which saw droves of young wanderers making their way to Afghanistan, India and Nepal in search of spirituality and cheap weed.

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Nowadays it is still an incredible adventure, and one that takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery on Earth as well as some of the most colourful cultures. However, be warned that there are hazards along the way to look out for and here we list some tips to prepare you.

Tea overload

Tea house on the Silk Road

Flickr: Mike Moss

From Turkey to India and everywhere in between, you are never far away from the offer of a cup of sweet tea, whether in someone’s home, the hotel or the spice bazaar. Refusal will often offend so even the most enthusiastic tea lovers might find themselves overdoing it. At least all that sugar and caffeine will keep you awake, just remember to brush your teeth.

Hospitality hostages

On your journey you are sure to meet some of the most hospitable people on earth, and you will have countless friendly invitations to people’s family homes. You might even end up being the guest of honour at a wedding. Just remember to have some photos of your family and a very, very big appetite.

I don’t like cricket, oh no….I love it

Pakistan street cricket

Flickr: Benny Lin

If you have no previous knowledge of the game of cricket, you will do after travelling through Pakistan and India. In any given conversation you run the risk of being bombarded with detailed information on a whole host of obscure players. The same goes for football in Turkey and Iran.

Colourful clothes

colourful saris India

Flickr: M M

For some reason once reaching India and Nepal, many people feel an overwhelming desire to purchase outrageously colourful clothes and fisherman’s pants. They’re cheap and great for the hot weather, just remember back at home you might look a bit ridiculous.

Catchy film tunes

bollywood-sign

Flickr: Zhu

Distances here are big, and involve mighty long bus and train journeys. Local bus drivers, and most of the passengers, usually like to pass the time by listening to the latest hit songs blasting out of the speakers, sometimes but not always accompanied by a couple of TV screens showing elaborate dance scenes. This will definitely add to the local flavour of your journey, although you might find yourself humming the songs in your sleep for weeks after.

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