Outside so many Indian airports, a scammer’s trying to get you to cancel your hotel reservations. And they do this by telling you some lies like ‘your hotel is in a super dangerous area’, ‘so many bad things have happened there’ or, you know, ‘the owner is a bad bad person’. Or a famous one is ‘the hotel has burnt down’, like this one behind me and sometimes hotels do burn down here. But 99% of the time, when these guys are using that line, it’s just total total rubbish. And usually it’s taxi drivers doing this. But here in Srinagar, it’s houseboat touts trying to get you to come to their houseboats. There are so many houseboats all around here. And yeah, there’s so much competition. So they’re waiting for you at Srinagar airport. Check it out. I’m outside the airport now and I’m so happy to be greeted by this Jammu and Kashmir police officer whose job is to look up the foreigners. That is until this tout arrives. Just listen to me bait him and how quickly he’ll lie. Karl: Shelter Heritage Hostel. Shelter Heritage Hostel. Someone told me it’s okay. Someone told me it’s good. Tout: Eh, my dear. You’re not here to be in a restaurant, hotels or something like that. Karl: Why? Tout: If you’re getting free accommodation there, then it’s okay. Otherwise you’re on a holiday. Karl: Yeah. You have to be in an open lake where you have fresh air, fresh day, trees, mountains before you. Karl: Yeah. Tout: So it’s not fair you’re going there. Karl: Is there a better hotel? Tout: Yes. Karl: Oh. Tout: Houseboats are better than hotels. Karl: Houseboats are better.. Tout: Better. It is like a homely comfort. Karl: Uh, okay. Thank you. Tout: I really… you’ll enjoy your holiday. Where do you come from? Karl: New Zealand. Tout: Then nobody told you about houseboats? Karl: No. Tout: Oh my god. Karl: They told me but this hotel looks good. It looks like a nice hotel. Do you know this hotel? Hotel Heritage Hostel. Heritage, I know but… That is not for you because So is the owner bad or..? Tout: To a certain extent, yes. Karl: Really? Things have happened there? What happened there? Tout: Oh, many things. Karl: Don’t make me worry. Tout: Yeah, very many things. Karl: Really? Tout: They depart you. Hitting and all that. Karl: Really? Tout: Oh yeah. Karl: Oh. But houseboats isn’t safe. Tout: Who said that? Police: Are you going to Royal Heritage? Karl: Yes sir. What’s wrong with this guy? Police: Nothing. You go to pre-paid taxi. Karl: He’s not good? Tout: No, I am good. Police: Come, come. Karl: Actually sir… I just wanted to see what this guy wanted to say to me. So he’s gonna meet me by this flag, I think. He’s calling. You can meet him. He’s there. Come. Hi Shameem! I’m coming. I’m by the pre-paid taxi counter. Okay, thank you. Okay this guy is coming to pick me up. Tout: Okay. Karl: Right now. Okay. Goodbye. Karl: Okay. Shameem! Good to see you after so long, brother. Shameem: How are you? Karl: Very good. Shameem: How was your journey? Karl: Awesome. And so I was just filming a scam video out there. And yeah, like I thought, as soon as I exited the airport, a guy inside the airport came up to me.. Shameem: Okay. Karl: and tried to get me to come with him and get into a taxi. And then when I got outside the airport, another guy tried to come and sell me.. tried to tell me to get on a houseboat. Shameem: Okay. Karl: And tried to tell me that the hotel I was going to was not good. Shameem: Okay okay. And so.. yeah. I was just filming this scam. Just to help people. And so that cop got really worried. He saw me talking to these guys and he was like ‘oh no no. Don’t do this’. So he wanted to call you. Shameem: I already called the hotel you’re booked on in. Karl: Yes. Shameem: I called them. They’re really waiting for you. In fact, they were ready to send you a car. I told them, ‘No. I know Karl from a long time and I’m going to receive him. Karl: Yeah. Shameem: And he’s going to be with me for the whole day. Karl: Yeah. Shameem: And in the evening maybe at 4 or 5 o’ clock, we will be there. Karl: Yeah, awesome. So guys don’t trust people even inside the airport. They’re trying to earn a commission off you. They’re gonna take you outside and try and pawn you off to another taxi driver and take like, I don’t know, 20-30 % commission rather than taking to the pre-paid taxi booth where that police guy was telling me to go. Rightfully, he was telling me to go and I’m so glad that Jammu and Kashmir has tourist police looking after people outside the airport. And that tourist police, he saw what was happening to me. He saw that the guy was trying to tell me that the hotel was wrong, that I should go and stay somewhere else to try and cancel my reservation. So yeah. Thank god for that guy. So don’t believe anybody and especially when you get out of the airport is even worse. People will try and tell you your hotel is bad, that it’s not safe. And they’ll just try and tell you any kind of lie to sell you their hotel, their houseboat or whatever. Never go with these guys because they’re gonna take you to the worst place and just try to earn so much commission from you. So when booking hotels here in India, do not just turn up and trust some guy on the side of the street, some tout or some taxi driver. Make sure you check reviews online and book yourself because if you go with these touts on the streets, they’re just like.. their goal is just to extract as much money from you as possible and take you to a bad hotel to take a mark up as much as possible. And also, one other thing: do not trust these hotel counters at the airport. Especially here in Srinagar. So these hotels, whether they scam or not, as long as they have enough money, they can pay for a kiosk inside the airport. So it makes them seem like legitimate. I’ve heard so many horror stories about some of these hotels which have brought these kiosks. So yeah. Be very wary of those as well. Check your reviews. And if you want to travel safely and confidently here in India, check out my Quick Start Safety Guide at indiasurvivalguide.com Go and check it out now.