Almost all white Brits have travelled to India, normally between the ages of 18-32 and for a minimum of two months. They will have been to Delhi, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Goa, Varanasi, Amritsar, Kerala, and at least one of Rishikesh, Shimla or Darjeeling. They will have seen other places from the train, but sticking to the aforementioned schedule maximises the chances to meet other white Brits, possibly from the same school or university.
The reasons for this affinity are many. In India, white Brits are unlikely to be assaulted or robbed, can take advantage of an extensive public transport network, and can easily visit a near infinite number of temples and other places of interest. The vast Lonely Planet guide that they carry with them can be used as a source of toilet paper once the places in question have been ticked off the list. Frequent bouts of diarrhoea are seen as ‘just part of the experience.’ Most importantly, white Brits can continue travelling around India for months on an average white British salary.
India allows white Brits to reap the benefits of empire (the English language and a vast income disparity) without being made to feel guilty. Nowhere is this balance struck as perfectly as in India, as most ex-colonies are either expensive (Canada, Australia, Hong Kong), or violent, repressive and frequently in violation of human rights (Zimbabwe, Burma, the USA).
For the more commercially-minded (see David Cameron), India is seen as a country on the up economically and a place to grab a piece of the action. India contrasts very favourably to China on this point, being the colourful and democratic yang to the monolithic and scary Chinese yin. A few examples: while China executes Brits for drug offences, India allows them to purchase cheap weed. While China forbids foreigners from driving without a Chinese licence, India allows any unlicensed idiot to hire a powerful motorbike for £7 a day. While China forces the Dalai Lama to flee, India allows him to live in comfort in Dharamsala. India, therefore, is the future superpower it’s alright for white Brits to love.
In general, white Brits do not travel to Bangladesh or Pakistan, unless they are a) Asian white Brits with connections who can use their economic circumstances to gain favourable conditions for marriage and business opportunities, or b) super white Brits (aid workers, political activists or journalists).
by William Beaufoy