"Bombay Mumbai" Mumbai by smirnofforiginal
Mumbai Travel Guide: 1,971 reviews and 3,890 photos
It is a bloody big place with lots and lots and lots and lots of people and some!
One of the most expensive cities in the world (have you checked out the price of real estate!?!?!) it is a world in itself full of contrasts and contradictions... It is just a huge place full of an absurd number of people doing their own things alongside one another. If you bumble into their private worlds you are liable to find very nice and amiable people. If they blunder into your world the strong chance and likelihood is that they want to sell you something or rip you off in some way, shape or form! It is a full on city... you have to find it's rhythm and roll with it otherwise you'll bounce along out of sync and when that happens it can be an intolerable place to be.
The times I left the tourist drag(s) behind, I found were my better times in this frantic city. The local markets were charming, friendly, relaxed and I was left to myself, followed by just the usual stares, smiles and grins!
Mumbai is an island. It is also the capital of Maharashtra. Formally Bombay it was officially renamed Mumbai (its orginal Maharathi name) in 1996.
Mumbai takes its security seriously but, then again, after the bombing of 2006 and the 2008 attack, it has to. In fact, whilst I was there, there were a series of bombs and threats that others were going to be set in prominent places such as the international airport, a major (unnamed) hotel and a train station. Nothing came of the threats but security was on red alert and most effective.
The southern most area of Mumbai is called Colaba. This is where most of the tourist sites are. It is a hub for tourists and, as a result there are more than a fair share of hawkers, touts and beggars vying for the contents of your wallet! It can be quite bothersome - the best method is to ignore which may seem rude but it really is the only way.
North of Colaba is Fort (there is no fort here nowdays).
After Fort the expanse is known as the suburbs. Both the domestic and international airports are in the suburbs as are Juhu and Bandra (your more upmarket zones).
Traffic throughout Mumbai is heavy, heavy, heavy but the driving is more contained than in other cities/areas. Rickshaws are not allow inside the city so choices of transportation are train and taxi - both have pros and cons - a mixture of the two works relatively well - trains are faster and considerably cheaper but, if you are hot and tired a cab may definitely be more appealing!
Now I have to admit I could not have used this mode of transport all the time because it was just too hot for some of... more travel advice
The exterior does not give much away but within you will find grand pillars, wobbling ceiling fans, decor of days gone... more travel advice
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