Bollywood Birds -eye view
Favorite thing: I think that Mumbai is one of the best cities in India for walking. Wear comfortable shoes!
There is so much beautiful architecture of historical value, that one cannot appreciate through the window of a taxi. The wide open space of the Maidan was also a pleasure to see. There were hundreds of young boys, and some not so young boys, playing cricket, and families sitting under the trees having picnics. They were cheering like crazy, but we could never figure out which team they were supporting!The promanade alongside the sea at Colaba is filled every evening with families, taking in the sea air. Vendors sell hot roasted nuts to snack along the way. Another good walk is Marine Drive. A place to see and be seen, for Mumbaikers.
Fondest memory: We stayed at a hotel across the road from the promanade, and there is causeway which juts out into the sea. This area is a hot-spot for wedding receptions and parties, We saw a wedding every night we were there, and on New Years Eve- there was a real Bollywood style
party happening, which carried on till 5am.It was amazing to see how quickly they put up decorations for each of these celebrations. And we had a birds eye view of everything. The weddings were so colourful-we could see the bride & groom, and all the guests, very beautifully dressed, dancing the night away. Who needed Bollywood??Related to:
- Historical Travel
Elephantine Meeting with Mizzie from KL.
Favorite thing: This was one of the places we went to see near Mumbai when Mizzie was in India during her short stay here. The picture was taken on the return journey from the Elephanta Island so you can see the Mumbai skyline in the background. Now doesn't she look like a Bollywood filmstar? HAHAHA!!!Related to:
- Family Travel
- Sailing and Boating
- Adventure Travel
Fondest memory: I was asking myself if to put this tip under hotels or fondest memory but when I think of my four stars hotel in Mumbai, Desai Hotel, the scale definitely hangs down the fondest memory: a very elegant traveller set with cream, lip stick, eau de toilette, comb, tooth brush, hand mirror and so on was leant on the night table and it was only a first particular of the ones which made me feel immediately awaited and welcome!!
The hotel offers an internet connection and complementary tea, served with the cake of the day.
Then the building has a flat roof which was perfect for a special nightlife activity... see next tip...Related to:
- Arts and Culture
the sky as nightlife...
Fondest memory: In the pic Aadil, his wife and me and, yes, I called the telescope "wife" infact if you read Aadil's homepage, he states that she is astronomy.
We are on the flat roof of my four stars hotels and thanks to Aadil's wife I could see for the first time two of Saturno's rings and the moon with its craters, which till then I had seen only on books!! Isn't this a spectacular nighlife activity?? but for me it's also one of my best memories of Mumbai!!Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Wander the Markets
Favorite thing: Spending time in markets is one of my favourite things to do in any country. They're fantastic places for people-watching. . .and you can run into some of the most interesting people and scenes, if you just give yourself time to relax and become enveloped in your surroundings.
Fondest memory: Markets are something of a microcosm of India ~ vibrant colours, intense smells, lots of people and noise. . .but it's controlled chaos and they can be lots of fun to explore. This photograph is from a market close to the Mumbadevi Temple, if I recall correctly.
Rainy days 15 June to 15 Oct.
Favorite thing: If you have a love for rain ,you will get to enjoy during 15 June to 15 Oct, many Arab tourists from gulf countries come to Mumbai to enjoy rainy days.
Fondest memory: Torrential rains in Mumbai brought life to a standstill on Tuesday15/07/09 even as people in Konkan, western and northern Maharashtra thanked the weather gods for rescuing them from the relentless heat. With just 170 mm of rain, not even one-fourth of what Mumbai had received on 26/7/08 (944 mm), the city came to a standstill. Normal life was crippled as heavy rains that had started on Monday night lashed the city, flooding roads and disrupting railway services. Mithi river rose above the danger markRelated to:
Basic of Hindi
Favorite thing: These are some Important hindi phrases so that you can communicate here easily.
Hello : Namaste
How are you? : Aap Kaise Hai ?
I am fine : Hum theek hai
See you later : Phir milenge
Where are you going ? : Aap kaha ja rahe hai?
Whats Your name? : Aap ka naam kya hai?
Thank you - shukriya or Dhanyavaad
Monday - Somwar
Tuesday - Mangalwar
Wednesday - Budhwar
Thursday - Guruwar
Friday - Shukrwar
Saturday - Shaniwar
Sunday - Ravivar
2 - Do
5 - Panch
500- Panch Sau
1000 - Ek hazar
Black - kala
White - safed
Red - Lal
Yellow - Peela
Blue - Neela
yes and no
Yes - haan
no - Nahi
never mind - koi baat nahi
i dont want - muze nahi chahiye
i want it - muze chahiye
i like it - muze accha laga
i dont like ti - muze accha nahi laga
i dont understand - muze samazme nahi aya
i cant speak hindi - main hindi nahi bol sakta
where is ....... : - .......... kaha hai
how much - kitne me diya
That is too expensive - Yeh bahut mehnga hai
Can i try it - Ise main dekh sakta hoon
Make it less - Kuch kam karo
What is the last price - Iska akhari daam kya hai
Take the mystery out of Science ... the easy way!!
Favorite thing: The Nehru Science Center (and Science Park) is a fun place to visit with kids to explain scientific principles simply to children and grown ups too!!! Takes the mystery out of science the easy way!!! Lots of interactive exhibits on display with a lot of info and hands on experience for most displays!!! Great fun to learn this way for children and adults alike!!! Lots of different galleries on Sound, Light, Mechanics, etc. that explain the fundamentals of science.
Also on display are a few old transportation vehicles like a horse drawn tram, steam engines and a HF-24 Indian Air Force aircraft too!!!
Lots of activities for children like telescope making, aeromodelling, HAM radio, etc are also conducted regularly. They also have a mini planetarium for mobile units which go to the rural areas for science exhibitions on wheels!!!
Timings are from 11am to 7 pm.
Telephone Number:- 24932667.Related to:
- Theme Park Trips
- Museum Visits
Favorite thing: Interestingly I found that the local telephone network Airtel has these units installed in McDonalds for people to charge their mobiles there while they eat. I saw another such unit at the airport in Delhi while waiting to fly out. No doubt they are in many places.
Landing in Mumbai
Favorite thing: Arriving during the early hours of the morning is probably not the best first sighting of Mumbai or indeed India but at the same time I was amazed by the activity still buzzing at this hour.
The airport itself was a bit of a shock to the system. At that hour of the morning in a dingy light, it was old and tired looking. Going through immigration was painless but then there was no direction as to which way to go with baggage signs going both ways. Of course I took the wrong way (as there was no one to follow) and found myself in an area of the terminal with only a few sleeping workers and the other few talking and just looking at me. No baggage in sight. Retracing my steps, I saw a few others coming through immigration, equally as confused as I was. We finally found the baggage area and exited through customs without a problem. Fortunately I was being met. I would not like to have to dealt with prepaid taxi’s and jostling drivers at that hour of the night.
Favorite thing: The ride from the airport was a mix of amazement and disheartenment – not for myself but for the difficult life much of the population have to face on a day to day basis. We darted in and out of traffic, passed by many shanty’s and half hearted construction works. Locals were either gathered around talking in groups or sleeping wherever there was a private space – from car bonnets to the pavement. What really struck me was the number of taxi’s there. All exactly the same and either on the roads or parked on the side of them. There was no tour commentary at this time of the night so I had no idea where I was and just much in need of getting to my hotel and sleeping.
Favorite thing: I was given advice before going to India, not to walk on my own. Being a female, blonde and traveling alone, it was not safe. However overall I found with enough precautions, this was not a problem in most places I travelled to in India. Mumbai appeared to be fairly safe and I kept asking the question before walking in any area, prepared to heed any warnings.
Encountering the Locals
Favorite thing: The first morning I went for a walk around my hotel which was right opposite the Bombay Hospital. Of course you have to expect a lot of staring in India wherever you go. Most will be just curious, others will offer a smile and say hello. The women tend to be a little more reserved at doing either of these. It is a little uncomfortable at first but when you realise that this is common for most people to do, you can relax and just smile and say hello back.
A Long Time Getting Here
Favorite thing: Mumbai has been a fascination for me for many years. Have I seen the city now? Not by a long shot. I have certainly seen much of a concentrated area but Mumbai is vast and a mishmash of contrasts. Inspiring, uplifting, enriching to unfair, saddening and thought provoking. If it had not been for an inquisitive wanderlust father, I too may have called Mumbai my birthplace.
Favorite thing: It is unfortunate but Mumbai has Asia's biggest slum. In contrast the city also has some of the world's most expensive real estate. I was told by my guide that where there was a wall of any kind, homeless families created some kind of shanty living space. Landlords of these properties were then compelled to offer free water and electricity and really could do nothing to remove these people. I could not find any reference as to whether this was true. However just over half of Mumbai’s population live in slums or chawls (one room apartments). Only 10 to 15% live in proper houses, or high-rises while the rest live off the street. Rubbish accumulates as there are no gabbage men collecting the rubbish. There are plans in place to resettle many and further plans to continue finding these people homes. The population of Mumbai is about 13 million, with a density of about 29,000 persons per square kilometre.
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