Safety Tips in Mumbai

  • Taxi
    by Donna_in_India
  • Young Women
    Young Women
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Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Mumbai

  • lotharscheer's Profile Photo

    Airport Taxi

    by lotharscheer Written Nov 20, 2013

    Not a danger only a inconvenience.
    The prepaid taxi fare from the airport to the Colaba / South Mumbai area was (november 2013) 750 Rupies. Ur was a big hotel, the driver said je know where it is, called someone to get directions, said je knows now where it is, when arriving in the area he drove arround in circles for half a hour until he finaly (this was very early in the morning) asked an other taxi driver for the way.
    Make with the help of Google Maps or similar a printout of the way to go, maybe it helps the driver ( who was quite nice)

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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo


    by Donna_in_India Updated Feb 22, 2011

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    1. If there are signs saying “No pictures”, don’t take pictures! (Some airports & bridges, Military Bases, etc. are off-limits!)

    2. Learn how to use your camera before the trip. If there are signs saying “No flash”, make sure you know how to use the camera without it.

    3. If you see a couple or family with one person taking pictures of the other(s), offer to take a picture of both/all of them. Maybe they’ll reciprocate.

    4. Don't take pictures of worshippers.

    5. Ask BEFORE you take a photo of someone. Most people will say yes. Show them the photo in the playback screen - something everyone seems to enjoy.

    6. You'll be visiting alot of caves, forts, temples, etc. that may be hard to identify when you return home. Before entering, take a photo of a sign with the name of the place (each! cave, etc.).

    7. Keep an eye on your camera equipment all the time!

    8. Bring more digital photo cards/film than you think you will need. Bring an extra battery.

    9. Charge your camera batteries every night.

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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    For Women...

    by Donna_in_India Updated Feb 22, 2011

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    1. Unless on the beaches of Goa, it's best to dress conservatively. No shorts, short skirts, or shirts displaying too much cleavage. You will have to endure uncomfortable stares, and sometimes comments and even "accidental" touching. (Capris & t-shritsare fine.)

    2. If someone does touch you or becomes aggressive, yell LOUDLY. They will likely run away and you will attract the attention of others who will come to your rescue.

    3. Avoid walking in deserted areas at night or odd hours.

    4. Avoid drinking alcohol in excess.

    5. Never accept food or drinks from strangers.

    6. Carry tissue/toilet paper. You never know when you'll need it!

    7. Where available, use women's only areas/compartments on public transportation. NEVER ride in the general men's compartment.

    8. If you do go out to clubs/bars, NEVER leave your drink unattended and always make sure you have transportation back to your hotel pre-arranged.

    9. If travelling alone on the train, request to be accommodated near other women travelers.

    10. Never accept a ride if there's someone accompanying the driver in a taxi or rickshaw.

    11. Chain-lock your door when inside your hotel room.

    12. If you happen to come across a street party or a festive procession, it is best not to take part. Crowds such as those will likely have agressive and/or drunk men. You can watch from a distance and move on when it has passed you.

    13. If travelling with a boyfriend/husband it's best to avoid public displays of affection, which can attract lewd remarks and gestures.

    14. Use common sense and trust your gut.

    Young Women

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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Travelling with Infants/Toddlers

    by Donna_in_India Written Feb 20, 2011

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    Indians adore children and you will see (and hear) children all over - at all times - of the day and night. So your children will be welcomed warmly. But if your infant/toddler is new to travelling or is not a good traveller, India may not be the best place to visit. As difficult as India may be for some first time visitors, it will be much more so for a very young child.

    My daughter spent the first 11 months of her life in India. While things were diffifult then, we were able to control alot of the situations. All baby items - formula, diapers, wipes, baby food, etc. were easily available, although formula in particular, was 3 times the price as in the U.S.

    When we returned to India when my daughter was 19 months old, things were different. Mostly because SHE was now much more mobile. It was a very toddler un-friendly place in that there are few or no facilities for children that age.

    With the exception of 5 star hotels and Western food chains (McDonalds, Pizza Hut, etc.) you won't find high chairs. Sometimes cribs are available - although once we got a hospital crib sent over to our hotel. Car seats are almost unheard of - even if you bring your own, most taxis don't even have seat belts to hold them in. Roads and sidewalks are full of cracks, potholes, etc. - and traffic is chaotic - making using a stroller a bad adventure. Short rides in rickshaws meant breathing in the pollution coming from cars, trucks, buses, and other rickshaws. The only changing table I came across was in Mumbai's domestic airport's new "family" room, making changing diapers anywhere else generally difficult. I had to continuously watch what she touched, what she walked in, etc. On top of all that, even with eating in good establishments, she got a stomach bug twice in 2 1/2 weeks. Hardly ideal for very young children.

    In addition, Western children attract alot of attention. You will have people wanting to take photos/videos, pinching cheeks, and physically trying to take the child from your arms to hold him/her. When trying to get the child's attention people will click and snap their fingers loudly
    wihin a few inches of the child's face (most annoying!!). All of it can be very overwhelming for both the parents and the child. I was never comfortable about the photos and if asked would politely decline. We were not always asked though and it was annoying to turn around and have a camera in her face. I was not comfortable with anyone touching my daughter either. She was once pinched so hard, she had a mark on her cheek for an hour afterwards!

    Although there are parks and some (mostly not so good) zoos, children this young are inevitably going to be bored with seeing temples, markets, and forts. Throw in heat and humidity (and any or all of the above issues) and you have all the makings for a miserable time for all.

    Of course, India is likely a fascinating place and totally different experience for older children. However, if you're bringing an infant/toddler to India, I'd recommend doing the following:

    Contact your child's pediatrician regarding necessary vaccinations. (You may need to contact the Center for Disease Control/whatever agency is appropriate in your country first.) In particular, find out about malaria prevention and mosquito repellent (as some are not appropriate for young children).

    Bring plenty of disinfectant hand wipes and/or hand gel. Wash your child's hands frequently.

    Eat safely (no street stall foods, no buffets, eat fruits/veg that can be peeled and well-cooked food, drink sealed bottled water).

    Use sun screen/mosquito repellent, put a hat and sunglasses on your child.

    Wear closed shoes, not sandals.

    Bring a first aid kit including (at least): Band-aids, antiseptic wipes/ointment, tweezers, thermometer, age-appropriate pain/fever medicine & stomach/anti diarrhea medicine (check with your doctor for perscription meds), appropriate antibiotics for common childhood infections (such as middle ear infections), diaper rash ointment.

    Bring a favorite blanket and stuffed animal.

    Keep your child very close in crowded places.

    Beware of stray dogs and monkeys!

    Most of all realize that your child needs to take breaks - for naps, a swim - so work around your child's schedule - including possible jetlag. Avoid hours on end on public transporation (buses, trains, even taxis). There are many budget airlines in India - no charge for children under 2.

    If your child does become sick, seek out a doctor immediately. Most hotels can recommend a doctor, medical clinic, or hospital.

    Kasha in Mumbai

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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Mischievous Monkeys...

    by Donna_in_India Written Feb 19, 2011

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    You will come across monkeys in many places in India - everywhere from temples to forts to jungles. The monkeys in the jungles are not used to interaction with humans and there is less chance they will bother you.

    The monkeys that have been fed by humans are more likely to become aggressive - especially when they want more food. While the monkeys may look really cute, you have to remember that even though they'll take food right from your hand, they are still WILD animals.

    You usually can purchase bananas, etc. near wherever there are monkeys. We've never had a problem feeding monkeys when there was a group of people around who were also feeding the monkeys. But we've had a few unpleasant encounters with monkeys when no one else was around.

    Some suggestions:

    Keep track of all the monkeys around you. If you get distracted with one monkey, another may run up to you and try to grab the food.

    Don't carry food in the open and don't carry any plastic bags.

    If you're walking through a wooded area/forest you may want to carry some kind of walking stick. Be vigilant about the monkeys overhead in trees.

    Hold tightly onto your purse, camera, etc. because they are very mischievous - and fast - and
    will grab your belongings and run.

    Monkey bites are very serious and diseases can be passed through their saliva. If you do get bitten, clean the wound and see a doctor immediately!!

    Monkeys, Monkeys, Monkeys

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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo


    by Donna_in_India Written Feb 18, 2011

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    1. Within India dial 100 or 108 for police.

    2. Within India dial 101 or 108 for medical or fire emergency.

    3. Although it is common in India, do not offer bribes. If anyone asks for a bribe tell them you will report them to the Anit-Corruption Bureau or the nearest police station.

    4. Always carry your passport with you. Put a sticky note inside with the local telephone number of your Consulate.

    5. Do not buy, sell, or use narcotics. You do NOT want to end up in an Indian prison!!

    6. Be aware of travel warnings. Some areas are considered unsafe for foreigners.

    7. Never accept a ride if there's someone accompanying the driver in a taxi or rickshaw.

    8. Chain-lock your door when inside your hotel room.

    9. Don't flash jewelry or large sums of money.

    10. See my separate Warning Tip for Women.

    Indian Police

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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Money Matters...

    by Donna_in_India Updated Feb 18, 2011

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    1. Double-check all hotel and restaurant bills for errors.

    2. Don't leave cash and valuables in your hotel room. Use room safes where available.

    3. Keep daily cash in separate pockets.

    4. Don't flash jewelry or large sums of money.

    5. Never pay for anything upfront - including drivers.

    6. Avoid touts!

    7. Don't exchange money on the black market.

    8. Get a receipt when changing money at an authorized establishment.

    9. Carry small bills (Rs 10, 20, 50, 100) for tips, public transportation, etc.

    Rs 100 Note

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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Respect and Common Courtesies...

    by Donna_in_India Written Feb 18, 2011

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    1. Learn at least Hello, Thank you, Yes, No, and Goodbye in Hindi (at least).

    2. Turn your cell phones off inside churches, temples, museums, etc. If it rings and you must take the call, do it outside!

    3. If there’s a running commentary (live or recorded) or you're on a guided tour, be polite and be quiet.

    4. Dress appropriately and be respectful in temples, churches, mosques. ALWAYS remove your shoes (it's a good idea to carry or wear socks so you don't have to go barefoot). You should carry a cover for your head as well.

    5. If you’re traveling with children, don’t let them disrupt others around you. If they cry or throw a tantrum, take them outside.

    6. If you have a complaint, do it reasonably without yelling and cursing.

    7. Please use dust bins/garbage pails!

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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Health & Eating...

    by Donna_in_India Updated Feb 16, 2011

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    1. Drink bottled water (check to confirm seal has not been broken). Do NOT drink tap water or any water served in a restaurant in a glass unless you saw it being poured from a sealed bottle.

    2. Mind what you eat. One of my great joys while travelling in India is eating street foods. If you're not used to the food or have a sensitive stomach, eat only food that is cooked (and hot), fruit that can be peeled, etc.

    3. Bring stomach medications from home that you know work, just in case.

    4. Contact the health center in your home country for information on vaccinations and medications. This should be done several weeks before your trip as some medications need to be started weeks before your trip.

    5. Avoid eating at buffets, even at 5-star hotels.

    6. Wash your hands before eating, after using the bathroom, and other times as necessary.

    7. Carry wet ones or hand sanitizers.

    8. Be careful of "duplicate" liquor.

    9. Don't eat in an empty restaurant. Food may not be fresh. Follow the locals to the good (and usually inexpensive) restaurants.

    10. Avoid ice.

    Street Food

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  • ranger49's Profile Photo

    Wild Monkeys at Elephanta Caves

    by ranger49 Updated Jan 9, 2010

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    We chose to take the longish uphill walk to the entrance to the caves rather than the rickshaw that was on offer.
    It was HOT HOT HOT and very humid.
    But we saw plenty of interesting scenes on the way to the top and the entrance into the caves.
    On the plateau, before the entrance to the caves,people gathered to see the wild monkeys.
    There was a sign asking visitors not to feed them and to be aware that they could be aggressive.
    Some people ignored the sign and we saw one little girl offerring her snacks to them - only to be very upset and scratched -when the whole packet was snatched from her hand.
    It really is wise to follow the advice here!

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  • mili_143's Profile Photo

    Traveling in local trains

    by mili_143 Written Oct 3, 2009

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    Local trains in mumbai are fastest, cheapest way to travel in mumbai. from CST to Karjat/Kasara and from churchgate to Virar you can travel in local trains. There are class system in those local trains. First class, second class, luggage class. Ofcourse female do have different boggie if they are traveling alon. Most of outsiders do not know that traveling in first class having 2 nd class ticket is offence. And ticket checker might charge you a huge amount for that. So before boarding on train check which class you are traveling. There is a huge difference between First class and Second class ticket rates.

    Special first class compartment sign Local trains

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    by mili_143 Written Dec 23, 2008

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  • Escadora7's Profile Photo

    Falling Coconuts

    by Escadora7 Updated Oct 4, 2008

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    We were peacefully walking down this palm-tree-lined road on Mt. Mary (see picture), when a car drives by. A few seconds later we see this coconut falling off a tree and hitting the moving car on the roof. BAAANG! If you've never heard a coconut fall off a really high palm tree, let us assure you that it is really really really loud. The car alarm went off, the car stopped, and a very angry and confused driver jumps out of the car and spins around in circles to find the culprit who had attacked his car. Well, what he found was people up and down the road just looking at him and cracking up with laughter. He eventually got back into his car and drove on, literally never knowing what had hit him.

    To this day we still burst into laughter when we think about the incident - it was just funny! However; upon doing more research we found that this really isn't a laughing matter. There is a widespread report that more people get killed each year from falling coconuts than from shark-attacks. Whether it's true or not is unknown, but even if it's only one person that gets killed from a falling coconut, it's still very sad.

    Scene of the Crime Mumbai off Mt. Mary Off the web The Culprit Coconut Trees are everywhere in Mumbai

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  • cochinjew's Profile Photo

    transfer between international and domestic TERM

    by cochinjew Written Sep 29, 2008

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    please allow at least one hour for transfer from international to domestic terminals. the service is all but erratic and chaotic to boot. as the above post suggests, try air india which usually has some connecting domestic flights from international terminal, even that can take time, since you have to get your luggage (fast) and then stand in line to get it security checked (20 to 30 minutes) and then stand in line to check in ( 30 minutes). add another hour if you are changing terminals. in the past year, i had to change from international to domestic and vice versa twice and on all occasions things did not go smoothly and twice nearly missed the flight to Paris, because of the congestion at the security entering the boarding gate.
    this last time, about one month ago, i had two hours between arriving from Paris and going to cochin from the same terminal and it was barely enough..

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    by Willettsworld Written Dec 16, 2007

    As Mumbai is one of the biggest city's in the world, expect a fair amount of pollution. I came to Mumbai by plane and took a taxi all the way from the airport to Colaba and saw a lot of mist in the air (air pollution) as well as a bit of ugly environmental pollution in and around canals and other waterways. The streets, however, are pretty clean and tidy which I was surprised about as I was expecting them to be the same as they are in Kolcutta i.e. flithy with a lot of stalls on them burning wood and such like. Mumbai does have its problems but you'll have to look fairly hard to see them.

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