traveling in local train and mail train
While traveling in local train or mail train (long distance) you should be very much careful with your fellow pessenger. There are lots of incidence happned where the person next to your seat will talk to you as a decent guy , he will try to come close to you, after some time he will offer you something to eat in which there might be some medicine by which you can become unconcious within seconds and he will take all your baggages and valuable things.
In some trains even after reservation compartment there will not be any reservation system. Try to travel in 3 tier a/c where you can have comparitively less trouble.
Do Not Touch Unattended Objects Anywhere!!!
Do Not Touch Unattended Objects Anywhere!!! This applies to any unattended objects like small packets or bags or briefcases left unattended in local transport like buses, trains and taxi cabs as there is a high risk of it being something explosive as recently it has been found to trigger bomb blasts all over the city. So be careful when you see something like this at any place and just inform the nearest police or security personnel in the vicinity!!! Take care of your own personal safety!!! And have a safe journey in Mumbai!!!Related to:
- Family Travel
Two warnings go with this market ~ which is, nonetheless, a place I recommend visiting:
#1 There is an animal market behind the covered market; if you're sensitive about the conditions that animals are kept in, skip this! Those are puppies in the front cage and the heat was cruel.
#2 You may be stopped at the entrance to the market (I was on my second visit) and told that you need a guide to enter. There were two men who forcefully insisted that tourists were not allowed inside without an accompanying "shopper". . .I was turning to walk away before they finally relented. Anyone can enter ~ and shop his/her own.
In mumbai you will get lots of small stalls selling pirated cd's and dvd's it will cost you around 50rs per movie and 50 rs per dvd. Also in 20 rs you will get a latest mp3 cd. But lots of shops selling false cd's or cd's containing viruses. They are giving you replacement warranty means if you are not able to watch the movie or the cd contains different movies than they will give you same replacement but lots of time it happens that you may not find the stall from where you pruchased the same. So it totally depends on the luck.
Walking at Night
This is not to say that it is dangerous at night, but (how to say this) at night it is really dark due to the street lamps (or lack thereof) and thus your surroundings seem totally different. This is fine on main streets where you have lots of landmarks, but other places everything looks the same, and on Colaby Causeway at 2 or 3 in the morning it is best to walk in the street then on the sidewalk - not that it is dangerous, but not to disturb the pavement dwellers who are trying to catch a few moments of semi-peaceful sleep. Plus as the pavement can (is) uneven you can trip easily.
That said the big difference is that there are not that many people on the street after midnight so it can feel a bit eerie.
Armed and Dangerous...
While the touts and beggars are pretty bad most anywhere you go in India, the "Balloon Guys" in Mumbai take it to a whole new level...
Before this poor unsuspecting tourist can even jump out of his cab, he is already being stalked by a balloon tout, wielding his inflated club in a most onerous manner.... (kinda looks like a 3 foot long turkey leg, or maybe one of those Flintstone clubs that Fred used to whack Barney over the head with....)
Anyway, be alert, you have been warned... ;o))
It used to be said that breathing the air of Mumbai was analogous to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. Well, more recent studies have updated that figure to four packs a day! The air was horrific the week I was there, asthmatics don’t have a chance in this city. While this was the worst air I chanced upon in India, the air in Delhi and Agra, smothered under a late Fall inversion, was hardly any better.
Figures: Mumbai occupies a small 20 kilometer long peninsula which is home to over 16 million people or some 60000 people per square km - Hong Kong, by comparison, is 11000 people pe square km and London is a mere 1200. Population growth is 33% per decade as Mumbai still represents the financial chance for many in rural India to escape poverty - the ‘Golden City’.
All these people in a small area means traffic gridlock. The average speed is below 10km/hr. Parking is non-existent. Lights seem to be optional at night and honking your horn at least every 30 seconds seems to be mandatory. In the week of driving around Mumbai, our group was involved in three minor accidents, a figure that may or may not be typical - looking at the cars on the road, I lean towards it being the norm. Figure on at least an hour drive from the airport to South Mumbai and maybe more to be on the safe side. The distance is only 14 kms.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Business Travel
Health & Eating...
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.
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.
Just be warned if you take you phone with you to India and use roaming, the local networks are prone to spam you with all kinds of exciting giveaways and suggestions in text messages. Depending on your home network, you may get charged for these.
A couple of times I got the same text message over and over again.
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.
4 more images
Wild Monkeys at Elephanta Caves
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!
1 more image
There are many hazards when you take to the roads. One of which are wandering cows…. These can appear anywhere and are not bothered by the honking horns or crazy traffic, they will take their own time getting to where they want to go. Not quite what I expected outside of my hotel.
Buying train tickets
Where there is supposed to be a queue in the train station, you have to be a bit of an uncivilised git and go right to the front of it, pushing and shoving everyone else out of your way. If you don't do this, you may never even get your ticket for hours. Staff at the counters can be the most unhelpful at times. They decide when to close the counter for a break even when his customer is literally right in front of him waiting. He then goes do whatever he wants to do - mostly just sitting round the desk chatting away like nobody's business.
Elephanta Cave Bites
Make sure you wear mosquito repellant to the island especially in the warmer months. Inside the caves in particular those mozzies are rampant. You will spend all your time fending them off if you don’t.Related to:
- Religious Travel
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