Is Tijuana a Safe Place?
Yes! Tijuana is as safe as any other city in the world. That is not to say that as in any other city in the world there aren't some sort of danger at one time or another, but in the general sense, Tijuana is very safe. In all the times I've spent here only once did someone remove a basket of laundry from my car. I nor any of my friends have been the victim of any crime--even pickpocketing. Once a friend left her purse, with money and passport, in the ladies room of a restaurant one evening and when we returned the next day, it was promptly returned to her by the management.
The young woman in the photo lives in Rosarito Beach half of the time and travels through Tijuana carrying all her bags as she goes. Not only is she safe, most often she is offered help in carrying, loading or unloading her bags.
The other day while on my walking tour of the tourist areas I looked for any signs of danger, of any type and saw none. For more information about what you should know before going to Tijuana, check the website below.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Make Sure Before You Buy!
In the USA there are laws against misleading the buying public about the product being sold and it's ablity to perform as expected. Still we go by the adage, "Let the buyer beware." This is also true in Mexico.
These "estufas" are lovely and are great for the patio in cooler weather. That is if you could use them as a stove. Not all estufas are treated to withstand the heat of a normal fire and it is incumbant upon you to be sure before buying one, to make sure it will serve your purpose. This also goes for the pot you might buy for your plants. Untreated estufas can crack under the stress of a fire and your lovely pot can slowly desolve away after time and watering.
However, if you'll buy them only for decoration than it's not so important.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
Playas de Tijuana, Dirty Beach
Playas de Tijuana is a long stretch of beach that may be quite different from beaches you are used to when you go on vacation. The beach is basically for the locals and gets very crowded, it is littered and often smells. The seaward views are spectacular but in general the houses along the beach are little more than shacks. Some reconstruction of the area has been undertaken but it is still sub-normal from what a tourist might expect.
Playas de Tijuana (Spanish for "beaches of Tijuana") is the westernmost borough of the municipality of Tijuana.Related to:
- Water Sports
Expensive international calls
There are not so many public phones in Tijuana (at least in comparison to California) but there are many at least along la Revo and at the border crossing point.
HOW MUCH IS IT?
Local calls are relatively cheap (something like $0.05 per minute from public phone but 10 times more if you call to a cell phone or to another city).
But you may need much more to call to the USA (especially at daytime in business days).
HOW TO CALL?
There are public phones exclusively for phone cards (Telmex) and for cash as well (Telefono de monedas).
Local calls: choose 7-digit number
Long-distance calls: choose 01 - 3-digit city code number (for example 664 for Tijuana) - 7-digit number (in Mexico city - 8-digit number)
International calls: choose 00 - country code number (1 for the USA) - area code - number .
HOW TO SAVE $$$ ON CALLS?
- just check the tarriff on each public phone you are going to use (I heard that there are public phones who charge you for $30!),
- to use TELMEX public phones you must buy a phone card (tarjetas telefonicas) for 30, 50 or $100. Long-distance calls in Telmex net are 50% cheaper 8pm - 8am Mon - Sat and on Sunday. Calls to Europe are 33% cheaper on Sunday and 6pm - 6am Mon-Fri.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
*Tipping is expected in hotels and restaurants as in the US. between 10 and 15% of the overall bill, in tourist places. On local restaurants is between 5 and 10% no more.
*Tipping taxi is not necessry.
*All bussiness accept the US dollar in payment. The exchange rate will be a little higher. Not big deal!
*Always carry a picture ID.
*Obey the traffic signals when driving.
Time to explain the Gone...
Time to explain the Gone Fishing.......as one may expect, plumbing in Tj is not the greatest. Because of this, upon arriving we were told (again and again, reminded always) to NEVER, EVER flush toilet paper down the toilet. Instead, we had to place the tissue into the basket in front of us. Well, needless to say, sometimes reflex is too strong, and often time we ended up having to 'go fish' when we remembered. It was brought up slyly one night early in the trip, and we had a good laugh about it ever after...congrats to Roberta for being the only person to never fish, and to Tina for being the recipient of the award for most fishing trips!
(In case you are wondering, we found this sign in Disneyland when we went there for a day trip on the way back to Vancouver)
You might want to avoid this area. Calle Coahuila is famous being the prostitution area. When we got into TJ we actually parked in this area. I didnt realize where we were at I just knew that I found a safe parking area to park my car and the attendant and his son were friendly and the parking was only about 4 dollars for the whole day. This area was toward the North end of Av Revolucion near the plaza Santa Cecilia. When we got into TJ it was still fairly early so I couldnt tell that I was in the prostitution section. Also, in my defense I wasnt on Coahuila I was slightly off the street byut very near to it. It wasnt until we were ready to go home around 3:30- 4pm that I noticed alot of scantily dresed women just standing around.
Thats when I realized how close to Calle Coahuila we were.
On the bright side no one bothered us. You could easily tell we werent prostitutes and we werent bothered one bit. Also when we got back to the car, it was safe and well taken care of.
Help, my baby needs medicine!
One of the newest and more disheartening scam I have come to see alot of, is the baby sick scam.
A lady will have her little baby and a medicine perscription and ask for money to fill the perscription.
Scam: Mexico has free medical care sites throughout the city. Especially ones that treat children. I know this pulls at your heart strings, but I see the same lady on the same street day after day.
I was a MARK on this one!Related to:
- Gay and Lesbian
Womens at Night
Av. Revolution is not a safe area to be alone at night specially for young women, It's something that should be avoided if possible, specially the first ave. or coahuila is infamous as a prostitution area and even locals avoid that area at night.Related to:
- Women's Travel
Pharmacies and Cancer Medicine Centers
Drug stores and medical facilities are abundant in Tijuana and most are quality. Great place to save on dental work, fill perscriptions and affordable care.
Remember: In Mexico there is many drugs you can obtain without a perscription, but you should alway, always see a doctor first.
Warning: Mexico doesn't have the secret cure to cancer or terminal diseases. My sister in law used to work at one of the world famous skin repair and tumor removal centers. Big scam! Just be careful and realistic.
We have good doctors in the US.Related to:
- School Holidays
Children of all ages approach asking for money. Some sell small items (necklaces or chicle), other sing, juggle balls or dance, others simply beg. I filled my pockets with change before I left, but you simply can't give money to all of them - nor can you be sure they even get to keep any of it for themselves.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Can you drink Tijuana Water?
The drinking water in Tijuana's Restaurants is safe.
There is a Mexican federal law stating that restaurants must serve purified water, tested free of contaminants, both for drinking and for ice. So you don't have to worry about the ice in the margaritas All the hotels in the tourist areas have bottled water in the guest rooms.
Just don't drink the Tap Water! You will get sick!Related to:
- Sky Diving
Be careful when driving, being driven somewhere.
I personally know two people who went to mexico and got into bad car wrecks, so my opnion may be a bit subjective. I found the taxi drivers to either be insane or drunk at the wheel. I still get a shiver down my spine when I think my cabby drove through a red light at a 4 way crossing of a busy street - without flinching. He just ripped it. Gah. I walked for most of my visit after that :)
If you are driving, then make sure you have excellent insurance. For those who rented a car in Canada or the US, most likely your insurance does *not* cover driving in Mexico.
Ask about coverage before entering Mexico.Related to:
- Road Trip
Walk Away from Trouble
I would highly advise you stay out of trouble in Tijuana or any part of Mexico. If you get into an argument with a local or another tourist just walk away from it. The last thing you want is to spend time in a Mexican jail or having the cops or courts fine you hundreds of dollars for your bail. Its happened to some of my friends, so play it smart.Related to:
- Family Travel
Watch out for the bar employees trying to hustle you into their bar. They'll promise you cheap beer prices just to get you inside and they turn around and charge you a different price once they've served you. Just finish that one round of beer and then walk out of the place.Related to:
- Road Trip
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