GDL: Sidewalks in centro historico
Be careful of large and sometimes very deep holes in sidewalks in the center. Streets, although very safe, are badly lit. During summer storms, streets become rivers. Also, keep an eye out for crazy bus drivers.
The entire old town/plaza area seemed very safe. There is a major police presence and I think this helps - do not be alarmed by the machine guns they carry. They will gladly return a smile and a hello. You will be approached by people trying to "connect" with you and your wallet but just politely refuse and keep walking. Little kids will try to put stickers on you and then ask for money - just politely refuse and keep walking. If you give in, you will be mobbed. Just follow normal precations - do not let yourself get distracted and you will be fine.
- Historical Travel
Buy a phone card -
Buy a phone card as there are pay phone all over easy to use and my USA cell phone did not work
Beware !!!!, of the phones plastered all over some towns, usually on the front of businesses. They are marked "TO CALL LONG DISTANCE TO THE USA & CANADA, SIMPLY DIAL 0" The writing is in black and USA is in blue letters with CANADA in red letters. They also have pictures of credit cards on the signs. The phones are put there by a private phone company and are VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE. You will probably faint when you see your phone bill or credit card bill. It is best to purchase Pre-Paid cards or dial 01 800 111-SAVE from any phone in México. You can use this number to make credit card calls or collect calls.
- Arts and Culture
I felt safer in Guadaljari than most large North American cities they have helpful tourist booths in the major tourist areas and everywhere tourist police on bikes in the places tourist hang out.
You can visit the State Tourism Office, at Morelos 102 - Plaza Tapatía, in the historic center. They keep a current listing of most events and will be glad to give you a copy.
Anyway felt the place was helpful and friendy
However it is a big city and got to figure the tourist police are there for a reason so kep your valubles tucked away or in your hotel safe.
- Arts and Culture
Rich and Poor
Guadalajara has both rich and poor and the divide can be quite stark. As you ride in from the airport, the highway passes through some really rough looking slums on the south side of the city. I would avoid going around this area on my own.
Many of the neighborhoods are very nice, especially to the west and southwest of downtown. Beautiful Houses, nice apartments and condo's, trendy restaurants and bars, upscale malls, art galleries, and other upscale shopping, wide tree lined boulevards, etc.
In the El Centro you will often see people begging and some indigenous people selling handicrafts on the sidewalk and in the plaza's. If they have something that catches your fancy pleae buy. They are not pushy.
One evening as I was riding in a cab, at a stoplight a girl of around 12 came up to the cab to sell me gum. The driver shoo'ed her away emphatically. The little girl looked so sad. I can still see the sad look in her brown eyes, heartbreaking. However, remember, that it is best not to encourage children to be on the streets begging, so please, as hard as it is, don't give to them. They should be in school trying to better thier future, but, yes, I realize thier reality is much more difficult than I could ever imagine.
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