my husband said there's always lots of people at the airport but only a handful that are actually going on a flight .. lol .. you know, get the village send-off kind of thing.
he's only experienced the rip-off thing once .. when he was in a cab from the client's office to the hotel where he was going to have dinner before getting on a flight back. on the expressway, the guy said he was giving my husband a special price which was of course more than what he had paid before. my husband didn't say anything because he didn't want to get off in the middle of the expressway but he knew that the hotel where they were heading to had a security barrier so that once they're in the hotel compound, the cab driver can't do anything.
once they reached the entrance, my husband told him that he's only getting 750 rupees and nothing more. so he just accepted it. my husband later confirmed with the reception that the amount he gave to the cab driver was appropriate.
I have been to mumbai for work and sorry to say that it is a very depressive place to me. Really an eye opener. Go with an open mind. It makes me appreciate life here.
A place where the really rich and hopelessly poor live side by side. In front of an office building, one can see a tent housing a family. The family cooks by the road side and bath in the open lokang. It is the first time I see people sleeping on the narrow road dividers and men shitting and peeing by the roadside in the morning. Yes, they didnt care if anyone saw them naked. It's that bad. Sights like these are so common. Everywhere I go, it seems to stink cos pple pee everywhere. But back at the hotel, it is a different world. That's Mumbai for me.
Caution : It is common for beggars to knock on the glass of your car/taxi. Remember to lock the door. Yes, they look sad but try not to give cos more will swamp your car. Be careful of water and ice. My colleague was down with food poisoning after taking ice from outside. Dont any how take pic. Once I was in a car in Delhi, one man was pulling a pathetic black bear walking beside my car. I took a snap and the man knocked furiously on my glass demanding for $$$$ !!!!
i think it's better to go for outside food if you have someone to show you around - each time my husband goes there, he says they will bring him to some ulu place to eat .. he says he's never been disappointed yet.
he says the best butter naan is at ITC Maratha hotel .. since it's only 10 mins from here to the airport, he usually stops by to eat first before getting on the plane.
I usually stay at The Leela hotel. It is quite near the airport and they provides pick up from the airport to hotel using hotel limousine at free of charge. You can check with the hotel that you are going stay if they provide a free airport pick up and drop off.
For first timer, I will suggest you have your meals at the hotel. In case you are not used with the food there, it's too spicy for me. I find the garlic/butter naan tasted much better than prata. Some hotels do have western food, so you can have more choices.
It's always save to drink from bottled water, local brands are fine, such as Kingfisher or Bisleri. It costs around 20-30Rs. Just ensure the seal is not broken. You don't really have to go for Evian or other foreign brands.
Just like any other countries, pickpockets are everywhere, be careful of your bags and belongings.
Tipping in hotel is not a must but they would really appreciate if you do so, can be ranging from 50 - 100Rs.
Mumbai airport is quite modern now, they have Coffee Bean, Pizza Hut, and KFC. You can take your meals there.
You may wish to request your company over there to arrange for a transport. There are many transport companies available in Mumbai. They are usually 6 seaters family car (similar to Toyota Picnic but more humble).
Hygiene and cleanliness is quite bad. Could be quite humid and dusty, you might pack lip balm and hand cream.
That's all from me, enjoy your first trip to India and wish you a pleasant journey!
i like mumbai better than chennai or delhi. if you are not thinking of extending your trip for some personal r&r, you really don't have much to worry about. a hotel is a hotel is a hotel. just give yourself more time to get to and clear customs at the airport (min. 2 hours.) food is great (dosa masala for breakfast is a must), name brand stuff is surprisingly cheap, and yes, strap yourself safely in a seat belt at all times.
I have not been to Indonesia but an indon colleague told me that India is the worst. Did you watch slumdog millionaire? You will see a lot of crows in the city feeding on piles of trash everywhere.
You would notice that they dont have side mirrors on their cars because they come so close to each other when there is a jam and they are literally honking every min. So sit tight. But indians are generally skillful drivers
By the way, bring an electrical mosquito repellent. There are a lot of mossies everywhere, in the taxis, in the office and even in some hotel rooms (I stayed in Marriot). I think I know where is hyatt. Not a bad hotel
Enjoy Milo! I just came back from a holiday there... I go there often as I have some aunts and uncles living there. I love the place really.. Its chaotic and noisy and messy and CRAZY...but that's exactly what I love about it... Just make sure u stick to mineral water. If you visit shops/boutiques, they often ask u if u would like to have tea/coffee/juice. My advice is to decline politely because you can't be too sure of the water used in making these drinks... Don't eat the street food unless you are with someone who is certain that it is safe.
If you need to arrange for a cab, do get the hotel staff to assist and you could request for a 'cool cab' which is a proper air conditioned cab rather then their usual non-air-conditioned cabs. Traffic in Mumbai can be a pain and being in a 'cool cab' really helps when stuck in a bad traffic jam.
Mumbai has really interesting restaurants and great nightlife. If you have time you may wanna try the food at some of these places: Elco, Urban Tadka, PopTates....