As the title suggests we weren't overly impressed with Mumbai. I've been here before on my previous trip and only stayed one night because it's that bad. The train station is in the top 10 things to do! Followed by a park...etc you get the picture.
Already knowing there wasn't much to get up to other than spend money, we'd planned to be in and out in a day.
We arrived from Pune around 11pm and headed to Colaba, the tourist district. This is home to the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, and for just £400 per night you can have a royal experience. Of course, if you're on a budget you could always stay in one of the cheaper £200 per night rooms situated OUTSIDE of the actual palace. I'm fairly certain (The internet had gone down at the time of writing) that this was also the location for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, as such the whole area is on lock down.
I stayed in this area on my last trip at “Red shield guest house” or the salvation army as it's commonly known. The bunks are 350rs and a basic double room is 1300rs. Luckily as we were discussing the prices etc a bloke from the street popped his head through the door and told us of a place down the road with a double for 700rs, so I went to check it out. After the man had tried (and failed! Terrible deal) to sell us some ganja we took the room at hotel Prosser's.
Looking in the guide book for things to do, your options are very limited, despite Mumbai having it's own chapter in the guide book! The Elephanta caves are the only thing that look interesting, especially having been told they rival the caves at Ellora and Ajanta. It's not a bad place, it's just that it doesn't have anything you can't find in any other city in the world. There's nothing special about it.
So we went to check out the caves at Elephanta, an hours boat ride away. It would've taken about 20 minutes had the boat not been a piece of garbage! They were that old I reckon the ancients used the same ones!
While I'd been seeing my friend in Pune, Dave had been over to Ellora and Ajanta. The ones at Elephanta aren't anywhere near as good. There's only one caves that's impressive! The boat ticket to the island is 180rs return for “luxury”....I don't think there's actually a difference, you just get on the boat. Then when you arrive on the island there's a 5rs “tourist tax” I'm sure that's not a thing. THEN! They wanted 500rs entry, luckily the guy heard me complain of the price compared to Indians (30rs) and he gave us the tickets for 350rs each.
Unless you really
like ancient caves I wouldn't bother going. Like I said there's only one cave that's good, the others have been started and left unfinished, like lots of ancient caves here. One of them, the last one, was literally a normal cave with a Shiva phallus inside!
Needless to say we got out as quickly as possible. We'd been trying on Cleartrip (India's version of the trainline site) to book a ticket from Mumbai to Satna for three days, even been to the train station in Pune, to no avail.
We got the ticket straight away in Mumbai, at the latest time we'd tried. I think some stations and cleartrip don't have access to the foreign tourist quota of tickets.
From Satna we have to get a three and a half hour bus ride to Khajuraho, to see some ancient Karma Sutra temples.
While wondering around Mumbai waiting for the train we stumbled across a shop selling chocolate hobnobs! A silver lining in an otherwise drab few days.
In other news we've booked a flight from Kolkata to Myanmar for 29th
May. Just over three weeks left in India!
Tot: 1.216s; Tpl: 0.013s; cc: 13; qc: 53; dbt: 0.0147s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb