Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is by far the most diverse city in terms of rich and poor. Upon arriving by train, you are welcomed by the shocking sight of the slums stretching for miles, completely surrounded by rubbish and dirty water. It was quite hard to see if I am being honest, but twenty minutes in a taxi later and it was as if we had entered a completely different city. Mumbai had transformed into something quite spectacular. The buildings were tall and magnificent, the people dressed smartly and the strong smell from the slums had disappeared.
Taj Hotel (Palace & Tower)
Close to the Gateway of India, the architectural jewel of Mumbai, the Taj Hotel is a landmark in itself. The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel has a ‘new’ wing called the Tower. The architectural design is significantly different making it a sight worth seeing. Many famous and important individuals have stayed at this glorious 5-star hotel and you don’t have to be a customer to enter the premises.
Return boat ticket from Gateway of India to Elephanta Island - 210 rupees per person. Entry to Elephanta Caves, a staggering 600 rupees per person (only 40 rupees for locals)
Personally, I didn’t think the 810 rupees for transport and entry were worth it at all. The boat journey was horrendous, overcrowded and quite frankly, it felt very unsafe. People were vomiting off the boat on the return journey due to the very choppy waters. The caves were just caves with not much to see or learn really. Very damp and full of crazy monkeys stealing from people, although that part was actually fun. To get to the caves, you have to embark on a 15-minute stair climb. It’s sweltering hot with nowhere to hide and you get hounded to buy lord knows what, the entire time – not my idea of fun!
One positive was the food! At the end of the market hike, there was a restaurant on the corner bustling with people so we waited in line to see what all the fuss was about. The atmosphere was great, the food was delicious and after all that sun, the ice cream deserts were more than necessary.
Getting down with the locals
The typical hustle – bustle in the streets of India. Everyone was smiling but still going about their day. Along the way, you could stop and try some local grub or pop in a shop and see what they have to offer.
This was by far my favourite day. It started off with a guided tour to some of the sights plus a long walk around the city. Once the tour was over, a few of us chose to hang around with the guide to grab dinner and some drinks in a local pub. The afternoon turned into a late one, where we ended up being escorted to the beach area for further local food tastings and a walk by the water. Lovely way to end our stay in Mumbai.
I don’t remember all of the food we tried that night but I do remember it being spicy as hell and absolutely scrumptious!!! It was an eat till you burst kinda deal. We kept ordering more and more before we finally rolled back to the hotel. The locals definitely found it interesting watching us demolish a buffet of food whilst wafting our mouths to cool them down haha.
Streets of Mumbai
The next few pictures are just some snaps from the walking tour. I really enjoyed photographing these wonderful pieces of architecture and noticing the diversity of this great city.
Could you have guessed the interior of this church?
I had low expectations and was blown away!
I have no idea what this building was/is used for but for some reason I took many photos of it. It’s just so odd amongst the other buildings. It resembles a castle or something.