Realistically, what should I expect going to Mumbai?

Realistically, what should I expect going to Mumbai?

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    If you're white, expect absolutely everyone to be hounding you to buy their shit or offering awful services. Everyone will be trying to scam you and get money out of you.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      lol, not really.

      I'm white, and have been all over India. If you're visiting and traveling a tourist circuit, touts can be a big annoyance in certain cities. Delhi, for instance, is particularly bad--especially the area around Paharganj, Connaught Place, and the railway station. Big-name destinations in Rajasthan are also rife with annoyances, with the same going for Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh.

      You might run into a handful of touts and con artists around the Gateway of India and CSMT, both in the southern part of the city, but it's absolutely nothing compared to Delhi and other places in the north. Of course, street vendors and taxi drivers will still try to overcharge you, which is to be expected almost everywhere (though Mumbai cab drivers and auto-walas do a somewhat better job of going "by the meter" than elsewhere).

      India is probably one of the easiest countries in the world to interact with normal local people. Avoiding folks with bad intent isn't hard, as long as you aren't a mouth-breather who thinks the guys running up to you to say, "I look your shoes, bro. Which country? First time in India?", are trying to do anything other than take you for a ride.

      So far as beggars as vendors go: literally just ignore them. Shake your head, click your tongue, and then pretend like they don't exist--nine times out of ten, they'll disappear instantly. And those who don't aren't going to assault you or start rifling through your pockets--they'll just stand there and stare at you pleadingly before eventually moving on to somebody else.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Are pickpockets or snatchers an issue in Mumbai or India in general?

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Yes and yes, but to varying extents. I’ll write a more detailed reply once I’m home in another hour or so.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Yes and yes, but to varying extents. I’ll write a more detailed reply once I’m home in another hour or so.

          So I've never had any big problems with crime in Mumbai, nor do I know anyone who's reported being mugged.

          You'd likely be fine taking the same precautions there that you would in the United States or other parts of the Western world. Even if muggings and armed robberies may occur, they don't happen with anything near the same frequency as they do in many parts of Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Armed robbery isn't something I've ever worried about, and it isn't something I'd advise taking special precautions against.**

          In my experience, foreign visitors in all parts of India are most vulnerable to the following:
          >crimes of opportunity and circumstance: pickpocketing in busy markets or crowded trains, or situations in which you might briefly leave valuables unattended in a bus, train, or other easily- and publicly-accessible space--having said that, I wouldn't worry about leaving electronics, etc, in your hotel (unless you're staying in a total dump)
          >crimes of deception and misrepresentation: travel agency scams, and other hustles run by tourism industry-affiliated touts. These are very, very common around Paharganj in Delhi and other neighborhoods frequented by larger volumes of foreign tourists. Just don't be a moron, and remain skeptical of everyone who approaches you to offer unsolicited advice or start a conversation. Indians are typically curious and reasonably accommodating of foreigners, but unless you're in a village or small town, nobody is going to drop whatever they're doing to go bother a tourist who's walking around and minding their own business.

          India is a very large country, so there are obviously exceptions to everything I've written. For example, there are neighborhoods within Delhi--and, especially, in its satellite cities--that are best avoided late at night. Ghaziabad and Greater Noida both have reputations for muggings, carjackings, and other forms of criminal activity.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Are pickpockets or snatchers an issue in Mumbai or India in general?

            cont.
            There are other and more serious risks in other parts of the country. North India, as a whole, has higher crime rates than other parts of the country. If you had a motorcycle and wanted to ride through Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand, then staying off rural and isolated roads late at night would be a good idea--aside from there being shit-tons of drunk drivers, banditry (or dacoity), is not unheard of.

            So far as snatching goes: you can't rule it out, but it really depends where you're at. Phone-snatching has become fairly common throughout many parts of Delhi, but I don't think it's as prevalent in more affluent parts of Mumbai (e.g., around the Gateway of India). Similarly, I lived in another Tier-1 city for several years, and I could pretty much go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted, without having to worry about much of anything.

            tl;dr: if you're a man and traveling by yourself (or with other men), then you don't really have to take precautions beyond what you would in other parts of the world. Be conscious of where you keep your wallet in phone in crowded areas--front pocket is the best pocket--and don't stick your phone out the side of an auto or taxi to take pictures or videos (but you'd probably be fine even if you did.

            Biggest risk is always getting scammed, tricked, or overcharged--and you can't do much about the latter, other than acquaint yourself with pricing standards. If you spend more than a couple weeks in India, you'll very quickly learn to spot travel agency touts etc from a distance, as most of them follow the same borderline-scripted approach.

            • 1 month ago
              Anonymous

              I have indian in-laws so I visit frequently and I can agree with this guy. Something to add though is that there is a much higher risk for women though. Solo-travelling women can be ok but should really be aware of their environment, avoid very crowded places (public transport during rush hour for instance) and might hire a private guide when visiting popular tourist destinations (it's dirt cheap from a western perspective anyway). The harassment stories are real and a legit danger, especially in Delhi.

              And yeah, avoid certain areas in Delhi like the plague such as Noida (Delhiites will be mad now but it is one big urban area anyways) and faridabad, but there isn't anything of touristic interest there so yeah.

              • 1 month ago
                Anonymous

                >Something to add though is that there is a much higher risk for women though.
                I'm the same anon, and I'd agree with this--which is why, when talking when about travel in India, I almost always qualify my advice with statements like "for men" and "as a man."

                everywhere outside the west is like this
                got to accept it at some point unless you're happy never leaving the west

                Also, this.

                India does have its own issues, as well as problems that are more pronounced there than developing countries with comparable population densities. Your mindset, and your willingness to tolerate often-mindless inconvenience, could well dictate whether you enjoy yourself or have any desire to go back. It isn't for everyone, and I don't think it's a good place for people who want a wholly hassle-free holiday.

                By and large, I've not met very many foreign tourists in India who actually hated the place. I've found that most folks fall into one of two categories: those who love it to the point of almost intentionally overlooking or excusing its flaws, and those who say things along the lines of, "It's a very interesting country, but I don't think I need to go back for a second visit."

                So I think it just depends on a prospective visitor's attitude. I've spent enough time in India that it feels a bit like a second home--I can speak Hindi, understand a handful of other languages, and generally feel at-ease no matter where I am. And I'll stand by what I said about it being one of the easiest countries in the world to meet genuinely friendly local people with no ulterior motivations.

                IME, as annoying as touts can be for first-time visitors, the average Indian is either ambivalent to the presence of visitors, or--if given the opportunity--will go far out of their way to offer assistance, share whatever they can about their culture, and try to leave guests with a positive impression of their country.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >just constantly react to the constant bombardment of human scum demanding your attention bro
        No thanks, I'll just not go

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          It’s by no means constant, lol.

          But if you don’t want to go, then don’t go—nobody is asking you to visit a country you don’t think you’d enjoy visiting.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          everywhere outside the west is like this
          got to accept it at some point unless you're happy never leaving the west

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    [...]

    >a lot of young people go there for university so the city had a reputation for being a giant university town
    what a fricking dunce, lol

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Sorry anon. I was hung over from last night.

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