Bombay is wildly, magnificently alive. When you first arrive, you’ll think there’s no escape from the deafening traffic and fierce heat, but then you’ll discover the leafy suburbs and the endless colonial arcades of the town and think you’ve found peace at last. But around each corner is a tout waiting to dig into your pockets or a gaggle of teenagers playing truant and you’ll realize that even in it’s quietest moments, this is a city that constantly thrums with life, against all odds.
– Travel in a local train. Preferably not at rush hour, but be sure to keep your eyes, ears and nose wide open!
– Find your way to the sea face and watch the effect it has on tired employees, over excited toddler, clandestine couples and street hawkers alike.
– Attend a concert or check out one of the great local bars. Get on the scene and meet people, they’re what make up the heart and soul of the city.
-Talk to your taxi drivers, they’re always willing to share a conversation after a long day of dodging deranged pedestrians
– Take a cycle tour through the old colonial area in South Bombay, either at dawn or midnight
– Take a slum tour, especially if you have children with you.
– Catch a ferry and sail away from the urbane towards the historic Elephanta caves across the bay
Recommended period of stay: 2-4 days