Hear about travel to Mumbai India as the Amateur Traveler talks to Stephanie Hays of RealityToursAndTravel.com about travel to this crowded, noisy, vibrant city. With the background sounds of the horns of auto rickshaws we find out why a girl from Chattanooga, Tennessee ended up in India’s largest city.
When Stephanie and her husband missed the experience of learning something new every day they got jobs in India. “People should come to India period. I think Mumbai gets overlooked a little. I think Dehli has more of the history. It’s the capital. There’s tons of sites. Mumbai as a whole is just an exciting vibrant city, but it’s a little bit trickier to discover. It’s hands down my favorite city in India.”
We go on a virtual early morning bike ride with Stephanie through the streets and markets of South Mumbai at 6am to avoid the traffic and the heat of the day. She takes us to the Gateway to India, past the Taj Hotel and through Fort. We pass Mumba Devi Temple which Mumbai is named after. We pass people opening their shops, showering in the streets, sweeping up bits of gold of the streets of the jewelry area. “Some of these places if you went back to it at noon, you wouldn’t recognize it, you wouldn’t be able to walk down the street.”
Stephanie directs us to the cow shelter in the middle of the city which houses over 300 cows. “You can feed all these cows because of course that is an important part of Indian Hindu culture and not something you expect to find in the middle of a city with 20 million people.” Marine Drive is the next stop which is an “iconic 3 kilometer stretch of road along the sea. Mumbai is on the sea and very long and narrow. This is a sea promenade, so it’s where you’ll see couples hanging out and old people walking, people selling food.” It has “a lot of Art Deco buildings. Sometimes they call it the Maimi of Dubai.”
Sassoon Docks is Stephanie’s favorite place in the city which is a large wholesale fish market. “There’s hundreds of people selling fish and peeling shrimp. They go out on these wooden boats into the sea for 7-10 days at a time. It’s a colorful place, full of activity and full of lots of terrible smells and slimy fish and things so it’s not for everyone. I am fascinated by it every single time.”
Stephanie tells us what type of fruit to buy at the Crawford Market as well as what street food to try and what to avoid. We talk about the Dabbawallas system which deliver lunch boxes across the city. We look down at the world’s largest open air laundry at Dhobi Ghat. We end our trip with sunset at Chaupati.
Reality Tours & Travel
Guide to Mumbai
Gateway of India
Mumba Devi Temple
Prince of Wales Museum
Raj Mandir Cinema, Jaipur
Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Bandra-Worli Sea Link
My boyfriend and I have just finished an amazing two week vacation in Namibia. I wanted to drop you a quick note of thanks for the great podcast you did about this country. Before embarking on the trip we listened to your interview with Jason, Carla and Janie, which not only cemented our decision to include Namibia in our southern Africa itinerary, but guided our planning. There were several instances over the course of our travels when their experiences came up in our discussions… we felt like we knew them by the end of the trip as we had had so many shared experiences!
Your podcast is a perfect 2 mile walk for me. It was also the first podcast that i subscribed. Love it. Thx.