Tuesday 23 September 2008

Traveling India: Stage 6: Mumbai

The last three days in Bombay have been lovely. Not only the city is really great, but we've enjoyed the greatest hospitality from our friends here. Leti's friend, active in the fashion business, offered us a small house in the north of mumbai where we could stay for free as long as we wanted. The place belonged to family that only uses it when they are in town, so we had our own quit place with all household facilities, in many aspects better than our own flat in Chennai.

The first day we ventured into the wholesale textile market of Mumbai and had great lunch, after a horrible bus ride from Udaipur (20 hours, cos a bridge collapsed somewhere on the way). In the evening we went to Colaba to meet my friends from Belgium who had arrived late from Zurich. The reunion was awesome and we had good fun and the next day, the guys also moved into the house where we stayed.

Clock Tower and Bombay Stock Exchange

Thanks to Thomas' business contact in Mumbai we had a car (a Toyata monovolume). fully air-conditioned and with a driver from the company who took us everywhere. We did a lot of luxury sightseeing, going from one place to the other and again had great lunch. His agent also took us out for dinner in the evening, to a pretty famous restaurant in Mumbai called 'Khyber'. Afterwards Leti's friend took us to a club called 'Hawaian Shack' which was also enjoyable but unfortunately closed early at 1:30am.

Bombay Skyline, Chowpatty Beach

Next day we had another day of sightseeing together with Thomas business contact and his driver and we got to see many nice places in Mumbai. Marina Drive ,Malabar Hill, Dhobi Ghat, Ratan Tata's office in the Bombay House, Victoria Station... we've seen it all. For a moment we could also forget we were poor backpackers, as we had a coffee in the Sea Lounge of the prestigious Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, with view on the Gateway of India and the Arabian Sea. We also visited the company offices in the financial center of the city.

Taj Palace

But enough luxury and free dinners for now, tonight the 4 of us are heading to Goa to enjoy some sun and beaches...

See ya!

Daravi, biggest slum of Asia, Mumbai

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