Ok, so I have been travelling through India for some time now and my séjour in a big city meant some luxuries could be afforded.
We explored the rawest parts of Mumbai.
Even if only for one night, a bed with a view overlooking the Arabian Sea was not half-bad. This is the raw Mumbai experience and how I did it in five star luxury.
I stayed at the Trident Nariman Point, adjacent to Oberoi (operated by the same owners). The five-star luxury hotel was everything I expected and more. (Some Indian cricket team were staying there, too!)
Arriving quite early, I went to the front desk to make a booking. The man handed me a business card with a phone number, apparently all bookings must go through the call centre. WTF!?
I eventually booked through Booking.com and proceeded to check-in. Being so early, the room wasn’t ready yet, so they comp’d me a lush buffet breakfast.
Then because I had to ‘wait so long’ for the room to be made up, they comp’d me wifi, breakfast the next day, and super late checkout (5PM)! I kept asking myself, What is my life?
I met up with a Couchsurfing host, Ritesh and his couchsurfer, Richard. We explored the rawest parts of Mumbai.
Dhobi Ghat is the world’s largest open-air laundry, servicing hospitals, hotels and many large clients will huge laundry requirements. The closest station was Lakshmi on the metro.
Their wares displayed proudly under the Indian sun and honoured by a salute of a million flies.
In this area, the markets are literally all over the street- on the floor, in the shops, on the kerb, wherever there was space to sell something, there was a shop.
We passed chicken butchers, goat butchers, and other meat producers – their wares displayed proudly under the Indian sun and honoured by a salute of a million flies.
Goat meat and entrails lay bare. Goat heads stacked high – I walked past once and saw the faces staring blankly back at me – I walked past on the other side and saw where the neck had once joined the shoulders.
All of this set against the high rise skyline of the modern city, a stark contrast between old and new. Perhaps it was a contrast of cultures too.
To escape the rawness presented to us on a silver platter, we ducked into the luxury Palladium Shopping Mall, boasting a five-star luxury hotel above it. There we were superstars for a moment, just missing the appearance of Miss Vogue.
India Gate was on the menu. Later on I met up with a friend of a friend, Priyal a young bubbly and ambitious gujarati. We walked down Colaba Market where you could find anything and everything you ever wanted to buy.
Just for kicks, here is a picture of the railway station at midnight.