Snapshots and Stories from Mumbai

My last stop in India was Mumbai, I spent a few days here to rest and gather myself before leaving the country. By this point I was pretty exhausted and traveling through India had definitely taken a toll me. Looking back on my time in India, I think I moved through the country a bit too fast. I only spent about 3 to 4 days in each city which did not give me a lot of time to adjust to the fast paced and intimidating environment that permeates the big cities of India.

Regardless, I was still extremely excited to explore the city of Mumbai, I had heard and read so much about the city and wanted to experience a slice of this megalopolis for myself. Here are some snapshots and stories from my time in Mumbai:

My hostel in Mumbai had a rooftop patio that overlooked a busy side street full of shops and merchants. It was extremely lively and I spent a lot of time hanging out on the rooftop just people watching, occasionally going down to buy an ice cream bar from one of the shops.

I took the local train to get to the inner city. It was crowded but not as bad as I had imagined, I even found a seat. Saw a lot of poverty on these trains, including a little girl who could not have been more than 3 years old begging for money on the train. Broke my heart seeing that.

Got off at a place called Dhobi Ghat and walked around. There is a giant open air laundromat in this district and businesses from all over Mumbai send their laundry here to wash. It felt like everywhere you look in this already massive city, there's another giant building being constructed.

Advertisements by and for Bollywood hopefuls were plastered all over a bridge I walked over. It gave the wall an interesting look and I remember thinking that it would make a really cool backdrop for portrait photos.

I walked through a giant spacious park in the middle of the city where people were playing cricket or something, I don't know. It was pleasantly shocking to see such a vast open green space in this concrete jungle.

Made my way to the Gateway of India monument, from here I took a boat ferry to a little island off of Mumbai called Elephanta Island.

The ferry took a really long time, it felt like 2 hours. People were entertaining themselves by throwing food/snacks into the air around the boat which would make flocks of seagulls follow and dive bomb for the food. It was really fun to watch but I was disturbed by how casually so many people threw their chip bags and bottles off the boat and into the ocean after they were done.

Got off the boat and started exploring the island. The path through the island was lined with shops and merchants selling hats, food, clothes, sunglasses. Cows, dogs and monkeys also wandered the streets.

Monkeys waiting, ready to snatch food off of unsuspecting humans. I had bought an ice cream bar to eat because it was so hot and a monkey ran up to me and tried to climb my jacket to get it. Thank goodness I wasn't directly under a tree or they probably would've jumped me. I quickly retreated into the safety of a crowd of humans to finish my ice cream before moving on.

Attempted to visit some old cave ruins on the island which is the main attraction there but upon arriving I met some frustrated travelers who told me that the price to enter the caves if you're a foreigner, was more than 10x the price for locals. That felt bad and I'd seen enough old ruins on my trip so I just found a side path to a hill on the island and went for a little hike instead.

Found an old cannon on top of the hill and underneath it was a tunnel, maybe it used to be a barracks or housed ammunition. It was pretty sketchy.

A totally random group of people: an old man, 2 old ladies, and 2 siblings noticed the tunnel too and decided to explore it. I thought well if they're going in then I'm going too. We walked into the tunnel and got to an underground room, then something freaked out the people in front of me and we quickly left. I think it was bats.

Back to the main city, I went to a place called Marine Drive along the coast of Mumbai to catch the sunset.

A lot of pollution in the air unfortunately (not as bad as New Delhi though) but it made for a cool looking sunset at least.

Hung out around this area until dark and people watched. Chatted with a guy who came to Mumbai hoping to break into Bollywood but has been unsuccessful so far and was on the verge of giving up.

Took some skyline photos here too, it was really nice.

I was in Mumbai, India from December 5th, 2018 to December 8th, 2018. My next stop was Thailand