Mumbai, India travel tips

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Look for a hotel in Kala Ghoda, as this neighborhood is a center of cultural activity, with numerous art galleries and boutiques.

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A taxi, private car, or the BEST buses are the best ways to see the city.

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If you don't mind them, wear Indian clothing. They're comfortable, and you'll stand out less as someone who is obviously foreign.

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As with any destination, avoid deserted areas, especially at night.

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Sad to say, but women traveling on their own in India should be careful of how they interact with men, especially men who appear to be homeless or vagrants.

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Cell phones are essential in India. You can buy a cheap one once you get there, or buy a SIM card to use in your own.

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Women should dress modestly and refrain from wearing anything to tight or revealing.

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If you're a woman traveling alone, always let someone know where you're going and if leaving a bar or restaurant alone, have someone walk with you to your car or taxi.

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A rule of thumb for bargaining is to offer one-tenth of the price, and then maybe settle for two-tenths.

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There is a phone app called Sit or Squad that can help you find toilets in India.

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Carry toilet paper or tissues with you, as many bathrooms won't have it. When you're done, put it in the wastebasket rather than flushing it and stopping up the plumbing.

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Try a TukTuk rickshaw, which is much cheaper than taxis and can accommodate two or three people and luggage.

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If you buy something large and need to ship it back home, there are stores that specialize in doing this. Be sure to get a receipt for shipment.

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If a shopkeeper asks if it's your first time in India, they are probably assessing what to charge you. It may seem harmless, but try to avoid a direct answer.

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Watch your change when paying for goods or services. If you feel that you've been shortchanged, stand your ground and be insistent.

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Remember that train stations and many other establishments have separate lines for foreigners. They may also have different rates for foreigners.

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If traveling by train, book in advance--at least a week--if you want a seat in one of the better cars.

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Trains in India generally stop only for a short time. So if you're not familiar with the station, get there early so you can be sure to find your platform before the train leaves.

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Cities like Mumbai can be quite crowded and noisy, so if you're a light sleeper, you might want to bring ear plugs for sleeping.

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Be prepared for the power to go out. Electricity is sometimes shut off between certain hours every day.

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