My tour guide Hinesh and I standing in front of The Gateway of India Monument (surrounded by my collection of travel magnets!)
I was so excited to meet up with an old friend Hinesh, who is a local resident in the city of Mumbai, India and the founder of Indian Hippy. We had such a lovely time together that passed way too fast, but in the small amount of time we had we were able to visit some great sights, eat and drink at popular haunts, and get a good amount of conversation in. I was so thankful to have a a private tour of the city with a very special person!
Our first stop was beer at Leopold Cafe. Leopold’s is one of the oldest bars in Mumbai and also the starting place of the terrorist attacks in 2008. Look closely, the bullet holes can still be seen in the walls. It was a strange feeling to be dining there while sharing laughs and drinks once I was made aware of this fact.
From Leopold Cafe we walked around the corner to the gorgeous Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and roamed around inside, feeling like royalty.
Across from the Taj Mahal Palace is the Gateway of India monument which was crowded with hundreds of picture taking tourists from all walks of life. This is where we paid a few rupees to have our photo taken together and printed out right on the spot (as seen above).
While exploring, a little street girl wrapped flowers around my wrist in exchange for some rupees, and Hinesh and I had a good laugh when he later confessed to me that only men wear such flowers around their wrists – at strip clubs!
At Hinesh’s suggestion, we ate at the well known roadside restaurant Bademiya. Just like the locals. It was so good!
We had chicken seekh kabab…
…and chicken tikka kabab.
I really enjoyed exploring the city of Mumbai and I couldn’t have been more excited to have a local resident and friend show me around. There’s no better way to explore a new destination and feel like a local at the same time. Only a few hours in a day to take it all in simply wasn’t enough though, but I look forward to the day I get to go back again, hopefully on my own and not via cruise ship, where the boat sails on whether you’d like it to or not.