Victoria Station, Bombay, India (Corbis)

Mumbai, Chowpatty Beach (iStockphoto)

Arial view of Mumbai, with all its beauty at night (iStockphoto)

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Alistair rates Mumbai (Bombay)
I was in Mumbai over ten years ago so bet things have changed a LOT, but I loved the energy and atmosphere of the place. The area around the Gateway of India archway was always bustling plus had loads of good restaurants, hotels, and cafes. We stayed at the Salvation Army hostel for a couple of nights, which was cheap but pretty grungy (I got bed bugs). My advice: pay a little extra for a hotel with clean sheets and air-conditioning. One fun thing about hostel was this is where Bollywood producers recruit extras when they need Westerners in a scene (my friend got a part in Hero Hindustani as "rude Westerner in queue"!). The boat ride out to Elephanta Island was a fun trip -- the grottoes and carvings here are amazing, though watch out for aggressive monkeys. Take a walk along the promenade in the evening and enjoy the crowds and sunset.
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