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City guide series recommendation

I was thinking of getting a Bombay/Mumbai city guide to keep in the guest room. So what is a good travel guide series to purchase, if any?

I’ve heard of Lonely Planet. Is that a good choice?

Yes Lonely Planet is a good choice

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Is http://www.amazon.in/Lonely-Planet-Mumbai-Travel-Guide/dp/1742208037 current?
Hmm, the Amazon reviews of the ebook version are not positive - https://www.amazon.com/Lonely-Planet-Mumbai-Travel-Guide-ebook/dp/B008F257R6

Are there any tour magazines printed for your town? That produce travel maps, etc? My husband and I spent a weekend in a hotel down in DC and we found magazines by a company called NOW. I contacted them and they sent me a lot of free maps and magazines.

Tour bus companies may be a good place to start. Their maps are usually pretty good. Perhaps these people (http://www.grandmumbai.com/mumbai-day-tour.html) would have such things that they will share with you (so your guests will purchase their tours).

Then you’ll have something your guests can take with them for the day.

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I would not buy a guide, but make one yourself.

Make a folder with nice places, you thing the guests should visit.
Take them of the paven path, away from the herd, and show them “the real Mumbay”.

If a guest ask me about nice places to visit, I always point them at places that are just as nice as the main tourist locations, but less crowded.

Hi @dcmooney,

Thanks for the ideas. I could look for a map book. I used to have quite nice ones for the NC area. But I don’t know what India has to offer. I’m not sure about asking tour bus companies, but it’s an idea. I could also see if there happens to be a GPS device available with maps in it. Those things are even more useful.

Apropos of nothing, that page you pointed me to has an impressive number of errors on it. That’s hardly uncommon here, but it might be a bit worse than average.

Thanks for the suggestions, @Chris, but I know very little about this city, and don’t get out much. Because when I do get out, it horrifies me. So, while I think a pre-canned guide is perhaps a little impersonal, it would be more effective than my feeble attempts to marshal what little I know into a guide.

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Monocle, as usual, has a good one pager.
https://monocle.com/workspace/uploads/file/25-25/mumbai_layout-1-5319f2bb882c2.pdf

If shipping wasn’t so expensive, I would gladly pick up any travel guides for Mumbai for you at the thrift stores! When I went to Italy, what we used most in Rome (really, all of the cities) were the maps. We sometimes asked our hosts for restaurant recommendations but mostly we just wandered around and chose a restaurant randomly. We also used the guidebooks for the history of sites, gardens, churches, museums and such. Lonely Planet was good, but I can’t remember if it had a good map.

For staying inside, you can always put a copy of the Kamasutra in the guest room. :joy:

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LOL. But the Kamasutra is outdated. Or so I’m told.

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Thanks, sandy2. I spent a little time looking for GPS devices, but it’s not clear how good the electronic maps of this city are. Apparently the best available ones are the OpenStreetMaps, which is not encouraging. But I can also look for paper map books.

EDIT: I ordered http://www.amazon.in/Mapmy-India-Mumbai-City-Maps/dp/819242572X on Amazon, even though, in the great tradition of India being India, I was unable to find out how many pages the map book was.

Faheem: “…when I do get out, it horrifies me.”

At first I laughed ~ but what do you mean? Isn’t where you live your home turf and where you grew up?

I know that we’re sort of pressured by Airbnb to provide as much information and as many personal services as we can but I find that most guests (or even all?) have researched the area on the internet prior to coming here. We have a custom made booklet showing our favourite places but quite often guests tell me about great restaurants and locations they have found!

@faheem - do you have a local library? They often have tourist information brochures that you can just pick up.

True. But it’s still a ghastly place, all in all. Some parts are less ghastly than others, though.

Yes, there are certainly local libraries. But I find myself too lazy to use libraries like I used to. All that going there, selecting stuff, returning it. Who has time for that? It’s the 21st Century. I want to click buttons! And I don’t feel pressured by Airbnb - who cares what they think?

A map book seems like a good idea, at any rate. I’ve never owned one of this city. I have fond memories of my Triangle map books, though.

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It’s okay not to know much about your area in the beginning of hosting. There were many things in my area I had no idea about. I knew of obvious major attractions, etc. but I didn’t realize there were so many other things that my area had to offer. After booking I would ask guests if they had questions about local activities, area restaurants, etc. This forced me to learn about my area.

When they replied, then I would google, and at least I am familiar with the geography - so I already know what is reasonable driving distance, and what not to recommend. These are some of the things I learned:

  1. The best restaurant in the area (for couples) is only 3 miles from the rental. This restaurant just is not that talked about, and I had forgotten it even existed…as it is part of a bed and breakfast. I still periodically check the reviews just to be sure they haven’t changed to poor management.

  2. There are vineyards not too far from me. And a new wine tour service opened, and agreed to pick up my guests directly from the cabin and drop back off (at no extra charge) for an all day wine tour. Otherwise, my guests would have to drive a half or so to meet at the tour bus, and then worry about driving back with a buzz.

  3. I had no idea where to fish (I loathe fishing) and learned of the different fishing spots, where to buy a fishing license, where to purchase bait, etc. That was a PITA and not as easy as I thought it would be. But glad I “seem” knowledgeable about it now.

  4. Learned of many kid activities in the surrounding area that I had no idea about, or had forgotten about.

Initially I picked up free brochures from the visitor centers and restaurant menus, etc. I have a brochure holder, and then guests for the most part have been maintaining it themselves. They bring menus, etc. - even magazine guides, etc. I just go through and throw out the old ones.

I would be afraid someone would put a “tour book” in their purse and forget to return it.

Hi @cabinhost,

Actually, guests don’t often ask me for information about the city. Apparently my cluelessness is apparent. I’m surprised you ask guests if they have questions about the area - I’d wait to be asked.

Apologies for the dumb question, but how do you know it is the best restaurant?

The restaurants here are (a) mediocre and (b) overpriced. Have I mentioned that I’m cheap?

Vineyards are cool.

Not a bad idea, but that would be work. Have I mentioned that I’m lazy?

Yes, people can always go off with your books. But that’s always a possibility with any small movable item. If someone swipes my map book, they’d going to go home with my curse on their heads.

We encourage people to take ours. :slight_smile:

It’s a souvenir of their stay and it also has our website address on the back so that if they want to book again (cutting out the middle-man) they can do so.

You have your own personal map book? Impressive. Do you have it printed specially?

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