Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 18, 2017
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A Mumbai primer

The metropolitan area of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is home to close to 20 million people, making it one of the largest cities and economic drivers in the world, as well as the commercial and entertainment capital of India. This is the home of Bollywood, high-tech gurus, slums and skyscrapers.

The city has grown wildly and erratically, with some areas choked off by traffic and thriving new neighbourhood springing up in the most unexpected places. Mumbai (www.maharashtratourism.gov.in) is a great city — several great cities actually. A trip from the airport to the old centre of town can take up to two hours. As a result, there are now many Mumbais, each with its own feel. Three popular areas are:

The Gateway of India area is classic Mumbai, with imposing colonial buildings lining the graceful curve of Marine Drive, a wide boulevard with views out over the Arabian Sea, and the ports that made the city rich. This is tourist central. It is where the Taj Hotel was attacked, but the physical scars are already healing, and the hotel itself is back open for business.

Parel. About halfway between the Gateway and the airport is Parel. This once industrial area is now cleaning up and has become one of the city’s fastest-growing high-end business centres.

Airport area. Mumbai is a hustle, bustle (and even more hustle) sort of town. People don’t have a lot of time, so meetings are often held out near the airport to save visitors the long commute into town. As a result, the airport area itself is now booming, with some of the most luxurious and innovative hotels in the region.

Getting there
One of the best ways to get to India, especially if you are not heading to Mumbai or Delhi, is Emirates Airways (www.emirates.com). Because of the large Indian population working the Gulf, Emirates has an extensive network into India. From Toronto, there are direct flights to Dubai, and from there on to many normally complicated to reach destination throughout India. In the past few years, there has been an explosion of low-cost carriers in India and one-way tickets are now affordable, allowing you to easily hop around the country. To get an idea of available flights and costs visit www.yatra.com.

-- Cleo Paskal

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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