World ? Asia ? India ? Mumbai

Mumbai: Fast Facts

Airlines -- Domestic airlines connect Mumbai to nearly every corner of the subcontinent. For the best service, try Kingfisher Airlines (tel. 022/6649-9393 or 1800/180-0101; www.flykingfisher.com) or Jet Airways (tel. 022/3989-3333 or 1800/225-522; www.jetairways.com). Indian (tel. 022/2202-3031 or 1800/180-1407; www.indianairlines.in) is the state-owned carrier with a wide network and somewhat indifferent service. The slew of new low-cost airlines includes Air Deccan (tel. 98-9257-7008 or 080/3900-8888), SpiceJet (tel. 1800/180-3333; www.spicejet.com), GoAir (tel. 1800/222-111 or 09223/222-111; www.goair.in), and IndiGo (tel. 99-1038-3838 or 800/180-3838; http://book.goindigo.in). Jet Lite (the erstwhile Air Sahara; tel. 1800/22-3020; www.jetlite.com) is a low-cost airlines run by Jet Airways.

Ambulance -- Dial tel. 102 or 105 (for a cardiac ambulance). You can also contact Bacha's Nursing Home (La Citadelle, New Marine Lines; tel. 022/2203-2977 or 022/2200-0963) or Bombay Hospital (12 New Marine Lines; tel. 022/2206-7676). Or try Swati Ambulance (tel. 022/2387-1215), which has 24-hour service.

American Express -- The office is near the Jehangir Art Gallery at Kala Ghoda (Trade Wings Ltd., 30 K Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda; tel. 022/6634-4334). Hours are Monday to Saturday 10:30am to 6:00pm.

Area Code -- The area code for Mumbai is 022.

ATMs -- Undoubtedly the most convenient way to get local currency, ATMs are to be found throughout the city, most of them with 24-hour security guards. Your best bet for a quick transaction is to head for an ATM belonging to either HDFC, HSBC, ICICI, SBI, or Standard Chartered banking system.

Bookstores -- Crossword Bookstore (Mohammedbhai Mansion, Kemps Corner, below flyover; tel. 022/2384-2001 through -2004) has a Western ambience and Mumbai's largest selection of books. Alternatively, stop at Shankar's Book Stall (tel. 92-2411-1790), a tiny stall just outside Cafȳ Mondegar, Colaba Causeway; or at Strand Book Stall (Sir PM Rd., Fort; tel. 022/2266-1994 or -1719), which offers books at great discounts. Inside the Taj Mahal Hotel is Nalanda (tel. 022/2287-1306), a good spot to shop for coffee-table books and travel-related selections.

Consulates -- U.S.: Lincoln House, 78 Bhulabhai Desai Rd., Breach Candy (tel. 022/2363-3611 through -3618); Monday to Friday 8:30am to 1pm and 1:45 to 5pm; closed second and last Fridays of the month and on Indian and American national holidays. U.K.: Second floor, Maker Chambers IV, J. B. Marg, 521 Nariman Point (tel. 022/6650-2222); Monday to Thursday 8am to 4pm and Friday 8am to 1pm. Australia: Maker Chamber VI, Nariman Point (tel. 022/6669-2000); Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Canada: Fort House, sixth floor, 221 D.N. Rd., Fort (tel. 022/6749-4444); Monday to Thursday 9am to 5:30pm; Friday 9am to 3pm. South Africa: Gandhi Mansion, Altamount Road, near Kemp's Corner (tel. 022/2351-3725); Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm.

Currency Exchange -- Thomas Cook India is located in the Thomas Cook Building, Dr. D. Naoroji Road, Fort (tel. 022/2204-8556), and is open Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 6pm. Or head to the American Express Office (details above).

Directory Assistance -- The main directory inquiry number is tel. 197 (if you can get through). For talking Yellow Pages service or any other useful information, call the much more helpful Just Dial Services at tel. 022/2888-8888, Times Infoline at tel. 022/6700-5555, or DNA Infoline at tel. 022/2666-6666.

Drugstores -- In South Mumbai, Bombay Hospital Chemist (tel. 022/2206-7676) is open 24 hours. Near Juhu, call Empire Chemists (tel. 022/2671-8970).

Hospitals -- Breach Candy Hospital, 60 Warden Rd., Breach Candy (tel. 022/2367-1888 or -2888; casualty 022/3667-809), is open 24 hours and is one of the most advanced and reliable hospitals in Mumbai. Bombay Hospital, 12 New Marine Lines (tel. 022/2206-7676), is more centrally located and has a 24-hour ambulance service. Near Bandra/Juhu, Lilavati Hospital (tel. 022/2643-8281 or -8282) is a modern facility.

Internet Access -- For a cheap (about Rs 30/70Ţ/40p per hour), reliable connection, pop into LSM PCO Service, Shop no. 7B Abubakar Mansion, Mahakavi Bhushan Rd., Colaba (tel. 022/2202-2452). Open daily 9am to 11pm, it's just around the corner from Cafȳ Mondegar. For better broadband speeds, try Amrut Cyberworld Cybercafȳ near Churchgate Station (8 Prem Court, behind Samrat Hotel; tel. 022/2284-0174).

Newspapers & Magazines -- For the scoop on day-to-day city news, buy a copy of the local rag Mid Day, sold on street corners and at intersections from early in the morning. The Times of India and Hindustan Times are both good national dailies that provide the lowdown on current and social events. Time Out Mumbai is a twice-monthly magazine that has the best listings of events and happenings, as well as interesting city features.

Police -- Call tel. 1090 for a general police emergency number. Local numbers are: Colaba tel. 022/2285-6817; Cuffe Parade tel. 022/2218-8009; Juhu tel. 022/2618-4308; Khar tel. 022/2649-6030; Malabar Hill tel. 022/2363-7571; Andheri tel. 022/2683-1562.

Post Office -- You'll find the General Post Office near Victoria Terminus, off Nagar Chowk (tel. 022/2262-0956). It's open Monday to Saturday 9am to 8pm.

Restrooms -- Make full use of your bathroom facilities before you head out for a day of sightseeing. Use only restrooms in hotels and upmarket restaurants.

Travel Agencies -- Contact IATA-affiliated NAC Travels Pvt Ltd, 412 Raheja Centre, Nariman Point (tel. 022/2202-8810; nactravels@vsnl.net), or the dependable Travel Corporation of India (TCI) in the Chandermukhi Building (first floor), also at Nariman Point (tel. 022/2202-1881 or -7120). On Colaba Causeway, near Cafȳ Mondegar, is Uniglobe Venture Travel Services (Metro House, Colaba; tel. 022/2287-6666), which offers reliable ticketing and other travel-related services. Most travel agents will arrange to deliver tickets to your hotel.

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