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Traveling to Mexico

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Traveling to Mexico

Postby eva03 on Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:53 am

So I'm trying to travel to Mexico in the next couple of weeks, anybody have any advice? I've heard it can be dangerous in border towns and Mexico city, I really just want to explore and wander for like two week sand maybe visit guatemala any advice would be much appreciated.
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Postby Trad on Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:54 am

Take someone else's credit card.
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Postby timpickens on Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:55 am

Take condoms
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Postby Nina on Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:56 am

Are you flying in, or are you driving?
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Postby benjaminwayne on Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:03 am

ive been only to border towns - Nogales and Mexicali. both were incredible. great food, cheap drink etc; went on a mountainous adventure one day too. we played in Mexicali, two shows that were pretty incredible too.
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Postby Sebastian J. on Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:30 am

no more dangerous than the states bro
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Postby scott on Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:10 am

If you go to Guatemala, check out Tikal. It's pretty fricken awesome. Only thing I would mention is that the whole area of northern Guatemala is pretty known for crime, from what I read 8 years ago anyway. Maybe it's better now?

When I went to Tikal, we were told to stay on the main paths in the complex. Apparently not too long before that time, a girl who had wandered off the main path (inside the temple complex mind you) and headed south instead of west like you're supposed to, she was raped and left for dead, something like that. That's what they told us. Maybe they were trying to scare us or something. Even if they were, I don't see any harm in just staying in the area where all the people are, where you're supposed to be. There's a ton of awesome ruins to check out.

On the bus ride up there (from Guatemala City, up to Flores) there was a point where we opted to just go ahead and get off the bus and sit in a random town waiting for the next one, because there was such a strong vibe that these four guys were about to rob the bus, which is something we were told is pretty commonplace for that particular bus. I dunno, maybe there's some reason that travel guides would want to lie and pretend that the area they're guiding you through has more crime than it really does? If so, I don't get it.

If you're from Atlanta, I would presume you're street smart enough to know how to carry yourself in a way that doesn't scream "hey, come mess with me cause I'm a target", right?

Don't dress fancy, don't look like you have a bunch of money, don't bust out your digital camera when it's not an appropriate and safe time to do so, don't look paranoid, don't look scared. Basically just play it safe, right?
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Postby crevecoeur on Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:48 am

I stayed in south Mexico for 1 year.

this is a very brutal country once you go out from the tourist's path.
Police is corrupted to the bone. there are tons of guns everywhere.
tourists buses are stop by road thiefs on a regular basis. Kidnapping all the time.

my advice,
avoid Mexico city, it's insanely crowdy,polluted and dangerous.

In mexico city a few friends of friends of mine back there, were shot in the head right in the middle of the day in a restaurant, just for looking "bad" to a guy who didn't like it...
seriously !

a good friend of mine, was also shoot in the head by his own bodyguard on New year 's eve, cause the guy was drunk and noisy and by 4:00 am my friend came to tell him to lower down. The guy didn't want to lower down and shoot him 3 times in the head. My friend was holding is 8 years old girl by the hand.

i left Mexico right after that.

beside of that, it's a beautifull country, full of history, people are very nice, cheap food, cheap everything....

I assume my description IS not acurate, but that's my experience with Mexico.
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Postby Heeby Jeeby on Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:28 am

crevecoeur wrote:I stayed in south Mexico for 1 year.

this is a very brutal country once you go out from the tourist's path.
Police is corrupted to the bone. there are tons of guns everywhere.
tourists buses are stop by road thiefs on a regular basis. Kidnapping all the time.

my advice,
avoid Mexico city, it's insanely crowdy,polluted and dangerous.

In mexico city a few friends of friends of mine back there, were shot in the head right in the middle of the day in a restaurant, just for looking "bad" to a guy who didn't like it...
seriously !

a good friend of mine, was also shoot in the head by his own bodyguard on New year 's eve, cause the guy was drunk and noisy and by 4:00 am my friend came to tell him to lower down. The guy didn't want to lower down and shoot him 3 times in the head. My friend was holding is 8 years old girl by the hand.

i left Mexico right after that.


Probably a good move.

crevecoeur wrote:beside of that, it's a beautifull country, full of history, people are very nice, cheap food, cheap everything....


Wow. Way more understanding that most people I'd imagine.
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Postby crevecoeur on Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:38 am

i was very sad to leave, cause i loved my life in the sun back there !

but i decided that i couldn't live anymore in a country where you can be shot in the head just by looking randomly at someone in a taco bar.
Period.

but again, that's only my experience, and my approach of it.
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Postby Heeby Jeeby on Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:24 am

Its very rare in my experience that people can see by their own limited experiences of a country and maintain an objective view. This is especially true in a situation like yours, with such incredible levels of violence.

I genuinely think this is an admirable trait in a person.
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Postby MF on Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:17 am

I spent a week in Mexico City - in the historic center - and absolutely loved it. I am going back in August. To not visit Mexico City would be to miss a ton of incredible art and culture.

It is chaotic, it is polluted, but I loved the density and energy of street culture there. It has real vitality.

I felt quite safe there. I took obvious precautions (didn't walk around in a Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt, baseball hat and shorts while listening to an iPod, didn't walk alone wasted at night, didn't try to buy drugs and sleep with a prostitute, etc.). It's very calm and quiet in the mornings there, before the vendor mania starts up.

Aside from almost being bitten by a very protective and ugly little dog, and aside from wondering down one street that I could immediately tell I should get the hell off of, it felt good to be there and I can't wait to go back.

Not to deny the experiences described elsewhere, but I loved it there and can't wait to go back.
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Postby crevecoeur on Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:49 am

also, i forgot to mention,
be very carefull about which taxi you are taking,
back in those days there was a lot of fake taxis,
that would take you straight to a dead street to meet
a bunch of armed guyz waiting to take everything from you,
from your ipod to your kidney or your retina.


And yes, MF, that's why i mentionned that it's only my experience of it,
i'm sure a lot of people enjoyed their time over there, there's a lot of reasons to spend a good kicking time there.
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Postby enframed on Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:32 am

if you are driving, don't drive at night, and don't ever look like you have money. some serious shit has been happening lately. check the san diego papers online for recent stories.
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Postby MF on Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:26 am

That's a good point about the taxis. You want the SITO taxis. When I was there I basically only used taxis to get to and from the airport, and to get to the incredible Anthropology museum. Otherwise I basically walked a lot, which was really enjoyable. I stayed near the Zocolo and much of what I wanted to see on my first trip was within a couple miles of where I was staying.

While we are talking about Mexico City, can anyone (crevecoeur?) recommend good places for record hunting? What's the Chopo market like? Is it relatively safe? Any other good spots for finding interesting vinyl?
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Postby Marsupialized on Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:25 pm

Mexico is a shithole, plain and simple.
I have been to Mexico probably a dozen times and something bad happens every time. No matter what part, Mexico city is horrid. The border towns are horrid. Southern Mexico is terrifyingly horrid. The Tourist spots on the coasts are horrid.
Fuck Mexico. Pretty much anywhere else would be a better place to visit.
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Postby zom-zom on Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:35 pm

I went to the area around Akumal last year. It was great, the people were really nice, it was cheap, snorkeling was incredible and great food. I'd definitely go back.

Just don't look or act like a typical idiot American and you'll be fine.
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Postby kerble on Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:39 pm

We were in Cozumel at a tiny little bed and breakfast over meX-Mas. the Scuba diving was the greatest thing I have ever done. It's far enough from Cancun to be mellow, close enough to playa del carmen to give you a touristy day or two for fun, and you can get to some awesome ruins (Tulum and Chichen Itza) via bus fairly easily.


A+ trip.
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Postby Sock OR Muffin? on Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:02 pm

I just got married at an all-inclusive near Playa Del Carmen. So nice!

It felt a bit like Disney's version of Mexico though so I abstain from offering any information of value to the serious traveller.
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Postby electrons on Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:09 pm

If you have the time and means, find your way down to Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa. Although Ixtapa was designed by the Mexican Bureau of Tourism out of coconut groves to be a hotspot destination in like the 70's or 80's, this is where Mexicans go on vacation - there are very few americans and a handful of Europeans. Ixtapa has everything that Cancun/Cabo/other bullshit springbreak destinations have, but without the obnoxious American sense of entitlement spin on it. Zihuatanejo is a beautiful quaint town a short/cheap bus ride away where you can get amazing, authentic food and culture. Very little English is spoken there, or at least 6 years ago when I was there, but if you try in Spanish, they try in English, and it all works out in a very friendly manner.
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