Cities in Mexico (1 Viewer)

Raging Bird

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Well, I got a one way ticket to Mexico City, and no plans on what to do from there. I figure I'll stay at a cheapass hostel there and make some friends. Might help to have some vague ideas though - anyone hitched or hopped around before? Can you recommend cities that are chill, cheap, and more likely to have travelers to kick it with?
 
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Kim Chee

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I didn't notice any travelers (other than vacationers) while I was staying in Puerto Vallarta, but I did find work. After a couple weeks, I felt that somebody started putting something in my food to make me drowsy. Anyway, I figured it was quite a long way from home to have something bad happen to me so I made plans to quietly leave. Hitching is awesome in Mexico.
 

zephyr23

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i would take a 10 dolor bus from mexico city to san cristobal in the cheeps region they was more travelers their and it where a lot of zapatista community are. that where i spent most of my time
 

Raging Bird

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Thanks guys!

Mmmmmmichael -- Did you go down the west coast or just run all over? I've been trying to get a feel for what the different parts of the country are like for travelers. I know pretty much nothing going into this other than that the border/plateau/yucatan are different.

Zephyr -- Yo where'd you find that bus???? 10 fucking dollars? That's insane, I didn't plan on going so far south but why the fuck not if it's that cheap.
 
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Kim Chee

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Mmmmmmichael -- Did you go down the west coast or just run all over? I've been trying to get a feel for what the different parts of the country are like for travelers. I know pretty much nothing going into this other than that the border/plateau/yucatan are different.

I only went along the west coast. I did entertain thoughts of going to the Yucatan, but decided to head north when I discovered my food was being messed with. Anyway, rides are easy to get there. You can walk along the highway to hitch and sometimes you can get a free ride from one of those buses that normally charge you (just ask). If you have cash and want to ride the bus, you don't have to be at a bus stop, just flag them down, I think that used to work and I don't think much has changed. I did go there with no cash and did just fine. The country is poor and they will like your clothes if you have anything nice. Keep whatever you cherish near you as thievery is not uncommon.
 
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Kim Chee

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Solid advice, man. I'm pretty careful about not flashing my shit, but you think it's a bad idea to bring a cell phone or camera? I got a phone with a gps and that shit comes in handy.
It was unattended clothes that were jacked from me. I also loaned a sweater with the understanding I get it back (it was cold that evening) that wasn't returned. As for things in your possession, you probably wont have a problem if you don't bring them out at the wrong time. Just remember, especially when you are traveling outside of tourist areas that people may give a shit less about taking your shit. Have fun!
 

landpirate

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I really liked the town of Oaxaca when I was there (2000 and 2004) might be worth finding out what the political situation is like there right now as last time I heard it was pretty fucked up and so might not be the safest place for travellers. someone else mentioned San Christobal, which is a fucking awesome place to hang about, when i was there the Zapatistas were setting off flares in the woods every night which was cool. Tulum on the Caribbean coast is lovely, the most amazing beaches I have ever seen or slept on. It is quite expensive to stay in some of the places there, but i slept out on the beaches and didn't have any problems. Oh and Palenque out in the jungle with all the ruins is an amazing but very sweaty experience. Do you know what, i didn't go anywhere that i didn't like other than cancun and playa del carmen. Mexico city is mental. i recommend going to the wrestling, its really cheap and super entertaining and drink as much Pulque as you can get your hands on. you can get bus rides really cheap throughout the country. Never had any bothers on the buses and they run very regularly everywhere. My best advice to not waste time and save money is to travel at night so you can sleep on the bus and not have to find anywhere to stay that night. i didn't see much north of Mexico city as what i did visit was pretty boring tbh. however, teotihuacan which is a huge archaeological site north of mexico city is spectacular and well worth a visit if you choose to do no other historical visits then go and see this one. And, i didn't make it to this place but I have heard amazing things about it.http://www.xilitla.org/index.php its a load of surreal concrete sculptures in the jungle built by and English man starting in 1940's. I hope I haven't sounded like a tour guide, i'm sure there is far more useful stuff i could have told you, but these are the things i remember so they must be the good bits. i am very jealous, enjoy your trip!
 

Raging Bird

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No, not at all! That's more of what I was looking for in the first place. My initial plan was to hit Mexico city, go to michoacan, and ride north from there. This thread is pushing me in the direction of just saying fuck it and going to the yucatan. I'd love to check out everything you said.

Is it harder or easier to get by without speaking english or being familiar with the culture down there? I'm not afraid in any way, I'm just concerned about being able to chill or not. My spanish is slowly coming along.
 

landpirate

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i went to Mexico with a friend and we are both English, so we spoke english to each other. I have Mexican friends and i would speak English and spanish with them but my spanish isn't great. I know enough to get food, tickets on buses and places to stay and of course a whole load of swear words but i got by just fine. You end up learning it as you go and you'll come home probably understanding more of the language than you can necessarily speak if that makes sense. Everyone is so pleased when you try your best to speak spanish and it gets you a lot further if you do try and if you get it wrong people are really nice and teach you how to say it right.

It's a total cop out, I know, but a lot of people in Mexico speak English, especially young people so you can usually find someone who'll be able to understand you. Hand gestures go a long way anywhere in the world! Also, I don't know if you've been to spain, but they speak spanish really really fast in comparison and it is definitely easier to understand Mexican Spanish. I found there to be a lot of european travellers when i was over there and they tend to speak english very well.

i think regarding understanding mexican culture, it's like going to any foreign country you just have to watch how the local people do things and follow their lead. They'll know you are a traveller but if you respect their way of life then they will be very kind and generous to you. I would bear in mind when you are there that the majority of people are fairly religious (catholic) and unlike some countries where you are discouraged from giving money to people on the streets in mexico i found that most people do give to the poor as they are on another spectrum of poor to what we are used to.

The Police are bastards and I would do your best to avoid them. If you have shit with them they will more than likely ask you for a 'mordida' (translation: little bite) basically a bribe to let you off. This is difficult as it's hard to know how much to give them and its just compounding the problem of corruption, but I paid up a couple of times just for an easy life. I guess its up to you and your morals and how much cash you have!

can't think what else is useful to tell you, but I'm happy to answer any other questions you've got.
 
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Just an idea to throw atchya... (Not necessarily the best for the type of 'fuck it' trip you're on, but there are ways to make it work, if you're into this type of thing: world Rainbow Gathering is in Palenque, around the Solstice; it's actually a rainbow hippie of love/patchouli/good vibesss, man, and good drrruggss, man travelin' band coming all the way from Brazil (they started in Feb.). Perhaps you know all this; it's fairly common knowledge. Like I said, you'd have 6 months to kill (WWOOF? WWOOF is awesome, and there's lots of... craziness in Mexico. GOOD craziness, cheap craziness. Once I spent $8USD in crack in a crack shack in a mercado en Guatemala, got the whoollleee place high. Interesting experiences, one has when just surrending to the floooww. If ya wanted to stick 'til then, you'd have to head to C.A. after a few months (it's cheaper, for one, except Costa RRIICICCCA), cuz of passport issues (although you can be in MX for a month). Anywayz. Enough ramble. I'm connsssiidderrrinnnng going to Rainbow (never been to one before, but shiiittt, it's 13.0.0.0.0 :) I'm still figuring out where I need to be as of yet. And so... there ya have it, and I'ma stickin' to it. Cuidate!! Don't head back north, though... South is cool (Oaxaca, Chiapas, San Cristobal, and the Yucatan). OOOHHH, MEHIKKKOOO. Oohh, el MUNNNDDDOOO! Gracias a Dios para la vida loca.

Namaste, Blessed Be,
~ melissA
 

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