Great Asian Escapes - Mumbai, India

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 May, 2007, 12:00am

The wonders of Angkor Wat, the sublime scenery of Guilin or the thrill of the roulette table in Macau ... whatever you yearn for, you can find it just a short flight (or ferry ride) away from Hong Kong. On the following pages are six cities to get you inspired.

Brash, glitzy and frenetic, the 'Manhattan of the East' is India's commercial and financial hub, and home to Bollywood, the most prolific film industry in the world. The city is characterised by crumbling Victorian architecture, red double-decker buses and - another legacy of the British - cricket.


The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower (Apollo Bunder, tel: 91 22 6665 3366; is considered by many to be the finest hotel in India. Try to stay in the Heritage Wing. For something ultra-modern, check into the Grand Hyatt (Off Western Express Highway, Santacruz (East), tel: 91 22 6676 1234; Heads of state and Bollywood stars stay at the Oberoi (Nariman Point, tel: 91 22 6632 5757;


Try Spices (JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu Beach, tel: 91 22 6693 3000) for Thai, Japanese or Chinese food. Or Indigo (4 Mandlik Road, Colaba, tel: 91 22 5636 8999) for international/fusion dishes. Sit upstairs on the alfresco terrace or at the chic, minimalist bar inside, which doubles as an art space.


A visit to the film studios is a must, although you will need a permit. Either befriend someone in the industry, or ask your concierge to book you on a tour. Or, watch a cricket match at Wankhede or Brabourne stadiums, both in Churchgate. Again, your concierge should help with the purchase of tickets. Alternatively, impromptu matches are held at the Oval Maidan in front of the Bombay High Court.


The best time is between October and February. Avoid monsoon season - roughly July to September - when you will be wading ankle-deep in water.

Mumbai is about a seven-and-three-quarter-hour flight from Hong Kong.