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Heading for Oaxaca, Mexico City and Puebla in a few days

Heading for Oaxaca, Mexico City and Puebla in a few days

Oct 15th, 2003, 05:33 PM
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Heading for Oaxaca, Mexico City and Puebla in a few days

I have a few silly - may be- questions,
1) One what to wear. At night a sweater or more...??
2)I read Lonely Plantet about crime and security in Mexico City, how about Oaxaca and Puebla, does anybody know ?
3)What have been your approach to eating salads and fruits,
Never or yes in some restaurants ??
4) Did you all venture to use your ATM cards inside Banks...or where...where did you all got your cash..??? Thank you.
Graziella5b is offline  
Oct 15th, 2003, 06:20 PM
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I believe that you might need a light coat in addition to a sweater at this time of year in Mexico City. I've never been to Puebla, but we felt very safe walking around Oaxaca. I eat fruit that has been peeled, and salads cautiously in some restaurants. We used ATMs in both Mexico City and Oaxaca, usually in the litle lobby things of banks, but they also have them in Sanborn's in Mexico City.
marilynl is offline  
Oct 16th, 2003, 02:48 AM
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Thank you Marilyn, thank you, what is Sonborn's , a store? Sorry for my ignorance, we shall be staying in the Majestic Hotel
thank you to great advice I got here in the forum.
Graziella5b is offline  
Oct 16th, 2003, 02:50 AM
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Gosh, so many thank you , I meant thanks to good advice in this forum.
Graziella5b is offline  
Oct 16th, 2003, 03:19 AM
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Hi it is me again, Marilynl,

I noticed that you stayed at Las Bungaivillas in Oaxaca. We are going there... I have another question:
I bought the bus tickets UNO on the phone. Have to pick up the tickets in the Bus Terminal in MExico, do you
know exactly where>?
I have been reading so much about lack of security in the Bus Terminal and Airport....did you changed some money upon arival at the airport>?
I am planing to change some 50 dollars at the airport for initial expenses and then to look for safe ATM machine near the Zocalo where we are staying in MExico City ( Majestic HOtel)
I bothers me a little the idea to have to pick up the pre paid tickets showing both the passport and credit card because of security. But will try to do it as simply as possible, probably will have both items in my front pocket jean and inmediately after go to the bathroom to put it inside my belt.
After reading travel books I am getting a little paranoic, but I am sure it is not exactly like this.
I hope you read again this posting because I can feel we are doing more or less the same trip. Tks again.
Graziella5b is offline  
Oct 16th, 2003, 09:50 AM
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Hi Graziella, Sanborn's is a chain of restaurant-stores. They are everywhere in Mexico City--one, near the Majestic Hotel, is in a building called the House of Tiles, which is itself a famous building and worth seeing. The restaurants are what in the US we would call coffee shops, and the adjoining stores are of the type we would call a drug store, with everything from books, cosmetics, candy, clothes, toiletries, etc. Sanborn's is great for breakfast or a casual meal any time of the day.

I just carry everything in my purse and exercise normal caution as you would in any big city. There are several bus terminals in Mexico City, and I've always just taken a cab to them. If you are flying in to Mexico City, be sure to pre-pay the cab fare at the glass-walled taxi booth on your way out to the taxi area. The fare is by zones, and they give you a ticket which is all you need to give the driver. Usually it is a good idea to ask about the fare before using a taxi in and around Mexico City, and not to hail taxis on the street but rather from a taxi stand, the hotel, etc. For instance, at night your restaurant will be happy to call you a safe taxi. Most of the crime advisories for Mexico City seem to center on the taxis, so I try to be careful there.

I'm pretty sure there are ATMs at the airport. The Mexico City airport seemed very user friendly and safe to me. Enjoy your stay in Oaxaca and at Las Bugambilias, which we loved. Be sure to also eat at La Olla, their restaurant in the front of the property (the guest breakfasts are served in the old family dining room in the house). Great prices and very tasty! You can walk everywhere in the Centro Historico from Las Bugambilias, and you might want to hire a driver to go to the craft villages and ruins. If you like pottery don't miss the Aguillera sisters (especialy Josefina) studios in Ocotlan.

marilynl is offline  
Oct 16th, 2003, 10:19 AM
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It should be pretty cool during the evening at your destinations. As far as ID I don't show my pasport. I keep my drivers license in my pocket with a little cash as its no big deal to lose that. As you note, you need to be careful in Mexico City. I would go into a bank to use an ATM. In Oaxaca, if there are people around in the center of town it is not a big deal. As far as food in Oaxaca, as it gets more and more touristed there are more and more places where you can eat salads. 10 years ago I was relunctant. You can eat them in many places now. Also, to get cash in the airport don't go to the first casa de cambio that you see. Walk a little bit down to the left as you leave the international area and you will start to see better and better exchange rates.
Dude is offline  
Oct 16th, 2003, 06:55 PM
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Hi Marilynl and Dude, thank you for your impute. The casas de cambios are the same in many airports, Buenos Aires for one. In Europe too, also I noticed in Spain, in Barajas Airport, that one of the cambios has a big sign with the words American Express but actually they are anything but American Expresss .Of course they to don 't have the best rate of exchange.
Would you think that it is a good idea to have an early breakfast in Sanborn near the Majestic and use the ATM there>? Or may be use the Sanborn ATM in the afternoon.>?
We are excited with the idea of going to MExico. Thanks to the Dia de los Difuntos we had some difficulties with the hotels which made us switch the itinerary going first to Oaxaca then to Puebla and then visiting Mexico City. At the begining we shall stay overnight in Mex.City.
As things are now we shall be spending more time that we bargained for in PUebla,....let us see what happens.
Thank you again.
Graziella5b is offline  
Oct 17th, 2003, 07:19 AM
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A couple of years ago, a friend and I flew into Mex City and stayed a cay or two; bused to Puebla for a night; bused on to Oaxaca; flew back to MC.

Then we went up north for a week (Guanajuato, San Miquel, Zacatecas).

I have my tavelog typed up if you want it . . . email me at [email protected].

Don't worry, there are ATMs everyplace and MC is not any more dangerous than any other big city.

We live on the edge and eat everything, have never been sick (knock on wood). To us, food and trying new things is a BIG part of travel.

The Sanborn restaurants are like diners used to be in the US, with waitresses in uniforms, caps . . . some with the big flowered hanky pinned to their shoulder like a corsage . . . the food is excellent, too.

Buen viaje,
sandy_b is offline  
Oct 17th, 2003, 08:37 AM
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I am enjoying reading this thread.

My wife and I were in Mexico City and Oaxaca in early September, and I can confirm everything that's been said here. A few random or additional thoughts . . .

1. in one posting, someone kind of guessed that there are ATMs in the Mexico City Airport. There are, and I used one, with the same bank card I use here in the States. It's very easy, and in fact, I don't use travelers checks anymore -- it really is simpler to find an ATM.

2. it is VERY important that you arrange a taxi at the official stand. When we arrived in Mexico City, we got "guided" into a taxi by a man just standing around in the arrival terminal. We usually aren't that gullible, but for some reason, we went along with it. It cost $35 to get to the center of town.

The second time through the airport, we got smarter, and went to the official taxi stand. We paid $13 and got a stamped card (yellow, about the size of a postcard), which we then presented to a cab driver outside the terminal.

Obviously, we were ripped off the first time. Oh well, live and learn.

3. We loved both Mexico City AND Oaxaca, for different reasons. Mexico City is as cosmopolitan and as vibrant and as alive as any city I have visited n the US or in Europe -- it rivals London and NY as my favorites. Like any huge city, you need to use common sense, but it seemed quite safe to us.

Oaxaca is a magical place. Old, seemingly affluent colonial city. Great shopping, great food, lots to see. You will have a blast.

niskyboss is offline  
Oct 18th, 2003, 05:41 PM
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Sandy b was kind enough to send me her trip report...it is a MUST Read- really a great report!
Thanks Sandy!
lcuy is offline  
Oct 18th, 2003, 07:53 PM
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I am also enjoying Sandy"s report.
A tremedous help and lots of fun.
Graziella5b is offline  
Oct 19th, 2003, 09:40 AM
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I would visit family regularly and would too exchange most of my money at the airport when I arrived. If I needed more I would go into a bank, most have double locked doors and armed guards. One day I told them I wanted to have a "salad" and they looked at me like I was a little strange but then took me to a 'Sanborns' which is kinda like Dennys with a store attached. depending on which one we love those stores, we have gotten everything from pharmacy things to toys, books, and gifts. Most of the other times even at home we ate soup, meats, seafood, bread products, etc. even fruit, but veggies were not around as much as I have them here. They did have a market within walking distance we would go in the mornings sometimes that had a smoothie counter and we would get these marvelous fresh alfalfa smoothies. As far as getting ill from eating/drinking certain things, I got shots before I went (Hepatitus)as I was advised that is what you are most at risk for should you need to go to a hospital, get blood, etc. After 10 + days the only discomfort I would slightly get was from too many hot peppers & salsa !
Have a wonderful time, I miss Mexico City!
Wednesday is offline  
Oct 19th, 2003, 09:46 AM
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I totally overlooked your other questions...I found it to be warm in the daytime, although I would frequently wear long sleeves, and cool at night. the house was concrete and had no air or heat, it was surprisingly very cool in the day and night inside. Crime is everywhere, even with my family and friends, sometimes when we would take a taxi or something they would tell me not to talk in English out loud so that the driver would not charge us more. They are victims too even as locals. Just be aware and trust your instincts...don't flaunt. If they think you can afford to pay more for something, then you may be overcharged sometimes.
Wednesday is offline  
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