Mexico – An overview

Guanajuato City – taken from the Pipila monument

While most people travel for a holiday, a respite from work, I was traveling in Mexico in escape of a horrible reality I was dealt with. So Mexico really, was more of an oasis in a desert for me, and I took it in with so much gratitude and respect that I might sound biased when I say this – everyone needs to go to Mexico at least once in your life.

Its not enough that Mexico has something for every kind of traveller – the adventurous hiker/diver, the hippy wanderer, the adrenaline chaser, the luxury traveller, the food gastronomer or even just a want-it-all tourist, Mexico also has the best kind of people to provide these experiences for you.

Though it is mainly a Spanish speaking country, I got by mostly using Google translate and also very basic hand signals that served their purpose well. You’d be surprised with how little you need words when you’re in an environment full of nice, warm and helpful people. In the cities however, service staff do know English so really it is when you venture out that I would recommend memorising some handy phrases starting with “Tu hablas ingles” which means (do you speak English)

Expenses in Mexico are far more affordable than in Singapore or even KL, what I would spend in a week in Singapore could easily last me 3 weeks in Mexico. Here is the cost of the general expenses:

A beer =25 pesos 3 tacos =anywhere between 10 pesos (streetside) to 50 pesos (restaurant) hostel stay = 150 to 200 pesos or less per night Shots in a bar = 50 to 80 pesos depending A meal in a restaurant = typically 80 to 150 pesos depending

Some things to note, most public toilets in Mexico are not free. You’d have to pay 30 to 50 pesos for entry. So use the bathrooms at your accommodation and restaurants as much as possible. Bus companies are very professional and comfortable, offering free WiFi and even a snack, but they can be way more expensive than flights sometimes, or even if you hitch a ride via the Blablacar app. Blablacar basically is like uber pool but it’s between cities. I took a ride from Mexico City to Guanajuato (4 hour journey) and it cost me 350 pesos, on the way back I took a bus that cost me 660 pesos so hitching a ride saves you much more.

To answer the age old question of whether mexico is dangerous, I can only say that from my own experience, I didn’t once feel like I was in danger or that I was going to get robbed. Having said that, the locals here would also remind you to take smart precautions like avoiding dark alleys, walking alone after dark, always strapping your bags across, not wearing too flashy things etc. I’ve felt more threatened in certain cities in the US and Malaysia than I did in the cities in Mexico.

The food in Mexico fed my soul and was hearty, delicious and homely. If you’re sick of paying so much for tacos in Singapore….get ready….