CITIES OF THE WORLD
I have decided to write some notes about places that I have been and, most importantly, what I learned about them from my position (then) as the owner of quite a successful risk management organisation.
Well worth a visit for at least a long weekend, probably add the City visit with a holiday to either the east coast, very popular with Cancun in the ‘centre’ and moving out in popularity to the islands, or the west coast, my personal favourite. The further south you go on either side, the lesser chance you have of running into the American or European holiday maker.
- My history of the city
I first arrived in 1993 as a member of a three-person team to get some Systems Security standards written for one of the government’s banks. That was so personally successful that I was asked back to do more. My work requirement grew very swiftly to bring my attendance to living there for some ten years. It IS some twelve years since I was there and I can recommend it now to visitors, as it appears to have become more ‘civilised’.
- Places of interest to visit.
Central City – You should visit within a crowd and take into consideration the security hints supplied below. Make it a whole day out by getting out of your transport at the Palacio de Bellas Artes and see around there, have a coffee in their very charming coffee shop and then when you have finished go onto to the Sambornes on the south side of the square and have a lunch there. It is better to book. If you are too soon to have lunch pop in for a look, it really is fantastic and not in any of the guide books.
Walk past the restaurant and down the road and then you are in the main square. From the market on the left of the huge square and shops off every outlet you have your choice of direction to take. Taking pride of place is the cathedral and I suggest that you start there.
Hint – Do it all on any day but a weekend
Other things to see:
- Museo Nacional de Antropologia
- Templo Mayor
- Palacio Nacional
- Museo Frida Kahlo
- Museo Casa de Leon Trotsky
- Plaza Garibaldi
- Plaza de las Tres Cultutras
Mercado de Sabado (Saturday Market) – terrific for a visit on a Saturday (only) and there are a few very, very good restaurants within easy walking distance.
All the shopping centres – But if you only have a long weekend get a trip to the Perisur A shopping centre that is safe and secure, huge and very modern.
It is very Spanish, but with Indian just under the surface. Do not approach it with the master race mentality. Approach everyone, rich and poor, with the visitor mentality, a guest in their country. The culture is very mixed, so as a visitor you can survive better than the locals.
The ornamental culture follows this, but you can find copies (mostly) of old Indian sculptures and other gifts particularly in the Mercado De Sabado. A word of advice – go around the Mercado twice, once to look and the second time to buy.
I would suggest that you speak English, and have Spanish as your second language, but that is my view.
- Dangers and things to do to stop them maturing
You need a few really good practices and then you will be safe. Although we tried to do the sophisticated stuff of high tech protection we had at least half our income from physical protection. It IS dangerous but still worth a visit - just like Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Take out only the money you need. Leave the rest locked up in your hotel safe.
Take photocopies of your passports. Once you are in the hotel put the passport in the safe and take the photocopy with you.
Wherever possible go with a guide
As a visitor you are relatively safe – BUT that extends to non-Spanish speakers. Try to speak English. Express-Kidnap is the primary crime.
Level of criime 74.68 High
Problem people using or dealing drugs 67.61 High
Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft 74.19 High
Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery 77.06 High
Problem corruption and bribery 83.71 Very High