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IrwinFletch

Going to Tijuana for the first time in March

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IrwinFletch

Hello, as stated in the title, I am heading do to TJ for my first time next month for a few days. I will be there on a Tuesday through Thursday or Friday. I have to admit that I am a little bit nervous about going, although excited. Im in my 20's and going alone. I feel nervous thinking about the possibility of getting robbed or having to deal with the police at any time. Any advice would be appreciated. (other than the obvious: dont talk to people on the street besides street girls; dont look for drugs; dont get too drunk and act stupid...etc.) I plan on only being out and about during the morning and afternoon, I will be in my hotel by dark, not that it matters to most people visiting there, Im just more of a daytime guy.

 

Advice on how to carry money, credit cards, id, passport etc.... I dont really like the idea of using ATMs down there, so i figured I would bring a big stash with me.

I bought this to keep my passport, stack of cash, and everything else important to keep on me at all times. I would put my belt through the loops and tuck it inside of my pants. https://zerogrid.com/collections/travel-security/products/travel-neck-wallet

 

Thanks.

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Haus

Have you read any of the Trip Reports?

https://www.tijuanatalk.net/forum/13-trip-reports/

 

Typically, if you post specific questions you'll get a lot of responses. General questions about feeling nervous may not be so easy, since nobody knows you.

 

 

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IrwinFletch

Yeah, Ive been reading through those to get some info. 

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Administrador

Irwin let me help with some newbie Learin.. Recommend that you review this thread: 

 

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Gringo Sin Ropa

I would read all of the basic guides on here and the trip reports. Basically read as much as you can, a lot of your questions will be answered in those sections. I would go on google maps and familiarize yourself with where you are walking or driving, that helped me a lot. 

As far as how you carry cash and roll in TJ...I would say that we all roll different and have our own comfort levels and you will figure out your own over time...

generally I recommend:

-Carry your cash/wallet/important shit in your front pocket, not your back. 

-Just carry what you need for the day, lock the rest up in your room (I recommend a pac safe for this although there are other ways of hiding stuff). 

-Keep your small bill and large bills separated. For example I put small notes my front small pocket to use for tips, tacos etc...and have my other bills for meals, arribas etc in my wallet.  This way you don't flash your cash to people.

- I carry an old wallet with only an expired drivers license and the money I am using that day while out in TJ, my passport, real wallet etc...stay locked in my room.. 

-Put your money in your hand if the police mess with you. 

-Trust your instincts, if something doesn't feel right it probably isn't...but also don't walk around like a nervous wreck either...and try to go with the flow in TJ...

 

Have fun and tell us how it went amigo! 😎👍

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Jefffffrey
14 minutes ago, IrwinFletch said:

Hello, as stated in the title, I am heading do to TJ for my first time next month for a few days. I will be there on a Tuesday through Thursday or Friday. I have to admit that I am a little bit nervous about going, although excited. Im in my 20's and going alone. I feel nervous thinking about the possibility of getting robbed or having to deal with the police at any time. Any advice would be appreciated. (other than the obvious: dont talk to people on the street besides street girls; dont look for drugs; dont get too drunk and act stupid...etc.) I plan on only being out and about during the morning and afternoon, I will be in my hotel by dark, not that it matters to most people visiting there, Im just more of a daytime guy.

Advice on how to carry money, credit cards, id, passport etc.... I dont really like the idea of using ATMs down there, so i figured I would bring a big stash with me.

I bought this to keep my passport, stack of cash, and everything else important to keep on me at all times. I would put my belt through the loops and tuck it inside of my pants. https://zerogrid.com/collections/travel-security/products/travel-neck-wallet

Thanks.

Where are you planning on staying?  Do you have an 'off' switch on your ATM card?  Obviously by your age you use Uber.  Do you speak any Spanish? Are you interested in bar girls? Paraditas? Escorts? 

General advice:  try not to be scared.  Enjoy yourself, for all its problems Mexico is a great country (food, people, etc).  The stuff about not talking to anyone is mostly about in Zona Norte.  Interact with people as much as you can everywhere else (my opinion at least)?

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IrwinFletch

I booked a room at Ticuan the first night, Ceasers the second night, and if i like it enough, i'll try to stay there the next night. I'm not sure if the ATM card that I am going to take has an off option, I'll look into that, credit crads usually do, so Im probably covered there. 

I speak very minimal Spanish.

Im interested in bar girls and paraditas. I have an escort booked for my frist night there for an overnight stay from Mexico Lindo Bar agency. 

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organicAlo

What day are you going? I'm the same age as you, I'll be out there Tuesday March 10th. 

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Reuben
10 hours ago, IrwinFletch said:

I booked a room at Ticuan the first night, Ceasers the second night, and if i like it enough, i'll try to stay there the next night. I'm not sure if the ATM card that I am going to take has an off option, I'll look into that, credit crads usually do, so Im probably covered there. 

I speak very minimal Spanish.

Im interested in bar girls and paraditas. I have an escort booked for my frist night there for an overnight stay from Mexico Lindo Bar agency. 

For your first night, I strongly suggest you cancel the overnight and go with just an hour or two. MLB chicas have excellent reputations but I think you'll have a tough time trying to sleep with someone else you don't know in the room.  Wait until you have a little bit of experience in TJ and then look at doing overnights with chicas if that's something you'd like to do. It shouldn't be difficult to switch it up; just call MLB and they'll take care of you.

Book MLB for the early evening, say 7 or 8pm.  Afterwards, if you're up for it, head over to the legendary Hong Kong Club.  Take a taxi or an Uber down there or you can walk as it's only a few blocks.

@Gringo Sin Ropa's advice is spot on.  Leave your passport locked in your room.  You'll only need a drivers license or other photo ID on the street or at a club.

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Eric Draven

It's totally normal to feel nervous. Download the Google Translate app, it will come in handy. At this point, Uber is much better than a Taxi, so get that app too. Your hotels and many other places will have wifi. Ticuan is a nice place around the corner from the action of Avenida Revolucion. Caesars is right on top of the action. By action I mean mainstream bars and partying, La Zona fun is a very small area a few blocks to the north, easy walking distance. Don't worry about being out at night either. You will see how active Rev is until pretty late. Just try not to wander too far until you know your way around a little better.

GSR has some great points! Definitely do not want people seeing you thumb past a wad of 500's while looking for a 20p propina. Being showy is a bad plan all around. A ratero might target you but the sharky bar girls are guaranteed to! Just be casual, keep the deer in the headlights look toned down as best you can and enjoy. You are in your 20's, should be easy enough.

As for starting with an overnighter, that's up to you. I see the logic, your first night and you lock down someone from the comfort of your hotel. Only real risk I see is if you do not click with her. But we all do things in our own way. Just try to experience more than one way, you never know which one will you suit you best.

 

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sampson

Let me chime in on this a little.

If you are concerned about sleeping with a chica you can end the date early on an overnight like at 2am or 3 am and have her leave.  You can also shorten the date to 1 or 2 hours after you see the chemistry with the chica.  Whatever you do have fun and report back with a recap of your trip.  I believe the membership is rooting for you.

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smoothburnn
47 minutes ago, sampson said:

Let me chime in on this a little.

If you are concerned about sleeping with a chica you can end the date early on an overnight like at 2am or 3 am and have her leave.  You can also shorten the date to 1 or 2 hours after you see the chemistry with the chica.  

samps, just curious for his sake.  If he  ends the date early, or shortens the date after it has begun, is he still on the hook for the full overnight price?    Just so he knows !   I have my own idea of what is logical , practical, and fair , under said circumstances.  I only asks so he knows before hand, which could possibly affect  his actions should the circumstance arise 

Edited by smoothburnn
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Jefffffrey
15 hours ago, IrwinFletch said:

I booked a room at Ticuan the first night, Ceasers the second night, and if i like it enough, i'll try to stay there the next night. I'm not sure if the ATM card that I am going to take has an off option, I'll look into that, credit crads usually do, so Im probably covered there. 

I speak very minimal Spanish.

Im interested in bar girls and paraditas. I have an escort booked for my frist night there for an overnight stay from Mexico Lindo Bar agency. 

Use uber if you go anywhere outside of zona/revolution/constitution; however sometimes it is better from the boarder to just use a cab for a new person (make sure he/she agrees to $5) to get to Ticuan, especially if you go from the trolley stop crossing.  From Ticuan to la zona I think it is a nice walk going down Constitution.  More local feel.  If you go during the day the Citibank ATM is fine to use (on constitution as you walk to la zona). If you go down Revolucion I don't like the ATMs and people have complaigned about the HSBC ATM exchange rate.  I don't personally agree with taking all your cash with you but hiding a few hundreds (shoe, belt, front pocket) is a good idea and you will pay the MLB escort with dollars.  I wouldn't feel comfortable carrying more than $300-$400 at one time but that's just me.  Stuff your pockets with a bunch of $5's and $1 though because they are useful.  Download the Hotels.com app and if you like Ticuan area but want something cheaper you can check Aqua Rio's price (cheaper on Hotels than it is if you go in).

As far as the police goes, being a solo gringo can get their attention, but I think that is in the area around primera and ninos heroes, maybe on Constitution from primera to Coahuilla and the alley (where you will be spending most your time).  

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sampson
1 hour ago, smoothburnn said:

samps, just curious for his sake.  If he  ends the date early, or shortens the date after it has begun, is he still on the hook for the full overnight price?    Just so he knows !   I have my own idea of what is logical , practical, and fair , under said circumstances.  I only asks so he knows before hand, which could possibly affect  his actions should the circumstance arise 

Yes he is if he stays 3 hours or he can end at 1 or 2 hours at the posted price for that amount of time.

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smoothburnn
9 minutes ago, sampson said:

Yes he is if he stays 3 hours or he can end at 1 or 2 hours at the posted price for that amount of time.

👍🏻👍🏾  This is what I was thinking 

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IrwinFletch

Thank you guys for all of the advice! The reason i chose the over night is because if you look on their pricing menu, on the website, an overnight is like 300 bucks. Whereas a  2 or 3 hour visit is about thee same, i figured, after a few hours if I was ready than I would ask her to leave.

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IrwinFletch

How do you guys feel about the safes in the hotel rooms at Ticuan and Ceasers?  Would you use them?

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Gringo Sin Ropa
9 minutes ago, IrwinFletch said:

How do you guys feel about the safes in the hotel rooms at Ticuan and Ceasers?  Would you use them?

Personally, I trust the Ticuan safe a lot more than the Cascadas one.

I'm fine with using the Ticuan safe but hesitant with Cascadas.

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IrwinFletch

What about Hotel Caesers room safe?

Edited by IrwinFletch

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Gringo Sin Ropa
33 minutes ago, IrwinFletch said:

What about Hotel Caesers room safe?

Ive used it and had no problems but really can't say for sure. Ive only stayed there once and there are staffing changes at hotels all the time. I think Ceasers has a reputation as a pretty safe place though. 

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dale

good luck little buddy...you're gonna love it!

PM me if you're gonna stay over a friday night as i'm usually down on weekends and am happy to show you around too...

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Jdavid1976

Hey brother...hope you have an amazing trip!  You are surrounded with a bunch of guys who have been where you were and survived!  You are gonna be fine.

Here are my thoughts.

1) “Take a deep breath and relax, your gonna be fine.”  I can’t remember if it was Ruben or R1 that messaged me that when I was freaking out about my first trip.  I had been in war zones and crazy places in the world mongering but I was being a pussy about TJ.  The truth is your gonna be fine.  Keep your head on a swivel, dont talk to strangers on the street, avoid unpopulated areas etc.  

2) You asked about Money.  Carrying money for me is a very personal thing.  My ex wife would have 200 cash in her purse and be freaking out.  Myself?  I could have 10k in my backpack and be as normal as having $2.   Just be comfortable.  I don’t use the ATM and usually cross with a bunch of cash, one ATM card from an account that only have 500 bucks in it for emergency’s,  my Passport, global entry card, and a change of clothes.  

3)  The police.  There is always the chance you will have to deal with the police, but I feel like for those not wandering, its a very small chance.  Knock on wood I have not had them mess with me in TJ.  I have had them mess with me when I lived in Tlaxcala.  Don’t wander around.  If you see them coming and want to cut your chances dip into a club.  Nothing to waste a bunch of energy on.  

 

Now things you will want to be cautious...

1) Waiters who will try to oversell and run scams

2) Falling in love or getting emotionally attached to a bar girl

3) Overpaying and not negotiating by being a young newbie

4) Getting too drunk when flying solo

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Matiz

Always keep in mind that there’s really no such thing as a “perfect” trip. Accept the fact that you will make mistakes and be ok with it.  Even longtime vets will Monday morning QB their trips and second guess themselves about opportunities they passed up, opportunities they should have passed up but didn’t, being too soft a target for fichas, giving a chica a propina when she didn’t really earn it,  etc.  Making “mistakes” (or having “learning experiences”) comes with the territory for all of us, so don’t obsess about every little detail to the point that you lose sight of your major objective—enjoying yourself. As long as the fun parts outweigh the rest, you’re fine.

As an aside, changing hotels is totally unnecessary and time-consuming, unless it’s driven by cost or lack of availability. All things being equal, I would recommend just staying at Ticuan all three nights instead of moving around. It’s reassuring to have a “home base” when you’re in another country, and the extra two or three blocks to the ZN shouldn’t be a big deal for a guy in his 20s. The Ticuan is a little island of sanity and safety where you can recuperate from the ZN craziness. The bar and restaurant are nice and the room safes are a great thing to have.

Finally, your OP indicates that you will only be out in the daytime, but you should really try the ZN at night when it’s a completely different animal.  As several have noted, you can safely and conveniently taxi or Uber between Ticuan and the ZN at night and really, IMO, not expose yourself to any greater risk of mugging or police shakedowns than you would have during the daytime.

Edited by Matiz
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Peaches

I am by no means an expert in TJ.  I have gone there too few times and always with spanish speaking friends.  Only stayed once overnight, and the rest were "day trips."  Having been there before though (without being a veteran), I would say you're much more likely to be swindled and ripped off by waiters and taxi drivers than truly having something bad happen. 

For example, when I was at Chicago's, I paid for a couple "rounds" of drinks.  But I had no idea what the price of a beer, or a bottled water was, so I had no way of knowing if the waiter properly charged me.  In America, I wouldn't worry about that much, but I'm 100% positive that the waiter in Chicago's was charging me different amounts.  Did I get swindled?  Probably.  Did I care?  Not much at the time.  But if I was more of a regular, then yes I would educate myself on that and care about it more.  Same thing with the taxis, for a newbie and as a general rule, state "$5 to <insert hotel/bar name here>" before you get into the taxi and it's fine.  Sure, there are regulars here who negotiate and pay less than that, and there are newer people who may pay $7-$8 for a ride.  But $5 for a taxi ride is way cheaper than what you would pay in America.

If you are basically going straight to the Red Light area, then the biggest danger is paying a little "extra" for the taxi, and at the bar.  Not getting your ass kicked and robbed for real.  For the first trip (or 2 or 3), just stick with the popular known places, and you should be fine.  And don't be afraid to go to HK at night (you are already there, you might as well experience HK in all its glory).  Then as you gain experience, you can discriminate more and venture out from there (I'm at this stage where I want to see other places, but I go to TJ so few times that this may actually never happen lol).  But you get the drift.

So basically, hotel to HK/Adelitas/Chicago, tip for cumboy, robe guy, possible knock at 30 minute mark, under $20 for temp room, and $60-$100 for girl is really all you need to know.  More details and anything else actually, you can worry about for "next time."  The important thing is to just go and have a good time.

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Norcalkid
On 2/26/2020 at 5:50 PM, IrwinFletch said:

What about Hotel Caesers room safe?

I always use my PacSafe inside hotel safe.  Staff often have a master code.  PacSafe makes it so they can't grab a few bills.  Not specific to TJ or Caesars just what I always do when on mongering trips if I have a room safe.  

What week in March will you be down there?  If it's the same week as me I'd be happy to show you the lay of the land.    

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