Tijuana Journals

Tijuana: An SOB Tour

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Tijuana by El Gallo

Bullfighting Photo, Tijuana, Mexico More Photos
Quote: The most famous "South Of the Border" town can be a hoot...or a tacky nightmare. Here are painless ways to get there, a few places to eat, what to buy, and how to do the place and get the hell out.

Tijuana: An SOB Tour

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
Tijuana tourism is mostly about Revolucion Avenue. Don't fight it by trying to find the 'real' hidden Tijuana--you won't. Just goon out on Revolucion. If you came to party or shop, you're in business. If you're seeking culture, go elsewhere.Quick Tips: Best Way To Get Around: Don't EVEN drive your car into Tijuana. It requires an insurance hassle (which you'd be nuts to omit), parking is expensive and chancy, the layout is confusing, and the drivers are, well...cavalier. Cavalier/homocidal/macho-loco. Take the San Diego Trolley to the border and either walk across. (About a mile to the downtown, not especially scenic). Or, for , grab the big red 'Mexicoach' and get deli...Read More

Chiki Jai

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Restaurant | "Chiki Kai"

Quote:
The Chiki Kai is located right across Revolucion from the Mexicoach station, and across 7th Avenue from the Jai Alai palace. No co-incidence: both Jai Alai and Chiki Kai are Basque things and go way back to the forties. The Chiki may not look like much, but don't let that fool you. They know their business and turn out excellent meals. No point in running down the menu--if you want to explore Basque cuisine, just strike out boldly. The atmosphere is homey, even with the full-blown tourist circus right outside. Provecho!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 24, 2000

Chiki Jai
Revolución and 8th
Tijuana, Mexico

La Vuelta

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Restaurant

Quote:
They call it 'The Corner' because it's right where Revolucion Blvd. swings around to become Agua Caliente Blvd. It's only two blocks walk south from the Jai Alai, and well worth it for a really Mexican eating experience. La Vuelta has a wider menu, but is essentially a 'carnitas' place. And carnitas is where good little pigs go when they die--sliced thin and grilled, then chopped up on a wood block and served as a mass of pork. Your basic Mexican cowboy chow. With the basic cowboy look that such places have: the heavy wood 'rathskeller' booths just say 'ranchero' real big, and don't buy the local stereotypes--not ALL of those guys in cowboy hats are drug-exporters. But eno...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 28, 2000

La Vuelta

Tijuana, Mexico

Bullfighting

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Attraction

Bullfighting Photo, Tijuana, Mexico
Quote:
You might want to go a bullfight in Tijuana. Many people do. Personally, I find them disgusting. For one thing, it's fixed. If the bull 'wins' and kills the matador, he doesn't get awarded an ear or tail and free drinks and willing women--he gets killed with an ax and dragged off by horses. That doesn't even happen to Don King opponents. BUT, if you just have to see the 'pageantry' and 'drama' of the 'sport', the season is from August to November. Schedules are available here. If you're lucky you can see a fight not at the downtown toreo, but the bullring By the Sea in Las Playas, a cool stadium with fantastic view. If you take Mexicoach over the border (w...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on August 28, 2000

Bullfighting
Plaza de Toros
Tijuana, Mexico

Guide to Mexican Street Food

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Story/Tip

Quote:
GUIDE TO MEXICAN STREET FOOD Tortilla - round flat unleavened bread, either of corn (maiz) or wheat flour (harina) Taco - tortilla wrapped around cooked meat fillings. Can include spit roasted pork in a 'barbecue sauce (al pastor or adobada), chopped fried pork (carnitas), thin sliced grilled beef (carne asada), fish (pescado), tongue (lengua, pig head (cabeza), intestines (tripas). Usually served with a selection of sauces, some of which are more spicy-hot (picoso) than others. Elote - cob of corn, usually on stick in street. Served with choice of salt (sal), hot red chile 'pepper' powder (chile) or crema (mayonaise), or all of the above. Verduras - ...Read More

Downtown TJ Walking Tour

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Story/Tip

Quote:
This walk is designed to get you off the tourist trap strip to see a market and cathedral and some local eating spots--but without getting too far afield. In the 'Shopping' journal, I ran down much of the Avenida Revolucion concept. Assuming that you started on the south end of Revu, by the Jai Alai and Mexicoach station, you will eventually walk north to First Avenue, where you will probably want to stop walking north because the area degenerates. On the corner here is the Tourist Bureau, in case you have questions. To your right (east) is an arch that marks the start of the walk back to the border--about a half mile, not a bad way to go in daytime or with a group. Otherwise catch a...Read More

Other Areas of Interest

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Visit the public market, some shopping and entertainment plazas, the Cultural Center--or nearby Rosarito Beach, all by collective 'Tijuana Taxi'. Depending on your interests, you might want to visit areas far enough from the downtown to require transportation. The primary areas would be Plaza Rio (including the Cultural Center and main market) or the nearby town of Rosarito Beach (a popular party spot with shore attractions). The Zona Rio, built along the river, was planned as Tijuana's futuristic urban heart and is full of sleek modern buildings and heroic bronze statues (including one of Abraham Lincoln). The main destination would be the glorieta (traffic circle) at Plaza R...Read More

Some More Fun Dining

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Another very special place on Revolucion is La Especial. Very much a traditional Mexican decor and ambience, with great food at reasonable prices and often with live music. You have to look carefully for the yellow sign in front of the Hotel Lafayette on the East side of Revu just south of Third, then go down the stairs into an interesting little 'subterranean' mall of small shops, but it's well worth it. Two blocks West of the Avenue on the North side of Fourth is 'Super Antojitos', with very good Mexican food for cheap. Try the 'Potpourri of Enchildadas', two each of red, green, and mole sauce. At Second and Constitucion, by the old City Hall, you'll spot La Marinella by ...Read More
Quote:
Haggling over prices is expected on Revolucion (except in supermarkets or nicer shops where items have price tags). Ask price, offer half, and work from there. If you walk away, you'll hear the price start dropping more. Aside from blankets, cloth bags, and Mexican curios or handcrafts, the best deals are probably in leather and costume jewelry. Small leather bags and luggage can be bought for amazingly low prices. Costume jewelry (called alpaca) is a better deal than silver or gold--you can get very striking pieces for a few dollars. You will also see fake merchandise, like twenty dollar Rolex watches, phony Sassoon purses, and knock-offs of fashion and trademarks, which can be fu...Read More

TJ Sex Tourism

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Okay, this isn't the most wholesome topic in the world, but there it is. Tijuana ranks with Bangkok as one of the world's most famous prostitution arenas and a lot of people go there for that reason. So, if that's what you are looking for, you may as well do it right and not get ripped off or in trouble. Tijuana throbs with sex, most of it synthetic. As soon as it gets dark the midway atmosphere of Revolucion turns into a ghetto of discos, sex bars, and table dance joints. Forget the discos unless you are interested in American girls between 18-21 who came there to get drunk. The Revu strip is the most like the U.S., and the most expensive. Most veteran TJ hoppers avoid it. On the other ...Read More

Shopping Tijuana

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Your overwhelming first impression of TJ will be an infinite supply of insane junk piled up everywhere with aggressive jerks trying to charm, swindle, or intimidate you into buying it. Well, junk is a big part of the TJ experience and one man's junk is another man's treasure. If your kid might like a huge plaster Bart Simpson or switchblade comb or $20 watch that says 'Rolex' and looks fairly passable, go for it. But there is good, serious shopping in Tijuana--some real bargains on certain items. No need to change money--dollars happily accepted here. Of course there are fireworks that would give Saddam Hussein second thoughts, and switchblades and Cuban cigars, and over-the-counter codeine ...Read More

About the Writer

El Gallo

El Gallo
Monkey Junction, Afghanistan