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Guest camino_azul

Tijuana can be a lot of fun, and if you like "blue collar" Mexican guys in their twenties you are in for a real treat. That said, you should always keep your wits about you in TJ (particularly on the streets), because as a gringo you will be "marked" as someone who is likely to have a few dollars in your pocket. If you're just headed to TJ for the evening, your best bet is to park at one of the secured lots on the US side of the border (about $6 for the night), then walk over the border and catch a cab downtown (about $6).I leave my wallet in the car and bring only the essentials - cash, one credit card, and my drivers'license so that I can get back across the border the next morning.


My favorite bar in Tijuana (and one of the best bars in the Republic, in my opinion) is "El Ranchero," which is located on the Plaza Santa Cecilia. (Just ask the cab driver to take you to the Plaza Santa Cecilia.) The bar is well-marked in the middle of the plaza, and gets very crowded on the weekends. A couple of years ago, the bar only operated on the first floor; more recently the second floor has opened up with a terrace that looks down on the plaza. I have never failed to have a great time there. There are plenty of drunks and queens to keep things lively, but most importantly, lots of fine young studs who have come to TJ from all over Mexico to work in the nearby manufacturing plants. Many have aspirations of making it across the border to work in the U.S. If you speak a little Spanish, it's pretty easy to figure out if your interest is reciprocated. Downtown Tijuana is full of cheap hotels that, while far from elegant, will allow you to spend some quality time with your new acquaintance. Generally speaking, if there is a commercial aspect to your newfound relationship, it will be far less expensive than what you would expect in San Diego or LA.


There are a couple of other bars on the plaza that you may want to check out, but El Ranchero is tops in my book. For a diversion, you may want to take in the drag show at La Terazza, which is a lot of fun. Mike's also has a pretty good show.


If you play your cards right (and if you like Mexican guys), TJ can be terrific.

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