Slums are densely populated urban areas that often lack reliable sanitary provisions. Hong Kong qualifies, being dense and ever since the lead water scandal (blaming all onto a single (but apparently amazingly busy) sad plumber clearing the many bureaucratic departments of any wrongdoing (by doing nothing)) has no reliable sanitary service.
Slums are often associated with crime (property developers in the case of Hong Kong) and deemed dangerous.
Some slums have come to fame either by singing (Madonna in Brazil), incompetent police action (by arresting the brother of a bus hostage taker (in which eight Hong Kong tourist and the hijacker were killed) and taking him to Tondo, Manila) or a movie (Slumdog Millionaire in Dharavi, Mumbai).
Brazil got a cable car, the spite towards Pinoys evolved from Hong Kong into all of mainland China and Dharavi is planning a slum museum (presumably with working sanitary installations).
The museum symbolizes the fascination these slums have (in particular to photo taking people) but solves the inhibition and fear visitors have to go into them.
This fear must stem from the discomfort when confronted with human societies’ unjust (although tourist fearlessly push themselves past trolley pushing old ladies in Mong Kok (Hong Kong)).
Ever since Dharavi has been put on the tourist map for Mumbai a package tour can be joined to view the slums inhabitants in the security of a group.
Fearlessly I visited Dharavi with the guidance of a local guy, who would tell me when it was OK for me to ‘click’. And to watch my step. Click. Watch. Click. Watch…
Neither way is advisable. Next time I do the same as Tondo: don’t tell anybody and go.