Three Stages of travel

Every year, you make plans to travel, and some how at the last-minute you have a deadline that you must meet or one parent has to work on that particular weekend. What good is it killing yourself for a job that can’t give you week of vacation to relax? Sounds like you need better work life balance. Well lets take a look at three ages of travel.

The first being traveling while you are young, wild, and free. Ladies and gentlemen, these are the days of your youth (14yrs -29yrs old) or whenever you decide to get married. This is assuming that you don’t have any kids and you are not married. You get to wake up late, party, and get a sense of who you are. This is the time you backpack around the world, go on crazy road trips with your friends, and study abroad. Just be young! You have the next 40-60yrs to work assuming your time is not cut short on this beautiful planet. If you are not enjoying your youth it’s about time you start!

The second part of traveling is family related. Some of you are fortunate enough to have family vacations. Maybe it’s just you and your dad camping somewhere or going on a road trip to see some historical sites. Family vacations are great aren’t they? At this point, you are married with kids, maybe both parents are working, and you just don’t have time to travel.  Depending on where you are career wise, family related vacations could be expensive? I’m guessing that’s what’s going on in your head. Well spend a little, there’s nothing wrong with taking the time to experience the world. If you budget correctly, you can manage one big vacation a year. Open a separate account and take some money out of your paycheck and put it towards an account for vacation purposes. If you are the type of person that keeps waiting for your kids to get older to go on that special vacation, your kids could grow up not wanting to hang out with you because they have their own friends and plans. You know how teenagers are! Even worse, they might get into the cycle of all work and no play! Remember, these are the years, that you can have an impact on the way your child see’s the world. Instead of reading stories or watching reality TV of other families and their adventures, start your own. Experience another culture and see how other people live. It’s an experience that pays itself.

The third type of traveling is during that retirement age. For the last 40 to 60yrs, you’ve been working hard and putting money in your 401K. At this point you’ve done the young wild and free travel, the family trips, and now its just you and the spouse.  You spend this time exploring the Sistine Chapel, looking at fine art, playing golf in Indonesia. You are older and have a better appreciation of such things. You’ve worked hard your whole life, and now you want to slow down and watch the birds and the bees.

Singapore Nightlife

Singapore Nightlife

Chances are if you are reading this article, you’re in Singapore or planning on visiting Singapore. If you’re like me, you want to make sure you enjoy the nightlife in Singapore. While I was living I had the opportunity to check out some great spots that the city had to offer.

Clarke Quay

No matter what day of the week, Clark Quay is always packed. The area is beautiful at night, you will find people taking pictures or hanging out by the bridge talking and drinking a few beers. Clark Quay is filled with restaurants, bars, clubs, and some clothing stores. They have specialty bars that are themed like The Clinic, the seats are wheel chairs, the drinks come in different flavors through an IV tube and shots are in the form of a needle. You can find some Irish and British themed pubs. Most of the bars usually have futbol/soccer playing in the background or cricket depending on the location. Drinks will run you around $10 and up for beer and more for liquor. Be ready to spend around $50 or more on a typical night.

If you’re your into live music, you can find plenty of places that have live bands. The bars and clubs in Clarke Quay play all types of music ranging from Hip Hop, R&B, Pop, Electronica, Rap, Dubstep, Reggae, House/Techno music. You name it and they have it. Some of the bigger clubs like Atica usually bring in internationally know DJ’s to play at there clubs. Typical night life in Clarke Quay ends around 3am or 4am and some places close later.

Clark Quay

Boat Quay

Boat Quay is located in the same vicinity as Clarke Quay. It’s a short walk between the two places. filled with great bars and restaurants. There are a few minor clubs but for the most part you will find bars and restaurants near the water. People come there to hang out, drink, talk, and enjoy the beauty of Singapore. The seafood is amazing but if you don’t feel like paying for the restaurant or bar food, you can check out the mini Hawker Center for great food. Like many places in Singapore, you will find a lot of late night massage parlors and legal working girls asking you to come into their clubs.

Bugis

Bugis is a great place to visit during the day or night. On a typical night in Bugis you will find the streets lined up with motor bikes and bicycles. You find great Halal food and great hookah. This is more of a hang out and talk atmosphere. The restaurants are reasonably prices between $10-$35 depending on the restaurant. It’s a great place to hang out with friends or to bring a date. The area closes around 3am. Depending on the night, you will mostly find soccer/futbol on the television screen. One of the unique clubs I accidentally ran into was Blue Jazz Cafe. They have a great selection of live and recorded Jazz music. Once or twice a month on a Saturday night, the top floor of Blue jazz Cafe has hip hop and reggae night. If you are looking for great hip hop and reggae, just walk upstairs and ask when are they hosting the party.

Bugis

Sentosa

Sentosa is the man-made beach of Singapore. Usually they will have concerts and outdoor parties. You have to listen to the advertisements to know when the next party will be. But for the most part you can find something every weekend.

Two sides of Geylang

Two sides of Geylang

While I was living in Singapore, one of the places that I was often told to visit was Geylang. Geylang is the area of Singapore’s red-light district and has arguably the best food in Singapore. I know some of you are wondering “how could this be?” but according to the locals, it’s true. The first day, that I arrived in Singapore I was told to visit the area. Me being from the states, as soon as I heard that it was also a red light district, I immediately thought of prostitutes and to stay away.

Over the next few weeks I pushed away any thought of dining in that district. I remember one night we were taking the cab ride back home to Simei and the cab driver asked us if we wanted to take a detour and drive through the Geylang district. With some hesitation, we agreed and off went. The driver was born and raised in Singapore so he was very knowledgeable of the area. He showed us one side of Geylang which was the food district and the other part which is the red light district with brothel houses and hotels looking for customers. Looking through the cab window it wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be. Please keep in mind that prostitution is legal in Singapore. There are all sorts of rules and guidelines that these employees and employers have to maintain to get their business going. Because it was part of their culture in Singapore, the people weren’t as bothered by it as I was. In the United States, for the most part prostitution is legal with some exceptions. So for me it was strange seeing this live in person. I did not part take in any of the activities. But being in the presence of these workers was definitely out of my comfort zone.

 

Frog meat

A few months later I was invited out to dinner by some friends that I made in Singapore. They wanted to meet in Geylang and have frog meat. I’ve never had frog meat before. It was delicious and tastes just like chicken. Another popular dish in the area, which I did not eat/drink, was turtle soup. The area is filled with Hawker centers and restaurants. After we were done eating, we walked around and looked at some of the local shops. The food district at the time didn’t have a lot of street walkers walking around; I don’t know if that’s changed since I last visited. If you ever visit Singapore, I suggest you visit the area because it is so unique and it’s part of the culture.

My experience in Singapore

My experience Singapore

While working for my previous employer, I had the opportunity to work and live in Singapore with two other colleagues. Prior to the job assignment in Singapore, I didn’t pay much attention to Asia. I knew it was a place that I would eventually want to visit but to what I extent? I didn’t know. Growing up in Haiti and America, what I learned of Asian culture was from brief celebrations of Chinese New Year in school, visiting Chinatown, cheap Chinese food, Kung Fu movies, and some friends that I made while in school. This all seems like a lot of interaction but it’s nothing compared to my experience in Singapore and other parts of Asia.

Singapore

For those of you who are new to Southeast Asia, Singapore is one of the biggest financial centers in the world. It’s a small country that’s very advanced in technology and societal rules. The main language spoken in Singapore is Malay and English. Singapore used to be under the rule of the British. You will notice the British influence on the country. A lot of bars and restaurants and other places of entertainment are British owned or themed. What I loved about living in Singapore was the people and the food. My coworkers were great. I arrived in Singapore during the Chinese New Year Celebration which is about ten days. All the managers took out the employees for lunch for all 10 days. We had black pepper crab, chili crab, lo hey, and other types of traditions food. My coworkers were very impressed that I could use a chop stick. I thought that was funny.

Initial thoughts of the country

Singapore is one of the cleanest countries in the world. The first day I was there, I noticed one of the custodians cleaning the fire hydrant with a tooth-brush. I stood there staring at him for a few seconds. That’s something that I’ve never seen before. I thought to myself “they really take this cleaning stuff to the next level”. My first cab experience was interesting. It’s always good to meet cab drivers with enthusiasm for their job and a willingness to educate tourists of their home country. What I learned from the cabby is that Singapore has a religious tolerance, all religions are accepted and practiced, the Jacksons, especially Janet and Michael have huge followings in Singapore, most of the people spoke English, and some of the popular tourists locations in Singapore.

Traveling around

Singapore is a well-developed country so transportation was easy. The country is small which makes it easy navigate. The three main forms of transportation are the MRT or Trains, taxi, and buses. In order to use the bus and MRT you need an EZ-link pass. You can put any amount of money into the pass. Every major MRT stop has a mega-mall. Shopping is a big deal in Singapore and other parts of Asia. The signs are in English and Malay. It is very easy to get around in Singapore through MRT. You can travel from one end of the city to another and in 1hr 30minutes. The MRT is mapped out in color and it takes you to the airport. Out of the three forms of transportation, the bus is the cheapest, but it also takes the longest to get to your destination.

Food Hawker Centers (food court)

Singapore has these massive food courts called Hawker Centers. You can find them anywhere you go in the city. The food is nothing short of amazing. You can also get amazing fruit drinks like, sugar cane, mango, and papaya. The price ranges between $2-$5 depending on what you get. One of the things you will learn quickly is portion control. You receive small portions of everything, so it’s up to you to tell the vendors that you want more food.

Some of the most well know dishes are Nasi Lamek, Chicken Rice, Black Pepper Crab, Chili Crab

The Beauty of fruits

Fruit stands are usually in the same vicinity as the Hawker Centers. I had some of the most amazing fruits that I’ve ever tasted in my life while in Singapore. The king of the fruits is called Durian and the Queen of the fruits is called Mangosteen. Durian, when you smell it for the first time has a bad smell to it, but what I’ve learned is once you try the fruit, it will either taste sweet or sour and once you’ve had it, the initial smell that you had will be gone and you will only smell the best of the fruit. I can attest to that. I used to cover my nose when I smell Durian till one of my friends that I met in Singapore made me try it. It’s a weird tasting fruit, it’s slimy and gooey, but very tasty if you can pick out a good one. Mangosteen is a very sweet fruit, you have to peel off the skin to get to the center or the seed that has the actual fruit. Mangosteen quickly became my favorite fruit with a strong contender from mangoes. I was in fruit heaven while living in Asia, I had mangoes, Mangosteen, Durian, and other fruits everyday. The best part about Singapore is it doesn’t have seasons so there are always fruits. In the month of July to early August they usually have fruit festivals. I was fortunate enough to attend the one that they had at my job. All the coworkers came out and had a great time. To prove that I was not afraid of tasting Durian, I tried it in front of everyone and they were very pleased. Outside our offices were a few mango trees that I used to use a stick to pick out the ripe ones. I quickly became known for doing that and putting the unripened mangoes in a brown paper bag.

Durian

How I made friends

I’m by a nature an outgoing person so it wasn’t hard for me to make friends. I also had the benefit of coming to the country with people I worked and were friends with from the United States, so it made it easy to hang out. However, I wanted to have some local friends as well. Singapore has a lot of programs that you can sign up for a cheap rate such as photography, dance, karate, learning a new language, and Microsoft Office Suite. Since, I was started to fall in love with photography I signed up for one of the photography courses which was taught by professional who was doing pro bono work at the time. Through that class I was able to meet people who had a common interest and were locals. My job had interns for a few weeks and I befriended a few of them. I checked out expat blogs, spoke to people who were going to the universities as exchange students, and I met people at hostels. During one my trips to the Bintan Islands in Indonesia with my co-workers from the states, we were able to meet some people from Canada that had lived in Singapore for a while, they introduced us to other people and we just kept expanding our circle. I remember my friends and I being at one of the expat bars in Singapore and I overheard someone say they were from Chicago and we all began chatting and since then we’ve been great friends. Another time, I was coming from the MRT or train station and I noticed someone wearing a Detroit hat and we began talking and becoming good friends till this day. The point I am trying to make is to go out there and be proactive about meeting new people. You will never know what you have in common with someone until you speak up and start a conversation. Just remember to be smart about it.

Singapore interns

Overall experience

I had a life changing experience living in Singapore. I know you probably hear it all the time and at this point its become a cliché but living in Singapore was and still is a life changer. I was living and working in Singapore for six-months. In those six-months, I met a lot of people from all over the world. I’ve tried all sorts of food that I’ve never heard over before. My perception of Asia change, especially in my understanding of who or whom is considered Asian or what Asian’s look like. When you get an opportunity such as this, you have to fully invest yourself in the culture and I did that. I hung out with the locals, went to the festivals, participated in events, took classes, and contributed to the overall society. I interacted with most of the people at my job and they appreciated that I came to their country with an open mind and was willing and able to try anything they recommended. Which in turn lead to more opportunities for me to interact with my coworkers in and out of work. They took me out to lunch, brought me to their homes, and taught me the language, and shared their lives with me. In return I did the same. The reason this travel blog exists is because of my wonderful experience in Singapore and other parts of Asia. I wanted to bring that message to anyone who was willing to read and listen. I wanted to give advice to people so they don’t make the same errors as I did the transition to a new lifestyle. I came out of this experience as better person because of the experiences and the knowledge that I’ve gained. I made it a personal goal to visit a new country every year and to continue my newly found passion of traveling. As a result, I am currently pursuing a Master in Science in Tourism Management degree. I would love to go back and work and live in Asia and help other countries develop their tourism industry.

Is this seat taken?

Have you ever used public during rush hour? Or seen a movie on opening night? Went to the bar with a few friends? By now you’ve probably figured out where I am going with this. I find it odd when I’m riding the train to see people standing even though there are plenty of seats available. Why is it so awkward to ask someone to move over? The question is simple enough. Is this seat taken? May I sit down?
I’ve always wondered why people would rather stand than ask someone to move over so they can sit down. There are plenty of seats on the train. I look around and I see a lot of empty seats. You figure someone would be bold enough to ask a fellow citizen to slide over, but I’m going to guess that 7 out of 10 times that doesn’t happen. Even as I am riding the train to Huntington, the same people who were standing are still standing. But as soon as we stop at a major destination like Jamaica, seats clear and the people standing finally sit down. I for one am too tired to stand so I’ll ask someone to move over.
These days most people are too busy playing with their cell phone to even notice what other people are doing on the train. With that being said, I still wonder why people don’t ask fellow passengers to slide over. I don’t want to put the blame on technology because this is something that existed prior to cell phones and tablets. When I was an undergrad in college, I remember lots of people signing up to take public speaking classes and I remember reading that public speaking was one of the biggest fears for most people. Could this be a reason that people don’t ask strangers to slide over or ask if the seat is taken?
While riding the train, I decided to take a picture of what I am now calling “The Situation”. As I took the picture, the person sitting next to me said ,”this train can’t be that interesting.” I replied, “I am going to blog about why people don’t simply ask strangers to slide over  so they can sit.” We both laughed and he admitted that he was one of those people. He brought up an interesting point, the distance that someone has to travel can decide whether they will ask a passenger to sit down. Since I was going to Huntington, there was no way I was going to stand for over an hour, but if someone is traveling to Woodside from Penn Station, they might not mind standing for 5 minutes.
To all the people who would rather stand than ask someone to slide over, the trains are only going to get more crowded. The population is going to increase. More people will take the trains and other forms of public transportation. Don’t be afraid to ask if the seat is taken. You never know who you will meet and what conversation you can have with the person sitting next to you. Sit down, be courteous, introduce yourself, and enjoy the  ride. The person sitting next to you could one day save your life.
Long Island Railroad

West Indian Day Parade

West Indian Day Parade

Every year the West Indian Day parade is held on the first Monday of September. Which is also known as Labor Day in the United States. Months of planning culminate into that one-day. As of 2013 the parade has been going strong for 46 years. The parade is held on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn every year. Millions of people attend the event it’s the largest West Indian Day parade in the United States.

West Indian Day Parade Rain

How to get there

Getting there depends on your original destination. You can drive into the nearby neighborhoods of the Barkley Center on Atlantic Avenue to park and walk your way towards the parade. New York City does a great job of adding additional subway trains and buses to and from the area.  The best option is to check your local news listings or transportation station for news and updates.

 Safety

Over the last few years, the West Indian Day Parade has caught a lot of bad publicity for some of the violence that takes place because of a few individuals. However, each year, the New York Police Department (NYPD) and other law enforcement agencies add extra security and check points to keep everyone safe. Officers in street clothing and uniform walk along the parkway and make sure justice is being served.  There are a few things you can do on your own to keep yourself safe. Take care of your personal valuables, don’t pull out large amounts of cash, don’t accept drinks and other beverages from people you don’t know, and travel with a buddy.

 The Food

If you haven’t been to the parade, I suggest you attend.  The food is amazing. It’s a great way to get a crash course into Caribbean cuisine. Each country has it’s own special dish and it’s on full display at the parade. The quality of the food determines whether vendors will have repeat costumers. The usual attendees of the parade know where to buy the best food according to their taste, so if you are not sure and its your first time at the parade, I suggest you come hungry and try them all. Let your tastes buds and your stomach decide which island has the best food.

Jamaican Food

 Culture

Whether you are Caribbean or other nationality, the sense of pride that you see at the West Indian Day Parade is incredible.  You can feel the music through your bones and the core of your body. You can’t help but dance when you hear the music from the islands. When each float passes by, representatives from that island are waving their flags, cheering, dancing, and yelling, with joy and excitement. You can feel the energy and the love in the air. The event is a chance for every nation to represent their home country and to showcase to the world their dance, music, food, costumes, and the love of country.

West Indian Day Parade 2013  West Indian Day parade Snakes

 Personal Experience

Being born in Haiti and for the most part growing up in the United States, I love going to these type of events and seeing the floats of each country. I love tasting new food, so I will try the cuisine from each country.  The parade is a great opportunity to network and get to know the people and culture of the islands. It’s  exciting to see which country has the most flags or people following their floats. It’s a great competition and bragging rights and it makes every other country want to make their floats even better for next year. I’ve been to the parade several times now and I always try to bring someone who hasn’t experienced the parade with me. I love watching the look on their faces when they taste Caribbean food for the first time or see the beautiful people of the Caribbean islands.  Everyone that I’ve brought to the West Indian Day Parade always has a good time and I hope to continue that. Don’t be shy and come to the parade the next time around.

West Indian Day Parade James

You Better Belize It!

You Better Belize It!

Placencia, Belize. Not the average Honeymoon Getaway and precisely the allure. We married on July 6, 2013 and took flight on July 8, 2013 as husband and wife. We booked our trip back in April on Hotwire.com. We did a flight and hotel bundle booking and saved.

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Our trip began on a 5:30am flight for five hours, arriving in Belize City, Belize at 10:30am that included a connecting flight in Texas. Once in Belize we still had not reached our destination of Placencia. We boarded a smaller aircraft for 40min, an 8 minute cab ride later we had arrived!

Laru Beya Beach Resort. Front desk receptionist escorted us to our one bedroom villa. It consisted of an open concept full kitchen, living room views out to the patio where we were mere steps from the warm beach. The bedroom had a king size bed with an on suite bathroom included double vanity and a large glass shower, cannot forget the large window that overlooked the beach. Basically all that you could ask for in a relaxing vacation and in this case, Honeymoon! The resort has a Restaurant and an Outdoor Pool. Delicious fresh food and drinks delivered poolside. We were literally in paradise for a week.

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Front Desk was very nice and accommodating when we wanted to book any tours or relaxation treatments. We took full advantage booking tours, adventures and massages! We booked the Lubaantun & Nim Li Punit Mayan Ruin Tours, I had an In-Room one-hour massage (Patricia is amazing) and we also did a daring Zip-Lining and Cave Tubing adventure.

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Respectively quite educational, ultra relaxing and extremely exhilarating! On our less adventurous days we took to the town by taxi and then again by golf cart. In town, there were stores with hand crafted gifts and jewelry made from the stones and rocks of the beach, we visit a delicious ice cream parlor, TuttiFrutti, best Carmel and Cappuccino flavored ice cream  you’ve ever tasted and of course we took a trip to several of the bars and restaurants.

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Belize was different and not the cliché for the average Honeymoon. We are sure any resort would have given us the same experience, but it was the country that made the trip. The people, the water and cannot forget the food, we will certainly return to the country of Belize for future vacations. Another great reason to  try something different is the reasonable cost of this trip. We spent in total about $3000, that included our flights, resort, food and all the little extra adventures we took part in. Cannot wait to do it again!

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The Dollar bill is King in Panama

The Dollar bill is King in Panama

For those of you that have never traveled to Panama, the dollar bill is king in Panama. Here are a few things you need to know about the currency. Panama uses the United States dollar as their main currency. They do have $1 coins and smaller coins. Anything larger  than a single dollar is United States currency. Since they use United States currency, the exchange rate is 1 for 1. Meaning, $1 USD is the equivalent of $1 Balboa. Balboa is the official name of the currency in Panama.

 

While my friends and I were in Panama we couldn’t help but notice the importance of single dollars. When you you’re paying for the taxi, it’s usually an odd number like $3 or $5 for a ride. In Bocas del Toro taxi rides were $1 on the main island of Isla colon and anywhere between $3-$10 for the water taxi’s depending on how far you needed to go. Drinks were around $1.50. It doesn’t make sense to carry around anything higher than a $10 bill. It causes mass confusion. When you pull out a $20 bill to pay for a $3 cab ride, the drivers get annoyed because you are draining them of all change. Even when we were at the mall we noticed the same issues. Change was hard to come by anywhere we went in Panama. Several times throughout our trip we had to go into the bank to change our large bills into singles.

USD Okavaca

10 common mistakes people make while on vacation

10 common mistakes people make while on vacation

Next time you plan on traveling, I hope you can avoid these 10 common mistakes people make while on vacation.

Only staying at the resort

Part of the fun of vacationing is of course relaxing and to some people that means sleeping. But remember that you are on vacation. You’re not in your home town or city. Take the time to explore the area. Go on trips that are not part of the resort package. A vacation should be an adventure.

Not having a local number

Having a local number gives you the opportunity to contact people who you meet during your vacation. It reduces  paying international rates for using your phone. Phones that are GSM can be jail broken and used in any country. All you have to do is purchase a sim card and you’re in business.

Not budgeting correctly

The fun part of being on vacation is being able to shop, do excursions, hop from hostel to hostel, or road trips to different parts of the country. Many people make the mistake of spending all their money in the first few days of their trip. The excitement of being somewhere new gets to them and they just purchase everything in sight. Resist the urge to do so. Set a daily spending budget and don’t over spend.

Not trying new stuff

Don’t go on vacation to do the same boring stuff that you would normally do at home. Try eating at local restaurants. Get a feel for the lifestyle at your vacation destination. Leave the fast food back at home and dine out or take cooking lessons. Go hiking, long bike rides, an excursion, deep sea diving, a local club. Don’t be that person that travels somewhere new just to do the same old stuff. Dare to have fun.

Bocas Del Toro

Not having copies of your passport

If you are visiting a foreign country it’s very important that you carry around photo identification. A great idea is to make multiple laminated copies of your passport to carry around. Leave a copy of your travel plan’s with someone back home and inform the U.S Embassy of your travels. Passports are very important so it’s unwise to walk around with the original copy in-case of theft or loss.

Not informing the bank that you will be on vacation

A few days before you actually go on your trip, make sure you contact your bank and let them know exactly the length of your trip and countries you will visit. This allows them the opportunity to monitor your activities for fraud.

Not printing directions to the hotel/hostel/resort

If you are going to a country where the main language is not your own and you are not familiar with the destination, print out directions in that foreign language. This way you won’t spend your time trying to figure out directions or trying to translate.

Failing to appreciate the hard work of the staff at the hotels/hostels/resorts

Remember that while you are on vacation or holiday, there are people working hard to keep you happy. Make sure you appreciate what they do for you. If you are staying at an all-inclusive resort or cruise you can order more food if the meal doesn’t taste right. Relax and have a good time.

Visiting the same place repeatedly

The world is too big to be visiting the same place over and over again. Try someplace new. Life is an adventure. Dare to explore. Instead of taking the same trips to the same resort, go on a safari adventure in a new country. Try not to repeat traveling to the same place, after a while, it becomes boring because you’ve discovered everything.

Failing to bargain

Whether it’s with a food vendor or souvenir shops, don’t be afraid to bargain for the best deals. If it’s the off-season, the vendors are usually trying to make money. It will be to your advantage to get the lowest price possible. Most things are negotiable, don’t be afraid and most of all don’t be afraid to walk away if the deal is not what you expected.

Bocas del Toro

Visiting the Panama Canal

Visiting the Panama Canal

Visiting the Panama Canal is an interesting experience. The canal is internationally known. Panama because of the historical significance that comes with it. Plan to spend about two hours to get the full experience of the Panama Canal. The best time to go is between 12pm and 2pm. You are more likely to see ships passing through. Depending on where you are in Panama city, a cab ride to the Panama Canal can fall between $5-$8. When you get to the Panama Canal, you have to pay an entree fee. Locals and foreigners pay separate prices. They also have student discounts if you show your identification. The price for students is $3, general admission for observation only is $5, and for full access to the 3D theater, aquarium, and the university, its $8. They give you a ticket with a bar code that permits you access to different areas of the visitor center. Only the full access pass allows you to go beyond the observation area. The best time to go is mid day, because they have more ships coming through the Panama Canal southbound or northbound. You will notice visitors from all parts of the world. They have multiple restaurants and a café for you to sit down and enjoy the sight. Once you’re done viewing the exhibits, instead of taking the cabs that are right out front, walk to the main entrance of Panama Canal to get a taxi. It will cost you less money. The taxi drivers outside of the exhibit will try to charge you between $15-$25 if you’re a tourist. You can usually get them down to $10-$12 if they are willing to negotiate. But on the main road, you can a more reasonable offer to get back to your destination.

PNA_8313 Panama Canal Ticket Price

Growing up in the USA, we read a lot about the Panama Canal and the struggles that the people went through to build it. It’s really a marvelous site if you think about the hard work that went into it. The people who thought this through are really innovative. Being there and seeing the ships pass through was a worthwhile experience. To me it was reality meets the history books. To some people its just an area that ships pass through. But sometimes you have to look at the little parts of this Panama Canal that make it into the big picture that you see to put it in perspective. The Panama Canal was build decades ago and is still in existence.  Now that I’ve seen the Panama Canal, I feel that my trip is complete.

Panama Canal Panama Canal Mueral   Panama Canal Panama Canal Locks