Jamaica, Kingston, 03 – 07 April 2023

Short uneventful flight from Nassau to Kingston, Jamaica. There is a taxi desk at the airport and fares are fixed at US$30 to the Downtown area, an extra $3 if you want to pay by card. There is an ATM just outside the entrance to the Airport and I withdrew cash from there. I bought a SIM card from a Digicel shop for US$5 good for 3 days and after 3 days the recharge for another 3 days cost US$4. There are other plans for longer periods. I was taken to the Digicel shop by a hotel employee and when I took my phone out to check Google Maps as I do all the time, he quickly said “Put it away”. Then he stood with his back to a wall, looked around to make sure nobody was close to him and then he took out his phone. That is how you do it, he said other wise you risk someone on a bike or a runner snatching the phone. The most useful thing I carry with me is my phone and it would be a nuisance if it was stolen.

Kingston is divided into the Downtown and Uptown areas. Downtown is a mess and not considered safe by the locals, shops and restaurants are behind cages. Uptown is clean and tidy and has nice restaurants and Shops. This is not a tourist destination, they all go to Montego Bay on the other side of the island. I booked a tour to Trench Town, the slum where Bob Marley grew up and no one turned up. I had to call Viator in LA and they could not get hold of anyone in the tour company and gave me a refund.

I finished up getting a Taxi to the Trench Town Cultural Centre and they have various one on one guided tours by a local. I took the longest one that cost US$40, an interesting place especially considering the talent that has emerged from the poverty. Make sure you fix the cost of the taxi ride before you leave, taxi rates are painted on the outside of the taxi or you will get charged double like I did hahaha.

The Hotel owner was very kind and took me to the Bob Marley museum and we spent another half a day driving around the Uptown area. Taxis on the street are not recommended, you have to get your hotel to book a taxi from a reliable source. I walked to the Museum which is very small but interesting and the Art Gallery which was the best place I visited in Kingston. I also found Water Lane which is covered in Murals, watch the videos. All of this was in the downtown area during the day time. Apparently it becomes dangerous after dark which is why only restaurants and shops that are open after dark have cages around them. English is the official language though the people speak a pidgin English mixed with a helping of Creole hahaha. The people are polite and friendly and if you wish a complete stranger (no matter how they look) Good Morning they will respond in kind. The accent takes a little getting used to as they talk very fast. One thing they do not have here is the compulsory 15-20% Service charge added to the bill in restaurants.

The Main Square in the heart of Downtown has a park in the Centre and it must have been a nice place at one time. Now the Historic buildings around it have been abandoned and it is a mess.





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4 Responses to Jamaica, Kingston, 03 – 07 April 2023

  1. You’re getting closer and closer to the mainland! Just do it!

  2. Alistair Borg says:

    Hi Chris

    Hope your trip is going well – no bike??

    It is good to see photos of you!



    Alistair Borg


    DIP Accting

    Marketshare Investments Pty Ltd

  3. Anand says:

    The local nick name for a red stripe beer is …… Police Officer.
    Because of the red stripe on the trousers of the uniform.

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