Travel@HamHamFarm - The World, Here We Come!

The Bahamas, USA (East Coast), Canada 2013
(20 Sep 2013 - 15 Oct 2013)


Day 4

The Bahamas, Nassau (23 Sep 2013)




Good Morning Bahamas! After breakfast at Bimini Market, we had a relaxing morning by the Cable Beach, outside Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort & Casino.




 Photo time! There’s a really beautiful long stretch of white sandy beach right in front of the hotel (of course it cannot be compared to the crystal clear waters of Maldives) with plenty of shades and beach chairs available. It’s definitely a great place to watch glorious and beautiful sunset.

Vance: It's off-peak season now, which is really nice, the beaches are virtually empty! AKA "I'm have got enough of the crowded SINGAPORE!":)

The Cable Beach’s latest development is the construction of the Baha Mar - A resort and casino project that will bring more than 2,000 hotel rooms and the largest gaming and convention facility in the Caribbean to this section of New Providence Island in December 2014. Thankfully, we were not affected by any construction noise nearby.

Time for us to venture downtown to explore the real Bahamas!

Unlike Americans, driving is on the left hand side of the road (Just like UK, Australia and Singapore). However, many vehicles are imported to Bahamas from the United States with left hand steering wheel. Hence, driving can be quite awkward here since the situation is neither here nor there (Drive on left hand side of the road but driver is also on the left side of the vehicle à Sounds tricky).

Therefore, your best bet is to stick with taxis and jitneys (local medium sized buses). Taxis are readily available throughout the downtown area and hotel entrances. However, taxis are not metered and the fares are based on 2 passengers and 2 pieces of luggage per person (Additional charges apply).

There are many jitney buses roaming around Nassau, Bus#10 being the most popular amongst tourist as it take you from Cable Beach to Downtown Nassau (and vice versa). Understand that you can ask the driver to stop anywhere along the way. Pay as you leave the jitney à US$1.25 for adults, US$1 for children (exact change required).

Vance: My observations lead me to think that the drivers are self-employed, i.e. they run their own buses and they make their own earnings from the fares. Because all the buses are conditioned and style differently and they come at ad-hoc (but pretty frequent) timings!

Bus#10 travels along the Western Esplanade and passes the popular tourist attractions of Ardastra Gardens, Fort Charlotte, Arawak Cay’s Fish Fry and past all of the popular Cable Beach resorts including the Wyndham Hotel, Sheraton Hotel and Sandals Resort. To get to Downtown, just flag down the jitney from your hotel. They run every few minutes from 6am – 6.30pm but do note that Jitneys do not go over the Paradise Island bridge. Hence if you need to go to Atlantis located in Paradise Island, take a cab or ferry boat unless you are prepared to do some hiking over the bridge.

We alighted near Pirates of Nassau Museum (on the corner of George and Marlborough streets) and walked to Government House located on Duke Street.

Vance: It's an uphill climb, but not as bad as San Francisco :P
If you missed it:






The Bahamian Parliament Square located on Bay Street (with a statue of Queen Victoria situated in the center) is another great place to capture splendid photos of the Bahamas architecture. From the government buildings, we can see that The Bahamas is greatly influenced by the British. Most government buildings in Nassau are in the same vibrant pinkish colour (which greatly distinguish Nassau from other cities) and they make great buildings to take keepsake photos.

Vance: Bahamas downtown was much more interesting than Male (Maldives). There are more buildings, people and things to see here. Also, there are also familiar eating places like Starbucks and Subwayto rest your feet. Whereas in Male, which you can complete touring the city town in less than an hour!
For Male, check out "Day 3" of our HoneyMoon Trip!



Next, we visited Queen's Staircase (Located on top of Elizabeth Avenue, off Shirley Street, Nassau). There is no entrance fee to walk the stairs but we met a local Bahamian, Tony (whom is a freelance tour guide, do pay him some tips if you think that his service is good) and he gave us some background and history of the Queen’s Staircase. If not for Tony, we would have just been looking at it as just another set of steps. The 65 steps staircase was carved out of solid limestone by slaves in the late 18th century and dedicated to Queen Victoria because she helped end slavery in the islands. The story that this staircase was built by slaves using hand tools really touches our hearts.

Vance: I must add that the freelance tour guide is good at "his crafts". He churn out some stories that states there is a queen in presence at that very moment and points at Fiona. He continues that with a queen, there must be a King and look at me signal me to take "the queen's" hand. We all know that's corny, but he achieved his goal of making us feel good. He ended up with a handsome tip, of course.




Once you get to the top of the Queen's Staircase, turn right, pass through several straw market vendors and you will see the water tower and Fort Fincastle around the corner. The fort has a US$1 entrance fee per person. Fort Fincastle is small, but you can take some pretty cool pictures of the island and the surrounding area. Overall it’s a nice and inexpensive sightseeing place.

Passed by Hard Rock Café and we got souvenirs for friends.  

Vance: For a Good Buddy! :)

The new Straw Market - After a fire in 2001, it has been rebuilt here.

On way back to hotel, this is the start point of Bus#10 from Downtown to Cable Beach (Near Bay Street entrance to the Straw Market) .

The bus stop to alight when returning to Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort & Casino.

The “Pompey Market” opposite Sheraton has a small bar with finger food that's definitely way cheaper that the restaurants in Sheraton Hotel, especially for those lazy to travel out.

Looking forward to next day as we’re leaving Bahamas for Miami and Florida Keys! :) 



Travel@HamHamFarm - The World, Here We Come!