""Spicy" and fragrant Toamasina city" Toamasina by Norali
Toamasina Travel Guide: 38 reviews and 65 photos
Well, what to say?
Toamasina is for me a city valuable for its "douceur de vivre"... Just the contrary of Tana. Not that I don't like my birth city, I love it. But Toamasina is just different. With its large streets, the city was built like many cities in the island (and unlike Tana), with this cross-ruling system so as to have streets perpendicular one to each other. Large avenues and boulevards are edged with palmtrees and jacarandas. Its current architecture was designed by the French settlers. A reason for those colonial-style villas, with lush gardens, hidden behind jacarandas and "flamboyants" trees.
Don't ask me other names of flamboyant except the scientific name "Delonix Reagio". I haven't seen it in my French dictionary, I had to browse the web for that. Flamboyant tree is an ornamental tree with flamboyant green leaves and bright red-orange flowers. I am fetching a pic and would show you.
BTW, I would like you to forgive me for not having that much pics of Toamasina city since I used to stay there but at that time, I was not a VT member and didn't care about shooting. "All in the head and heart" *LOL*
While wandering in the streets of Toamasina, you would notice that among its inhabitants are Chinese community members. In fact, Toamasina counts the largest Chinese community in Madagascar. They go well along with Malagasy people. Many Malagasy families have Chinese "connection" somewhere since they use to mix together so as to give birth to "metisy sinoa", partly Malagasy and partly Chinese outsprings. For me, this is the most adaptive community we have. They still strongly stick to their tradition but include and welcome foreigners, Malagasy in this case.
Off course, there are Malagasy people as well there. They are mainly Betsimisaraka, "the many who will not be separated", with Merina, Sakalava, Antandroy, Karana (of Indo-pakistanese origins) communities... and french.
Those communities have derived from their ancestors' settlement in the area. They used to trade.
Commerce, it's really the city is all about since it is the first port city of Madagascar. Vanilla, cocoa, clove depart from there to Europe, America... Basic commodities enter from there: rice, oil (fuel)...
Oil refineries are there as well as some industrial plants in Toamasina suburbs.
Ahhhh! You won't miss it! Pousse-pousses (ricksaws) abond in this city. A ride in them is charming as well as informative since "drivers" know about every corner of their city.
One thing worth noticing: no beggars here!
A lot to say about that. Rather talk about "nightlives" instead of "nightlife".
A first type of nightlife is nightlife at seafront or in the streets. People watch sunset, then prepare for campfire, with guitar serenade, harmonica and good friends around. This is my fave.
A second one is nightclubbing. And Toamasina city abonds in clubs of all classes. I did it once in another seafront city that is now sought-after by tourists and holidaymakers. I was not that comfortable. We landed in a tiny club in Mahajanga area (another city in the West). Round 10 pm, I saw local girls, all parked in front of a huge mirror, trying to fix last details before male tourists arrived. I eventually noticed that women/girls there all had this strangely fussy look... And only female holidaymakers (like me and my friends) looked casual ... As male tourists, white men, arrived bit by bit, our local "hosts" made tremendous efforts to stick with male tourists. Danced a few times, drank few glasses (sometimes even not) and went out. All that at warp speed pace!!
I guess it's not love at first time, otherwise one would have known that this is THE place to be for bachelorettes. Call it whatever you want.. but for me it's dangerous, both for your health, guys, and for them as well.
In fact, the sadest story is that they all looked young, even younger when shadows of make-up fainted.
Later, I read here and there that several clubs in Madagascar had to close since they were caught to "host" little girls of, say, 12. I am not here to judge but since kids are concerned, I think I have to raise my voice on such a subject. I would say that prostitution is everywhere, in Europe as well as in the US and Asia... But, PLEASE, be careful with kids!
Besides, in Madagascar, Aids seems not to be hugely spread except within prostitution communities (including prostitutes' families). Beware of lonegoer girls. Malagasy girls use to go out accompanied with male friends, relatives or boyfriend. Quite only those who "sell their company" go alone in clubs. For sure, you would have not felt as attractive than there...
- you don't have to sleep with local "petites" to enjoy your stay and discover this marvellous country. Riding pousse-pousse would inform you more on hidden jewels! ;
- you don't have to hop into bed to help poor people earning their living. They are enough NGOs and associations whom you may give a help;
- you don't have to sleep and risk your health to have fun!
- Pros:Joyful, lively city. Coastal city style as for setting. No beggars. Smell of sea, spices, frangipani !
- Cons:Prostitution of all kinds (see my intro text' s last part)
- In a nutshell:Go there to have fun in a busy but cool place!
STD and other viruses within prostitutes and "filles du port" circles. Read my intro page. Thx! more travel advice
This happened during a trip I made with my uncle. Well, you may have read somewhere in my Toamasina page about this... more travel advice
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