Toamasina Things to Do Tips by Norali
Toamasina Things to Do: 8 reviews and 8 photos
Pousse pousse (RKAB)
I meant other streets than Bd. Joffre and surroundings.
To see colonial-style houses hidden behind Frangipani, jacarandas, flamboyants trees (at seafront and near harbour). Several buidings of this style are in really bad shape. It's a pity since they are particular to this beautiful city.
It's not that clear but at top left of my picture, you see a flamboyant tree (red-orange flowers).
To smell spices that dry in some gardens; to smell frangipani... (streets outside the center)
To smell sea
Don't hesitate to use pousse-pousse since this is the only way for pousse-pousse men to earn their living. Coastal city pousse-pousse pullers have it much more easier than Tana pullers. In fact, the latter use to pull their ricksaw full of wood lumbs. Something that stroke me was the vision of a skinny old man who pulled his overloaded ricksaw while climbing a slope in Tana area, in summer. Hard job there!
Directions: Ask a pousse-pousse a tour of city districts.
Look further. Near Bd. Ratsimilaho
During the day, seafront is interesting, packed of streetvendors (on stalls most of the time).
Nice beach along Bd Ratsimilaho especially between Pointe Asti and Pointe Tanio, where you have a great view of the district. But "NO BATH ALLOWED IN TOAMASINA CITY !" ... for a big reason: sea there abonds in sharks especially in Bd Ivondro area where stands the slaughterhouse...
See in this picture (in the background) the nice view of the beach. OK, forget about some mud at left side since Toamasina area uses to be at frontline as for tackling with cyclones.
Smaller streets that lead to Rue du commerce and boulevard Ratsimilaho (perpendicular to them) house warehouses. By wandering in those streets, you will be hit by vanilla, spices and clove fragrances since they are packing, weighing, shipping those marvels that have built Madagascar's image.
At night, streets are packed with kebab stalls. Beware though to not to walk at night! Rather hire a pousse- pousse or taxi. Though, Toamasina city is much safer than Tana in daylight.
I put it as a must see activity since going there for this lively ambience is quite interesting. See there locals buying things ranging from food, art to home furniture...
Buy in Bazar be market
- vanilla in all forms: syrup, powder, in sticks
* fruits: litchis, mangoes, goyavas, jackfruit
* souvenirs: shells, "lambaoany" (cotton lambas with motives), music
I would not recommend buying there artcraft except those with Ravinala leaves (local artcraft). In fact, many markets in provinces sell artcraft from Tana, which is sold with higher price there (see my Antananarivo page for that).
Lemur (by RKAB)
In Toamasina city suburbs, see Parc zoologique Ivoloina (project of Duke University Primate Center, to see lemurs and flora) in North Toamasina (11km from center).
The project is focused on flora experimentation and lemur breeding and conservation efforts.
I found this website. Have a glance to know more about their project and lemurs:
Directions: 11km from Toamasina center
Palmtrees are common in this roadtrip
Just before entering Toamasina city (while coming from Tana), you would see a beautiful palmtree forest (manmade though).
I kind of like this. Between palmtrees, soil is covered by grass and tropical tiny plants. And birds can be seen there as well. In the past, I saw, from far, couples of green pigeons... I would have never known about green pigeons if a friend hadn't told me that he hunted there in winter. :-(
Though, I don't know whether it's legal... And yes, since it's my page, let's face it: my opinion on that doesn't go in favour of hunters...
I don't know the name of the village or this area but ask your chauffeur to halt at "La palmeraie", he would understand where it is.
Main thoroughfare in Toamasina city is Boulevard Joffre.
All commercial activities are here: banks, change services, car rentals, restaurants, tea rooms, pharmacies, souvenir boutiques.
All you want indeed!
You can leave there your pousse-pousse and head to markets, Bazar-Bé ("Big market") and Bazar kely ("Tiny market", farer near train station).
Address: Bd. Joffre
Directions: Ask a pousse-pousse or a taxi to drive you there.
Live sea style!
It's not a joke but I find it particularly interesting and unusual to smell sea while wandering in a coastal city.
Every part of the city makes you aware of sea presence. Sea smell, docks activities, and even at night, sea noises. I like to hear waves crashing down on shore while I am in my bed...
This hits me every time I go to a coastal city. While sleeping, in the middle of the night, I use to be waken up by the noise of waves crashing down on shore... And then I realize I am on holidays in a coastal area... Not that the sound is intrusive, not at all since I like it... Afterwards, I just find back my sleep with a smile ..
This feeling was even more exacerbated when you live and sleep in a simple bungalow made of wooden barks, like I did in Ambila Lemaitso (see my "Off the beaten path" tips in Faritanin'i Toamasina as well) .. Memories are back, here!!
A reminder: No bath at Toamasina city seafront (sharks!!) Rather go to Mahavelona, Tahiti kely or Mahambo for that!
Here, a picture of Mahavelona beach. For more, see my Tlogue in Mahavelona page as well.
Address: Seafront- shore
I fell for it!
Well, rather say a "wood bar" or "wood counter" than "terrasse".
After wandering in Toamasina streets, head to Adam & Eve, quite at the end of Boulevard Joffre, a block after Hôtel Joffre's.
You will see there a simple setting. A refreshment bar from where you have a nice view on Bd. Joffre, great pictures in perspective of the boulevard as well... And the bank building nearby. A nice place to rest instead of getting "locked" in those tea-rooms... This is a place I like in Toamasina city
You may have a drink (soda or corrossol, pineapple juice), kebab and samossa.
For natural juice, just ask them to use mineral water if needed and not water from tap. Apart from that, it's not that risky!
Address: Bd. Joffre
Directions: A block after Hôtel Joffre's
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