Out for a walk near Korca, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Korca, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Pogradec on May 12th!

Saturday, March 6, 2021

The highlights of Tanga

Despite the heat, we figured we had better get out and see the highlights of the city. We thought about riding the bikes over to the beach area, but while it's a slight downhill the whole way there, it would be a slight uphill the whole way back! 

So we decided to walk the 7 kms (4.3 miles) one way, find somewhere to have a meal, and then take a taxi back.

We had read that Tanga is "for the discerning tourist and intrepid traveler" as described on the Tanzania Tourism website. And I suppose that's true. It's definitely an off the beaten path sort of place that not many tourists come to. But I think it's partly because there's really not a heck of a lot of interesting things to see or do.

As in Lushoto, the municipal offices are the nicest looking property in town.

The local museum.

We went inside the lobby, and it was really run down looking. No signs anywhere saying what the admission price was, and to be honest we weren't really in a mood for museums. So we left and carried on.

The view from the back of the museum.

An old ruins beside the museum.

The town library.

Odd graveyard. It was marked 1901, around the time of the German occupation.

This building really stood out!

Later on, we asked our taxi driver what the story is with the building above. It turns out that it's a private residence, belonging to the richest man in town. Apparently he owns several local oil companies.

Further on, this building is going up.

The reason I took the photo above is to show the rickety stairs and ramps they built to get to the upper floors. Not that easy to see unless you click the photo to make it full screen. Safety first...lol.

I had seen on google maps what looks like a long pier... but when we got close it's all washed away.

Most of the pier is all washed away.

We knew there is a popular beach and from the pictures it looked pretty nice. So we figured we would find somewhere to sit and have a drink, and Ruth had brought her swimsuit. But there are only two access points to get down to the beach. One was the "Tanga Yacht Club". But at the steps going down, it was marked as "Members Only". 

We went down anyway. 

It was a nice enough looking place, but there was hardly anybody around. Eventually we found some people who we thought were employees, and we asked about accessing the beach. They said it was 10,000 shillings ($5.50 CAD, $4.35 USD) each. Needless to say, we turned around.

One thing we have noticed everywhere here, is that the service employees are very sullen. There's no enthusiasm, and rarely even a welcoming smile. We've both noticed this, to the point where we mentioned it to each other and we both agree. Even waiters and waitresses in restaurants.

They usually do say "karibu", which is welcome in Swahili... but they rarely look like they mean it. You get more enthusiasm from people we see on the street. It's very odd, but maybe it's some sort of cultural thing that we are unaware of.

A couple of hundred meters along the road, we came to the other access point... for the locals. Here, it cost 1,000 shillings to access the same beach! We asked the guy at the entrance if there was a restaurant, and he said yes, but we also asked if there was one that was any better then the rest. He didn't really answer the question, but we don't think his English was very good.

Given that it's the best beach in town, and it's really not a bad beach... we kind of expected it to be a little more developed. But there is only a very rustic shade structure, a few homemade chairs, and a few broken down jetskis that have been lying around for years. And a shack where you can buy water and soft drinks. And another shack where the guy does some food. No restaurant to speak of though.

Looking to the right.

Looking straight out.

Looking to the left.

Ruth put on her swimsuit and went for a swim. She said the water was like bath water. She spoke to a local who was also swimming, and he said that the food guy does fish and chips, but we never saw anybody else eating the whole time we were there. 

We sat around for an hour or so and then decided to go up the road to the CBA Hotel where the restaurant gets not bad reviews. 

We both ordered the grilled fillet of fish, but it came poached. Still, it was pretty good.

Not bad, for 12,000 shillings ($6.55 CAD, $5.20 USD) per plate.

We have found a regular taxi guy who treats us fairly, so we called him and he came and picked us up. We stopped at the grocery store for a few minutes, and he drove us to a butcher where we could buy some ground beef. Back at home, his bill was 15,000 shillings ($8.25 CAD, $6.50 USD). The same guy is going to pick us up Sunday morning to take us to the bus station to buy our tickets for Monday morning. We are hoping to get on the "luxury" express bus, although we have our expectations set pretty low when it comes to their idea of both luxury and express!

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Good deal on this Tire Plug Repair Kit.

And in Canada...

9 comments:

  1. Sounds like just a horrible place to be!

    And it is very expensive compared to Mexico!

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    1. Compared to Canada at the moment, it isn't such a bad place to be! It really is too hot for us with too many biting bugs and no real nice hiking areas close by. It definitely isn't Lushoto.

      For the most part, yes it is more expensive than Mexico. There are certain things that might be a bit cheaper or around the same cost but other than that it is more expensive. We are really missing the food in Mexico!

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  2. The beach looks very nice. I am sure it was inviting with the heat.

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    1. The beach looks better in the pictures than it really was but it was still a nice spot to be at and the water was nice and refreshing, especially after our long, hot walk to get there. :-)

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  3. The richest man in town must also have the largest family in town to live in that huge house. Lol. Nice to see some highlights of this off the beaten path city. Thanks for the tour! Safe travels.

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    1. It think the taxi driver said that the owner was an Indian guy, so we expect that several families live there with him and his family and perhaps he does lots of entertaining.

      Tanga is definitely an off the beaten path kind of place, we liked Lushoto so much better though!

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  4. Glad you found a ok place to eat. It's hard to speak their language! When are you going to the next the town? Take care, Rawn

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    1. Our meal was quite tasty but I think we preferred the restaurant that we visited the other day much better and it was a lot more local as well.

      If we were to live here, I am sure it wouldn't take us too long to learn the language but when you are only staying for a short time it is a little harder. We know quite a few words but not enough to converse with people. It does seem that quite a few can speak a little English, plus we use Google translate to help out when we can't get our point across or to ask a question.

      We leave on Monday to go to the city of Dar es Salaam.

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    2. Good luck on your flight!

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