Kingston Journals

International Partnership for Service Learning in Jamaica

A January 2005 trip to Kingston by carrie307

New Providence Primary School Photo, Kingston, Jamaica More Photos
Quote: I studied and served abroad in Kingston, Jamaica, from January through April of 2005.

International Partnership for Service Learning in Jamaica

Overview

New Providence Primary School Photo, Kingston, Jamaica
Quote:
Highlights included teaching in a first-grade classroom, local beaches, hanging with my Rasta friend in his bamboo hut in the hills, clubs, camping in the Blue Mountains, music, and the scenery. There is too much to possibly copy and paste onto this website, so read all about it here. Quick Tips: Don't go to Kingston unless you're mentally prepared. While it can be a thumping place full of energy, it is not a family fun or spring break destination by any means. (On an up note, you won't have to deal with people chasing you down the street trying to braid your hair, as you might in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, or Negril!) It c...Read More

Sugar Daddies

Restaurant

Quote:
This is a cute little place. It's inside, but it's open to the outside. They serve Jamaican and American food. For example, you can get pizza with jerk chicken, callaloo, pineapple, etc.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Sugar Daddies
Hope Road
Kingston, Jamaica

Bob Marley Museum

Attraction

Bob Marley Museum Photo, Kingston, Jamaica
Quote:
If you're a Bob Marley fan, then it makes sense to check out the museum while in Kingston. It's really not that exciting, though, to be honest. I went on Bob's 60th anniversary, so there was a little more action going on. Trenchtown is where he actually grew up, and this place is fascinating but very dangerous. I only went because there was a festival going on for his birthday, and my cab driver deemed it the only safe time to go. The best combination is what I did -- Went to my classes and learned all about Jamaica's history and sociology, went to Trenchtown and saw what I learned about, and went to the Bob Marley museum and watched the documentary, hearing Bob sing about it all. You will de...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Bob Marley Museum
56 Hope Rd.
Kingston, Jamaica
(876) 927-9152

Hellshire Beach

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Hellshire Beach Photo, Kingston, Jamaica
Quote:
To get to Hellshire, take a city bus to Halfway tree, then a minibus to (I forget), and then a cab the rest of the way. This is the local beach where I was warned not to go because it's where the "riff-raff" go. But this ended up being one of my favorite places in Jamaica! You can lay out on a big wooden bench in the shade, sunbathe on the sand, or go in the water. Don't expect waves to ride, though, as the water is pretty calm. Although the shop keepers will do their best to watch your bags if you leave them on the bench, it's best for someone to stay behind with valuables while others are in the water. (A friend's phone was stolen there). Be sure to get some fish (although you will g...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Hellshire Beach
Near Port Henderson
Portmore, St. Catherine
No telephone availab

Asylum

Attraction

Quote:
Nightlife doesn't really begin in Jamaica until around 1 to 2am. If you get to the Asylum before then, there will be some music, then contests. (We were spotted as visitors and brought up onstage!) Usually, a couple regulars will start dancing in the middle of the dance floor and others just watch. Later on into the night, the dancing really starts. Tuesday night is Ladies Night, with free admission and drinks. If you get there early enough on Friday night, there is also free admission.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Asylum
69 Knutsford Blvd
Kingston 5, Jamaica
+1 876 906 1828

Quad

Attraction

Quote:
Nightlife doesn't really begin in Jamaica until around 1 to 2am. The Quad is really cool, as it has three different floors, each playing different music. There's a balcony for cooling off on the top floor.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Quad
20 - 22 Trinidad Terrace
Kingston, Jamaica 5
(876) 754-7823

Hope Gardens

Attraction

Hope Gardens Photo, Kingston, Jamaica
Quote:
It's free to get in. This is just a generally pretty place. There are landscaped paths, fields, big trees, and a dense jungle-like section. There's a beautiful walkway lined with bright pink/orange flowers. There's also a neat little island that's in the shape of Jamaica! Bring your kite, as it's a popular activity.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Hope Gardens
Old Hope Rd.
Kingston, Jamaica
(876) 927-1257

La Pluma Negra

Attraction | "Pluma Negra"

Quote:
This is a tiny place, but if you're looking for a T-shirt with something besides "Ya Mon!" go here. They also have great-fitting shirts for females!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

La Pluma Negra
96 Hope Road
Kingston, Jamaica
(876) 946-1672

Cooyah

Attraction

Quote:
"Cooyah" is a slang patois term for "look here." This is a tiny place, but if you're looking for a T-shirt with something besides "Ya Mon!" go here. They have some cool shirts, but as a female, I couldn't find the designs I liked small enough to fit.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Cooyah
96 Hope Rd.
Kingston, Jamaica
(876) 946-1930

Carnation Market / Orange Street Shopping

Attraction | "Carnation Market / Orange Street"

Carnation Market / Orange Street Shopping Photo, Kingston, Jamaica
Quote:
Don't go downtown without a local. Don't carry anything of value or a whole lot of money. It's hard to not carry money when shopping, so hide some in your shoe or bra. This market is definitely worth seeing, though! You will feel the heartbeat of Jamaica in this hustling, bustling place.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Carnation Market / Orange Street Shopping
Downtown
Kingston, Jamaica

Papine Market

Attraction

Quote:
Get fresh fruit and vegetables here for far less than at the big grocery stores. As a tourist, though, they will try to rip you off, so until you're familiar with the prices, it's best to let a local haggle for you.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Papine Market
Papine Sqaure
Kingston 6, Jamaica
+1 876 754 5941

Emancipation Park

Attraction

Quote:
Since it's so hot in Jamaica, it's best to run or walk at night. But doing so at night can be dangerous, so head to Emancipation Park, which has a very, very nice track that is watched by security guards.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Emancipation Park
New Kingston
Kingston, Jamaica

Spanish Town

Attraction

Quote:
Jamaica was first settled by the Spanish, then taken by the English. Part of the old Spanish Town remains and can be toured. While this historic tour is safe, the actual city of Spanish Town is very volatile right now.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Spanish Town
Spanish Town
Kingston, Jamaica

Port Royal

Attraction

Quote:
Port Royal was the original Sin City. Although it was once a pirate stronghold, it is now a very peaceful and famous for its fish. Tours are available.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Port Royal
Port Royal
Kingston 1, Jamaica
+1 876 922 1287

Shops at Devon House

Attraction | "Devon House"

Quote:
The Devon House is a big, old house. It's very pretty and has a nice restaurant, although I've never actually been inside. It's famous for its ice cream, although the coconut is the only worthwhile one in my opinion.

There are gift shops and a nice big yard perfect for dates. This is a likely place to see tourists, although locals swarm the ice cream shop as well.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Shops at Devon House
26 Hope Rd
Kingston 10, Jamaica
+1 876 929 7029

Nature Reserve Campground Photo, Kingston, Jamaica
Quote:
This camping area is on a nature reserve. I don't remember the name of it, but it's up past the army training center. Do not be like me and make the mistake of riding up the hill to the campground while already feeling a little ill! It is a long, twisty, windy road, and Jamaicans will race up it as if their life depended on it. Once at the top, however, you will be in awe of the beautiful view! There's little gazebos available perfect for picnics. There's also a path through the woods that I highly recommend. After being in Kingston (which never sleeps) for a month or so, I just kept walking down this path until I could no longer hear anything but a bird chirping and the sound of water in th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Nature Reserve Campground
Blue Mountains
Kingston, Jamaica

Backyaad

Attraction

Quote:
I went to a concert here in celebration of Bob Marley's 60th birthday (sponsored by my friend's band, Aluta Continua). It's a small place, so you can get close to the stage. They also have a comedy night.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Backyaad
126 Constant Spring Rd.
Kingston, Jamaica
(876) 432-2644

Port Antonio

Attraction

Port Antonio Photo, Kingston, Jamaica
Quote:
This isn't in Kingston, but I'm including it anyways. It is one of the last local beaches that haven't been taken over by a resort (although it soon will). There are mostly locals but tourists too. It is nice for snorkeling, but bring your own gear. I still prefer Hellshire, though.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Port Antonio
Port Antonio
Kingston, Jamaica

Montego Bay (MoBay)

Attraction

Montego Bay (MoBay) Photo, Kingston, Jamaica
Quote:
This isn't in Kingston, but I'm including it anyway. This is a major tourist area, so don't expect a real taste of Jamaica. Prices are very expensive, and you even have to pay to go on the beach. It's a lot smaller than you would think for a tourist area because mostly cruise ships make a brief stops here. It's great for souvenirs and spring breakers, but I still prefer Hellshire. If you want to go out, I don't recommend Margaritaville on the strip. Take a cab to Pier 1 instead.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Montego Bay (MoBay)
West side of Jamaica
Kingston, Jamaica

Ocho Rios

Attraction | "Ocho Rios (Ochi)"

Ocho Rios Photo, Kingston, Jamaica
Quote:
This isn't in Kingston, but I'm including it anyways. This is a major tourist area, so don't expect a real taste of Jamaica. It's a lot smaller than you would think for a tourist area, because mostly cruise ships just make a brief stop. Dunns River, another tourist sight, is nearby. Ochi is great for souvenirs, and be sure to check out the awesome craft/souvenir market, but I still prefer Hellshire.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Ocho Rios
Ocho Rios
Kingston, Jamaica

Mayfield Falls

Attraction

Mayfield Falls Photo, Kingston, Jamaica
Quote:
Mayfield Falls is the toned-down version of Dunns River. Nestled within beautiful surroundings, a Rasta guide will lead you up the creek. If you have water shoes, bring 'em. Relax on the grounds or in a hammock after you've made the trek.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Mayfield Falls
Mabel Ewin Dr.
Kingston, Jamaica
(876) 971-6580

Jamaica Carnival

Attraction | "Carnival"

Jamaica Carnival Photo, Kingston, Jamaica
Quote:
Carnival is a post-Easter celebration modeled after Trinidad's Carnival. It's basically a month of parties and dances leading up to the final weekend that features all-night parties, a road parade, and a concert at the stadium. Be very careful, though, and DO NOT bring valuables with you!! As I tried to enter the stadium, I was surrounded by about 10 guys and robbed.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 11, 2005

Jamaica Carnival
67 Constant Spring Road
Kingston, Jamaica
+1 876 754 7129; +1

More Important Advice

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
While there are white Jamaicans, they are by far the minority. If you are a white tourist, there is no way to fade into the crowd. You will stand out, you will be stared at, and they will think you have money. Here's some tips for looking slightly less like a bumbling tourist: Exchange rate is 60:1. This means J$300 = US$5. Know this so you don't get ripped-off. Board city buses at the back. Look both ways before crossing the street. They drive on the other side of the road. Pay with credit card at the front of grocery stores. Women, you WILL be "pssstd" at. Try not to be offended, as it is a compliment. Simply say hello or no...Read More

About the Writer

carrie307

carrie307
Meadville, Pennsylvania

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