Cuba A Cultural Mix
***This is post was contributed by Holiday Hypermarket.
Christopher Columbus pronounced that Cuba was the “most beautiful land that human eyes had ever seen” when discovering the island in 1492. Some 500 years later and the sun-drenched Caribbean island with sparkling waters attracts almost three million visitors per year. The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba offers a unique vacation experience in what has been described as a cultural paradise with a diverse population mix. This diverse mix of island inhabitants, including Chinese and Japanese, gives the island a unique cultural heritage and those from Far East countries will find some particular points of interest for their Cuba holidays:
China’s influence on Cuba
The Chinese have a long history with Cuba and migrants arrived to work on the island as far back as 1847 before settling permanently. Chinese-Cubans are part of the culture of the island and visitors will find many businesses, restaurants and shops. The city of Havana has its own ‘Barrio Chino’ or Chinese neighbourhood where the Chinese influence can be seen in the architecture, restaurants and beauty parlours. In this area of Havana there are also museums where you can learn some of the history of the importance the Chinese had on creating the Cuba we know today.
Diverse island cuisine
Cuba offers a wealth of cuisine options thanks to the diverse population mix. You can easily find a restaurant to suit your taste whether you’re looking for Chinese, Japanese or Korean food. Of course you may wish to try some traditional Cuban dishes although the ‘traditional’ dishes are actually influenced by many nationalities including Spanish, Portuguese, African, French and the Chinese. Classic Cuban dishes rely heavily on spices and a sofrito sauce that gives the chicken and meat dishes their unique flavour; try the Carne de Cerdo, a slow roasted pork or the beef hash for a taste explosion.
The world’s most beautiful beaches
One Cuban attraction that will appeal no matter which country you hail from is the fantastic beaches. The island beaches are regarded as some of the best in the world and include the idyllic 2.5 mile long Playa Paraiso at Caya Largo. This uninhabited island lies just southwest off the coast of Cuba and with a single bar serving rum and cigars, what more do you need? If you don’t fancy the boat trip to Caya Largo then check out other slices of paradise such as Playa Ancon near Trinidad or Caya Jutias, which is about as serene a beach as it gets.
From the vibrant city atmosphere of Havana to the year round high temperatures to the beautiful beaches, it’s not hard to see why Cuba is a top holiday location. An 11 hour flight is all that stands between the Far East and experience this incredible island.
Images by Neiljs and Artur Staszewski used under the Creative Commons licence.
Posted By July 1, 2014
Cuba — so close to Florida, so far from sensible US foreign policy. You will indeed see this amazing island one day, as will I, once Washington drops it’s archaic and pointless trade embargo.
I lived in Florida twice and recognize that Cuba is near. It was frustrating not to be able to visit Cuba when I lived in South Florida. I have desired a trip to Cuba since my youth. When the opportunity arises I might just do cartwheels down the walkway and that is not easy at my age! I think that when Castro passes things will change dramatically! Thanks.
As Canadians, we’re fortunate we can visit Cuba. And yet we haven’t gone yet! We really must… Old Havana would grab our attention.
Janice and George,
I am jealous that y’all have the opportunity to visit Cuba. You should take advantage of this. I am going back to Malaysia in November and will be in Langkawi for the entire month of November, doing a house sit. You certainly have to do the rickshaw tour in old Georgetown, Penang, if you have time. There is also a night market that has the best street food called Gurney Drive. It is fantastic and obviously very reasonable. Across the street around the “round about” is a restaurant named “The Oriental”. It is located on the water and has a great view of the beach and the ocean. The food is spectacular! Probably need to do the Penang Hill trolley as the view is magnificent from the top. Just a few FYI’s. If you need anything else please feel free to Facebook PM me.