I recently had trip in Central America, starting from Panama, then Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and finishing in Cuba. It’s a lovely Christmas time.
Panama and Costa Rica are relatively rich countries in the region so nice food and nice hotel and everything was alright. Once I stepped into Nicaragua on a bus, I could see the difference – there was no infrastructure. Even at the border, there was no road or car park for the bus to stop and pick the passengers. The driver just dropped my backpack to the dirt road for security check. and it seemed fine for everyone. I had a chat with some friends in the hostel and realised for the first time that this country was under dictatorship. Soon I realised this was true when I went to the city and saw a square of Chavez.
I had a particular interest to those countries who maintained the diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. Because of the one China policy, Taiwan does not have many friends in the world without diplomatic tie with China, but there are quite a lot in this region. I had a special visit to Taiwan’s embassy to Nicaragua and Honduras and took some pictures. You know there are only less than 20 embassies in the world, even less than the quantity of Disneyland.
The highlight of the trip was Guatemala. I would like to spend a few years there because of its nature and culture. In this trip, I missed a tour to the volcano as the tour was full. Instead I went to a local football game between Antigua and another club. The level of the game was so so but I liked the passion of the fans. It’s a 10 thousand people stadium without proper seats but most people stood there and watched the game to the end like me, supporting their team. The hosting team lost the game in the end but I will still support it.
Cuba was nice but o be honest I don’t like the idea that people had to pay a lot more than local people for everything. China used to do that in 1980s, so for me it’s so old fashioned, communist and ridiculous. It was an experience, but put it in this way, at least Cuba is not a backpacker friendly place, so bring lots of money before entering the country.
Am I coming back? Yes, I think I will learn a bit more Spanish next time. Also I would like to have more adventures in Guatemala.