I live in TnT. If you're coming from a " Developed Country" you would want to spend more time in Tobago as it's attraction is the fact that it is less developed industrially, natural, clean and beautiful (clean, green, safe and serene as we say). So you enter a state of peace and relaxation as you touch down on the island. Trinidad however, is the complete opposite. As mentioned, Carnival is the biggest attraction to Trinidad, and mostly appeals to wanton revellers. You can enjoy the creativity and the music even if you are not a party person. The second most popular reason for staying in Trinidad would be for business purposes, because there are many.
You will be amazed how one nation can have two islands with such vastly different cultures and everything else. But that is exactly the blessing that is TnT. On the downside crime is a serious issue in Trinidad whilst almost negligable in Tobago. I guess "The price of Progress" is always high. You don't need a visa, nor any special documents to choose one island over the next. You can make either one your home and the other your getaway, or you can just travel between them, by ferry or aircraft, at will.
We visit family when we go to Trinidad, but the same applies to first time tourists too. If someone is going to a party, beach, or down-the-islands and asks you to go, GO! It's okay! Being a classically uptight suburban North American, I'm not used to being invited by relative strangers into their home, car, boat, or wherever. The people of Trinidad are friendly, social and incredibly welcoming. Bring a bottle of something if you have it, but don't hesitate to join in regardless.
Trinidad is the most muli-cultural melting pot on the planet, and it shows in the beauty of their people. It's a direct result of their "everyone is welcome" outlook. You'll find Indian, Chinese, African, Caucasian, Spanish, Syrian, Germans, French, Italians.. and that's just in ONE family!
It is customary in Trinidad and Tobago that when you open a fresh bottle of rum that before drinking any you pour a cap full of the rum away as an offering to the ancestors. I had read about this custom before going to Tobago but didn't really believe I would see it happening. THerefore I was surprised to actually witness this on more than one occasion.
Something you will see all over the island is people smoking Ganja.
Small boats smuggle the Ganja from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Tobago.
Though it is illegal, it seems that there is no real danger when smoking.
However, I was told people get beaten up by the police when caught.
As in Holland it is legal, I tried it once when I met some locals in the forest.
Nice taste, but the effects only last for 30-45 minutes.
Try the local beer and rum, while you are there.
Angostura 1919 is according to most locals ne of the best rums on the planet.
Also Angostura Royal Oak is a very nice rum.
The local beers are Stag ad Carib. I preffered the Stag, but Carib is very nice as well. (Like all choices, it's my personal opinion.)
Along the roadsides you will see sing saying "Hot Roti". Stop in and buy one for your lunch.
Roti can be found throughout the islands. You can usually choose from vegetables only, to curried beef, chicken, goat, or shrimp..
My husbands says the goat is best and I will take his word for it.
Cricket is T&T favorite sport. The best cricket player in the world, Brian Lara, with the most runs is 'Trini'. Everywhere you go, you see Trinis playing cricket. i am still trying to understand the rules of the game, but I guess there must be something to it...
Etiquette & Behavior
Religious and racial tolerance are important to the people of Trinidad and Tobago. You may hear a word used in public that elsewhere might constitute a slur; on these islands, chances are it's being used in jest - but only by locals who know one another well. Many islanders are well educated and well traveled; don't assume they're unfamiliar with international politics and customs. As in many British-influenced Caribbean nations, beach attire isn't appreciated in stores, restaurants, or hotel lobbies.
Almost all hotels add a 10%-15% service charge to your bill. Most restaurants include a 10% service charge, which is considered standard on these islands. If it isn't on the bill, tip according to service: 10%-15% is fine. Cabbies expect a token tip of around 10%. At drinking establishments tipping is optional, and the staff at smaller bars may tell you on your way out that you forgot your change.
Naah - not THAT kind of culture, more like CULCHA. T & T has loads of diverse stuff. Orisha weddings, a Black Madonna shrine, an amazing shop full of rooms and rooms of art from numerous African countries in Woodbrook, Port of Spain (African Trophies, 12 Roberts St. 622-9476). Crafts? Lots of nice things for sale around Store Bay beach in Tobago - and if you need sandals, you can get some made for a reasonable price in the stalls on Frederick Street, Port of Spain (opposite 'Nina's', about 2 blocks from Independence Square). Alwin Davis (trading as Bangadesh) is ya man - Stall number 14 - he made me some excellent sandals based on my old ones, but he has a variety of designs to choose from.
The people in Trinidad and Tobago are proud, friendly and polite, that's also why it's very important to greet people 1st like 'Good morning' or 'Good afternoon' then talk or ask questions.
They are naturally generous, laid-back and easy going, we are so touched that total strangers would treat us like family or friends, they don't have much but they are more than willing to share with you whatever the food or drink they may have, and won't take no for an answer.
Trinibagonians are very friendly people. We love Liming (hanging out) and just having a good time. We are a melting pot of peoples from all over the world. There is great diversity here and richeness in culture in Trinidad. You'll love it!
Trinidad & Tobago has a multi-religious population: Christian, Muslim, Hindi, etc. Holidsys aren't limited to North American standards. You can soak up their traditions with ease. Most welcome tourists. See the light up if Divali! Celebrate Eid.
Trinidadians are very friendly people who will invite you to a lime even if they do not know you!!Do not be afraid to make new friends.And if they ask you which beer is the best please say Carib and enjoy a cold one.Trinis are passionate about their Carib!
The driving was horribly scary. Brace yourself! We were constantly passed by other cars, even while on winding one-lane mountain roads. This flat tire was the result of trying to let a hurried driver pass us.
The Soca parties called Fete´s is really something to experience. I have never in my life experienced so much energy in one place.
Especially in the months before carnival there is a lot of Fete´s all over. The big Brass Festival and the International Soca Monarch Finals are something
Don´t forget your FLAG or your RAG...
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