|Thankyou, Drug users of the world for helping build this beautiful city of Panama|
|Your not a real man unless you pack a piece in Latin America|
For some reason, Panama City is often seen as nothing more than a quite boring starting base for the more interesting neighbours like Costa Rica and Columbia. While this is indeed true, and its also true Panama doesnt have the dangerous 'edge' that say, Venzuela and Guatamala has (its still pretty sketchy in the slums at night i can tell you) Panama has quite a few things going for it and id say worth a stay before you move onto the 'real' places surrounding....heres my list for what its worth...
1. The beautiful Colonial Old Town
2. A biggish national park just on the edge of the city centre
3. Pretty amazing drug baron built skyscrapers
4. The Causeway
5. The Panama Canal
6. Loads of Casinos
7. Offshore Banking/no tax
8. Cheap beer
9. Cheap hookers and cocaine
On the Accomodation front -
|Crazy Architecture of Panama City|
1. The Old town is worth a wander round during the day. I even almost bought an apartment once, it’s a real estate agents dream, with beautiful crumbling Colonial mansions being refurbished everywhere, but nasty looking slums just a hundred yards away. It's a bit of a Gringo incomers place from what i can see – remember that girl from school called Jemima? Yes she just set up a delightful little gallery there. Its THAT kind of place, you know what i mean? You might as well be in Notting Hill half the time. The local rich guys all live in the skyscrapers across the bay – remember Latin Americans really don’t have any culture or love for Old/Beautiful things, hence the tragic lack of decent fine art in South/Central America. Anyway, don’t walk around here at night, unless you are a tool then I don’t care.
|More Random Products of Lax Money Laundering Rules|
3 (and 7) Drugs and Banking - I’td be cynical of me to say that drug money laundered through the very successful offshore banking sector here in Panama is responsible for the hundreds of skyscrapers built here in the last few years (and yes you can buy them with a suitcase of cash if you like) But I can’t help but think that something doesn’t quite add up here.
4 The Causeway - I don’t know why this isn’t on more tourist guides (thanks God) Well if you want to go for a walk, rollerblade, run etc. Then this causeway connects 4 little islands on the edge of the city (not that far away) at the entrance to the Panama canal. Its lined with great restaurants so if you are in a couply mood, then go there and watch the sunset, its quite beautiful and intend to do that tomorrow if i get lucky tonight with a beautiful girl (highly unlikely, i haven’t seen one since i left Estonia !)
5 Panama Canal - heres a great museum on the canal which i found surprisingly interesting – it tells you how they made it (i really didn’t know how canals worked until that day) and of course how many thousands and thousands died. They played a blinder, as they built it during the great depression so loads of guys from random places like Chicago ended up going to work on it as virtual slaves. In theory thats why there is a big expat community here but to be honest i haven’t met any of them, even at poker last night, except i do see gangs of pasty looking sex touristy types cruising around.
6 Casinos - Ok, Las Vegas is aint,but if you want loud, chaotic carribean style Casinos this is the place. The poker room last night was pretty sedate but the Blackjack tables were crazy. Be aware that the pretty girl next to you who is playing with small change and smiling at you is more than likely to be a hooker.
7 Offshore Banking -Well, even Citi Bank and HSBC are here so it must be legit.
8 Actually i’m not drinking at the moment so i wouldn’t know but by the look of how drunk everyone was last night, it must have been cheap.
|Running in the Sauna - Rock and Roll !|
|Free Wifi Spots are all round the city....unlike UK|
ps - tonight ill go to a steakhouse recomended by a guy at poker, so ill fill this part in after i've eaten a few days!