Exotic Havana, Cuba – Day 1

It has been a while since I last posted something on this blog. I was intending to close down this blog towards the end of this year when the subscription ends. My personal busy and crazy personal and professional life have not given me enough time to spend on blogging much as I wished I could. Until one of the reader / follower on my other novel translation blog shared her wish for me to keep this blog on still for now. So I guess, this blog site will remain for another year for now. And I should start posting here on and off especially when I travel.

I have in fact move my travel adventure sharing on my Instagram under the name mhryupassion. Do feel free to follow that account if you are keen

I was very lucky that I had the privilege to explore Cuba recently. Although it was a short 4 days adventure, Cuba had truly been an eye opener to me.

Culturally considered part of Latin America, Cuba is a multi-ethnic country of people with various culture and customs that were derive from diverse origins. Due to the long period of Spanish colonialism, the common language spoken in Cuba is Spanish. So, do ensure that you are able to communicate in Spanish before exploring this beautiful country. 99.5% of the people here are not able to speak English.

Our journey to Cuba started with our flight from Los Angeles to Havana. We took American Airlines where we had a transit in Miami. The security were quite strict when it comes to flying to Cuba. We had to ensure that we had all the necessary documents to enter Cuba available and shown before we are even allowed to board the flight to Havana. This includes all the necessary visa and health insurance. Lucky for me, I had all the documents printed and ready on hand.

Some of the key things to remember when planning a holiday to Cuba for all of us:

  • Internet access are very limited and difficult to connect
  • Cuban currency are only available to change at the airport upon arrival into the country
  • One is not allowed to bring the currency out of the country, so remember to convert all your remaining Cuban money at the airport before heading into the departure hall
  • In the departure hall of the airport, only USD is accepted
  • Tipping is expected everywhere in Cuba. Tipping ranges between USD1 to USD2 per time (recommended)
  • 99.5% of the population does not speak English

We arrived in Havana, our first stop late into the evening. After a quick check through the immigration, off we go to our adventure. We were picked up by the cab driver arranged by our Casa host. To our delight, we were picked up in the Classic American car

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Havana, the capital and the largest city is also one of the major port and leading commercial center of Cuba. It spans a total of 782km, one of the largest and most populous city in the Caribbean region.

Founded by the Spanish in the 16th century. Due to its strategic location, it is the springboard for the Spanish when they conquest the Americans, making it a stopping point for treasure-laden Spanish galleons returning to Spain. Havana was granted as a City in 1592 by King Philip II of Spain.

There are many forts were built to protect the old city. The sinking of the US Battleship Maine in Havana in 1898 became the immediate cause of the Spanish-American War.

Our 1st day in Havana ended with us arriving in the Casa for our check in and followed by a quick walked out to grab Cuban burger for dinner before we called it a night. After all, it had been a very tiring day of travel. It actually took us 8 hours of travel to get to Cuba from Los Angeles including the transit time in Miami Airport.

Our dining venue on our first night in Havana
The common area of our comfortable Casa in Havana

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