Posts Tagged With: Oaxaca

Day 193: Oaxaca – Mexico – Dec 27th

One last day in Oaxaca, and we made the best of this wonderful town.

Just like any other perfect vacation city, Oaxaca has rich history, colourful artists and crafts, and of course, great food! The town is really big, but the city centre is where it all happens. After visiting the impressive historical ruins of Monte Alban yesterday, we spent the day wandering the streets of Oaxaca.

The nights here are chilly, but during the day, the sun beats down on you with serious fervor and you can easily get sun burned, especially if you’re wearing a tank top and don’t apply sunblock like our dear Jiajia. The town is laid out in a grid manner so its really easy to navigate. Coffee shops and museums line the streets, and small tourist shops selling “artisanal crafts” are abundant. If we weren’t living out of a backpack we would’ve bought a LOT of souvenirs already, as they are all very unique, creative and most of all, not expensive at all! We had a bit of time, and wandered into another modern art museum which had a beautiful designed space, but the actual works were a bit lacking. One of the highlights of Oaxaca though, is definitely the foods! You can attribute it all as being Mexican, but if you’ve tried different styles of Mexican food you can definitely taste the difference! The best part though, is the nieves that is sold on the streets. It’s like shaved ice, but made with real fruits…and it is SOOOO GOOD. Mexico has extremely delicious fruit, and nothing beats a cup of shaved ice, or a paletas (popscicle) made from fresh fruits that just tastes so damn good on a hot sunny day. And it’s almost always sunny here in Oaxaca =)

Wandering the streets for a day is easy to lose track of time, but we had a 1:30pm lunch reservation we weren’t going to miss out on. Los Danzantes, or what very roughly translates to “stone carvings”, is also an extremely popular restaurant in Mexico City, with a second outlet in Oaxaca! The dining room is awesome as you’re surrounded on four sides by this rugged wall that extends 20m high, and covered with a massive tarp of cloth. Art dots the wall, and the service is all decorated with an earthly tone. The food definitely takes top spot in terms of foods we’ve had, and we are definitely spoiled. Unfortunately, I ordered dobladitas for appetizers and tlayudas for mains. Didn’t know what either meant, but they both tasted darn good. Problem was, they were both, what a naïve person like me would call, a taco! So for lunch I had like… 5 massive tacos. Too much of a good thing may be too much, so the last few bites had very minimal utility.

After lunch, Alan was wandering around like a zombie as the blood flow was concentrated in the digestive system, so we ended up sitting in a park for 30minutes before heading to one of the numerous local coffee shops. This place is so awesome, just eat, sleep, and chill!

We had no room for dinner so we had some delicious chicken soup. Chicken in general tastes extremely good so far in Mexico, and their soups are pretty spot on when you’ve tired out of the normal Mexican foods. We were taking an overnight bus, and we’ve been told this trip is going to get verrry dizzy. They didn’t lie!

There are several ‘classes’ of buses for ADO, one of the largest bus networks in Mexico. We took the most expensive PLATINUM class, thinking we should invest a bit for some good nights sleep. The bus has only 25 people compared to others which have around 40! The seats are MASSIVE, and can recline pretty far backwards. But, other than that it turns out their “best” service is almost identical to the service we had with Primera Plus, except Primera Plus only has 1 class and it is about 40% cheaper!!! W T F. ADO = Dislike. The first couple of hours on the bus was spent struggling to keep food from regurgitating, and quickly we went to bed. We woke up in a daze when the bus rolled into a station, and we walked off despite several passengers stayed there. We got off, and I casually asked where we were, and of course, we’re not at the final stop yet. We almost got off a stop too early!!! Hop back onto the bus, catch another hours worth of rest, and we finally arrive…. San Cristobal de la Casas.

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Day 192: Oaxaca – Mexico – Dec 26th

For various reasons, we always manage to sleep in, and usually that doesn’t matter but this morning we totally missed breakfast that’s included in the room charge!!!! Haha, we live on a budget so have to save up anytime we can!

Wandering the streets of Oaxaca, it definitely has its charm. Along the street, this random guy struck a conversation with us. Originally from New York, who went to school at McGill and ‘loves Canada, because it is so civilized’. Hehe, okay sure, but he seemed like a cool guy and he said it was his 4th time in Oaxaca in two years, and this time he’s staying for over a month! Judging from our brief encounter with this guy, it seems like Oaxaca is a pretty cool place. Unlike Guanajuato, this place has a more relaxed vibe and seemingly a lot more foreign tourists. The streets were pretty cool, with neat little cafes and restaurants tucked into little corners, and lots of art galleries no matter where you look. Adding to the streets is the intoxicating aroma of chocolate, and you get a sense of what Oaxaca feels like.

Oaxaca is famous for two things, hot chocolate and Metzal, an agave distilled liquor. Well, we haven’t tried Metzal yet but we tried a cup of hot chocolate for lunch inside a grungy market, and it was pretty darn delicious! Food in Mexican markets are always fun, as every region has different styles of food and we really never know what we’re ordering so it’s always a pleasant surprise. One thing though, Mexican soups are VERY good!

It was a good idea to stop at the market for some food before taking our day trip up to Mount Alban, another set of ruins left behind by the Zapotecs (??) people, which started building this massive site around 2000 years ago! The whole place has a very different vibe than the ruins at Teotihuacan, and somehow it feels more, for the lack of a better word, quaint. The ruins are a group of buildings that dot the whole mountain, it was said that the people actually leveled the top of this mountain before constructing the buildings. And this time, the ruins are more scattered and without one or two particular focal points where your eyes get attracted. And at the top, you get this panoramic view of the city of Oaxaca which isn’t as interesting as the ruins itself. Interestingly, a lot of the artifacts at the Museum of Anthropology back in Mexico City was taken from this site, so it feels a bit like dejavu with the stuff that’s being shown.

The most interesting piece at the ruins was probably a 3 meter tall obelisk, which was used to determine the time of the day. And through this, the understanding of time can be measured and the people probably used this to develop their own version of calendars.

Back in town, we had a great Mexican meal to cap off the day. 

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