Posted in North America Trip, The Caribbean, Vacation

#1819 – September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: The Caribbean (Part II: Sint Maarten)

ENGLISH

Posts in the September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: The Caribbean series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Sint Maarten
3. Part II: Sint Maarten
4. Part III: The Maho Beach
5. Part IV: Saint Martin
6. Part V: Back to the Netherlands

***

Dutch-French border in the Caribbean
Dutch-French border in the Caribbean

As I mentioned in the Introduction, the island of St.Martin is governed by two countries: the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the south (the Sint Maarten area) and France in the north (the Saint Martin area). There is a free-movement right between the two parts and so obviously we explored both parts with our rental car. In this post, I focus on the Dutch part except for the Maho Beach, which deserves its own self-standing post😉 .

***

The Causeway Bridge in Sint Maarten
The Causeway Bridge in Sint Maarten

To me, the Dutch part felt more developed than the French part, as I deduced from the infrastructure in general. The road in the Dutch side tend to be in a better condition and there were fancy bridges as well😛 . This was probably because the Dutch side might be the richer region of the two? This would not be very surprising given that the main airport (Princess Juliana International Airport) and the main harbour (be for cruise or freight) were located in this side.

Speaking of the Dutch side, I guess it was not surprising at all that we encountered this view a few times there:

Open bridge
Open bridge

Lol😆 . Yes, just like the daily occurrence in continental Europe Netherlands, the bridge was also open for some ships! Haha😆 .

Aside from the amazing Maho Beach, we only went to two other beaches in the Dutch side: the Mullet Bay and the Philipsburg Beach in the capital. The Mullet Bay was, indeed, very beautiful and serene (probably because we went there in the morning). The water was so clear and blue and turquoise and beautiful and it matched the sky! 😍 The Philipsburg Beach, on the other hand, was just like a typical city-side beach with a lot of buildings along the coastline.

The Mullet Bay in Sint Maarten
The Mullet Bay in Sint Maarten

Speaking of the capital, it was called Philipsburg. It was a small-sized city with one main road and two smaller roads flocked with shops on both sides; pretty much like the roads in Kuta and Legian in Bali, Indonesia. Some of the stores were branded stores, btw; and we guessed those stores caterred the (rich) tourists who were there on cruise. There was a board walk along the coastline as well, which was only accessible by foot.

In Sint Maarten!!
In Sint Maarten!!

If Philipsburg Beach came out pale compared to the other beaches in the island, the city of Philipsburg itself was not. I found the architecture alongside the roads of the city to be very interesting and refreshing. So I actually recommend walking down the roads around the city if you happen to be there🙂 .

Philipsburg
Philipsburg

While vacationing during low-season has many perks, there are downsides as well. Most of the stores in Philipsburg that we saw were closed; probably due to the low number of tourists. Moreover, some restaurants (in the entire island) were also closed for the whole month. In general, aside from the super touristic area (like the Maho Beach), we found not so many people in the island. Even there were only few people in the mall!

The KFC in Sint Maarten
The KFC in Sint Maarten

Speaking of the food, to be honest we did not get the chance to try any local food. This might be our fault that we were being too picky (I was concerned about the hygiene while my parents were more concerned about the type of the food). Once we had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in Philipsburg where I had a very delicious fajitas. Many times we ended up eating Chinese food which turned out to be quite popular throughout the island, haha😆 . And I was super glad that we managed to try a KFC as well! And I loved the KFC there!! It was good (though still did not beat the Indonesian KFC)!!

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: The Caribbean:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Sint Maarten
3. Part II: Sint Maarten
4. Part III: The Maho Beach
5. Part IV: Saint Martin
6. Part V: Back to the Netherlands

***

Dutch-French border in the Caribbean
Perbatasan Belanda dan Prancis di Karibia

Seperti yang kusebutkan di posting Pendahuluan, pulau St. Martin diperintah oleh dua negara: Kerajaan Belanda di selatan (area Sint Maarten) dan Prancis di utara (area Saint Martin). Ada kebebasan berpindah di antara dua bagian ini sehingga jelas dong kami memanfaatkannya untuk menjelajahi pulau ini dengan mobil sewaan kami. Di posting ini, aku akan fokus di bagian Belanda kecuali Pantai Maho-nya, yang mana layak untuk dijadikan satu posting tersendiri😉 .

***

The Causeway Bridge in Sint Maarten
Jembatan Causeway di Sint Maarten

Untukku, bagian Belanda terasa lebih maju daripada bagian Prancis, dan ini kusimpulkan secara umum dari infrastrukturnya. Jalanan di sisi Belanda berada dalam kondisi yang umumnya lebih baik dan ada jembatan-jembatan keren segala😛 . Ini mungkin karena sisi Belanda lebih kaya? Ini tidak mengherankan karena bandara utama (Bandara Internasional Princess Juliana) dan pelabuhan utama (untuk cruise maupun kargo) berlokasi di sisi ini.

Ngomongin sisi Belanda, aku rasa tidak mengherankan juga sih ya bahwa kami mendapatkan pemandangan begini ini beberapa kali ketika di sana:

Open bridge
Jembatannya dibuka

Huahahaha😆 . Iyaa, sama ternyata dengan pemandangan sehari-hari di Belanda Eropa daratan, jembatannya dibuka karena ada kapal yang mau lewat! Haha😆 .

Selain Pantai Maho yang memang keren abis, kami hanya pergi ke dua pantai lainnya saja di sisi ini: Pantai Mullet dan Pantai Philipsburg di ibukota. Pantai Mullet memang beneran indah dan tenang sekali (mungkin karena kami kesana di pagi hari). Airnya sungguh jernih dan biru dan turquoise dan warnanya cocok dengan warna langitnya! 😍 Tetapi Pantai Philipsburg terasa biasa saja sih yaitu tipikal pantai yang berada di pinggir kota dengan banyak gedung-gedung di sampingnya.

The Mullet Bay in Sint Maarten
Pantai Mullet di Sint Maarten

Ngomongin ibukota, ibukota dari Sint Maarten adalah Philipsburg. Kota ini adalah kota kecil dengan satu jalan utama dan dua jalan lebih kecil yang dipenuhi oleh pertokoan di kedua sisinya; kurang lebih mirip lah seperti Kuta dan Legian di Bali. Walaupun begitu, beberapa tokonya adalah toko barang-barang branded loh, btw; dan kami duga sih pangsa pasarnya adalah turis (kaya) yang sedang berlibur dengan cruise, haha. Ada juga jalanan di tepian pantai yang hanya bisa diakses pejalan-kaki.

In Sint Maarten!!
Di Sint Maarten!!

Jika Pantai Philipsburg terasa biasa saja jika dibandingkan pantai-pantai lain di pulau ini, justru kota Philipsburgnya sendiri yang menurutku menarik. Aku merasa arsitektur bangunan di sepanjang jalan di kota ini amat unik. Jadi aku menyarankan untuk berjalan-jalan santai di sana deh🙂 .

Philipsburg
Philipsburg

Jika berlibur di musim sepi itu banyak keuntungannya, tetapi ternyata ada juga kekurangannya loh. Kebanyakan toko di Philipsburg sedang tutup waktu itu; mungkin karena jumlah turis yang sedikit. Lebih jauh lagi, banyak restoran (di seluruh pulau) yang tutup sepanjang bulan. Secara umum, selain area-area yang super turistik (misalnya Pantai Maho), kami tidak melihat begitu banyak keramaian di pulau ini. Bahkan mall-nya pun sepi pengunjung!

The KFC in Sint Maarten
KFCnya Sint Maarten

Ngomongin makanan, sejujurnya nih kami tidak berkesempatan untuk banyak mencoba makanan lokal. Ini mungkin karena kami pemilih sekali disana (aku khawatir dengan tingkat kebersihan makanannya). Sekali kami makan di Hard Rock Cafe di Philipsburg dimana aku makan fajitas yang enak banget. Kami juga makan beberapa kali di rumah makan Chinese food yang mana ternyata ada banyak tersebar di seluruh penjuru pulaunya, haha😆 . Dan aku sungguh lega kami sempat mencoba KFCnya juga! Dan aku suka deh KFCnya!! Rasanya enak (walaupun masih belum mengalahkan KFCnya Indoneesia sih)!!

28 thoughts on “#1819 – September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: The Caribbean (Part II: Sint Maarten)

  1. suka banget sama warna laut nya… biru banget bikin pengen berenang 😆 kfc di sana ada menu baru yang ayam goreng nya ada keju nya juga enggaa kak? enak banget ayam kfc yang menu baru ituu 😄

    1. Iyaa, kece banget ya lautnya!! 😍Memang bikin pengen nyemplung banget!! Wah, aku ngga perhatian yg menu keju itu, soalnya cuma nyari yg crispy aja sih buat dibandingin 😄

    1. Huaaa, Maho Beach KEREEN abissss!!!! Special dah!!

      Hahaha, iya. Pulaunya memang mirip Bali dalam artian bergantung banget sama pariwisata. Tapi kayaknya masih lebih rame dan maju Bali sih, hmmm 🤔

    1. Iyaa, KFC Indo susaah dah ngalahinnya, ahahah 😂. Waduh, aku ga begitu ingat harganya, tapi seingetku nggak mahal kok. Termasuk murah untuk ukuran sana, hmmm

    1. Ketjee banget lautnyaa!! Tapi panasnya gak santaaiiii, ahahahah 😂. Ini KFCnya yang crispy kok. Tapi mmg gak semua negara KFCnya ada ayam crispy-nya sih, hmm…

  2. aku khawatir dengan tingkat kebersihan makanannya — Emang kenapa Ko? Kelihatannya engga ya yg lokal punya? .. Huaaa.. Itu pantaiii memanggil2…Salah bgt nih liat bgnian, dah sakaw vitamin sea liat beginian..huhu..

    1. Huahaha, kurang yakin dengan tingkat kebersihannya aja Py😛 . Ya habis, males juga kan kalau sakit mana pas di negeri jauh banget gitu, hihihi😀 .

      Iyaa, pantainya kereeen!!😀

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