Finally, I went to Surinam last April. It wasn’t just a vacation to me, it was also a family visit. There were a lot of positive features about Surinam, but also some negative points. My mom says we, as people with Surinamese roots, are always very critical about everything from and about our own country. I agree, but we don’t do this without a reason. First, I will mention the least negative things we have seen there so we can end this post on a very positive note.
TUI but actually Surinam Airways..
I have booked our flight through TUI’s website. I knew before that TUI was working together with Surinam Airways (SLM) to make sure the flights would happen. Little did I know, that TUI just functioned as a portal for SLM to book flights and nothing more. However, they do offer seating reservations etc through their website if you log in with your booking number. Also the flight number was a TUI number. Our vacay started very nice in March because they had rescheduled our flight because of maintenance. You might think that they knew about the fact that the SLM plane had to go out for maintenance once it was the 6th of April right? They did! They even made sure there was another plane scheduled. The schedule knew yes. The staff? Not so much. We got whole other seats in the plane. The luggage wasn’t packed right (if the plane would depart, it would flip backwards because there was too many weight in the back of the plane). And, lastly, they also printed the wrong flightplan. After all of this, we were almost 2 hours delayed. We got at the hotel and we didn’t really worry about it anymore.
The way back though… The Wednesday before we would go back home, the SLM plane broke. You might think TUI would send one of their planes (just like with the maintenance thing) to get everyone to their destination. THINK AGAIN. Loads of people stranded. The flights from Wednesday, Friday and our flight on Saturday were canceled. Finally they managed to hire a plane from Vamos airlines which could hold 450 passengers. We were able to fly back on Saturday anyways but on an earlier flight. Half of the people didn’t know and they still thought we were going to fly at 22.30h. It would go at 21.00h. When everyone boarded (at 22.00h, one hour of delay at this point), they saw that the flight was overbooked. 4 people had to leave the plane. Luckily, 4 people wanted to take the 150 dollar fee and left (already 23.00h, 2 hour delay). But their suitcases had to go out of the plane as well (we left at 00.45h, almost 4 hours of delay). The flight back was annoying. There were 4 people of the Vamos staff and 2 of the SLM staff. I think the girls from the Vamos staff didn’t like their job or something. Because they were really rude and screaming at you (even when you were sleeping). The SLM girls did an incredible job mending all of this.
At this moment, unfortunately, there are a lot of political issues in Surinam. At this moment, they have a president called Desi Bouterse. Think of Erdogan and Maduro, that’s what he is like. People barely have any money and this causes a lot of poverty and criminality. At this point people are even going onto the streets every day to stand up against Bouterse. But, of course, because most of the people voted for him, he isn’t planning to leave. Because of all the commotion, the Surinamese Dollar (SRD) isn’t worth a penny. For 1 euro you receive 8 SRD. It’s a positive thing for us, but not for them. Everything gets more expensive and their salaries remain the same. I just hope that the people who live in Surinam will vote a lot wiser than they have before.
Tourism in Surinam is incredible. Because we as tourists have way more money than them, they need to earn their money through us. Surinamese people are so polite and they are just that type of human beings who won’t let you leave before you have eaten. Especially my family is like that. Surinam is known for their rich history. It was a colony of the Netherlands and a lot of signs are still visible. Some of the farms where the slaves worked are still intact. Unfortunately, they haven’t taken care of most of the monumental buildings. Like for example: the house of Elizabeth Samson. She was the first free slave who bought a lot of farms and freed slaves.
The nature in Surinam is also very pretty. About 95% of the country is jungle. The hotels are very neat also. We have stayed in Torarica for 3 days. Boy. That hotel was insane. I must admit that this is one of the most luxurious hotels of Paramaribo. But still, the bed was awesome. The room was very tidy, spacious and pretty. The bathroom was spotless. The garden of Torarica was incredible. You could take a walk in there and you could look over the Surinam River. You could order some food in the garden. You could go and swim. One day we also went to the casino of Torarica. I kinda became a little richer hihi, just a little bit.
The creeks in Surinam are also very beautiful. Since there are no beaches in Surinam (White Beach yes, but you can go and swim there if you want to be eaten by piranhas), you can find some similar places near the airport. We went to a place called bigi kroetoe. It was the prettiest beach you imagine when you think of a pretty beach, but better. I almost gave you the impression that you were on a desert island. There were also small tents where you could just chill and leave your stuff. Since we were there with the entire family, there was constantly someone who could watch your stuff.
I am very known with the Surinamese kitchen. The funny thing about Surinam to me is that a lot of different cultures are involved. All of the different cultures have brought their own culinary rituals from their own country and made the dish with the products which are available in Surinam. So during the time, a lot of foreign dishes have got their own Surinamese twist. People are really proud of this and you will be surprised to see that there are lot of restaurants. Also they sell a lot of nice products on their markets. The products are cheap but the quality of the stuff you can get is very good! Especially because the goods are freshly made. ALSO. Don’t think about going to the KFC there. IT IS DRY. Dryer than most people’s lips in the winter. You should opt for Naskip instead. And their Subway has Subway Pizza. I fell in love with those. It doesn’t take them a lot of time to make them, and they are simply delicious.
So this was all about my vacay to Surinam. I was mostly there for family. I haven’t been there for 15 years, so a lot of familymembers didn’t even recognize me. My grandmother turned 80 years old. And I felt like I should go to her birthday.