As hostels go, I had a nice stay and met some nice people. I liked that it was not in the heart of things so it was quiet, but easy walk to all that you need and across from ocean. I saw some other hostels and didn't like what I saw. I had a fan in my room and there were cleaning people to clean the place. I actually saw them, so that was reassuring. Make sure you are nice to Lydia, don't say anything that could be taken the wrong way. I befriended someone who ran away without paying and I think she thought I would do that, too. She had been burned a few times. So, make sure you are very nice to her and she will be nice to you. You have to be extra nice and maybe pay in cash upfront so there is no nervousness on her part. That was probably just me. I am not a passive female. Keep it clean and don't ask any questions that would lead to her being suspicious of you. Just keep it straight and nice and then it will be a fine hostel in a nice place. I noticed that there was coconut oil in the common food area in the kitchen, which means you can use it. I bought plantains and hoped to fry them in the coconut oil since that is something they serve in Belize and I was inspired. The next day, I had the plantains (type of banana) but the coconut oil had been seized by someone. Of course, valuable cooking oil, good quality, in the free to use zone. I was miffed. My plan had gone awry. I expressed my dismay to Lydia when she came into the kitchen and she didn't get me at all. Don't say things that you don't have to say, if they are not important this could end up getting you into a bind with anyone in any country, afterall, we all have different ways of being and communicating and we may not be understood well. Complaining did not do me any good and got me on a bad page with her. I wish I kept it to please and thank you, smiles and nothing else. I recommend, if there is something extra yummy in any free zone for community use at any hostel, take some and put it in a container and put it in your own bagged section with your name on it. Leave some for others, but take some before you assume that it would be left there for your use the next day. I used olive oil, it was not good, these need to be fried in coconut oil, or just go to a restaurant that serves fried plantain, and, yes I know about fried foods, but we are traveling to experience different things, right?
I don't remember the names of the restaurants, but this is important to me, REALLY! I am passing this on to as many people as I can because it is IMPORTANT. When you go to Belize, you want to support Belizeans. Most of the country is below poverty. However, you will notice, especially in Placencia, rich mansions just two miles away from shanty shacks. The mansions and fancy restaurants, hotels, resorts and many other businesses are owned by American, Canadians, and Europeans. Many hire Belizeans at minimum wage. Great, they do give them good jobs. I am sure there are lots of benefits, but I prefer to support the local Belizeans over giving my money to foreigners who don't need the money as much. So beware of this all over Placencia. I loved the small hole in the walls that were Belizean owned. (Lydia is a local) I wanted to mention a sign on the small inner sidewalk that says "John the Baker Boy" or something like that. It is hand written, you go down the small walkway and find a hole in the wall bakery. It has wonderful baked goods and cinnamon buns and it is from a Belizean. You won't get the atmosphere of a sit down place, but you will get a small bakery that is as real as it gets. It is not open all of the time, so if it is, buy what you need then and ask for hours and take photos if you want. It is authentic. On the main walkway there are a couple of restaurants with scribbled menus, with not much of a choice. These were wonderful places to eat and Belizean owned. Good for the money and very nice people and you are supporting the Belize economy rather than a foreign opportunist. But, use your intuition. If there is a Belizean guy pretending to be a tour guide, he might be, but he also might be trying to make money off of you, too. So, you have to use your feeling sense, don't just support the people unless they are the real deal and find out by checking in with your intuition, etc. I made one mistake of a tour guide that was local, but he spoke, I think it was called Creole, or something, and I couldn't understand anything he was saying, so that was not a good choice. He was booked through another company so there was no way of knowing this upfront, unless I knew what to ask for and knew I had trouble with the thick Creole accent in the first place. At the time of travel, I was not vegan, if you are then have these people cook a special meal for you. You have to ask for it, instead of looking for it. Only drink bottled water, of course! I buy the gallons and keep them in my room and refill the smaller ones, otherwise you have to keep buying water all of the time. Cyrila's chocolate is the only Belizean chocolate bar, you can read a review on this site. Otherwise, they are owned by foreign opportunists. Sorry for the judgement, I may be hasty on this judgement, but mostly I was the only white American on the local buses and people were poor, so I wanted to help with giving my money to where it counted. Maybe they employ Belizeans, but then pay them more than minimum wage. I spoke to some Belizean resort workers and they had not been paid more than that, they were Mayan from the Mayan village with large families to support on minimum wage. It took them an hour of work to buy one litre of water. So, in Placencia, look for restaurants, stores (there was one supermarket that was Belizean owned) hole in the walls, John the Baker bakery, hostel, hotels, etc. that support local Belizeans. That is what I did and I felt that I got more of an authentic experience. I say this because you will notice that Placencia has many businesses that are owned by foreigners, but that is also all over the country. However, I felt very safe in Placencia and even walked alone at night, but that is just me. I never recommend that to anyone. I really like the town and would go there again. It felt clean, safe and metropolitan because you have businesses from people from all over the world. But, for the reason that it is interesting, it is the same reason that I only supported Belize locals. There are locals that have lived there many many many years, and will tell you that they are locals, but that is because they live there, not because they are Belizeans.
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- Also Known As:
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