At the end of November last year, I had the opportunity to spend 3 nights on Zanzibar for a work trip. Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous island within the United Republic of Tanzania and located about 25 miles off the mainland. It is about 60 miles long and 20 miles wide. Zanzibaris predominately speak Swahili (though English is widely spoken, at least in the tourist areas) and more than 99% of the population is Muslim. We were based in the historic Stone Town and while most of the time was spent on work, we did get a bit of free time to get out and explore.
During the past 2-3 months the subject of finding some authentic Chinese food has come up in conversations between the Frenchie and me several times as the strip mall/take out places you find all over Joburg just don’t cut it. I knew we needed to get over to explore Cyrildene, the neighborhood which is now considered to be the new Chinatown in Jozi (with the orignal one in Newtown though it is mostly abandoned these days). We have driven past many times and just never got around to actually stopping to check things out. Earlier this week, I read the new Johannesburg Travel Guide on Trip Advisor and the feature Best Food in Johannesburg from blogger 2summers. In the article she recommends Shun De Chinese Restaurant in Cyrildene (23 Derrick Street) and I immediately knew where I wanted to have lunch on Saturday.
Shun De Chinese Restaurant
In my last post about our walk in Kensington, I mentioned that the Fun Seekers Meetup Group then proceeded to the Maboneng Precinct for lunch at Market on Main. Maboneng is a rejuvenated inner city neighborhood of Johannesburg, just to the east of the CBD (Central Business District). It is considered to be a young and hip area with a whole host of restaurants, bars, art (both galleries and street) and many unique shopping boutiques. The Market on Main is part of Arts on Main and is held every Sunday from 10am-3pm (there is also a Night Market on the 1st Thursday of the month). Market on Main has been on my Must-Do list since we arrived in Jozi 6 months ago and I was excited to finally get the chance to check this out.
Heading to Market on Main
After nearly four months of living right down the street from the Fourways Farmer’s Market, we finally got around to stopping by and checking things out this past weekend. The market is across from Montecasino in Fourways and open every Sunday from 10am until 3pm
9am until 2pm.
Fourways Farmer’s Market
For our first outing in Joburg we decided to take the Hop-on, Hop-off City Sightseeing Red Bus tour to get a peek into some of the neighborhoods of downtown Johannesburg. The bus has only been in operation since February this year in Joburg but we have always enjoyed this tour in Cape Town (in fact we have set aside a day for this on each of our trips there) and this ended up being a great intro to the city for us.
There are a total of 12 possible stops, not including the optional Soweto tour. It is impossible to hop on/off at every stop in one day so I suggest you study the route in advance and plan your day carefully to get to see your top spots. It would likely take the better part of 3 days to really see everything on the route.
As we are totally Joburg newbies, we didn’t feel comfortable yet (still don’t) driving in the CBD (Central Business District) , so we drove to Sandton to park and took the Gautrain to Park Station, the first stop of the tour (you can however start wherever you like).
Waiting for the Gautrain at Sandton Station