Life

Sao Tome: Paradise on Earth

  Relax with a cup of the best coffee in the world, taste a unique piece of handmade chocolate and dance in a traditional party, this is São Tomé.
  Sao Tome, the capital of Sao Tome and Principe, is located in the southeastern part of the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. Sao Tome and Principe are two large islands and nearby Caroso, Pedras, and Tibet. A little-known small African country composed of 14 small islands including Neosash and Rolas. The unique geographical location and beautiful natural landscape provide São Tomé and Principe with rich tourism resources. Today, São Tomé and Príncipe has become one of the famous holiday destinations in tropical Africa. In this issue, we will take you into São Tomé and see how beautiful she is.
  Center of the World
  The name itself of Sao Tome and Principe is beautiful. Sao Tome and Principe were originally two uninhabited islands that were discovered by the Portuguese in the 15th century and developed into the center of the Atlantic slave trade. The rich volcanic soil, geographical location close to the equator, and suitable climate make Sao Tome suitable for the cultivation of various tropical cash crops. Sao Tome, a small country with few people, is also one of the safest and most stable countries in Africa. Coupled with its unique natural landscape, Sao Tome has become a popular niche tourist destination in recent years.
  About 90% of the population of Sao Tome and Principe lives on the island of Sao Tome. The residents are mainly Bantu people, and the rest are mixed races. In 1522, the two islands became Portuguese colonies. The Portuguese authorities exiled domestic political prisoners and other criminals here. Later, the Portuguese moved prisoners and Jews to the island to establish plantations and used black people transported from the African continent as laborers. During the slave trade period, Sao Tome and Principe became a stopover for ships traveling between Europe, Africa, and the Americas and a transit point for black slaves. At the same time, Portuguese colonists also plundered large numbers of slaves from Angola, Mozambique, and the Cape Verde Islands, and forced them to perform heavy labor on the sugar cane plantations on the islands. Under the cruel treatment of the colonists, slaves died in large numbers, and the two islands were once known as the “Islands of Death.”
  Sao Tome is hot and humid all year round and is the closest to the intersection of the equator and the meridian, so it is known as the “center of the world”. According to records, the name of Sao Tome Island coincided with “Saint Tome Day” (Tome, Thomas, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus), so it got its name. The name of Principe Island comes from the fact that the King of Portugal gave the island to the Crown Prince (Principe, meaning “Prince” in Portuguese).
  The island of Sao Tome is covered with extensive tropical rainforest, full of greenery, clean coast and beaches, and beautiful natural environment. Nearly 90% of the residents are black, as well as mixed black and white and Portuguese whites. The vast majority believe in Catholicism. The people of Sao Tome and Principe are very hospitable. When guests come to visit, the host often treats them with a fruit feast with local ethnic flavor. There is not a single traffic light on the entire island, and transportation is entirely voluntary. People live a leisurely life in a beautiful environment. The average life expectancy is 69.4 years, making it one of the longest-lived countries in Africa.
  São Tomé and Príncipe is dominated by agricultural production. The most important crop is cocoa, which was introduced in 1822. The cocoa beans produced are mainly exported. The local fertile volcanic ash soil and hot and humid environment provide good conditions for the growth of cocoa. Cocoa fruit is the main raw material for making drinks and chocolate. It is rich in nutrients and has a mellow taste. At the beginning of the 20th century, the country was the world’s largest producer of cocoa beans and was known as the “Twin Islands of Chocolate.” Now its output has been surpassed by Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador and Peru, but it still has the ability to produce high-quality cocoa beans.
  You can appreciate Chinese cultural relics.
  Because of São Tomé and Príncipe’s unique geographical location, it has rich travel resources. In particular, a large number of Chinese people have come here and opened many Chinese restaurants and hotels, which has greatly promoted the third-party tourism here. industrial development. When you come here, you can walk along the coastline. When the weather is good, the blue sky is reflected on the water and the white clouds fall in the water. At this time, no matter how you take pictures, no matter how bad your photography skills are, you can still leave a beautiful impression here. Photo. When you come here, you can also taste the most authentic coffee in the tropics, brew a pot of tropical coffee, and the refreshing coffee flows down your throat and directly into your stomach. Even if you are drowsy, it can instantly refresh you. Moreover, Sao Tome is a place rich in beauties. When you come here, you can see black beauties everywhere!
  If you want to understand the history of the country of Sao Tome and Principe, you can go to the “National Museum” here, and this museum was actually built by Portuguese colonists. It was originally the 15th-century San Seto. Bastian Castle, to this day, still retains the guns and utensils left by the Portuguese colonists. It is worth mentioning that there is also a large amount of blue and white porcelain from the Song and Qing Dynasties preserved here. So when you come here, you can also appreciate Chinese cultural relics.
  Most tourists feel that
  they have been to the “Paradise on Earth”.
  The capital city of Sao Tome is located at the eastern end of Sao Tome, the largest island. Sao Tome is the country’s political, economic, cultural center and main port. Because it is located on the equator, it rains half of the year, the climate is humid, and it is green all year round. It is a beautiful and quiet garden city. The streets in the city are clean and tidy, with few high-rise buildings. The tallest building is a white seven-story building, and the rest are bungalows with courtyards or two-story buildings with red roofs and white walls built around the sea, hidden among patches of coconut groves. Independence Square in the city center is where the annual celebration takes place. Notre Dame Cathedral is a famous building in the city. It has twin towers on the front. The entire church is pure white with a red roof and is surrounded by green grass. There are many parks on the streets and seaside, and there are roads leading to the entire island.
  Sao Tome is known as “Paradise on Earth” and its scenery is picturesque. Wandering through São Tomé’s faded colonial splendor, it’s easy to be seduced by the laid-back, tropical simplicity of this African city. In the bustling central market, vendors vie to sell their wares, while by the large bay, fishermen joke happily. Walk along the promenade towards the edge of town and a rural paradise of palm coasts and stunning biodiversity awaits you.
  This country is one of the least visited in the world. Hugo Menezes, director of the São Tomé and Principe Tourism Bureau, told me that less than 10,000 people visit the island every year, but the country’s goal is to increase the number of tourists by 10% every year and ensure that the tourism industry becomes A prominent economic pillar. For those who come, the charm of São Tomé is evident from the moment of arrival.
  Sao Tome is a small island close to the equator, with tropical scenery on its coast. The coastline at the southern end of the island has many twists and turns, with steep cliffs. In the open areas, tall coconut trees sway in the sea breeze. Standing on the cliffs, you can gaze at the changing sea water, which is sometimes green and sometimes blue. The waves rush to the shore one after another and crash on the rocks. It must be shattered and stir up white waves that are ten feet high.
  São Tomé’s lush rainforests are rich in endemic plants and species, covering large areas, while white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters are in abundance. Luis Miguel, a tour guide in São Tomé, told me that most visitors feel like they have been to “heaven on earth.” Visitors can hike, dive, snorkel and explore unique flora and fauna here.
  There is an old plantation in the southwest of Sao Tome Island, which has now been transformed into restaurants, hotels and art spaces, where tourists can experience Sao Tome cuisine full of tropical flavors. Meanwhile, in the island’s mountainous interior, Casa Museo offers equally delightful fare, with stunning views atop the verdant hillside canopy. Other attractions include the vast Monte Coffee Plantation, where visitors can learn about the coffee-making process and the brutal history of those who were brought to the island to work as slaves and laborers.
  Sao Tome has a unique island volcanic landscape, including the 2,000-meter Sao Tome Peak and the 660-meter Sao Tome landmark, the Giant Dog Peak, which looks like a giant dog looking up at the sky squatting on Sao Tome Island. It’s very abrupt and spectacular. There is also the unique “Sao Tome Principe-Annobong Forest”, which belongs to the tropical moist broad-leaved forest ecological zone and is particularly rich in endemic species. It is reported that there are 143 species of birds in the small Sao Tome, 28 of which are endemic species. In addition, there are 132 species of endemic plants. It can be said that she is a big garden with birds singing and flowers fragrant.
  There is neither scorching heat nor cold winter on Sao Tome Island. The mountains and plains are covered with lush forests. No matter in the morning, evening or noon, the mountains are always shrouded in clouds and mist. From a distance, they look like gauze hanging on the treetops. When the clouds and fog meet the trees, they condense into crystal water droplets on the leaves, roll down to the ground, and form flowing springs and waterfalls. Therefore, the gurgling water of mountain streams continues all year round, converging into hundreds of winding and large rivers. There are no traces of artificial carvings, no noise and pollution of the city, but natural beauty and intoxicating poetry. Especially at the southern end of Sao Tome Island, the coastline is twists and turns, with waves crashing against the cliffs and rocks, sea water washing over the soft beaches, and coconut groves swaying in the sea breeze, creating a tropical coastal scenery.
  São Toméans use bananas and breadfruit as their traditional staple foods, and have a variety of local traditional dishes. There are not many types of vegetables in Sao Tome. Tomatoes, onions, and potatoes are the most consumed. Common meats include pigs, sheep, chickens, etc. The locals love spicy flavors and are not used to sweet dishes. Most local restaurants focus on barbecue cooking methods. Although Sao Tome is rich in high-quality coffee, most locals do not like coffee and prefer to drink tea. The people of São Tomé are very hospitable and will warmly receive visiting guests whether in the city or in the countryside. When traveling in this country, enthusiastic hosts always prepare fruit banquets with local ethnic flavors for their guests. Sao Tome and Principe is known as a country of etiquette. They have received a series of strict education in religion, etiquette, language, etc. since childhood. On international diplomatic occasions, they shook hands.

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