Capital | Nassau
Population | 310,426
Area | 13,940 SQ KM
Official Language | English
Holidays | Independence Day, 10 July (1973)
Currency | Bahamian dollar (BSD)
Time Zone | UMT -5
Best Time to Visit | June to August
Connecting with the Culture | Listening to rake n’ scrape band in a bar on a backwater cay. Hiking in Abaco National Park. Watching flocks of flamingos in Inagua National Park. Swimming with sharks while they feed a Stella Maris and Walker’s Cay. Enjoying the charming historic village of Dunmore Town, with a pink-sand beach and great nightspots.
Read | Brian Antoni’s Paradise Overdose, about the 1980’s drug and sex-addicted Bahamian high-life.
Listen | to Tony Mackay’s Natty Bon Dey, on his Canaan Lane album.
Watch | James Bond in action in For Your Eyes Only, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Never Say Never Again for the Bahamas backdrop.
Eat | conch (a mollusk served pounded, minced and frittered; marinated and grilled; or even raw as ceviche)
Drink | Kalik (a light sweet, lager-style beer perfect for hot days) or Bacardi rum
In a Word | Hey man, what happ’nin?
Characteristics | Casinos; luxury yachts; golf courses; rum; drug trading; sun and sand
Surprises | Many Bahamians believe that if you take the ‘bibby’ (mucus) from a dog’s or horse’s eye and put it in your own, you can actually see a spirit; conch is considered an aphrodisiac capable of ‘givin’ men a strong back.