Sunday, 31 December 2017

NEW ZEALAND: Visit Christchurch And Swim With Dolphins In The Sea

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand with a population over 350,000, and the third largest city in New Zealand after Auckland and Wellington.

It is on the edge of the Canterbury plains and has direct flights to its efficient international airport.

Christchurch was established in 1850 by Anglican English settlers and this heritage shows in its fine older buildings, especially the neo-gothic buildings in the cultural precinct along Worcester Boulevard and Rolleston Ave.

The River Avon meanders through the central city and disrupts the otherwise regular rectangular layout of the city streets.

Christchurch is known as the Garden City, a well-deserved name. Looking from a few floors up, one is struck by the number of trees that grow like a forest throughout the suburbs.

The central business district is undergoing a major rebuild after earthquakes. All areas are now accessible and the city remains a major gateway to the rest of the South Island.

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. The Christchurch urban area lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula.

It is home to 396,700 residents, making it New Zealand's third most-populous city behind Auckland and Wellington.

The Avon River flows through the centre of the city, with an urban park located along its banks.

At the request of the Deans brothers—whose farm was the earliest settlement in the area—the river was named after the River Avon in Scotland, which rises in the Ayrshire hills near to where their grandfather's farm was located.

Archaeological evidence has indicated that the Christchurch area was first settled by humans about 1250. Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand.

The Canterbury Association, which settled the Canterbury Plains, named the city after Christ Church, Oxford. The new settlement was laid out in a grid pattern centred on Cathedral Square.

During the 19th century there were few barriers to the rapid growth of the urban area, except for the Pacific to the east and the Port Hills to the south.

Agriculture is the historic mainstay of Christchurch's economy. The early presence of the University of Canterbury and the heritage of the city's academic institutions in association with local businesses has fostered a number of technology-based industries.

The city suffered a series of earthquakes between September 2010 and early 2012, with the most destructive of them occurring at 12.51 p.m. on Tuesday, 22 February 2011, in which 185 people were killed and thousands of buildings across the city collapsed or suffered severe damage.

By late 2013, 1,500 buildings in the city had been demolished, leading to an ongoing recovery and rebuilding project.

The name of Christchurch was agreed on at the first meeting of the Canterbury Association on 27 March 1848. It was suggested by founder John Robert Godley, whose alma mater was Christ Church, Oxford.

The Māori name Otautahi or the place of Tautahi was adopted in the 1930, originally it was the name of a specific site by the Avon River near present-day Kilmore Street.

The site was a seasonal dwelling of Ngai Tahu chief Te Potiki Tautahi, whose main home was Port Levy on Banks Peninsula. Prior to that the Ngai Tahu generally referred to the Christchurch area as Karaitiana, a transliteration of the English word Christian.

Archaeological evidence found in a cave at Redcliffs in 1876 has indicated that the Christchurch area was first settled by moa-hunting tribes about 1250 CE.

These first inhabitants were thought to have been followed by the Waitaha tribe, who are said to have migrated from the East coast of the North Island in the 16th century. Following tribal warfare, the Waitaha meaning made of three peoples were dispossessed by the Ngati Mamoe tribe.

They were in turn subjugated by the Ngai Tahu tribe, who remained in control until the arrival of European settlers.

Following the purchase of land at Putaringamotu by the Weller brothers, whalers of Otago and Sydney, a party of European settlers led by Herriott and McGillivray established themselves in what is now Christchurch, early in 1840.

Their abandoned holdings were taken over by the Deans brothers in 1843 who stayed. The First Four Ships were chartered by the Canterbury Association and brought the first 792 of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton Harbour.

These sailing vessels were the Randolph, Charlotte Jane, Sir George Seymour, and Cressy. The Charlotte Jane was the first to arrive on 16 December 1850. The Canterbury Pilgrims had aspirations of building a city around a cathedral and college, on the model of Christ Church in Oxford.

Christchurch has a history of involvement in Antarctic exploration–both Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton used the port of Lyttelton as a departure point for expeditions, and in the central city there is a statue of Scott sculpted by his widow, Kathleen Scott.

Within the city, the Canterbury Museum preserves and exhibits many historic artefacts and stories of Antarctic exploration.

On Saturday 4 September 2010, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Christchurch and the central Canterbury region at 4:35 am. Located near Darfield, west of the city at a depth of 10 kilometres, it caused widespread damage to the city and minor injuries, but no direct fatalities.

Nearly six months later on Tuesday 22 February 2011, a second earthquake measuring magnitude 6.3 struck the city at 12:51 pm. It was located closer to the city, near Lyttelton at a depth of 5 km (3 mi).

Although lower on the moment magnitude scale than the previous earthquake, the intensity and violence of the ground shaking was measured to be IX or Violent, among the strongest ever recorded globally in an urban area and in total 185 people were killed.

People from more than 20 countries were among the victims. The city's iconic ChristChurch Cathedral was severely damaged and lost its spire.

The collapse of the CTV Building resulted in the majority of fatalities. Widespread damage across Christchurch resulted in loss of homes, major buildings and infrastructure.

Significant liquefaction affected the eastern suburbs, and the total cost to insurers of rebuilding has been estimated at NZ$20–30 billion.

On 13 June 2011 Christchurch was hit by two more large aftershocks. A magnitude 5.6 quake at a depth of 9 km hit at 1:00 pm in the general location of Sumner, Christchurch.

This was followed by another quake at magnitude 6.3 with a depth of 6 km at 2:20 pm again in the general location of Sumner, Christchurch. There were no fatalities though it resulted in further liquefaction and building damage.

There were further earthquakes on 23 December 2011; the first, of magnitude 5.8 according to the US Geological Survey, 26 km north-east of the city at a depth of 4.7 km, at 13:58, followed by several aftershocks and another earthquake of magnitude 6.0 and similar location 80 minutes later, with more aftershocks expected.

St John Ambulance reported after the two quakes that there were minor injuries at homes and businesses but no serious injuries and few indications of building collapses at the time.

Christchurch Airport was briefly closed. There were power and water outages at New Brighton and severe damage to the Parklands region, including roads and footpaths.

Christchurch was again rattled awake on 2 January 2012; the first; a magnitude 5.1 struck at 01:27 followed five minutes later by a magnitude 4.2 aftershock; a second larger earthquake struck at 05:45 with a magnitude of 5.5.

This caused power outages to the eastern suburbs of Parklands, New Brighton, Shirley, Dallington, Burwood, Spencerville and Richmond; this affected around 10,000 homes.

4,558 earthquakes were recorded in the Canterbury region above a magnitude 3.0, from 4 September 2010 to 3 September 2014.

Following the earthquakes over 1500 buildings in the city had been demolished or partly demolished by September 2013.

The city has been experiencing rapid growth following the earthquakes, with the central city rebuild, which is outlined in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, starting to ramp up.

Massive growth in the residential sector, with around 50,000 new houses expected to be constructed in the Greater Christchurch area by 2028, as outlined in the Land Use Recovery Plan (LURP).

On 13 February 2017, two bush fires started on the Port Hills. These merged over the next two days and the single very large wild fire extended down both sides of the Port Hill almost reaching Governors Bay in the south-west, and the Westmorland, Kennedys Bush, and Dyers Pass Road almost down to the Sign of the Takahe.

Eleven houses were destroyed by fire, over one thousand residents were evacuated from their homes, and over 2,076 hectares (5,130 acres) of land has been burned.

Christchurch lies in Canterbury, near the centre of the east coast of the South Island, east of the Canterbury Plains. It is located near the southern end of Pegasus Bay, and is bounded to the east by the Pacific Ocean coast and the estuary of the Avon and Heathcote Rivers.

To the south and south-east the urban portion of the city is limited by the volcanic slopes of the Port Hills separating it from Banks Peninsula. To the north the city is bounded by the braided Waimakariri River.

Christchurch is one of only eight pairs of cities in the world that have near-exact antipodal cities. Half of these antipodal pairs are in New Zealand and Spain/Morocco–with A Coruña, Spain as Christchurch's antipode.

Christchurch is one of a group of only four cities in the world to have been carefully planned following the same layout of a central city square, four complementing city squares surrounding it and a parklands area that embrace the city centre.

The first city built with this pattern was Philadelphia. Later came Savannah and Adelaide, before Christchurch.

Christchurch has one of the highest-quality water supplies in the world, with its water rated among the purest and cleanest in the world.

Untreated, naturally filtered water is sourced, via more than 50 pumping stations surrounding the city, from aquifers emanating from the foothills of the Southern Alps.

At the city's centre is Cathedral Square, surrounding the now-earthquake-damaged – landmark Anglican cathedral, Christ Church.

The area around this square and within the Four Avenues of Christchurch namely Bealey Avenue, Fitzgerald Avenue, Moorhouse Avenue and Deans Avenue is considered to be the central business district (CBD) of the city.

The central city also has a number of residential areas, including Inner City East, Inner City West, Avon Loop, Moa Neighbourhood and Victoria, but many of the residential buildings in the CBD were demolished following the February 2011 earthquakes.

Cathedral Square is located at the crossing of two major central streets, Colombo Street and Worcester Street.

Cathedral Square, the heart of the city, hosted attractions such as the Wizard of New Zealand, Ian Brackenbury Channell, and evangelist Ray Comfort, regular market days, free standing food and coffee carts, an aquarium, pubs and restaurants and the city's chief tourist information centre.

It is expected that activities in Cathedral Square will increase as the rebuild progresses. The Wizard of New Zealand now operates from New Regent Street.

The central city also includes the pedestrianised sections of Cashel and High streets commonly known pre-earthquakes as City Mall. Refurbished in 2008/09 the mall featured especially designed seating, flower and garden boxes, more trees, paving, and an extension to the central city tram route.

The tram route extension was nearly complete when the February 2011 earthquake struck. Following the earthquakes, most buildings in Cashel Mall were demolished. A shopping area called Re:START opened on Cashel Street adjacent to Ballantyne's Department Store in October 2011.

The Re:START mall is made of colourful shipping containers that have been converted to house retail stores. The Bridge of Remembrance commemorating war dead stands at the western end of the mall, was repaired rededicated on Anzac Day, Monday 25 April 2016.

The Cultural Precinct provided a backdrop to a vibrant scene of ever-changing arts, cultural, and heritage attractions within an area of less than one square kilometre. The Arts Centre, the Canterbury Museum and the Art Gallery are located in the Cultural Precinct.

The majority of the activities were free and a printable map was provided. There areas are slowly being reopened follow earthquake repair and strengthening work.

In 2010, the Christchurch City Council released - A City For People Action Plan - a programme of work through to 2022 to improve public spaces within the central city to entice more inner city residents and visitors.

A primary action was to reduce the impact of motorised private vehicles and increase the comfort of pedestrians and cyclists. The plan was based on a report prepared for the council by renowned Danish design firm Gehl Architects.

Since the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake Wellington architect Ian Athfield has been selected to re-plan, although many varied suggestions have been promoted for rebuilding the central city.

The Central City, which was fully closed off following 22 February earthquake, opened in stages and was fully reopened in June 2013. There are still some streets closed off due to earthquake damage, infrastructure repair work, and damaged buildings.

The area administered by the Christchurch City Council has a population of 381,500 making it the second-largest in New Zealand, and the largest city in the South Island.

The Christchurch urban area at 396,700 is the third-largest in the country by population, after Auckland and Wellington. The urban area differs from the city by including Kaiapoi in the Waimakariri District and Prebbleton in the Selwyn District, while excluding most of the Banks Peninsula.

Approximately 62% of the South Island's Pacific Islander community reside in Christchurch and the surrounding Canterbury region, equalling approximately 11,500 people. People of Samoan descent comprise about half the Pacific Islander population.

There are also smaller communities of Cook Islanders, Fijians, Niueans, Tokelauans and Tongans residing in the city.

The agricultural industry has always been the economic core of Christchurch. The city has long had industry based on the surrounding farming country, part of the original package New Zealand was sold to immigrants as.

PGG Wrightson, New Zealand's leading agribusiness, is based in Christchurch. Its local roots go back to Pyne Gould Guinness, an old stock and station agency serving the South Island.

Other agribusinesses in Christchurch have included malting, seed development and dressing, wool and meat processing, and small biotechnology operations using by-products from meat works.

Dairying has grown strongly in the surrounding areas with high world prices for milk products and the use of irrigation to lift grass growth on dry land. With its higher labour use this has helped stop declines in rural population.

Many cropping and sheep farms have been converted to dairying. Conversions have been by agribusiness companies as well as by farmers, many of whom have moved south from North Island dairying strongholds such as Taranaki and the Waikato.

Cropping has always been important in the surrounding countryside. Wheat and barley and various strains of clover and other grasses for seed exporting have been the main crops.

These have all created processing businesses in Christchurch. In recent years, regional agriculture has diversified, with a thriving wine industry springing up at Waipara, and beginnings of new horticulture industries such as olive production and processing.

Deer farming has led to new processing using antlers for Asian medicine and aphrodisiacs. The high quality local wine in particular has increased the appeal of Canterbury and Christchurch to tourists.

Christchurch is the second largest manufacturing centre in New Zealand behind Auckland, the sector being the second largest contributor to the local economy, with firms such as Anderson's making steel work for bridges, tunnels, and hydro-electric dams in the early days of infrastructure work.

Now manufacturing is mainly of light products and the key market is Australia, with firms such as those pioneered by the Stewart family among the larger employers.

Before clothing manufacture largely moved to Asia, Christchurch was the centre of the New Zealand clothing industry, with firms such as LWR Industries. The firms that remain mostly design and market, and manufacture in Asia.

The city also had five footwear manufacturers, but these have been replaced by imports.

In the last few decades, technology-based industries have sprung up in Christchurch. Angus Tait founded Tait Electronics, a mobile-radio manufacturer, and other firms spun off from this, such as Dennis Chapman's Swichtec.

In software, Cantabrian Gil Simpson founded a company that made LINC and Jade programming languages and a management buyout spawned local firm Wynyard Group.

There have also been spin-offs from the electrical department of the University of Canterbury engineering school. These included Pulse Data, which became Human Ware, making reading devices and computers for blind people and those with limited vision and CES Communications encryption.

The Pulse Data founders had moved from the Canterbury University engineering school to work for Wormald Inc. when they set up Pulse Data through a Management buyout of their division.

In recent times, the University of Canterbury engineering school and computer science department play an important role in supplying staff and research for the technology industries, and the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology provides a flow of trained technicians and engineers.

Locally and nationally, the IT sector is known not for its size,the third largest in New Zealand, but for producing innovative and entrepreneurial solutions, products and concepts.

Tourism is also a significant factor of the local economy. The close proximity of the ski fields and other attractions of the Southern Alps, and hotels, a casino, and an airport that meet international standards make Christchurch a stopover destination for many tourists.

The city is popular with Japanese tourists, with signage around Cathedral Square in Japanese.

The International Antarctic Centre provides both base facilities and a museum and visitor centre focused upon current Antarctic activities.

The United States Navy and latterly the United States Air National Guard, augmented by the New Zealand and Australian air forces, use Christchurch Airport as take-off for the main supply route to McMurdo and Scott Bases in Antarctica.

The Clothing Distribution Center (CDC) in Christchurch, had more than 140,000 pieces of extreme cold weather (ECW) gear for issue to nearly 2,000 US Antarctic Program (USAP) participants in the 2007–08 season.

Christchurch is served by Christchurch International Airport and by buses,local and long-distance and trains. The local bus service, known as Metro, is provided by Environment Canterbury. The car, however, remains the dominant form of transport in the city, as with the rest of New Zealand.

Christchurch has an extensive bus network with bus routes serving most areas of the city and satellite towns. Nearly all bus routes travelled through the central city Bus Exchange before the earthquake.

Due to reduced passenger numbers since the earthquakes, especially in the central city, the bus network was reorganised to direct more localised services to hubs, such as major shopping centres, where they connect to the central station via core bus routes.

Before the 2011 earthquakes, in addition to normal bus services, Christchurch also had a pioneering zero-fare hybrid bus service, the Shuttle, in the inner city. The service has been suspended following the earthquakes and it is unclear whether it will resume again in the future.

Bus services are also available leaving Christchurch, daily passenger bus services operates between Dunedin and Christchurch on the State Highway 1.

Historically, Christchurch has been known as New Zealand's cycling city and currently still attracts about 7% of commuters cycling. The central city has very flat terrain and the Christchurch City Council has established a network of cycle lanes and paths, such as the Railway Cycleway.

Post-quake public consultation on rebuilding the city expressed a strong desire for a more sustainable transport system, particularly greater use of cycling again, and this has been reflected in the Council's strategic transport plan.

Christchurch International Airport is a major transit airport for international and domestic travellers.

There are international services to and from Australia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, Singapore, Thailand and United Arab Emirates.

There are frequent daily flights to and from most New Zealand airports mainly domestic, with direct flights to and from Auckland, Dunedin, Invercargill, Nelson, Queenstown, Rotorua, Wellington and many more destinations.

Domestic airlines that serve Christchurch are Air New Zealand, and Jetstar Airways.

Flights to and from McMurdo Station in Antarctica use the airport. This is one of the few international airports in the world where military and civilian aircraft regularly share the same runways.

There is a regular public bus service to the city centre. The 20-30 minute trip costs $8 when paying in cash and $2.50 when paying with a Metrocard and the buses operate half-hourly during the week and at least hourly on weekends.

Buses to and from stops just outside the airport cost $3.50 when paying in cash so these are an easy way to save money at the expense of a short walk. A door to door shuttle bus service to all parts of Christchurch is available for about $25 for the first person, $4 per subsequent person.

Taxi stands about $45 to the city centre and rental car parks are also close to the terminal building.

The Christchurch City Council has committed NZ$68.5 million to build a network of modern cycleways over the next five years.

There is a functioning Christchurch tramway system in Christchurch, but as a tourist attraction; its loop is restricted to a circuit of the central city.

The trams were originally introduced in 1905 as a form of public transport, and ceased operating in 1954, but returned to the inner city as a tourist attraction in 1995.

Following the February 2011 earthquake, the system was damaged and within the cordoned off Red Zone of the central city.

The tramway reopened in November 2013 on a limited route, with plans to extend the tram route in 2014, first to reopen the complete pre-earthquake circuit, and then to open the extension travelling through the Re:Start Mall and High Street, which was being constructed when the 2011 earthquake struck.

There is a cable car system called the Christchurch Gondola which operates as a tourist attraction, providing transport from the Heathcote Valley to the top of Mount Cavendish in the city's south-east.

Rail services, both long-distance and commuter, used to focus on the former railway station on Moorhouse avenue. Commuter trains were progressively cancelled in the 1960s and 1970s. The last such service, between Christchurch and Rangiora, ceased in 1976.

After the reduction in services a new Christchurch railway station was established at Addington Junction.

The Main North Line railway travels northwards via Kaikoura to Picton and is served by the TranzCoastal passenger train, while the Main South Line heads to Invercargill via Dunedin and was used by the Southerner until its cancellation in 2002.

The most famous train to depart Christchurch is the TranzAlpine, which travels along the Main South Line to Rolleston and then turns onto the Midland Line, passes through the Southern Alps via the Otira Tunnel, and terminates in Greymouth on the West Coast.

This trip is often regarded as one of the ten great train journeys in the world for the amazing scenery through which it passes. The TranzAlpine service is primarily a tourist service and carries no significant commuter traffic.

The Christchurch International Airport serves as the major base for the New Zealand, Italian and United States Antarctic programs. Airport parking is available near the Airport.

State Highway One passes around the western edge of the city, past the airport. This is the main north/south arterial road in New Zealand. State Highway 73 goes to the west, over Arthur's Pass and on to the west coast. From SH73 you can also access Mount Hutt and other regional skifields.

There are daily bus services north to and from Picton, south to and from Dunedin and west to and from Queenstown, the West Coast at Greymouth and Hokitika and Mt Cook.

InterCity provide multiple daily connections to destinations throughout the South Island. Tickets start from $1 + booking fee and can be purchased online, over the phone or throughout the country at numerous agents including the i-site network.

Sightseeing tour operator GreatSights New Zealand has daily sightseeing tours to Mt Cook, Queenstown, and around the Christchurch and Canterbury region.

There are also a number of smaller shuttle operators who operate from Christchurch., a budget no frills bus operator.Atomic Shuttles a local operator with services from Christchurch to Greymouth via Arthur's Pass.

West Coast Shuttle Departs from the central Bus Station Platform 'L' Litchfield St at 2.15pm with services to Greymouth via Arthur's pass,pick up at Christchurch airport 2.45. Arrive Arthur's Pass 4.45 and Greymouth 6.15.

The TranzAlpine can take you between Christchurch and Greymouth, from the east coast of New Zealand the west. This scenic train journey can be done as a day trip. The train departs from Christchurch daily at 08:15.

During your trip you’ll see the the fields of the Canterbury Plains, followed by spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. The train then climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth.

The railway station is in Addington adjacent to the large Tower Junction shopping centre and has limited facilities.

Christchurch is mostly flat, so many people get around on bicycles. Bicycle lanes have been added to many streets to promote cycling.

Navigation by car or bicycle is generally simple due to the grid layout, but watch out for one-way streets and bus-and-taxi-only intersections in the central city. Parking in the city uses a pay and display system.

You can pay with coins, credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Amex) or with a mobile phone text message the latter two attract a 50c surcharge, then display the ticket with the expiry time visible on the curbside dash.

Public bus services, cover the whole city and the areas of interest for a visitor that may lie outside the central city, such as Sumner and New Brighton Beaches, Lyttelton, Gondola, etc.

In some areas buses may be infrequent, particularly on the weekends when there may only be one or two buses per hour. The standard fare is $3.50 cash or $2.50, $5 maximum charge per day, $10 minimum initial purchase with a MetroCard smart card.

The restored Christchurch Tramway runs in a smaller loop around the inner city.

Christchurch is a distinctly English city, however it contains various European elements, with strong Gothic Revival architecture. As early settlers of New Zealand, Māori culture is also prevalent in the city.

It features many public open spaces and parks, river beds and cafes and restaurants situated in the city centre and surrounding suburbs.

While historically most cinemas were grouped around Cathedral Square, only two cinemas remain there. The Regent complex was rebuilt as Regent on Worcester in 1996. In 2009 Metro Cinemas opened in Worcester Street with three screens.

Only one of the first generation of suburban cinemas, the Hollywood in Sumner, remains open. The largest multiplexes were the Hoyts 8 in the old railway station on Moorhouse Avenue and Reading Cinemas in the Palms shopping centre in Shirley.

Hoyts in Riccarton opened in 2005 with one of its screens for a time holding the record for the largest in New Zealand.

The Rialto Cinemas on Moorhouse avenue specialised in international films and art house productions. The Rialto also hosted the majority of the city's various film festivals and was home to the local film society. The Rialto was closed following the February 2011 earthquake.

The Christchurch Arts Centre includes two art house cinemas, Cloisters and The Academy, screening a wide selection of contemporary, classic and foreign language films.

The Canterbury Film Society is active in the city.

The matricidal Peter Jackson film Heavenly Creatures (1994), starring Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet, was set in Christchurch.
The large number of public parks and well-developed residential gardens with many trees has given Christchurch the name of The Garden City.

Hagley Park and the 30-hectare (75 acre) Christchurch Botanic Gardens, founded in 1863, are in the central city, with Hagley Park being a site for sports such as golf, cricket, netball, and rugby, and for open-air concerts by local bands and orchestras.

To the north of the city is the Willowbank wildlife park. Travis Wetland, an ecological restoration programme to create a wetland, is to the east of the city centre in the suburb of Burwood.

Christchurch had its own regional television station Canterbury Television. CTV was first formed in 1991 and ceased broadcasting on 16 December 2016. It aired both local, national and international content, including DW-TV and Al-jazeera World.

Since 19 December 2016 CTV has operated as a web-based platform under the Star Media brand.

VTV, a Korean TV channel airs in Christchurch also Auckland. It offers English content about Korea, from arirang World, and Korean-speaking content in SBS. This channel broadcasts many of the latest dramas airing in Korea.

The city's main television transmitter is located atop Sugarloaf, in the Port Hills due south of the city centre, and broadcasts all major national television channels as well as the two local channels.

All television channels in Christchurch have been broadcast in digital since analogue switch-off on 28 April 2013.

Christchurch has one full-time professional theatre, the Court Theatre, founded in 1971. Originally based in the Christchurch Arts Centre, the Court Theatre has been located in the suburb of Addington in temporary accommodation following the 2011 earthquakes.

Alongside the Court, the co-operative and experimental Free Theatre Christchurch was established in 1979 and based in the Arts Centre from 1982.

There is also an active recreational theatre scene with community based theatre companies, such as the Christchurch Repertory Society,Elmwood Players,Riccarton Players, and Canterbury Children's Theatre, producing many quality shows.

The Ngaio Marsh Theatre, located at the University of Canterbury, hosts a range of student drama groups, as well as other theatre groups. The Isaac Theatre Royal was originally opened in 1863, and has since been rebuilt four times, most recently following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

The Isaac Theatre Royal reopened to the public on 17 November 2014.

The city is known for its many live acts, has a professional symphony orchestra, and is the base of professional opera company, Southern Opera.Christchurch is a home for the experimental music scene of New Zealand. The town is the home to such bands as The Bats, The Narcs, Shocking Pinks and Bailter Space.

There are usually buskers around the town square and Christchurch also hosts the World Buskers Festival in January each year.

Singer and songwriter Hayley Westenra launched her international career by busking in Christchurch. Soon she was signed to Universal Music Group New Zealand, then later to Decca Label Group in London, England, where she now bases her career.

Christchurch also has a Metal scene, with metal acts playing in various locations around the central city.

Some of New Zealand's acts such as Shapeshifter, Ladi6, Tiki Taane and Truth are from Christchurch. Promoters, Venues and clubs such as Bassfreaks.

The Bedford and Dux Live regularly have international and New Zealand acts within the Drum and Bass scene performing live in Christchurch, along with dance parties, raves and gigs all featuring NZ and local Drum and Bass DJs, with often two or three happening on a single night or weekend.

In 2010 UK Dubstep DJ Doctor P with Crushington was playing at The Bedford, while simultaneously Concord Dawn featuring Trei and Bulletproof was playing at Ministry.Independent Christchurch based radio station Pulzar FM is one of the few radio stations in New Zealand that plays Drum and Bass during the day.

In recent developments, hip hop has effectively landed in Christchurch. In 2000, First Aotearoa Hip Hop Summit was held there. And in 2003, Christchurch's own Scribe released his debut album in New Zealand and has received five times platinum in that country, in addition to achieving two number one singles.

The Horncastle Arena is New Zealand's second largest permanent multipurpose arena, seating between 5000 and 8000, depending on configuration. It is home of the Canterbury Tactix netball side. It was the venue for the 1999 World Netball championships and has been host to many concerts in recent years.

The Christchurch Town Hall auditorium with 2500 seats, opened 1972 was the first major auditorium design by architects Warren and Mahoney and acoustician Marshall Day. It is still recognised as a model example of concert-hall design with an excellent modern pipe organ.

The town hall is currently closed for repair after the significant damage caused by the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

Christchurch also has a casino, and there are also a wide range of live music venues some short-lived, others with decades of history. Classical music concerts are held at the Christchurch Music Centre.

In late 2014 it was announced that a 284 million dollar project was underway to build a convention centre located on the block defined by Armagh Street, Oxford Terrace, Worcester Street and Colombo Street.

Gloucester Street will become part of the Centre itself, but will allow for retail use and public access. The convention centre will be able to host several events at the same time; starting with space for up to 2,000 people, this will complement facilities in Auckland and Queenstown.

The scheduled opening of the convention centre is uncertain.

Sport Teams in Christchurch:

- Crusaders, formerly the Canterbury Crusaders, are a rugby union team based in Christchurch that compete in the Super Rugby competition.

- Canterbury Rugby Football Union, which governs rugby union in Christchurch and the surrounding region, fields a team that represents the city in the ITM Cup.

- Canterbury Kings are Christchurch's men's cricket team in New Zealand's State Championship while the Canterbury Magicians play in the counterpart women's tournament

- Canterbury Cavaliers and Cats play in the National Hockey League (NHL)

- Canterbury Tactix play in the national ANZ Premiership, after the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship netball league finished in 2016. Prior to 2008, the Canterbury Flames played in the national netball league, competing for the National Bank Cup.

- Canterbury United play in the New Zealand Football Championship.

- Canterbury Rams play in the National Basketball League.

- Canterbury Red Devils play in the New Zealand Ice Hockey League (NZIHL).

In addition, Christchurch Football Club, an amateur rugby union club, was founded in 1863, believed to be the oldest club of any code in New Zealand.

Addington Raceway at Addington has been a venue for harness racing since 1899. Racing is conducted by the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club and it is regarded as the premier venue for the sport in New Zealand.

Alpine Ice is an ice skating rink home to the Canterbury Red Devils. It has hosted many national and international Ice Hockey tournaments, figure skating and speed skating events.

The rink is home to Ice Sports in Canterbury, in turn hosting numerous Ice Sports Clubs including the Canterbury Ice Hockey Association.

English Park in St Albans is the home venue for the Christchurch United Soccer team that plays in the national league.

Christchurch has more than a dozen golf courses, and has hosted the PGA Tour of Australasia/Nationwide Tour co-sanctioned Clearwater Classic/NZ PGA Championship at Clearwater Resort since 2002.

Hagley Oval has been used on-and-off as a venue for local, national and international cricket matches for decades, and in 2013 it was announced that a new cricket venue will be built on the site.

Horncastle Arena in Addington, Christchurch. Hosted the 1999 Netball World Championships and continues to host international basketball and netball games.

Lancaster Park formerly Jade Stadium & AMI Stadium was Christchurch's premier outdoor sporting ground, which played host to rugby union in the winter months and cricket in the summer months. It was home to the Crusaders Super Rugby and Canterbury Air New Zealand Cup rugby teams.

It was also used by the New Zealand national cricket team and occasionally hosted a New Zealand Warriors rugby league match. Is had a capacity of around 40,000 people for sporting fixtures, and around 50,000 for concerts. Damaged during the 2011 February earthquake, the facility's future is uncertain.

Malvern Park in St Albans hosts inter-high school competition matches as well as minor league matches. Also training grounds for the Canterbury Crusaders.

Nunweek Park in Bishopdale is the main hockey venue in the city. Porritt Park in Avonside was the main venue until the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, when it was damaged by liquefaction.

Queen Elizabeth II Park was built for the 1974 British Commonwealth Games, which Christchurch hosted. It is used primarily as an athletics park, but also contains a newly upgraded swimming pool complex. It has hosted major concerts from bands such as AC/DC and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The facility has been demolished due to damage sustained in the 22 February earthquake.

Christchurch Cathedral ruins built between 1864 and 1904 in Cathedral Square and its replacement Cardboard Cathedral, at 234 Hereford Street, an easy walk North West of its beloved forebear. There is no public car parking at the Cathedral.

Arts Centre, Worcester Boulevard. Gothic Revival stonework of former University campus. This area was damaged during the 22 Feb 2011 earthquake.

While reconstruction work is taking place these buildings are closed to the general public and will be for several years.

However, the beauty and historical significance of these building can still be appreciated by viewing them from surrounding streets such as Worcester Boulevard and Hereford Street and the excellent Canterbury Cheesemongers still operates from a modern building within its precincts.

Christchurch Art Gallery, Worcester Boulevard and Montreal St,one block east of Botanic Gardens. W 10:00-21:00. Spectacular facility opened in 2003, the largest in the South Island, with over 5000 items and visiting exhibitions.

Air Force Museum, former Wigram Airfield, Main South Road. 10:00-17:00 daily. Opened in 1987 before the closure of the Christchurch RNZAF base, this museum has full-size replicas of fighting planes and dramatizes the history of New Zealand's Air Force from World War I to Vietnam and beyond. $15, $5 child.

Botanic Gardens, Rolleston Ave, car park entrance Armagh St. Gates open 07:00 until one hour before sunset. 30 hectares of exotic and indigenous plants and trees wrapped in a loop of the picturesque Avon River and linking to the 160-hectare Hagley Park.

These put the Garden in the Garden City, and the combined total with Hagley Park makes them the second largest inner city park in the world after New York's Central Park.

Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Ave at end of Worcester Blvd (adjoining Botanic Gardens), +64 3 366- 5000. 09:00-17:30 daily summer, 09:00-17:00 winter. Includes colonial, Maori and natural history sections, Antarctic exploration display, and visiting exhibitions. Admission free to main exhibits (but donation appreciated), $2 for Discovery children's section.

Ferrymead Heritage Park, Ferrymead Park Dr,Ferry Rd east from city, or take the 30 Sumner bus from the Bus Exchange and to the Heathcote River Bridge, then first right down Bridle Path Rd. 10:00-16:30 daily.

A recreated Edwardian township and museum with horse and carriage daily, tram - weekends and school/public holidays and train - first and third Sunday rides. Due to the voluntary nature of the historical societies managing Ferrymead, not all attractions may be running at all times.

Special events are often held and the park has been used to film the TV One reality show Colonial House. Admission price is based on whether trams/trains are operating or not, and include unlimited rides if available. $10, $5 child with trams/trains; $6, $3 child without.

International Antarctic Centre, Christchurch Airport. 09:00-17:30. A world-class Antarctic experience with simulated polar weather, Hagglund All-Terrain Vehicle ride, penguins, extensive exhibits about Antarctic science missions, cafe and gift shop. $55, $36 child. Xpress Pass for $39 adult.

Prices cheaper on website by around $6. Unlimited Hagglund all day rides $20, Penguin Backstage Pass $20, $15 child. free shuttle picks up at Rolleston and Worcester.

Orana Wildlife Park, McLeans Island Rd 10 min drive W of airport. 10:00-17:00 daily, last entrance 16:30. New Zealand's largest wildlife sanctuary and conservation project featuring endangered animals from around the world.

The park's design minimises fences and cages in favor of natural boundaries and habitats. Lion Encounter, limited 20 tickets per day, participants must be above 1.4 metres in height.

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, 60 Hussey Rd, off Gardiners Rd. A smaller park than Orana, with a focus on New Zealand species including kiwi in a natural environment.

Yaldhurst Museum, Main West Rd near the airport, first right past Yaldhurst Hotel. 10:00-17:00 daily, 17:00-21:00 by arrangement for groups of 10 or more. Mostly interesting for its collection of over 150 classic and vintage vehicles. $15, $5 child.

Riccarton Bush. The last remaining forest remnant on the Canterbury plains is in Christchurch city. If your time is limited in NZ, this is a great way to experience an example of the country's native forests.

The circular track passes under tall Kahikatea trees, and there is a diversity of small trees, shrubs, climbers and ferns. Christchurch's oldest house, Dean's Cottage built 1843 is adjacent. Five minutes drive from central city and easily accessible by bus.

Earthquake Tourism Tours of affected sites are available. Visitors can also make their own way to sites of significance such as Christchurch Cathedral, viewed from Gloucester/Colombo St; the Catholic Basilica - South Barbadoes St, just north of Moorhouse Ave and the Cardboard Cathedral - Barbadoes/Hereford. Memorial sites include the 185 white chair memorial Barbadoes/Cashel and the site of the CTV building Barbadoes/Cashel.

Activities to go for in Christchurch:

The Summit Road, drive it or bike it or take a bus then walk it. The road and the Crater Rim Walkway traverses the crest of the Port Hills, which separate Christchurch from Lyttelton Harbour.

Breathtaking views over Christchurch, the Southern Alps, Pegasus Bay, Lyttelton Harbour and Banks Peninsula, often all from the same vantage point. Lots of sheep on the walkways, some of which traverse working farms. It is not possible to drive along all of Summit Road because it is closed due to earthquake damage.

Lyttelton,the port over the hill from the city, is accessible by car/bus through the tunnel. Although only 15 km (9 mi) from the central city, it feels like another world entirely, with its cafes bars shops and locals, its ever-busy port, its stunning hilly backdrop and beautiful harbour.

Punting on the Avon, punts depart from Antigua Boatsheds, Glide down the river in Cambridge University style with a uniformed boatsman.

Antigua Boatsheds, 2 Cambridge Ter. Boat hire from historic British boatsheds for a hands-on water experience. 09:30-17:30 daily summer, 09:30-16:30 winter.

Christchurch Casino, 30 Victoria Street. Open 24 hours except 25 Dec, Good Friday, ANZAC Day. Dress code jeans now allowed. You get a free meal breakfast, lunch or dinner if it is your birthday, booking essential, e.g. by phone.

Christchurch Gondola, base station 10 Bridle Path Rd, take 28 Lyttelton Bus from the Bus Exchange. Ride in the enclosed gondola car up to the summit of the Port Hills then view the Heritage Time Tunnel, take an outdoor nature walk, or eat at the cafe.

Adventure Ride, Guided off-road motorcycle tours. 10 days. All tours include an experienced guide, transport from Christchurch, motorcycle or ATV rental, fuel, insurance, riding gear, lunch and support vehicle.Overnight tours also include twin share accommodation and all meals. 5-10 day tours require a minimum of two riders.

Southern White Water, Guided rafting fishing or hunting tours. Day trip $135 per person. All tours include an experienced guide, transport to and from Christchurch, fuel, wet weather gear, lunch. Overnight tours 1-5 days trips, also include camping accommodation and all meals.

Christchurch has the busiest program of annual festivals of any New Zealand city.

Summertimes runs from December through to late February and includes a number of major free events in Hagley Park, which attract audiences of up to 100,000. It consists of music, arts, culture and sporting events.

The World Buskers Festival. Runs for two weeks in January and usually features about 30 comedy, street, and circus acts from around the globe.

The Festival of Romance lasts for 10 days leading up to Valentines day and includes a range of romantic activities.

The Christchurch Garden Festival takes place in March.

Kidsfest is on during the midwinter school holiday.

The Christchurch Arts Festival is the largest arts festival on South Island and takes place every second year in mid winter.

Carnival Week is centered around a number of events taking place in November - Guy Fawkes' night, a major public firework display at New Brighton Pier, the two New Zealand Cup trotting and galloping horse racing meetings, and the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral show, which is the largest in the country.

Carols by Candlelight is a longstanding tradition on Christmas Eve, now held in Victoria Square.

Shopping Tours

Ballantynes, corner of Colombo and Cashel. The major upmarket department store. Open seven days.

Locals tend to shop at the many suburban malls, the largest of which are Westfield Riccarton, Northlands and The Palms in Shirley.

The Warehouse. Common throughout New Zealand, and with several stores in Christchurch, these big red stores contain a variety of bottom-end products including clothing, tools, camping equipment, toys, music, etc. Their motto is where everyone gets a bargain, most things are made in China, and prices are cheap.

Riccarton Rotary Market. Su 09:00-14:00 - wet or fine. Selling all sorts of things from plants, fruit and vegetables to kiwi souvenirs and cheap Asian wares. Has performances, bouncy castles and food.

Christchurch Farmers Market. Meet the growers, farmers, brewers and other artisan producers. A lively affair which takes place every Saturday morning between 09:00 and 12:00 on the grounds of Riccarton House.

Wine And Dine

Buy from a local supermarket, the yellow coloured Pak'n'Save is cheapest. New World has greater product variety, but do not focus on having extremely cheap specials.

Fruit and vegetable shops offer locally grown high quality produce for prices often much cheaper than supermarkets. The Funky Pumpkin is one.

Perry's Cafe, 145 Madras St, opposite Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. M-F 08:00-17:00. Surprisingly good cafeteria-style food with touches of cafe class, gets crowded around lunchtime. $5-7.

Dux Dine, 28 Riccarton Rd, This is the award-winning successor restaurant to the famous Dux de Lux venue that was smashed in the earthquake but a good 2000m east, across Hagley Park.Offering Good sea food and vegetarian options you will find no meat on their menu.

Strawberry Fare, 19 Bealey Ave, Hagley Park end, on Calton Mill Cnr, in the heart of Christchurch, Strawberry Fare carries an extensive menu of modern interpreted New Zealand dishes as well as many dessert dishes to die for. Reservations are required M-F 07:00-late, Sa-Su 08:30-late.

Under the Red Verandah, 502 Worcester St. Closed M. Under the Red Verandah offers a range of food incorporating fair trade coffee, free range eggs and gluten free baked goods.

At Tony's, 85 Riccarton Road, +64 3 341 6608. Good Teppanyaki with special all you can eat deals Tu-Th.

Christchurch's Asian district is mainly in the Riccarton/Upper Riccarton area.

Chinese: Church Corner is often considered Christchurch's unofficial Chinatown. It offers many shops, for example, Chinese supermarkets, all kinds of Asian restaurants and more.

Korean: There are many Korean restaurants in the unofficial Chinatown area, and down in the shopping precient near Westfield Riccarton. KOSCO, a Korean supermarket, has several branches in Christchurch, including one in Riccarton.

Bog Irish Pub. Located in The Speights Ale House, 263 Bealey Ave.

Aikmans Bistro & Bar, an upscale drinking spot in the trendy Merivale area. 154 Aikmans Rd, Merivale.

Speights Ale House Tower Junction. A relaxed atmosphere bar, a great place for meals. Tower Junction Mega Centre, 55 Clarence St, Riccarton.

The Watershed Restaurant & Bar. Overlooking the waterfront in Ferrymead. 12/23 Humphrey's Drive, Ferrymead.

The Craic Irish Bar, 84 Riccarton Rd.

Accomodatios in Christchurch

Backpackers are safe, clean, cheap and cheerful. The cheapest option is a share/dorm room usually costing around $28 per night. Most offer single rooms, twin and double rooms and shared rooms. The standard of backpackers is very good in New Zealand.

Motels are a notch up. Low end around $79 per night. There are also many good quality B&Bs in Christchurch and surrounding district.

Dorset House Backpackers, 1 Dorset St. checkin: From 14:00; checkout: 10:00. Charming hostel accommodation in an 1871 heritage home, top-rated. Fully renovated in 2012. Free Wi-Fi, car-parking, spacious rooms, no bunks, all beds fully made.

Set among flower gardens and 50m from Hagley Park. On the airport bus route. Double, twin, multi-share, single and family rooms available. Secure on-line bookings available.

Jailhouse Accommodation, 338 Lincoln Rd, checkout: 10:00. Newly renovated heritage backpacker accommodation with a colourful history - the former Addington Prison. The Jailhouse has single, double, twin, dorm and family rooms available. Wi-Fi and free parking.

The Old Countryhouse Backpackers, 437, Gloucester St, Linwood. checkin: 13:30; checkout: 10:00. Up-market facilities at budget prices. Backpacker prices for hotel grade mattresses and linen, spotlessly clean hostel facilities, guest telephone with FREE local calls, W-i-Fi, Spa Sanctuary with spa pool & sauna. $42-210.

219 on Johns Motel & Holiday Park, 219 Johns Road, Northwood. checkin: From 2pm; checkout: 10am. Qualmark 4 Star Christchurch holiday park offering a choice of low cost, self catering accommodation just 10 mins from the airport. Motels, chalets, cabins and van / camping sites. Pet friendly, free airport transfers & vehicle storage.

AAA Northlands Motel, 232 Main North Rd, Northcote. Close to Northlands Mall and QE2 Park. A Host Accommodation Group member. $95-130.

Addington Court Motel, Cnr Lincoln Rd and Twigger St, Addington. Close to Addington Raceway, A&P Showgrounds and Westpac Trust Stadium. A Host Accommodation Group member. $135-270.

Airport Christchurch Motel, 55 Roydvale Ave, Burnside, just off SH1 at the Airport Roundabout. Take first L on Memorial Ave going towards the city. 4 minutes drive to the airport, but not on any flight path. A Host Accommodation Group member. $135-225.

Christchurch TOP 10 Holiday Park & Motels, 39 Meadow Street, Papanui. checkout: 10:00. Motels, cabins and tent site facilities. 5 minutes walk to Northlands Shopping Centre, supermarkets, restaurants, bars, cinema and bus stop. 10 minutes drive to Christchurch Airport and 5km to city centre.

City Central Motel Apartments, 252 Barbadoes St, Central. 5 minutes walk to Litchfield St restaurants and 7 minutes walk to Cathedral Square. A Host Accommodation Group member. $115-235.

Classique Lodge Motel, 290 Blenheim Rd, Riccarton. 5 minutes to Westfield Riccarton Shopping Mall. A Host Accommodation Group member. $90-150 (2 people).

Eliza's Manor Boutique Hotel, 82 Bealey Ave, Central. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 10:30. This heritage boutique hotel is comprised of 8 ensuite rooms and is a smoke-free environment. Eliza's Manor is also located close to city centre and public transportation. $245-345 Double including breakfast.

Heartland Hotel Cotswold, 88-96 Papanui Rd, Merivale.

Milano Motor Lodge, 87 Papanui Rd, Papanui. 5 minutes walk to Hagley Park or Merivale Shopping Mall, 2-3 minutes walk to restaurants. A Host Accommodation Group member. $125-240.

Orpington House Bed and Breakfast, 3 Marion Pl, Lincoln, Canterbury. This B&B only has one bedroom and is located 20 minutes drive outside of Christchurch city.

For travellers who want to stay a month or longer, there are a number of furnished flats for rent advertised in the papers. A local company called Urban Rooms has a number of furnished rentals specifically for travelers, ranging from rooms in a shared house to self-contained flats with garages.

Red Door Cottage, 115 Merivale La Merivale. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Self-catering for up to 4. Close to City Centre, public transport, restaurants, shopping. Sky TV, free Wi-Fi, rate includes continental breakfast first day. King & Queen beds, warm and private, with off-street parking. $130-150.

Valley View Cottage, 101 Hillsborough Tce, St.Martins. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:30. Self-catering for maximum of 3 - Private, relaxing and peaceful, on lower slopes of Hills with views to City. Sky TV, free Wi-Fi, rate includes continental breakfast provisions for first day. Queen bed, warm and cosy with off-street parking. $105-115.

Brenzplace. Live with friendly People from around the world. Hereford st. Houses: Fully furnished, free Wifi, gym, pool table, table tennis, large lawn area with fruit trees and vegetable garden.

Christchurch has a problem with smog during the winter. Although conditions have improved over the years due to the intervention of the city council, take care venturing out on calm frosty evenings if you have a breathing-related medical condition.

Violent crime is relatively rare.

Christchurch had major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. Aftershocks have decreased and are now rarely felt.

What you can do in Christchurch

Akaroa is beautiful, quaint and packed with good eateries. Try the Swim with the Dolphins in the sea trip.

Arthur's Pass National Park for a bush getaway, a fantastic train journey or via the historic Alpine highway by coach or self drive.

Hanmer Springs to soak in the hot pools

Kaikoura for crayfish and whale watching

Waipara The newest wine region, specializing in some of New Zealand's finest wines

Tourism Observer

Saturday, 30 December 2017

SOUTH SUDAN: Who Are The Dinka People?

The Dinka people or Jieng are a community, composed of many ethnic groups, inhabiting the East and West Banks of River Nile, from Mangalla to Renk, regions of Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile former two of three Southern Provinces in Sudan and Abyei Area of the Angok Dinka in South Khordofan of Sudan.

The Dinka community is a domesticated community, which mainly lives on traditional agriculture and pastoralism, relying on cattle husbandry as a cultural pride, not for commercial profit or for meat, but cultural demonstrations, rituals, marriages' doweries and milk feedings for all ages.

The Dinka cultivate food crops and cash crops. The food crops are grains dura or sorghum and millet.

The cash crops are groundnuts, semsemi and more varieties like gum-Arabi etc. Cattle are confined to riverside and sudd and grass areas during the dry season, but are amounted to high grounds in order to avoid floods and water during the rainy season.

They number around 4.5 million people according to the 2008 Sudan census, constituting about 18% of the population of the entire country, and the largest ethnic tribe in South Sudan.

Dinka, or as they refer to themselves, Muonyjang (singular) and jieng (plural), one of the branches of the River Lake Nilotes mainly sedentary agripastoral peoples of the Nile Valley and African Great Lakes region who speak Nilotic languages, including the Nuer and Luo.

Dinka are sometimes noted for their height, they are believed to be the tallest people in Africa. A reported average height of 182.6 cm or 5 ft 11.9 in in a sample of 52 Dinka Ageir and 181.3 cm or 5 ft 11.4 in in 227 Dinka Ruweng measured in 1953–1954.

However, it seems the stature of today's Dinka males is lower, possibly as a consequence of undernutrition and conflicts.

An anthropometric survey of Dinka men, war refugees in Ethiopia, published in 1995 found a mean height of 176.4 cm or 5 ft 9.4 in.

Other studies of comparative historical height data and nutrition place the Dinka as the tallest people in the world.

The Dinka people have no centralised political authority, instead comprising many independent but interlinked clans. Certain of those clans traditionally provide ritual chiefs, known as the masters of the fishing spear or beny bith, who provide leadership for the entire people and appear to be at least in part hereditary.

Their language, called Dinka or thuongmuoingjang, is one of the Nilotic languages of the eastern Sudanic language family. The name means people in the Dinka language. It is written using the Latin alphabet with a few additions.

Dinka or Jieng is a Nilotic dialect cluster spoken by the Dinka people, the major ethnic group of South Sudan. There are several main varieties, Ngok, Rek, Agaar, Awiel, Twic Mayardit, Hol, Nyarweng, Twi and Bor, which are distinct enough though mutually intelligible to require separate literary standards.

Jaang, Jieng or Monyjieng is used as a general term to cover all Jieng languages. Rek is the standard and prestige dialect.

The closest non-Jieng language is Nuer, the language of the Dinka's traditional rivals. The Luo languages are also closely related.

The Jieng are found mainly along the Nile, specifically the west bank of the White Nile, a major tributary flowing north from Uganda, north and south of the Sudd marsh in southwestern and south central Sudan in three provinces: Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile and Southern Kurdufan.

Linguists divide Dinka into five languages or dialect clusters corresponding to their geographic location with respect to each other:

Northeastern and western: Padang da Ayuel jiel (Abarlang, Nyiel, Ageer, Dongjol). Luac da (Akook, Wieu, Aguer), Ngok de Jok (Upper Nile), Rut, Thoi, Western: Ngok de Jok Athuorkok (Abiei), Ngok de Jok da Awet and Kuel of Ruweeng (Panaru, Aloor and Paweny)

South Central: Aliap, Ciec (Jang), Gok, and Agar

Southeastern (Bor): Bor (Bor Super, Bor proper, Bor South, Bor Asili), Ngok-Alual/Padang da Ayuel Jiel (Hol, Nyaarweng, and Twic)

Southwestern: Rek, Abiem, Aguók, Apuk, Awan, Kuac, Lóu, Luac/Luanyjang, Malual or Malualgiernyang, Paliët, Paliëupiny, Twic

Southern Sudan has been described as a large basin gently sloping northward through which flow the Bahr el Jebel River, the (White Nile), the Bahr el Ghazal (Nam) River and its tributaries, and the Sobat, all merging into a vast barrier swamp.

Vast Sudanese oil areas to the south and east are part of the flood plain, a basin in the southern Sudan into which the rivers of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia drain off from an ironstone plateau that belts the regions of Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile.

The terrain is divided into four land classes:

Highlands: higher than the surrounding plains by only a few centimeters; are the sites for permanent settlements. Vegetation consists of open thorn woodland and/or open mixed woodland with grasses.

Intermediate Lands: lie slightly below the highlands, commonly subject to flooding from heavy rainfall in the Ethiopian and East/Central African highlands, Vegetation is mostly open perennial grassland with some acacia woodland and other sparsely distributed trees.
Toic: land seasonally inundated or saturated by the main rivers and inland water-courses, retaining enough moisture throughout the dry season to support cattle grazing.

Sudd: permanent swampland below the level of the toic; covers a substantial part of the floodplain in which the Dinka reside; provides good fishing but is not available for livestock; historically it has been a physical barrier to outsiders’ penetration.

Ecology of large basin is unique; until recently, wild animals and birds flourished, hunted rarely by the agro-pastoralists.

The Dinka or Jieeng people has fifty six subdivisions: Rek of Wau (Dinka Marial Baai), Palieupiny Malual, Pajook Malual (Malual Gieernyaang/ Malual Buoth Anyaar), Paliet Malual, Abiem Malual, Twic Mayaardit, Kuac Ayok, Awan Chan, Awan Mou, Wan Parek, Aguok Kuei, Apuk Giir, Apuk Padooc, Apuk Jurwiir, Konggoor, Abiem Mayaar, Lou Ariik, Lou Paheer, Luac (Luanyjang), Luac (Luanykoth), Akook, Thiik, Jalwau, Nyang Akoc, Abuook, Atok, Noi, Leer, Muok, Yaar Ayiei Cikom, Thony, Gok, Kuei (Agaar), Rup (Agaar), Pakam (Agaar), Parial (Agaar), Yak (Agaar), Atuot, Ciec, Aliap, Bor, Twi (Twic of Jonglei), Nyarweng, Hol, Luac Akok Yiew(Luac of Khorfulus), Rut, Thoi, Ruweng Paweny, Ngok Lual Yak (Ngok of Malakal), Dongjol, Nyiel, Ageer, Abialaang, Ruweng Paanaruu, Ruweng Aloor and Ngok Jok (Ngok of Abyei).

The Rek, Padaang, Malual and Agaar are groups which are composed of independent sub-divisions, each with known borders and a customary authority which managed the affairs of the section alongside governmental structures.

There is no such thing as Rek paramount Chief, but Rek paramount chiefs.

The number of Dinka sub-divisions is hotly contested as the border or line between group, sub-division and sections is blurred and often difficult to determine.

For example, one can divide the Atuot into Apak and Reel, Boor into Athooc and Gok, and Panaruu into Awet and Kuel and Ciec into Ador and Lou where Ador is sub-divided into Gok and Ajiek.

Malual is the largest of those groups, numbering over a million people. The Dinka's migrations are determined by the local climate, their agro-pastoral lifestyle responding to the periodic flooding and dryness of the area in which they live.

They begin moving around May–June at the onset of the rainy season to their permanent settlements of mud and thatch housing above flood level, where they plant their crops of millet and other grain products.

These rainy season settlements usually contain other permanent structures such as cattle byres or luaak and granaries. During dry season beginning about December–January, everyone except the aged, ill, and nursing mothers migrates to semi-permanent dwellings in the toic for cattle grazing.

The cultivation of sorghum, millet, and other crops begins in the highlands in the early rainy season and the harvest of crops begins when the rains are heavy in June–August.

Cattle are driven to the toic in September and November when the rainfall drops off and allowed to graze on harvested stalks of the crops.

The Dinkas' pastoral lifestyle is also reflected in their religious beliefs and practices. Since the arrival of Abrahamic religions most revere one God, Nhialic, who speaks through spirits that take temporary possession of individuals in order to speak through them.
The sacrificing of oxen by the masters of the fishing spear is a central component of Dinka religious practice. Age is an important factor in Dinka culture, with young men being inducted into adulthood through an initiation ordeal which includes marking the forehead with a sharp object.

Also during this ceremony they acquire a second cow-colour name. The Dinka believe they derive religious power from nature and the world around them, rather than from a religious tome.

The Dinka's religions, beliefs and lifestyle have led to conflict with the Arab Muslim government in Khartoum.

The Sudan People's Liberation Army, led by late Dr. John Garang De Mabior, a Dinka, took arms against the government in 1983. During the subsequent 21-year civil war, many thousands of Dinka, along with fellow non-Dinka southerners, were massacred by government forces.

The Dinka, led by Salva Kiir Mayardit, have also engaged in a separate civil war with the Nuer and other groups who accuse them of monopolising power.

Sizable groups of Dinka refugees may be found in distant lands, including the United States, Jacksonville, Florida and Clarkston, a working-class suburb of Atlanta, Georgia and in the Midwest such as Omaha NE, Des Moines IA, Sioux Falls SD, and Kansas City MO, as well as Edmonton in Canada, and Melbourne and Sydney in Australia.

The experience of Dinka refugees was portrayed in the documentary movies Lost Boys of Sudan by Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk and God Grew Tired Of Us, Joan Hechts' book The Journey of the Lost Boys and the fictionalized autobiography of a Dinka refugee, Dave Eggers' What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng.

Other books on and by the Lost Boys include The Lost Boys of Sudan by Mark Bixler, God Grew Tired of Us by John Bul Dau, They Poured Fire On Us From The Sky by Alephonsion Deng, Benson Deng, and Benjamin Ajak and, "A Long Walk to Water" by Linda Sue Park.

In 2004 the first volume of the graphic novel 'Echoes of the Lost Boys of Sudan' was released in Dallas, Texas, United States, chronicling in art and dialogue four lost boys' escapes from the destruction of their hometowns in South Sudan.

On November 15, 1991 the event known as the Dinkas Massacre commenced in South Sudan. Forces led by the breakaway faction of Riek Machar deliberately killed an estimated 2,000 civilians in Dinkas of Hol, Nyarweng, Twic, Bor and others in villages and wounded several thousand more over the course of two months.

It is estimated a 100,000 people left the area following the attack. Jieng People also killed in 1991 tribal massacre were people of Khorfulus and Ngok Lual Yak where about 500 people were killed, over 7000 herds of cattle taken, and thousand of houses burnt.

The area however remained under the control of SPLA under the commandership of late Gen. George Athor Deng who lated defeated Riek Machar forces in Panyagor when he reinforced Wuor Mabior of Duk.

Remarkable Dinka People:

Deng Adut, defence lawyer and former child soldier

Abel Alier, known as Wal Kwai, the first southerner to become Vice President of Sudan in 1972
Aliir Aliir, Australian Rules Footballer

Francis Bok, author

Manute Bol, former NBA player, one of the two tallest players in the league's history

John Bul Dau also known as Dhieu Deng Leek, one of the "Lost Boys of Sudan", author of God Grew Tired of Us, his autobiography, and subject of the documentary of the same title

Majak Daw, Australian Rules Footballer

Aldo Deng, former Sudanese cabinet member and current South Sudanese statesman; father of Luol Deng

Ataui Deng, fashion model and niece of Alek Wek

Lt. General Dominic Dim Deng, South Sudan's first political officer of SPLA, Minister for SPLA Affairs

Francis Deng, author, SAIS research professor

Luol Deng, NBA player

Ustaz/ Luis Anei Kuendit - Former Governor of Warrap, Ministerial Advisor to Ministry of Youth and Author of General Geaorge Athor

Late Gen.George Athor Deng - A man who defeated Dr. Riek Rebellion of 1991 and leader of SSDM/A

Valentino Achak Deng, a former Lost Boy and subject of What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng, a biographical novel written by Dave Eggers

Salva Dut, a former Lost Boy, inspiration of the book A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

John Garang, former First Vice President of Sudan, Commander in Chief of Sudan People's Liberation Army and Chairman of Sudan People's Liberation Movement and founding father of South Sudan

Philip Aguer Panyang, former SPLA spokesman, currently serving as the Governor of Jongulei state.

Ater Majok, former NBA player

Thon Maker, current NBA player

Guor Marial, Olympic marathon runner

Lt. General Salva Kiir Mayardit, Dr. Garang's successor as First Vice President of Sudan, the First President of the Republic of South Sudan, Commander in Chief of Sudan People's Liberation Army and Chairman of Sudan People's Liberation Movement

Kuol Manyang Juuk, current Minister of defense and a former commander of SPLA high command.

Alek Wek, International fashion model

Tourism Observer

PHILIPPINES: Zamboanga, Sardines Capital Of The Philippines And Asia's Latin City

Zamboanga City is in the Mindanao region of the Philippines. Known as the City of Flowers,the etymology of Zamboanga comes from the malay word jambangan means garden of flowers, it is now one of the most important and busiest port cities in the Philippines.

The Chavacano Language known as Zamboangueno Chavacano, which is based on 80% Spanish words, and 20% Italian, Portuguese, Quechua, Taino, Mexican-Indian, Nauhtl, Tagalog, Ilongo, Bisaya and other Philippine languages made Zamboanga as Asia's Latin City.

This is also because of the same traditions with Spain, particularly the patroness Our Lady of the Pilar,which is also the Patroness of Spain.

Zamboanga City, officially the City of Zamboanga, is a 1st class highly urbanized city in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 861,799 people.

It is the 6th most populous and 3rd largest city by land area in the Philippines. It is the commercial and industrial center of the Zamboanga Peninsula Region. Zamboanga City is an independent, chartered city and was designated highly urbanized on November 22, 1983.

Zamboanga City used to be known as Samboangan in historical records. The settlement was founded by the Subanen people during pre-Hispanic times and was the site of trade among the Chinese, Malays and different native ethnic groups around the area.

It was in 1635 when construction began on what is now known as Fort Pilar. Following independence from Spain, Zamboanga declared it to be the Republic of Zamboanga, which lasted briefly until 1903.

After American armed intervention, the republic was incorporated into their Philippines colony and became the capital of the Moro Province, now Mindanao, from 1903 to 1913. On October 12, 1936, Zamboanga City became a chartered city under Commonwealth Act No. 39.

It was inaugurated on February 26, 1937, which was declared a local holiday.

Although geographically separated, Zamboanga City is grouped with the province of Zamboanga del Sur for statistical purposes, yet governed independently from it.

Known for its Hispanic influenced culture, the city bears the nickname Asia's Latin City. It is also in Zamboanga where a Spanish-based creole language evolved known as Chavacano and is one of the main lingua francas in the city.

Zamboanga City was founded in the late 12th or early 13th century as a settlement by the Subanen people. Zamboanga peninsula was also the homelands of the ancestors of the Yakan, the Balanguingui, and other closely related Sama-Bajau peoples.

During the 13th century, the Tausug people started migrating to Zamboanga and the Sulu archipelago from their homelands in northeastern Mindanao.

They became the dominant ethnic group after they were Islamized in the 14th century and established the Sultanate of Sulu in the 15th century.

A majority of the Yakan, the Balanguingui, and the Sama-Bajau were also Islamized, though most of the Subanen remained animist with the exception of the Kolibugan subgroup in southwestern Zamboanga.

The name for the city and later the peninsula, Zamboanga, is the Hispanicized spelling of the Sinama term for mooring place - samboangan, from the root word samboang or mooring pole.

The name Samboangan is well attested in Spanish, British, French, German, and American historical records from as far back as the 17th century.

On September 9, 2013, a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) under the leadership of Nur Misuari seized hostages in Zamboanga City and attempted to raise the flag of the self-proclaimed Bangsamoro Republik, a state which declared its independence earlier in August, in Talipao, Sulu.

This armed incursion has been met by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which seeks to free the hostages and expel the MNLF from Zamboanga City. The standoff degenerated into urban warfare, and brought parts of the city under standstill for days.

Mayor Climaco-Salazar and her administration are relocating the internal displaced persons (IDPs) affected by the crisis to transitory sites and later, permanent housings in various places around Zamboanga City.

Her rehabilitation plan, Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Rehabilitation (Z3R), envisions building back a better Zamboanga City and rehabilitating the areas affected by the crisis.

The southwest and eastern sides of Zamboanga City are bounded by irregular coastlines with generally rocky terrain and occasional stretches of sandy or gravelly beaches. The coastal profile usually descends abruptly towards the sea.

Where rivers enter the sea, bays have formed, and the surrounding area has filled up with alluvial soils, producing small to large coastal plains.

The overall topography of the city could be described as rolling to very steep. There are some flat lands, mostly narrow strips along the east coast.

The urban center is mostly flat with a gentle slope to the interior, ranging from 0 to 3%. The highest registered elevation is 1,200 metres. In terms of slope, a large portion of Zamboanga City, about 38,000 hectares, have slopes ranging from 18 to 30%.

Another 26,000 hectares have been described as having slopes pf less than 3% while about 37% of the area or a total of 52,000 hectares have slopes ranging from 30% to more than 50%.

The territorial jurisdiction of the city includes the islands of big and small Sta. Cruz, Tictabon, Sacol, Manalipa, Tumalutap, Vitali, as well as other numerous islands. The total land area of the city is recorded to be 142,099.99 hectares or 1,420.99 kilometers.

This does not include the area of about 25 other islands within the territorial jurisdiction of the city which have an aggregate area of 6,248.5 hectares as verified by the Office of the City Engineer.

Putting these all together, the city’s new total land area would come to 148,338.49 hectares.

Zamboanga City is the 6th most populous in the Philippines and the 2nd most populous in Mindanao after Davao City. The population of Zamboanga City had an increase of 54,670 persons over the five years between the 2010 and 2015 census.

The annual population growth rate in this period was 1.26%, down from 2.98% over the previous 10 years (2000–2010). The city's population is expected to reach 1 million between the 2020 and 2025 census years.

Among the 98 barangays in this City of Zamboanga, Talon-Talon was the most populous with a 4.1 percent share of this city’s population, followed by Mampang (4.0%), Tumaga (3.6%), Tetuan (3.5%), Calarian (3.4%), San Roque and Pasonanca both with 3.2%.

According to statistics compiled by the Philippine government, the most dominant religion in Zamboanga City is Christianity at 70 percent followed by Islam at 25 percent; small numbers follow Buddhism, Paganism, Animism, Atheism and Agnosticism.

The city of Zamboanga contains the first Catholic diocese in Mindanao, today's Archdiocese of Zamboanga City. The two Catholic parishes named below serve downtown Zamboanga City faithful.

There are several other Catholic parishes all throughout Zamboanga City. Most of the Catholics are of the Zamboangueño ethnicity with sizable numbers of other ethnicities who are either Tausug, Sama, Cebuano or Subanon.

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is the seat of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga. It was designed by Domingo Abarro III. The first church was located at the front of Plaza Pershing, where the present Universidad de Zamboanga stands.

The church was designated a cathedral in 1910 when the diocese of Zamboanga City was created. In 1943, the cathedral was one of the edifices bombarded by Japanese soldiers during World War II.

In 1956, the cathedral was relocated beside Ateneo de Zamboanga University, formerly known as the Jardin de Chino.

The titular patroneses is Nuestra Senora La Virgen del Pilar de Zaragoza, and its secondary patron is St. Pius X, Pope.

With the inception of the American era, Protestant sects were introduced. Christian and Missionary Alliance, Seventh-day Adventist, Church of Latter day Saints, and United Church of Christ in the Philippines are included.

Most Protestants are migrants who are mostly of Cebuano or Ilocano ethnicity

Several members of Iglesia ni Cristo live in Zamboanga City and have created several locales.

Like the Christians, the Muslims have also been an integral part of Zamboanga City after Pagans and Animists. It is estimated that approximately 25% of the people in Zamboanga City are sunni, traditional and folk Muslims mostly belong to the Sama and Badjao.

Some barangays of Zamboanga City today are now populated by 100% Muslims due to migration from people of Sulu who are mostly Tausug. These barangays with Muslim majority population, do not celebrate Fiestas. Instead, they celebrate Hari Raya the eid celebration.

However, Christians in the area do celebrate their Barrio's Patron Saint. Most of the Muslims are Sama and Migrant Tausug of Sulu, and of other ethnicities including Tagalog, Zamboangueño, Yakan, and Badjao people.

Prior to arrival of foreign religions both Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, Paganism and Animism were the first to set foot in the Kingdom of Jambangan.

The present-day: City of Zamboanga, Zamboanga Sibugay Province, Sirawai, Sibuco and Siocon or as per the actual the territory of the Kingdom of Jambangan's Punta Gorda to Punta Flecha.

Zamboangueno is the major ethno-linguistic nation in the Independent and Chartered City of Zamboanga and are just one of the two offsprings evolved from the Subanon Ethnic, the other offspring is the Kalibogan Ethnic.

The Kalibogan Ethnic were once Subanon who were Islamized, while Zamboangueno Ethnic were also once Subanon who were Christianized and Hispanized.

Although some of them have migrated to other areas in the southwestern mindanao particularly in Basilan and parts of Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay and even parts of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Sabah.

Minor ethnolinguistic nations native to Zamboanga city are the Subanon and Sama and other migrant minority ethnolinguistic nations are the Yakan, Tausug and Badjao.

Zamboangueno is a dialect and one of the six dialects of Chavacano Language, a Spanish-based creole language, originated in Zamboanga City in the seventeenth century and is the native language of inhabitants living around Zamboanga City, Basilan and in the Filipino diaspora, and particularly the Mother Tongue of people belong to the Zamboangueno Ethnolinguistic Nation.

English, Tausug, Cebuano and Hiligaynon are also spoken, mostly by migrants to the city. Subanon is mainly spoken by Subanons living in the city.

Zamboanga City is called the Sardines Capital of the Philippines,because 9 out of 12 sardines companies in the country are operating in the city.

The canning factories are converged in the west coast of Zamboanga. Sardine fishing and processing account for about 70 percent of the city's economy.

Situated at the western tip of the Mindanao mainland, Zamboanga City is a natural docking point for vessels traversing the rich fishing grounds of the Zamboanga peninsula and the Sulu archipelago.

Canned sardine firms in this city that have upgraded their production to conform to international food safety and quality standards are looking to enter new markets in Russia and other European countries.

In 2008, Zamboanga City exported 13,000 tonnes of canned sardines, worth approximately $16 million.

The Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority and Freeport or Zamboecozone, also known as Zamboanga Freeport Authority (ZFA), was created by virtue of the Republic Acts of the Philippines 7903 of the Philippines Constitution in the year 1995.

It was authored by the then congresswoman and late mayor of the city of Zamboanga, Maria Clara Lobregat.

The Special Economic Zone was enacted into law on February 23, 1995 and made operational a year later with the appointment of a chairman and administrator and the members of the Board by former President Fidel V. Ramos.

It is located about 23 km from the city proper. It is one of the three current Economic Freeport Zones outside Luzon.

Seaweed production plants in Zamboanga City, along with Cebu and Southern Luzon, produce most of the world's supply of carrageenan. Seventy-five percent of the country's eucheuma and kappaphycus seaweed is produced mostly in the Zamboanga peninsula and the Sulu archipelago.

The Department of Tourism has selected Zamboanga City as a flagship tourism destination in Zamboanga Peninsula. Domestic and foreign tourist arrivals increased 8 percent to 439,160 in 2005, according to data from the regional tourism office.

The same report notes that Filipinos accounted for 80 percent of the tourist arrivals. Moreover, 50 percent of those tourists visited Zamboanga City before.

Numerous landmarks, tourist spots and parks in Zamboanga City include:

- Fort Pilar

- Great Santa Cruz Island

- Pasonanca Park

- Pasonanca Natural Park

- Paseo del Mar

- Pettit Barracks

- Climaco Freedom Park

- Plaza Pershing

- Plaza del Pilar.

- Merloquet Falls

- Once Islas (11 Islands)

- Mount Pulong Bato a monolith rock

- Limpapa Bridge

The Dia de La Ciudad de Zamboanga or Day of Zamboanga City - celebrated every February 26, the day when Zamboanga was declared as a chartered city under the Commonwealth Government in 1937.

Zamboanga Hermosa Festival - a month-long festival held every October, is celebrated in honor of the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Pillar, the patroness of Zamboanga City.

Zamboanga City is the third oldest city in the Philippines, with a mayor-council form of government.

The city government of Zamboanga was in a commission form shortly between 1912 and 1914 with an appointed mayor. It then was replaced by a municipal form of government headed by a municipal mayor assisted by a municipal vice-president.

When the City Charter of Zamboanga was signed on October 12, 1936, the municipal government was converted into a city one headed by a mayor appointed by the President of the Philippine Commonwealth.

With the passage of Republic Act No. 1210 on April 29, 1955, the position of mayor became elective and the post of vice mayor was created.

Zamboanga City has 16 radio stations. There are also 11 regular TV stations and 3 cable TV stations.

Several local publications are operating in the various parts of the city and nearby provinces and regions such as, The Daily Zamboanga Times, The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper, Voz de Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula Journal, Zamboanga Star, Zamboanga Today and Zamboanga Forum.

The Zamboanga International Airport has a 2,610-metre primary runway and can serve international flights and bigger planes such as the C-17 Globemaster III, Antonov An-124, Airbus A330 and Boeing 747.

The government has already earmarked more than 240 million pesos to complete the rehabilitation of the existing facilities of the airport. The airport was ranked the tenth busiest airport in the Philippines in 2008.

There are daily flights to/from Manila and Cebu by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.

Cebu Pacific also have regular flights to Cagayan de Oro & Davao and vice versa.

Zamboanga City has nineteen seaports and wharves, twelve of them are privately owned and the rest are owned by the government. This includes some ports of Basilan which are registered as a part of Zamboanga City port management.

The biggest and most modern seaport is the government-operated main port in Zamboanga City, which can accommodate 20 ships at any given time. There are 25 shipping companies whose vessels regularly dock at the port of Zamboanga.

The city also has fastcraft services to Sandakan, Malaysia, and one shipping cargo company from Vietnam is also serving the routes from and to Zamboanga City to deliver goods from Vietnam.

In 2002, the Port of Zamboanga City, including the area ports of Basilan, registered 5.57 million passenger movement, surpassing Batangas by 1.3 million passengers, and Manila by over 1.59 million passengers.

May 28, 2009, the PHP700 million port expansion project, funded by the national government was inaugurated by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

2GO ferries have one ferry a week sailing to/from Manila via Dipolog and Dumaguete.

Aleson Shipping lines have a ferry going to and from Sandakan Malaysia.

The Port of Zamboanga is an international port of entry. It has a schedule passenger trip to Sandakan, Malaysia and several shipping lines offer regular trips from and to Jolo, Bongao, Isabela City.

The primary modes of transportation within the city are serviced by jeepneys, tricycles, and habal-habal. Bicycles with sidecars locally known as sikad are also available for short-distanced trips, while taxis aren't available yet to the city.

Regular and air-conditioned buses of the Yanson Group of Bus Companies serve the long-haul routes from Zamboanga City to other areas in Mindanao and in the Visayas. Other smaller bus companies ply the routes to neighboring municipalities in the Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay areas.

If you are from Luzon and Visayas, the Nautical Highways (RoRo) can bring you here. Rural Transit Buses to/from Dipolog or Cagayan de oro are also available.

As soon as you get off the boat or plane, your first concern would probably be your luggage. Both ports provide helpful employees. Be gracious and tip properly. Depending on the number of luggage your tip can range from 50 to 200 pesos.

The seaport is not as organized and there are a lot of free-lancers who are willing to help for a fee,sometimes a very hefty fee. Tip only after you have been escorted to your transportation.

For those who don't have someone to pick them up, there is public transportation readily available. You have your choice of tri-cycles, Jeepneys, or taxi. Taxi would be your best bet. The taxi fare for a 5 kilometer trip would be less than 50 pesos but there aren't that many available.

Second choice is the tri-cycle. A passenger and luggage traveling a distance of 5 kilometers would cost no more than 30 pesos. But since you are coming from the port, the tri-cycle drivers want a heftier fare,this is illegal for them because they can lose their license. So usually the fare is bumped up 100%.

To get a jeepney, the best way is to have someone, your porter hire the jeepney for you while you watch over your luggage. Within a 5 kilometer radius a Jeepneys will cost you anywhere from 200 to 300 pesos. This is called a special. The driver will also help you with your luggage. You only pay for your transportation at destination.

Places to see

Fort Pilar - Founded in 1635 as a garrison during the Spanish period, the Fort Pilar serves as a present day open-air shrine. Originally named as La Fuerza Real de San Jose, the fort is named after and dedicated to Our Lady of the Pillar, the patroness of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga.

It image is embossed at the altar which was then an entrance of the fort. Fort Pilar also houses a National Museum branch inside the fort. One can appreciate the glorious past of Zamboanga as a Spanish City in the Orient Skies here in the museum.

It also has record of inhabitants and antique items of the early time. It also exhibits paintings, natural marine life and cultural memorabilia.

Pasonanca Park - Traversed by a gently rippling stream, this park is the only one of its kind in the country. It abounds with trees, flowering plants, ferns, shrubs and 600 different species of orchids. Mindanao Governor John J. Pershing started the construction of Pasonanca Park in 1912.

He sent for a parksman in the United States, once named Thomas Hanley, to prepare the plan and direct its execution. The park was completed under the administration of Governor Frank W. Carpenter.

There is a treehouse nestling high in the branches of one big tree where guests could pass the night and hold communion with nature which, in the darkness, could still be perceived in the gentle rustling of the pine trees.

Permission to use the treehouse, which is for free, can be obtained at the Office of the Mayor.

Metropolitan Cathedral of Immaculate Conception - Founded in 1810 as a parish located at the present day Universidad de Zamboanga campus, the Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zamboanga created in 1910 as diocese and elevated in 1958 as an archdiocese.

It is known as one of the most modern cathedrals in Mindanao, built in 1998-2001. The cathedral is located at La Purisima St. The cathedral's structure is cruciform, resembling a cross and its facade is patterned after a candle which is connected to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The main church is located at the second floor, with stained glass portraying the life of Mary and Asian saints as well as the history of Mindanao's dioceses starting from 1910.

At the lower level are the columbarium, the day chapel, the adoration chapel at the left wing, the conference hall at the right wing, and the baptistery fronting the day chapel.

Zamboanga City Hall - The construction of this building started in 1905 and was completed in 1907 by the Federal Government of the United States for the then American Governors of the area which included: Leonard 0. Wood, Tasker H. Bliss, Ralph W. Hoyt, and Gen. John Pershing of World War I fame.

Today, this serves as the City Hall of Zamboanga City where the Mayor holds office.

Plaza Pershing - Plaza Pershing was established in Zamboanga City, Philippines to honor John Joseph or Black Jack Pershing September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948 with his victory over Muslim insurgents.

Cawa-Cawa Boulevard - You can visit the place early in the morning for brisk walking/jogging or in the afternoon for its famed sunset view. You can also spend some time at night eating Balut a fertilized duck embryo that is boiled and eaten with vinegar and salt.

Sta. Cruz Islands - The Great Santa Cruz island is known for it's pink sand beach and sand bar, while the Little sta. cruz island is a typical white beach, with pulverized-like sand. It is also a diving site and is host to a lagoon, a muslim burial site and a badjao/samal community.

Yakan Weaving Center - Host to the only Yakan commmunity in the City, the center is located just across the famed La Vista de Mar beach resort at the border of Barangay Upper Calarian and Sinunuc and along the National Highway.

You can witness the local people weaving intricately hand-woven clothes on giant looms as well as traditional brasswares.

Zamboanga Golf Course and Beach - Known to be the oldest Golf Course in the Philippines. It was estabished during the American Occupation and is overlooking the Basilan Strait. It also is host to a public swimming resort managed by the Philippine Tourism Authority.

There were talks that a Korean Company will be building a 5 star hotel in the area. it was once used as a landing strip.

St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish Church, Tetuan - Records shows that at the start, there was a small chapel constructed on a lot.

Owned by Don Balbino Natividad, a permanent resident of Tetuan. The Natividad is one of the biggest clans in the Parish spread throughout the city up to the hinterlands and reputed to be large property owners. Members held various positions in the government and parishes.

At least one became a Jesuit priest. In January of 1863, apparently having reached the required number of Catholic would be parishioners and with the availability of the would-be parish priest, the St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish was created with a Jesuit, Rev. Fr. Ramon Barua, SJ as its first Parish Priest.

Serenity Falls - Zamboanga City's Serenity Falls bounded between La Paz and Pamucutan, at the foot of the EcoZone's south entrance.

Old Normal School Building - Also known as the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) Social Hall, the building was built during the American Era and was the center of education for most of Mindanao.

Presently, this houses The College of Education of WMSU and is also the site where most cultural presentations are held. It also houses a Museum.

Taluksangay Mosque - This colorful mosque is located in the barrio of Taluksangay outside the city center.

La Vista del Mar & Honorory Consulate of Spain or Honorario Consulado de Espana. Beach resort. Delicious restaurant with fresh seafood and beautiful views of the sea. Also home of Honorary Consulate of Spain, great museum of art, culture, and shared Hispanic history of Zamboanga City and Spain. There is a small entrance fee to get into the resort.

Visit the Maria Clara Lobregat Park and the Aviary at Pasonanca Park.

Visit Abong Abong Park. Climb the hill and do the Stations of the Cross during Holy week or any day of the year, visit the Scout Camps, the tomb of the unknown soldier and Mayor Cesar C. Climaco.

Sta Cruz Island. swim and scuba diving in a pink sand beach in an unspoilt island.

Light candles at the Fort Pilar Shrine and visit the Zamboanga Museum in the Fort.

Eat special delicacies like Baolo and Satti.

Bathe in Pasonanca's natural swimming pools, where water flows freely from the mountains to 3 pools- Rotary Pool, Wee-wee Pool for Kids, Tanada Pool

Do some shopping:

Lokot-lokot - a roll that looks like a bunch of golden brown hair intertwined together. You may purchase one at the airport or even at some local delicacy stores around the city.

Yakan-weaved Cloth - you can purchase this from the Yakan Village Weaving Center at Upper Calarian-just across the famed La Vista del Mar Beach Resort. The clothes are intricately woven to creat an ethnic pattern. Visitors usually use the clothes as table lining, tapestries or even as accessories to their formal wear.

Barter Goods - ranging from various Chinese, Malay and local food, delicacies and imported items.

Pearls - the home of the South Sea Pearls, you can buy different kinds of pearls at Lantaka Hotel or at various malls within the Business District like the Sophia Jewllery at the 3rd level of Mindpro Citimall.

Seafood - you can buy fresh fish at the waterfront of the Main Public Market, Aderes Flea Market(in Guiwan), or at the weekend make-shift market at the Cawa-cawa Boulevard or at Sinunuc.

The catch ranges from the famous Curacha to Freshwater and Saltwater Crabs to Yellow-fin and Bluefin Tuna, to unusual looking fishes and seaweeds.

Souvenir Items - You can choose a number of souvenir items at the Home Products located along Ledesma St. near San Jose Rd. corner Climaco Ave.

Fruits and Vegetables - Try visiting Bagsakan Center just across Sta. Cruz Market, at night for easy access to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are on season at a knock-down price.

Seasonal fruits vary from the famed durian, sweet lanzones, mangosteen and a lot of locally harvested fruits.

Sardines- there are many popular sardine brands in the Philippine market today. Most of these brands are canned and packed in Zamboanga City's west coast areas, where the sardines are freshly caught.

Other Shopping areas:

- Citimall, La Purisima St.

- Sophia Jewellery 3rd level- for elegant collections of gold, diamond, pearl jewelry.

- Sophia Jewellery ground level- for silver and gold low priced and pre-owned (rematado) jewelry.

- Southway Square, P. Lorenzo St.

- Yubenco Star Mall, Putik Highway.

- Shoppers' Chain of Stores

- Shoppers' Plaza

- Shoppers' Emporium

- Shoppers' Central

- Shoppers' Square

- Shoppers' Center (2008)

- Shop-O-Rama, Gov. Lim Ave.

- OK Department Store, Climaco Ave.

- Citimart, Gov. Lim Ave.

- Shops along Climaco Avenue

- Lim Shi, department store

- Best Mart, department store

- Young Mart, department store

- Beng Hock Drug Store, pioneer Chinese pharmacy

- Touchpoint Enterprises one-stop shop for personal items including computers, electronic gadgets, and jewelries.

- Tropical Meat Haus, local retail chain of meat shops

- Canelar Barter Trade

- Sta. Cruz Commercial Complex

- Baliwasan Commercial Complex

- Zamboanga City Public Market

Wine & Dine

A Taste of Asia, Unichan Building, Veterans Avenue fronting WMMC.

ABC Bakery and Restaurant, Tomas Claudio St., fronting Shoppers' Central.

Alavar's Seafood House, Don Alfaro St., Tetuan.

Antonio's Steakhouse, Pasonanca.

Carmela's, Estrada St., Tetuan.

Chowking, La Purisima St accross Puericulture Center. The only oriental quick service restaurant in the city, open 24 hours, and with free delivery service.

Country Chicken Restaurant and Country Bakeshop, Pasonanca Road.


Eureka, Pasonanca Rd. Japanese & local cuisine

Flavorite Cuisine, Rizal St. and Nuñez branches.

Food Paradise, Climaco Avenue.

Golden Boys Sports Grille, Nunez Extension.

Hai San Seafood Market and Restaurant, 60 San Jose Road.

Hanazono Japanese Restaurant, Ground Floor, Garden Orchid Hotel, Gov. Camins Avenue.

Jimmy's Satti, Campaner cor. Brillantes.

Kadday Sug, Sta. Cruz Market.

Kintaro 10th High, Best Japanese restaurant in Mindanao, at Skypark Hotel.

La Casa Maria, Sta.Maria. Cafe-Restaurant

Lejan Ice Cream House and Restaurant, Santa Maria.

Mang Inasal, 2nd flr. Southway Square Mall.

Manang Terry's Chicken Inato, Mayor Jaldon (Canelar) and Nunez (MP Tower) branches.

Mano-Mano, Gov. Ramos Avenue, Sta. Maria.

Morning Sun Satti, Pilar St.

Niel's Fastfood, MCLL Highway, Mercedes.

Park 88, Pasonanca Park.

Sunflower, Rizal St., Veterans Ave., Brilliantes St. branches.

Red Ribbon Bakeshop, Shoppers' Center.

Papito's Grille, Lunzuran Road, Tumaga, beside Ateneo High School.

Patio Palmeras, Pasonanca.

Savoury Panciteria and Restaurant, Mayor Jaldon St., Putik, Tetuan, Santa Maria.

Shamba Grille, Gov. Camins Avenue beside Caltex Gas Station.

St. Mary's Grille, Gov. Ramos Avenue fronting Sta. Maria Parish Church.

Tropics Fine Cuisine, Sta. Maria fronting SLQ Chicken

Village Zamboanga, Gov. Camins Avenue beside Garden Orchid Hotel.

La Vista Seaside Restaurant, La Vista del Mar Resort, Calarian.

WichCraft Deli, Gov. Camins Avenue.

Whoopee Burger Haus, Pilar St. and Gov. Lim Avenue.

Z-Beryani Persian Cuisine, Nunez Midtown Plaza.

Zacky's Fried Chicken, Corcuera Street. 10 am-9 pm. Classic Fried Chicken Joint average.

Vertigo Lobby Bar Roof top Amigos Amigas Halfway

Island Bubble Tea, Nunex Extension, Next to Asia United Bank, Front of SKYGO. Pearl Shakes (25 flavors), Belgian waffles, fries, and more. Perfect place to have merienda. WIFI zone.

Myrna's Bakeshop, Pasonanca, km. 4. serves delicacies like cakes, pastries, pasta and drinks, coffee and shakes.

Zacky fried Chicken, Corcuera St. Classic Fried Chicken Joint.

Happy T, Milk Tea, San Jose Road Claret, Zamboanga located along San Jose Road, beside Visual Care and across Jollibee,San Jose Claret Zamboanga City. Happy Tea, the Original Healthy Milk Tea caters nutritious freshly brewed teas everyday.

Abalone Seafood Restaurant, Mayor jaldon st.

Accomodations in Zamboanga:

David's Inn and Internet Cafe your home away from home

Garden Orchid Hotel - Gov. Camins Avenue, the best hotel in Zamboanga.

Grand Astoria Hotel - Mayor Jaldon Street

Marcian Garden Hotel - Gov. Camins Avenue

Marcian Business Hotel - Mayor Cesar Climaco Avenue

Lantaka Hotel by the Sea - N. Valderossa Street,

Jardin dela Vina - Gov. Alvarez Avenue

Hermosa Hotel- Mayor Jaldon St.

Hotel Perlita- Mayor Jaldon St.

Skypark Hotel- the hotel being the tallest structure in Zamboanga, has the Best Japanese Restaurant in Mindanao

Azenith Royal Hotel- Gov. Camins Ave.

Hotel Salwa- the Islamic owned hotel located at Gov. Camins St.

Mag-V Royal Hotel- San Jose Road

GC Hotel- Nunez St. beside St. Joseph Church and Mormon Church

Amil's Tower- Pilar St.

Yang's Hotel - Tomas Claudio Street

Blue Shark Hotel- Veterans Avenue

Pension Royale Hotel, 12 rooms

Hacienda de Palmeras Hotel & Restaurant,Palmeras Hotel & Restaurant, Sta. Maria-Pasonanca Rd.

Located in a quiet residential area, garden setting; clean, comfortable rooms; hot water, TV, mini bar, quiet A/C; complimentary breakfast, airport transfers, internet access; restaurant on-site

Preciosa Hotel, Mayor Climaco Avenue. An affordable old hotel situated in downtown area.

Sweet Home Suite, Toribio St., Tetuan. A very cheap accommodation can be found here.

Ever O Business Hotel, Tomas Claudio Street.

Tourism Observer