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Published: January 8th 2006
Ciudad del Este
Too commercialized, no?
Ciudad del Este in Paraguay is within a half an hour bus ride from Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, where we spent the night. From what I've read, the city supposed to be a chaotic little town, lively with many markets and duty free goods, which are big here in South America. On top of that, Ciudad del Este is famous to be the most corrupt city in the continent.
Many Brazilians and Argentines go to Ciudad del Este to find some goodies, which considered very cheap compared to its counterparts in Foz or Puerto Iguazú. That is very nice and generous description of the city. The downfall of the situation is that many criminals are walking freely here, assuming that you have a lot of duty free goodies and eventually would mug you (which mostly happening during the night, so we should be fine during the day).
We only had one morning to spend here, so I woke up this morning around 7 and be ready to experience Paraguay.
Yup, as soon as we were on the bus ride, we saw many people (all locals, I didn't see any tourists) were walking or riding public transportations across the
Street of Paraguay
It's too crowded for me.
bridge that connects Paraguay and Brazil. Weather is very hot, in the upper 80s or lower 90s (around 35C) and very humid. Public bus is less than convinient, everybody in the bus was excited to get some goodies from Ciudad del Este, and 'smuggle' them back to Brazil or Argentina. The street was filled with Moto taxi, taxi in the mopeds, which supposedly very dangerous to ride because of their habits of zooming around other vehicles and pedestrians. Not recommended by any travel books.
We realized that we were the only foreigners around when we got off to proceed to the Paraguayan immigration. The only reason we got off there was because we wanted to be polite and follow the country rules, although it seems to be an open border between the two countries, thus immigration office is tucked in among many colorful street vendors. We almost got a problem as we didn't have any Brazilian exit stamps, and supposedly we should've got back to the Brazilian side, had a stamp, and came back to the office. Instead of doing that, we just smiled, walked around the immigration office, and enter Ciudad del Este (illegally), although we had the
Ryan said "This is the border line between Brazil and Paraguay".
visas required for both of us.
Welcome to Paraguay!
The city is filled with markets and vendors, selling everything you could imagine, starting from electronic goods, clothes, blankets, knock off brand names, fakes, and duty free goodies. I wasn't too impressed with the city, and especially I felt uneasy about being in the country illegally. We walked around stores, which literally build up the city, because nothing else is around, not even a restaurant or tourist information office. We ended up of getting sick of the area, and decided to walk back to Brazilian side and catch a bus back to Foz.
Our flight to São Paulo then to Rio de Janeiro will leave Foz at 3:00 pm, so we have sometime to have a lunch and head to the bus station to catch the bus to airport. Other than lunch, I am ready for Rio de Janeiro.
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