Friday, May 12, 2006

Blogging Cancun

Title: The Cancun Blog
Type of website: A personal blog
Excellent source of...: Personal observations about businesses and goings on in Cancun. If you want to join their club, it's also a source of discounts at various Cancun merchants.

I set out to find a really good website or blog that's all about Cancun. I can't say I've found it yet (but I'm welcoming your suggestions...). There is the wonderful blog about Hurricane Wilma recovery, But most of the websites that you can find on Cancun are all about booking your reservations for hotels and tours. They remind me of a classroom full of eager fifth graders (pick me! pick me!) and I find them annoying, to say the least.

For one thing, when I go looking for information on Cancun, I'm usually NOT looking to book a hotel. I'm looking for real, honest-to-goddess information. And it seems to me that information about what's really on the ground in Cancun is surprisingly hard to find.

Of course, Cancun isn't a normal place. There's the Zona Hotelera, the coastal zone where all the big hotels are lined up along the sand. 8 MILLION people (and growing!) come to Cancun and the rest of the Mayan Riviera every year. The majority of them seem hellbent on partying, drinking and generally carrying on. Even on this website, a lot of the people asking questions want to know the best hotel to stay in, where the girls are, that sort of thing.

Then there's downtown Cancun, which seems to service all the people that actually live in Cancun, and there are a growing number of those. Downtown Cancun is adjacent to the low-rent residential areas of Cancun which stretch for miles and really easy to get lost in. Some of those residential districts don't have running water or paved streets, so needless to say, there is quite a huge disparity in the way people live in Cancun.

But I wonder... what kind of life is in Cancun? What is it like to live there? Are there cultural events? Fiestas? Operas? Concerts? I live three hours west of Cancun by car. Occasionally I hear about a corrida there with a famous Spaniard, or a musical concert by a Mexican crooner. But the cultural life of Cancun seems pretty sparse.

Last time we were there, we were forced to stay in a hotel downtown because there were no rooms under $380 a night in the hotel zone... and we are far too Yucatecan now to pay those prices. The little hotel we stayed in was quite adequate, in a charming early 60's-era sort of way. We ate across the street at a sushi restaurant that has been there for 13 years (I didn't think Cancun was that old...) and we ate the best sushi we've had in years. Maybe ever. It was fantastic.

So there are things to be discovered in Cancun.

But I haven't discovered a decent Cancun website yet. I found this blog, which is the best I've seen so far. As blogs go, this one isn't great. Yet. It bounces back and forth between being really personal to being shamelessly commercial, plugging local businesses. The blog was just started after Hurricane Wilma, and its run by two people: Tim who lives in the US and visits a lot, and Susan, who lives in Cancun. So the blog has two perspectives, the visitor and the resident. I like that about it. So far, it's unevenly written and doesn't seem to have found a rhythm yet. (It always takes me about five tries to spell that word correctly)

But at least the blog is personal and it's not asking me to make a hotel reservation.

Do you know of a good Cancun website or blog written in English? Diganme!

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