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Grand Bahama , The Bahamas - Frequently Asked Questions
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Grand Bahama , The Bahamas | Frequently Asked Questions

General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.

What is the population?
The population of The Bahamas was 303,611 in 2000. The estimated population for 2006 was 329,500.

The population, in 2000, for various islands was as follows: Abaco, 13,170; Acklins, 428; Andros, 7,686; Berry Islands, 709; Bimini, 1,717; Cat Island, 1,647; Crooked Island and Long Cay, 350; Eleuthera, Harbour Island and Spanish Wells, 11,165; Exumas, 3,571; Grand Bahama, 46,994; Inagua, 969; Long Island, 2,992; Mayaguana, 259; New Providence, 210,832; Ragged Island, 72; and Rum Cay and San Salvador, 1,050.

How big is the country/island?
The Bahamas is a 100,000-sq-mile archipelago that extends more than 500 miles between southeast Florida and northern Hispaniola. The estimated land area of the more than 700 islands, including uninhabited cays (pronounced "keys") and large rocks, has been listed at 5,382 sq miles.

The size of various islands in sq miles is as follows: Abaco, 649; Acklins, 150; Andros, 2,300; Berry Islands, 12; Bimini, 9; Cat Island, 150; Cat Sal Bank, 2; Conception Island, 4; Crooked Island, 92; Eleuthera, 200; Great Exuma and Little Exuma, 72; Exuma Cays, 40; Grand Bahama, 530; Great Inagua, 596; Little Inagua, 49; Little San Salvador (Half Moon Cay), 8; Long Cay, 9; Long Island, 173; Mayaguana, 110; New Providence 80; Plana Cays, 6; Ragged Island, 9; Rum Cay, 30; Samana Cay, 15; San Salvador, 63.

Can I drink the tap water?
Although you can drink the tap water, most visitors prefer bottled water, which is available in hotels, grocery stores and convenience stores.

What are the best things to buy here?
Duty-free items include spirits, perfume, watches, china, crystal and jewellery.

For souvenirs with local flavour look for straw goods, T-shirts, Bahamian art and native jams, rum cake, jellies and sauces.

Are there nude beaches?
Nudity is not allowed in public areas, although a few women do go topless on some beaches.

What are the main industries?
The main industries in The Bahamas are tourism; offshore financial services; construction; ship registry; manufacturing of chemicals, polystyrene and fragrances; ship repair; limestone processing; oil trans-shipment, blending and storage; export of crawfish, other seafood, fruit, vegetables, rum and crude salt; and film and television production.

What is the drinking/gambling age?
The legal drinking and gambling age is 18.

What native dishes should I try?
For a different morning taste sensation try a traditional Bahamian breakfast, which may include chicken, mutton, sardines, mackerel, tuna or corned beef served with grits (dried ground hominy or corn mixed with boiling water to form a porridge ranging from a thin gruel to a stiff paste as thick as mashed potatoes) and johnny cake (a cross between British wheat-flour soda bread and the cornbread of the American Deep South). Another popular breakfast dish is souse (rhymes with house), a soupy stew made with water, lime juice, celery, peppers and meat (chicken, sheep's tongue, oxtail or pigs' feet).

A popular national dish is conch (pronounced konk). Try conch salad (chopped up raw and tossed with lots of lime and pepper), crack' conch (deep fried), conch chowder and conch fritters. Seafood is plentiful, including crawfish, grouper, snapper and game fish like mahi mahi (dolphin). Favourite side dishes include peas 'n rice (made with pigeon peas and flavoured with spices, tomatoes and onions), johnny cake and baked macaroni and cheese.

For a traditional Bahamian dessert try guava duff.

Can I use my calling card from here?
Directory assistance:
International operator, 0
Local enquiries, 916

AT&T: Service is available using AT&T Calling Cards, AT&T Corporate Cards, American Express, Diners Club, Discover/NOVUS, MasterCard and Visa. Dial 1-800-872-2881 + area code + local number and follow the voice prompts.

BT: Dial 1-800-389-4444, input your account number and PIN, then dial the number you require.

Canada Direct: Service is only available on public pay phones and can be used with calling cards from Bell, MTS, Aliant, SaskTel and Telus. Dial 1-800-463-0501 for direct access to a Canadian operator.

MCI MinutePass: no service available

Sprint: Dial 1-800-389-2111. Some phones may require coin or a phone card. Calls can only be made to the US (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, and Saipan/Mariana Islands).

For more information see the section in General Info: Telecommunications.

How should I dress to go out?
Dress in The Bahamas is casual. Many visitors favour light tropical wear. Shirts and shoes are required in most restaurants and bars, and some require that men wear jackets.

Can I use my hair dryer and electric shaver?
Electricity is 120 volts, 60 cycles, which is the same as in North America.

How much should I tip?
Tip about 15%. Some hotels and restaurants automatically add your tip to the bill, so check first as it is not necessary to leave more, unless you feel the service is above average.

Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All information should be verified prior to travel.

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