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St. Martin - Frequently Asked Questions
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St. Martin | Frequently Asked Questions

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

What is the population?
The population of St Martin is 40,000.

How big is the country/island?
The entire island is 37 sq miles. French St Martin occupies 20 sq miles in the north and Dutch St Maarten occupies the remaining 17 sq miles in the south.

Can I drink the tap water?
You can drink the tap water, which is mostly desalinated sea water. Bottled water is widely available.

What are the best things to buy here?
Head over to St Maarten, one of the world's few duty-free ports where there is no duty on any item going into or out of the country. Luxury goods can cost up to 50% less than in other countries. Look for jewellery, electronics, leather, perfume, crystal, china, designer fashions and cosmetics.

For souvenirs with local flavour look for native arts and crafts, including West Indian hammocks, woodcarvings, paintings, handmade jewellery and local guavaberry liquor.

In the main square of Marigot's waterfront area there is an open-air market where vendors sell local arts, crafts, clothing, produce, tropical fruit, fresh-caught fish and spices.

Are there nude beaches?
There are a number of nude or clothing-optional beaches on the French side - the most famous at Orient Bay.

What are the main industries?
The island's main industry is tourism.

What is the gambling age?
The legal gambling age is 18 years old.

What native dishes should I try?
In St Martin you'll find both traditional French cuisine and spicy West Indian Creole fare, as well as dishes combining both styles. Traditional French fare includes escargots, foi gras, game meat, pastries, breads and seafood, including salmon, langouste (lobster) and vivaneau (red snapper). Creole dishes include salt fish, stews, colombo (curry), boudin (blood sausage), gambas (prawn) and lambi (conch, pronounced konk).

Can I use my calling card from here?
AT&T: Service is available from pay phones and/or select hotels using AT&T Calling Cards, AT&T Corporate Cards, American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. To call the US dial 08 00 99 00 11 + area code + local number. To call another country dial 0800-99-0011 + country code + city code + local number. Follow the voice prompts.

BT: Dial 08 00 99 02 44, input your account number and PIN, then dial the number you require.

Canada Direct: Service can be used with calling cards from Bell, MTS, Aliant, SaskTel and Telus. Dial 08 00 99 00 16 to reach a Canadian operator directly.

MCI MinutePass: Dial 08 00 99 00 19.

Sprint: Dial 08 00 99 00 87 and follow the voice prompts.

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

How should I dress to go out?
The island is pretty casual, but swimwear should only be worn at the beach or around the pool. Smart casual is acceptable in the evenings, but a jacket and tie are sometimes required at fancier hotels and casinos. You may want to bring a sweater, as sometimes it can get a bit chilly.

Can I use my hair dryer and electric shaver?
Electricity runs on 220 volts, 60 cycles, which is the same as in Europe.

How much should I tip?
Before tipping check your bill as most hotels and restaurants add 10-15% to the bill in lieu of tipping. For exceptional service you may choose to leave more. Tip taxi drivers 50¢ to $1 for short trips, more for longer tours. Tip airport porters $2 per bag.

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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