Welcome to Jamrock | Kingston Jamaica Travel Guide

Welcome to Jamrock | Kingston Jamaica Travel Guide


After about 20 minutes climbing straight up, we’re arriving at the village. I’ve got a feeling that we’re walking into something entirely different this is. You can hear the drums. I have no idea what to expect. This is going to be awesome. What’s up everybody? Welcome back to Vagabrothers it’s a rainy day in Los Angeles, California. Winter is actually happening, but we’ve got a good plan: we’re going to escape to Jamaica. We’ve been invited to Jamaica by the Jamaican Tourism Board, and we’re going to have a really fun time this week going to Kingston, the mountains, and the coast. Flight’s boarding. We’re going to hop on and we’ll see you guys in paradise. What’s going on, Vagabuddies? Welcome back. Right now we are in Kingston, Jamaica right outside of the airport in Port Royal. Three centuries before there was an airport, there was a seaport here, the richest and most wicked in the world, a real-life Pirates of the Caribbean pirate hang. Nowadays, three-quarters of Port Royal is underwater. Let’s go find out why. This is Fort Charles, which is the oldest remaining fort in Jamaica, and it was built by the British in the 1600s when they took the island from the Spanish who’d owned Jamaica since the time of Columbus. This was a strategic spot and the British allowed pirates to operate with official sanction from the government in order to rob Spanish ships that were sailing from Panama to Havana and on to Sevilla in Spain. The government allowed pirates to operate because they could get a lot of money. They took ten percent of all the booty that was confiscated, which was a lot of booty, a lot of Spanish booty in that time. To get into the mood, do a bit of time travel, we’re going to head over to the grog shop and grab one of Jamaica’s most famous exports: rum. This place might not look like much nowadays ,but in its heyday, it was quite the city; it was full of pirates, cutthroats, prostitutes. And the idea that we have of the Pirates of the Caribbean, this is where it was from. It was based off Port Royal; it was a pirate city; it was a dangerous city; it was a rich city , and it was one that was home for many of the most famous pirates that we know nowadays, including Captain Henry Morgan who later became the first Governor of Jamaica, in a weird twist of fate, Blackbeard and countless others. There was supposedly one bar for every 10 inhabitants of the city. Everything changed at 11am in 1692 when this place was swallowed by an earthquake. Three-quarters of the city went underwater almost instantaneously, and the rest of it was flattened by a tsunami. Port Royal’s never really recovered from that. It’s kinda cool to sit here and drink a rum and think about what it must’ve been like. We’ve learned a bit about the history, and we’ve just seen the fishermen cleaning the fish, so I think it’s lunchtime. We’re at this place called Gloria’s. It’s here at Port Royal. Right next to us are the fishermen, they were up all night catching pirate fish, red pirate fish red snapper, lobster, shrimp. We’re going to have a little bit of all of it in a beautiful veranda. What’s a red pirate fish? It’s a pirate fish, but it’s red. Black and red. I don’t know but look… pirate, fish, Gloria’s. Let’s go. One of the best things about being in a port is fresh seafood. Gloria’s is a fish restaurant right here in Port Royal Ordered up a massive fry-up of all types of fish, lobster, shrimp and they’re starting us off with fish soup in styrofoam cup. I think there’s a fishtail inside here, but whatever it is, it’s brothy; it’s delicious and it’s just the beginning. Check it out. Well the food has arrived, and everything looks so good. I got a whole red snapper in a brown sauce. We have some bammies; we’ve got fried plantains. We’re looking at the pirate’s feast. We’ve got curried red snapper with jerk shrimp and lobster and garlic along with okra. I’m washing it down with a cold Red Stripe. I’m loving Jamaica so far. Next stop is in Trench Town. Most of you guys have probably heard of Trench Town through the music of Bob Marley and some of the reggae legends. We’re is a place called the Culture Yard, and this is kind of where all of the musical greats from the roots reggae movement kind of came here to learn their trade. It was a safe space; it was a musical creative space, and now it’s like a museum, so we’re going to meet up with a guide and get a little bit more of a rundown of what Trench Town means for reggae music and Jamaica’s reggae identity There’s a lot of music in the Caribbean, but reggae came from Jamaica, and a lot of it came from this neighborhood from Trench Town. Why Trench Town? What was it about here that created such rich music? These were the first town houses to be built in Kingston. There was a squatter settlement before. These people are coming from the country air, countryside for people. They came to Kingston looking for jobs. Most of these guys , you know, saw music as the way out of the poverty, including Bob. When Bob Marley came, the music was already here. That is how he got his inspiration until he began the reggae icon that he is. This is where the roots for everything started. One of the coolest thing here in the Trench Town Culture Yard is this guitar. This is Bob Marley’s first-ever guitar, and it’s one of their most prized possessions here. This is where Bob Marley actually lived. Single bed, little stove. Maybe this was the inspiration for the lyrics in Is This Love when he says, “We’ll share the one room with the roof right over our head.” Like many of you, I think I first heard about Jamaica through reggae music, and it’s crazy to think that a genre of music that was developed largely in this exact neighborhood, in this exact compound, went on to influence and impact so much the world. What is it about reggae music? In many ways it’s a very personal and political story about overcoming oppression, but it’s also super positive and it’s something that has a message that can resonate with a lot of people. What was your experience with reggae music? I think when I was going through middle school and kind of trying to grow up, I listened to a lot of reggae, but I still remember my first song from Bob Marley was Is This Love, and I was dating my first girlfriend, and it felt like it had so much meaning and it had so much emotion, and I instantly fell in love with Bob Marley and his music and that led me deeper into reggae to a ton of different artists, like Dennis Brown who’s also a national hero. It’s just crazy to see his legacy You come to a place like this, and people are still listening to Bob Marley, talking about Bob Marley. He’s a legend in all respect of the word, and it’s pretty cool to come here and pay homage to where it all began. For me, personally, I was always into the Clash growing up, and the Clash were very much influenced by Ska, which is the early form , like a proto form of reggae, but we’re going to put together a little playlist on Spotify of our favorite reggae Ska Rocksteady songs. You guys can check it out and hopefully give you guys some reggae vibes to take home and watch these videos. Vagabrothers jam- rock playlist. The sun has set, and we are now heading to dinner at a restaurant owned by an extremely famous Jamaican, not Bob Marley’s restaurant, no….. Usain Bolt’s restaurant, and it’s called Tracks and Records. You might be able to figure out why. We have a couple of Red Stripes; we’ve got some jerk chicken wings with coconut buttermilk sauce, and we’re just chillin’ Dinner is over; we’ve left the restaurant, and we’ve driven a couple thousand feet up into the mountains above Kingston. Kingston backs up right onto the Blue Mountains, which is a huge massive mountain range, but we are going to the Dub Club, which is a dance hall, Jamaican style dance hall. There’s a DJ spinning some music and there’s a crowd building inside. Let’s go inside and check it out. Yeah man. That was an incredible experience, and one that we were asked not to film so just have to enjoy it for what it was, but if you ever get a chance to come to the Kingston Dub Club, great times. That was just a little treasure that we’ll leave for you to explore on your own and to imagine. Leave something to the imagination. Guys, if you liked that video, you know what to do: give it a thumbs- up, share it with your friends; subscribe and turn notifications. Peace. In the meantime, stay curious, keep exploring, and we’ll see you guys on the road. This is real. No tobacco, no nothing in it. It’s pure 100-percent herb.

100 thoughts on “Welcome to Jamrock | Kingston Jamaica Travel Guide

  1. This series neeeeeeds to get picked up by a TV channel! This is straight up the most beautifully shot, informative, and engaging intro to Jamaica that I've ever watched! I'm so stoked for you boys! X

  2. This place is so full of history. really love this episode. i can see that you love it there because your eyes are turning red hahaha

  3. I loved this. My parents are from Jamaica and I remember my dad saying he used to play soccer with Bob Marley when he was younger. I haven't been back since I was 7, so I would love to go back a visit those places.

  4. The main reason I come back to your videos is because you share insightful history about the countries you visit! Thanks guys xo. Btw as per usual, great job on this one!

  5. Omg you video is my ehole blog post. Its like i have written what you have recorded. Including the bit about bob marleys room which freaked me out! ??

  6. Cinematography game has been upped guys. Not that it needed to be but you guys seem to have been working on it? Great video as always. JG

  7. You guys are always amazing me, I think the visuals (photography, editing, etc.) on your videos are great but in this particular video I loved it. You are improving even more in each video, that is so great. Excellent job guys! And as I always say each time I write to you, hope to see you traveling to Peru soon. Cheers vagabuddies!!! 🙂

  8. I love your videos!! I can't wait to experience the places you have traveled to. I must ask, did you guys partake of the ganja lifestyle while in Trench Town or with the Rastafarians? Not judging, just curious.

  9. Wish Jamaica wasn't so violent. Used to live on the island but too much bad mind people and corrupt politicians. Best vibes during Easter in ochie and independence.

  10. awesome!! The Giddy House at Port Royal is a wild feeling to go inside isnt it…and the Dub Club has the most amazing view of Kingston at night …amazing on a Full Moon night 🙂

  11. Awesome videos guys, you've inspired me to want to go and explore the island. not sure if you've mentioned this in a video or comment, but I was wondering how long was your trip and how did you guys get around. Would like to know so I can plan a similar trip efficiently.

  12. Very nice to see how much knowledge and how u both really got involved with the rasta culture…?????? fantastic to see…

  13. one thing I love about this series, is the simple fact that you guys don't just go to "tourist sites" you guys go way into the roots of the country and that is so amazig to see. it really bugs me when people think Jamaica or other Caribbean countries are just blue waters and sandy beaches. its wayyyy more than just that. I was born in a America, but was bless to have grown up in Belize. yes, its a beautiful country with wonderful resorts, but its much ore than just that <3

  14. I have watched all the videos you did on Jamaica. I have to say, thank you for shining a light on some of the amazing places my country has to offer. Not a lot of people get to visit that side of the island, so I am so glad you did. I appreciated the fact you incorporated our rich history into your videos. Big up yourself and nuff respect and love!

  15. mmm coke and rum…my kind of jam! btw so informative about the earthquake…wish we were allowed to dive ?

  16. I love this!!!! Love your videos and love the fact that you went to my island!!!! I love the angle you took Jamaica from, the culture! The real jamaica and not just the sand sea and sun! Love this soooooo much!!!!! #proudjamaican!!!! Love love love !!!it is so real!! As a tourism student I so appreciate this !!! Continue doing great work guys !!!

  17. Ok , so I have been watching your videos about my island back to back, over and over..looove it..I live here and when I drive around I am in awe..The beauty of the Jamaica is that you can go from City to mountain to Beach to River in less than two hours..Thanks for presenting. New subscriber.

  18. Rastafari to my island Bredren to my people in chat don't be jealous because they live in Island just give thanks for where you are everything has its purpose as long as you got SELASSIE I

  19. I been to Port Charles when I was younger and lived in Jamaica as a Child it was a Field trip and we visited the Coast Guards too Even went to the house that was Slanted

  20. Terrific video guys. I’m heading to Jamaica for the first time on Friday, I’m going to make Port Royal my first port of call!

  21. These videos are so gratifying and I can't wait to check out their playlist. Thank you for featuring my native island!

  22. Watch your language vegaBrothers. The Spaniards did not own Jamaica. They seized it by murdering and pillaging. The only people that own Jamaica are the indigenous Arawak Jamaicans who still are populating the island.

  23. Y'all, I just visited Jamaica and had a freakin fantastic time. Go check out a music video I made on my channel featuring all the fun footage we recorded 🙂

  24. Dreadlocks only for Reggae and people that live in the jungle it a Bible Hebrews Israelite Culture.

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