Just North-East of Joburg’s city centre lies Cyrildene. When you walk down the main road, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you have suddenly been transported to Asia. Rice wholesalers, Chinese supermarkets and other uninterpretable shops (and I only mean this in the sense that unless you know Mandarin, you will not be able to read the signs – but I did also spot some more or less serious looking “massage parlours” along the side streets) jostle for space alongside exotic restaurants and colorful vegetable stalls. It’s a feast for all senses, and a photographer’s paradise!
During the day, it’s perfectly safe to visit Cyrildene to shop, stroll and eat on your own but to get the most out of your visit I suggest that you ask Ishvara from Ancient Secrets for a guided tour. Ishvara (a chef by training) will take you to the best shops, show you and (most importantly) explain how to use the ingredients. He will also take you to a local Buddhist temple, and let you understand Cyrildene and its people in more depth. He is very popular with the locals, so you can also expect a very warm welcome wherever you go.