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Fianarantsoa, commonly known as Fianar, is the intellectual centre of Madagascar, befitting its Malagasy name of "place of good education". It's spread over a hillside so be prepared for dealing with plenty of steps, especially if you need to visit the ATMs in the New Town. Though there is little to see in Fianar itself, it's an obvious base for visiting Ranomafana National Park and Ambalavao, and will be a waypoint for anyone heading for Antananarivo from the south. The train ride to and from Manakara on the coast is also popular with tourists.
A taxi-brousse between Fianar and Ambalavao takes about 1 hour 15 minutes and costs Ar3,000 (Oct 2009).
A taxi-brousse between Fianar and Ranomafana National Park takes about 2 hours and costs Ar5,000 (Oct 2009).
A taxi-brousse between Fianar and Antananarivo takes about 8 hours and costs Ar23,000 (Oct 2009).
See also International Telephone Calls
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