Thies, Senegal - Pronounced as "chess" and known as "the city of the train", Thies, with no more than 400,000 people is not your average sleepy hollow.
The town, considered Senegal's second city, and a mere 60km from the capital, sits in an area considered to be among the most developed in the country, and is a transport hub, servicing routes between St Louis, Dakar and Bamako in neighbouring Mali.
While Dakar lies on its own peninsular, Thies is the gateway to the capital.