Posts tagged ‘map’
Although I live in Doha, with it’s “traditional” Arabian souq, the real souq I have seen and which fascinated me was the souq in Aleppo. However, we are in Fez today, our tour started from the Jewish Quarter, and our guide said that this is the ‘organized’ area of the city compared to the real Medina. I thought this facade in the alleyway is similar to the alleys of Mykonos in Greece only this one is not in white and blue. However, this is far busier than Mykonos.
To my surprise, the road was not that long, soon we were back on our bus again…. that’s it; it turns out that the fabulous Jewish Quarter is located outside the Medina, as we rode the bus heading to the real Souq.
The Walled City of Fès ,
OK, a bit of information about the city which I copied from Wikipedia, that Fes is the third or fourth largest city in Morocco today but it was the capital of Morocco during the Moroccan Empire, and as many historic places, Fes also has bits of the Old City called the Medina. It comprises three distinct parts, Fes el Bali (the old, walled city), Fes-Jdid (new Fes, home of the Mellah) and the Ville Nouvelle (the French-created, newest section of Fes). “Fes el Bali” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; this medina, the larger of the two medinas of Fes, claims to be the world’s largest contiguous car-free urban area.
To see Fes el Bali, one has to be there, feel the life and vibrant of the life of Fes, but we can see Fes from the distance as well, that is from the ancient walled city is from the ruined Merenid Tombs on a hilltop to the east of the city. From here you can see the skyline with its profusion of satellite dishes, and a general mass of palaces, green-roofed holy places, the tanneries, as well as the adjacent Karaouine Mosque.
Behind the Medina’s high walls is a magical, medieval city just teeming with life in every one of its 9000 narrow streets. As Fes today is the cultural and spiritual capital of Morocco what I experienced there was really different, the alley ways were smaller, there were no cars at all as the streets are not wide enough, the idea of the visit is getting lost in the labyrinth of the Medina. When our guide took us for a whole day tour, I was amazed that he did not got lost in the very small alleyways all over the place.
Fes is a colourful old city, everything is interesting: the vibrancy of the people doing their daily life activities, the noise of buying and selling, the elusive traditionally dressed Moroccans, veiled women going about their work and bell-ringing water sellers as well as the main transportation inside this Medina, the donkey.
To avoid getting lost, a guided tour is the easiest way to tackle the buzzing hive that is traditional Fez, but if you are brave, you can negotiate the tiny alleyways, too narrow for cars whilst risking getting lost and then haggling with a local to be guided back out!
More picture could be seen on my Facebook Page
I am not trying to educate people with the history of Bali, or it’s geography. What I am trying to do here is to give you a brief introduction to the areas in Bali that could give you ideas of whereabouts and what to expect in each areas.
Physically, Bali is divided in half, east to west, by a volcanic mountain chain, and north to south by deep river gorges. Black volcanic sand is the norm, but white sandy beaches periodically dot the coast, with some of the most spectacular either on the Bukit (mount) or hidden in the east. The island is dominated by two active volcanoes, Gunung Agung (Mount Agung), the apex of Balinese religious and cultural belief, and Gunung Batur (Mount Batur), with its twin calderas and shimmering lake. The northwest is given over mainly to national park, the central mountains to coffee and crops, and the remote east with its pebble beaches and crystal clear seas, to diving and snorkeling.
South Bali — The triangular wedge of tropical lowlands south of Ubud to the Bukit Peninsula is the most developed area of Bali. The tourist hub of Seminyak-Legian-Kuta is next door to the Ngurah Rai International airport and provides a convenient first stop and a good base for day trips. Kuta is perhaps the most developed, with the cheapest digs on the island. The tourist influx means this is the place to go for nightlife, which attracts the younger, backpacking crowd, but you’ll find much better fine-dining options in Seminyak. Unfortunately, Kuta Beach has a very strong current, which makes swimming difficult and dangerous, but it’s a surfer’s paradise with rip curls and challenging waves. Seminyak is certainly Bali’s chicest “village,” home to the majority of the island’s expats and upscale accommodation.
Denpasar is Bali’s capital, with a population of over a half-million. Though most visitors completely bypass the city for more idyllic surrounds, it is home to the Bali Museum, one of the island’s best for a general overview of Balinese history and culture.
Located on the east side of the island, Sanur, is another of the island’s original beach resort areas. However, unlike Seminyak, Kuta and Legian, Sanur managed to maintain it’s level of tranquility which is nearly impossible to find in the other busy tourist areas. Surfing, windsurfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling are the main attractions here. Just off shore are the islands of Penida, Lembongan, and Ceningan, which provide some of Bali’s finest scuba diving and are an easy boat ride from the mainland. The beach is fringed by a reef meaning the shore is safe for kids’ swimming, and a boardwalk along the beach makes pram pushing a pleasant rather than a frought experience.
Nusa Dua is government-sponsored and was deliberately developed as a high-end wealth traveller’s ghetto; it sits above the eastern cliffs. The beach is publicly accessible and often you may eat a meal at a resort and use their pool and other facilities — check ahead of time. Further on around the southern peninsula of Bali which is also publicly accessible are some of the most stunning spots on the island: Padang Padang, Balangan and Nyang Nyang are all breathtaking with a few warungs to keep you fed and watered, but do not expect the same like in Kuta or Seminyak. However, if you want to, in Nyang Nyang you can bring-your-own picnic affair with somewhat tricky access.
Ubud — Simply put, Ubud’s raison d’être is to be Balinese. The island’s rich culture — with traditions, artistry, and spirituality that encompasses seemingly every aspect of daily life — thrives here in a multitude of temples, museums, art galleries, and artisan villages. Money and development in Ubud is funneled toward preserving traditions and encouraging cultural innovations; international chain companies are kept at bay. Ubud is a destination where it is possible to chance upon local people participating in ceremonies right on the main road and more frequently in many of the back streets surrounding the town itself. These ceremonies are the real deal and not put on for tourists, although local people are usually comfortable for tourist to look on.You cannot visit Bali without seeing Ubud.
As usual, before we travel, I booked my hotel online thru various online booking agencies. When I tried St Andrew, I wonder why all hotel prices are above £ 80.- and from the pictures and the review it worth not more than max £60.-???
As I have no choice, and I don’t want to stay in a too shabby hotel, – this was supposed to be our honeymoon – I finally picked a hotel with a rather middle of the road price, not too cheap and not too expensive according to St Andrews’ standard (which is different from Edinburgh’s standard). Read more…
Pertama kali saya berkunjung ke Bahrain adalah 2007, lebih dari setahun yan lalu. Waktu itu kesan saya adalah kota ini lebih tua dan lebih ‘beradab’ dari pada Doha atau Qatar. Tapi kesan ini tentu bukan final, karena saya cuma tinggal di Bahrain selama 4 hari dan 3 malam saja, untuk sebuah “long weekend”.
Tidak seperti Qatar, yang luasnya kira-kira mungkin 5 kali lebih besar daripada Bahrain, dan kota terbesarnya adalah Doha, sisanya, tidak ada, cuma perkampungan untuk industri utama mereka, yaitu Minyak dan Gas. Dalam kota industri Qatar ini, hampir tak ada fasilitas “urban” sama sekali, semua di layani dari Doha. Bahrain sama sekali berbeda. Ada dua kota utama, Muharraq, kota tuanya, dimana terletak Bahrain International Airport, dan Manama CIty, ibukota negara ini. Lokasinya di Utara pulau terbesar Bahrain.
Semula saya mengertinya Manama adalah seluruh pulau terbesar itu, tetapi ternyata tidak demikian adanya, Manama cuma di ujung Utara-Timur (Timur Laut) dari pulau terbesar, dan masih ada beberapa kota lain di selatan Manama. Kota-kota kecil ini atau mungkin dalam bahasa Inggris istilahnya adalah “town” bukan “City” dihubungakan dengan ‘highway.
Pemandangan Bahrain, mungkin tidak jauh berbeda dengan kota-kota di Timur tengah, membangun sporadis dan rata-rata adalah perumahan (low rises).
I think this is a rather crazy journey for a couple of 40 something years old girls. But we plan to do it, just for the sport. I knew this will be exhausting trip, especially for my Sis who has a bit of high blood sugar problem.
This is the plan:
- I will fly in to Singapore to do a couple of things:
- Buy a plug-in key board for my PDA, so that I can write notes of this trip; at least that’s the idea.
- Collect my train ticket from Singapore to KL, which I’ve asked my ex-colleague who’s now working in Singapore. The idea is I will take an overnight train to KL.
- Meet up with old friends, which turn out that somebody is offering me a job….
- Overnight train to KL to our meeting point with my sister in KL Sentral.
- Stay overnight in a hostel in Bukit Bintang area.
- Get into the first flight to fly us to Seam Reap and stay in another backpacker’s hostel for 2 nights
- Get a local bus to Phnom Pen and stay overnight in another hostel
- Fly to Bangkok and stay for 3 nights there… in a backpacker hostel as well.
Total with the flight from and back to Doha, I will spend 10 exiting and exhausting nights. Why is it exiting? Because we are busy doing things exploring new places and experiencing new things. However, it could be tiring too, especially for me, as normally I don’t sleep during overnight flight, in order to cope with the jetlags as there will be 4 to 5 hours difference between Doha – KL and Bangkok-Bangkok, not to mention I need to stay alert all the time for this travel… as you do on any travels.
This is the map of our traveling:
Total I travel will be: 6300 km of flying intercontinental, with 4 to 5 time zone difference.
Means of transport will be airplane, train and bus. Actually I fancy riding motorbike as well, but it seems we need longer time and arrangement to do that; however, we manage to ride bicycle in Phnom Penh instead.