The Morocco Diaries, Part 10 of 10: Essaouira

The Santorini of North Africa? The seaside town of Essaouira is the antithesis to everything I had yet experienced in Morocco.

The Santorini of North Africa? The seaside town of Essaouira is the antithesis to everything I had yet experienced in Morocco.

THE MOROCCO DIARIES, 
PART 10 of 10 - ESSAOUIRA

My tour of Morocco was approaching its zenith. After a week on the road that took me in a circle from the coast across the High Atlas Mountains, the final city to be discovered (before ending where I started, in Casablanca); I was ready for a laidback day and night in the coastal city of Essaouira. Although only a couple of hours’ drive from Marrakech, the atmopshere of Essaouira is a world apart: the seaside town is uncrowded and calm - here, the only crowds are of seagulls. Then there are the city’s colours. Everything is blue here; from the vibrant cobalt doors and window shutters to the turquoise taxis that linger around the gateway to the Medina. The Medina itself, an 18th century Unesco Word Heritage site, is a fine example of European military architecture in North Africa. With its strong European influences, a constant refreshing salty breeze, and next to no crowds; Essaouira was a serene scene that was unexpected but very welcome.

MUCH MOROCCO
November 09, 2018

The Morocco Diaries, Part 10 of 10: Essaouira

The Santorini of North Africa? The seaside town of Essaouira is the antithesis to everything I had yet experienced...

The Morocco Diaries, Part 9 of 10: How Argan Oil is Made - From Tree-Climbing Goats to Women's Cooperatives

How Argan Oil is Made - From Tree-Climbing Goats to Women's Cooperatives in Morocco

Grease me up, buttercup!


THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 9 of 10:
THE ARGAN OIL ROUTE FROM 
MARRAKECH TO ESSAOUIRA


Argan oil. Blessed liquid gold. The darling of the beauty industry - nourishing, lightweight, and versatile. Ladies in the know use it on their skin, their cuticles, in their hair. Myself, I’ve stopped washing my waist-length hair with conditioner, instead using argan oil on the mid-to-ends to keep my tresses happy. I knew that the best argan oil comes from and is native to Morocco, but I had only the vaguest idea of how it is harvested and produced. So it was rather a treat to visit a women’s cooperative and see the traditional methods used to produce this precious ingredient, buy my beloved argan oil (and other) products straight from the source, as well as witness for myself the legendary tree-climbing goats of Morocco


MUCH MOROCCO
November 05, 2018

The Morocco Diaries, Part 9 of 10: How Argan Oil is Made - From Tree-Climbing Goats to Women's Cooperatives

Grease me up, buttercup! THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 9 of 10: THE ARGAN OIL ROUTE FROM  MARRAKECH TO ESSAOUIR...

The Morocco Diaries, Part 8 of 10: 4½ Things to Do with 24 Hours in Marrakech

My 4½ Things to Do with 24 Hours in Marrakech, Morocco

Things to Do with
 24 Hours in Marrakech

THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 8 of 10: MARRAKECH, MOROCCO

At last, I had arrived in Marrakech. The iconic city that I had mistaken to be the capital of Morocco. A colourful, cacophonic, chaotic cauldron of sights, sounds, scents; and of course, souks. Rabat may be regal, Casablanca may be cosmopolitan; but Marrakech is the city that endures in the imagination of those yet to visit Morocco  mine included. Alas, I had only a day to soak up the best of what this famous city had to offer. Although I daresay my attempt proved to be fruitful - from shopping in the souk to languishing in one of the most luxurious hotels in Marrakech. Should you, too, find yourself in Marrakech for the first time with just a day to spare, this guide is for you. These are my 4½ Things to Do with 24 Hours in Marrakech.


MUCH MOROCCO
November 02, 2018

The Morocco Diaries, Part 8 of 10: 4½ Things to Do with 24 Hours in Marrakech

4½ Things to Do with   24 Hours in Marrakech THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 8 of 10: MARRAKECH, MOROCCO At last,...

The Morocco Diaries, Part 7 of 10: Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech

The Morocco Diaries, Part 7 of 10: Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech by Posh, Broke, & Bored

The Morocco Diaries, Part 6 of 10: Conquering the High Atlas Mountains

The Morocco Diaries, Part 6 of 10: Ksar Ait Benhaddou, The High Atlas Mountains, and Ourzazate by Posh, Broke, & Bored



Of Hollywood studios, Game of Thrones, and the highest point in Morocco...

THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 6 of 10: THE HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS

So far, it felt like an inordinate portion of my Morocco trip had been dominated by the High Atlas Mountains. This would be the final leg of my journey through the mountains. Take a good look before we say goodbye to them...

MUCH MOROCCO

October 22, 2018

The Morocco Diaries, Part 6 of 10: Conquering the High Atlas Mountains

Of Hollywood studios, Game of Thrones,  and the highest point in Morocco... THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 6 ...

The Morocco Diaries, Part 5 of 10: Todra Gorge & Boumalne Dades

The Morocco Diaries, Part 5 of 10: How Todra Gorge completely changed the way I see Morocco, and how I got married off to a Berber family in Boumalne Dades by Posh, Broke, & Bored


How Todra Gorge completely changed the way I see Morocco, and how I got married off to a Berber family...


THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 5 of 10: 
TODRA GORGE & BOUMALNE DADES 


Before I had embarked on my virgin trip to Morocco my perception of the country was that of a barren land. But after being unexpectedly rained on in the Sahara Desert the night before, I now knew to not judge a book by its dusty cover. A visit to Todra Gorge - the Grand Canyon of the Sahara - would challenge everything I thought I knew about this beguilling country.


MUCH MOROCCO

October 19, 2018

The Morocco Diaries, Part 5 of 10: Todra Gorge & Boumalne Dades

How Todra Gorge completely changed the way I see Morocco, and how I got married off to a Berber family... ...

The Morocco Diaries, Part 4 of 10: Erfoud

Erfoud, Morocco: When a sunset   camel ride on the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert doesn't go as planned... by Posh, Broke, & Bored




THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 4 of 10: ERFOUD


Of sunsets and storms on the sand dunes of the Sahara...

It’s the journey, not the destination, that matters. At least, that’s what I console myself when my plans don’t go my way. I had come to the edge of the Sahara desert to ride, for the first time, on camels as the sun set on the sand dunes. A fairly reasonable request given the desert’s proclivity for blazing sunsets or at least  dryness. However - as I would find out after a long and ardous journey - the bizzare and the unexpected have a tendency to follow me around the world...



October 15, 2018

The Morocco Diaries, Part 4 of 10: Erfoud

THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 4 of 10: ERFOUD Of sunsets and storms on the sand dunes of the Sahara... It’s the journey,...

The Morocco Diaries, Part 3 of 10: Fez

The Morocco Diaries, Part 3 of 10: Fez by Posh, Broke, & Bored




THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 3 of 10: FEZ

What a way to reach a climax. I had begun my tour of Morocco’s four Imperial Cities with Rabat (current and deceptively modern but for its UNESCO Heritage landmark), followed by Meknes (at a glance, modest and even shabby but home to one of the world’s greatest doors). The next destination would be Fez; arguably the most exciting of the country’s former capitals (although Marrakech would beg to differ; it being Fez’s biggest competition). What is indisputable is that Fez is the oldest of the Imperial Cities, first established as capital in the ninth century under Sultan Idriss II, a great-great grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Fez’s status as capital has since come and gone with different dynasties, but its fixture in the imagination has remained, for its famous medina - the largest in the world - and its souks, the likes of which are nothing like anything else in the country...




October 12, 2018

The Morocco Diaries, Part 3 of 10: Fez

THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 3 of 10: FEZ What a way to reach a climax . I had begun my tour of Morocco’s four Imperial...

The Morocco Diaries, Part 2 of 10: Rabat and Meknes

The Morocco Diaries, Part 2 of 10: The Imperial Cities of Rabat and Meknes by Posh, Broke, & Bored


THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 2 of 10: RABAT & MEKNES


How many Imperial Cities does a country need? Many nations have a historical capital, usually the seat of the royal family, whether reigning or depose, and modern capital (Kyoto and Tokyo, St Petersburg and Moscow; to name two). But for Morocco, one former capital won’t do: instead, the country has had three previous capitals in addition to the current one, Rabat. By the end of my trip I would have visited all 4 of Morocco’s Imperial Cities - Rabat, Meknes, Fez, and Marrakech. In this story, Part 2 of my 10-Part Moroccan Diaries, I glide through 2 of Morocco’s Four Imperial Cities: Meknes and the capital (for now - you never know if Morocco will change her mind again), Rabat.



October 09, 2018

The Morocco Diaries, Part 2 of 10: Rabat and Meknes

THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 2 of 10: RABAT & MEKNES How many Imperial Cities does a country need?  Many nations have ...

The Morocco Diaries, Part 1 of 10: Casablanca

The Morocco Diaries, Part 1 of 10: Casablanca by Posh, Broke, & Bored





THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 1 of 10: CASABLANCA

It was an adventure long in the making. I have always dreamt of Africa, but until my recent trip to Morocco I had never stepped foot in any of the continent’s 54 countries. Several years ago, I was taking a summer in the south of Spain with a group of friends. On a whim, the group wanted to go to Morocco that very same day. Our spontaneity was dashed when we realised that I needed to apply for a visa, which would’ve taken weeks. Fast forward to 27 December 2017 and the Kingdom of Morocco agreed that all Malaysians could visit visa-free. I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas present. So a trip to Morocco was booked for the following September: a tour spanning several towns and cities with sights and experiences so diverse that I felt like I got a decent overview of what this country had to offer. From the tree-climbing goats of Agadir to the urban cacophony of Marrakech, my Moroccan experience was everything I had dreamt of and more. 

I’m so very excited to share with you my journey with my Moroccan Diaries, a 10-part series of travel stories spanning 13 cities and towns. The first and the last of the destinations was the port city of Casablanca. Although often overlooked for its more atmospheric (read: Insta-worthy) siblings such as Chefchaouen and Marrakech, Casablanca is the best representation of the modern nation. The former pirate lair-turned economic capital of the country, Casablanca  Morocco’s largest city, has its sights set firmly across the Atlantic and onto the future. Here’s looking at you, kid.


October 05, 2018

The Morocco Diaries, Part 1 of 10: Casablanca

THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 1 of 10 : CASABLANCA It was an adventure long in the making. I have always dreamt o...

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam: A Day Trip in the Capital of "The Most Boring Country In Southeast Asia"

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam: A Day Trip in the Capital of "The Most Boring Country In Southeast Asia"




STRANDED IN BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, THE CAPITAL 
OF BRUNEI AKA “THE MOST BORING COUNTRY 
IN SOUTH EAST ASIA” (MAYBE EVEN THE WORLD)


“Why...” my step-grandfather frowned quizzically, “...would you want to go to Brunei?” Coming from an expert on Borneo (Malaysian, Indonesian, and Bruneian - here’s a photo of him as a schoolboy giving The Duke of Edinburgh the lowdown on Bornean industry), this was not encouraging. “Well,” I explained, “My mission for this year is to visit all the countries of South East Asia that I haven’t yet, and I thought Brunei would be the easiest since it’s only an hour flight from here.” We were in Kota Kinabalu, one of the two East Malaysian states that comprises North Borneo. “Besides,” I continued, “I know there’s not that much to see, so I’ll just be making a day trip to Bandar Seri Begawan...”  My Uncle Robert snickered, “That’s one day too many.”  I ignored him: “...I’ll have more than enough time to see the capital’s highlights and be back in time for dinner.” Or so I thought. You know the saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions?” Well, despite my best of intentions to debunk Brunei’s reputation as The Most Boring Country in South East Asia; despite my research, preparation, and aptitude at speaking the language, I would find myself trapped in purgatory thanks to a series of unfortunate events. So much so that I was traumatised by my day trip to Bandar Seri Begawan and hadn’t touched these photos in 5 months. Well, it’s time to crack open Pandora’s Box. I shall tell you my story, or rather, cautionary tale. So many questions to be asked! Is Brunei really a dry country? Does B.S.B - the abbreviation for Bandar Seri Begawan - actually stand for Boring, So Boring...? Is this what it sounds like when doves cry? Read on...





September 24, 2018

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam: A Day Trip in the Capital of "The Most Boring Country In Southeast Asia"

STRANDED IN BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN , THE CAPITAL  OF BRUNEI AKA “THE MOST BORING COUNTRY  IN SOUTH EAST ASIA” (MAYBE EVEN T...

Busan, South Korea: What to See in Winter

Beyond the sea: What to See in Winter in Busan, South Korea by Posh, Broke, & Bored




THERE’S MORE TO BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA, THAN ITS 
BEACHES, AS I FOUND OUT ON A COLD WINTER’S DAY...


Busan has been lauded as South Korea’s answer to Barcelona: a coastal town with a wide beach and more urban edge than its glossy inland cousin. Beyond its seaside charms, South Korea’s second largest city would have you know that you are in ‘Dynamic Busan, City of Tomorrow’. They’re not wrong. Some parts of Busan, especially downtown, rival the modernity in Seoul, if not outstrip it’s braggadociousness (braggadocity?). I’m talking about you, We’ve The Zenith - I’m not sure what this so-called zenith is, unless it’s a reference to being the tallest residential building in the world. Busan wants to talk about its vision for the future, while visitors think of its coastal charms (seven, count ‘em, seven beach districts). Both are very worthy reasons to visit. But of my brief sojourn in Busan, two things stood out the most to me; one of which was a pristine relic of its past, the other a exemplary case of urban regeneration done right. There is more to Busan than its beaches, as you’ll see (sea?)...



September 20, 2018

Busan, South Korea: What to See in Winter

THERE’S MORE TO BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA , THAN ITS  BEACHES,  AS I FOUND OUT ON A COLD WINTER’S DAY... Busan  has been ...