After dinner, Ikmal and I join Majid to discuss about Shia, the most misunderstood branch of Islam, merely because the majority of Muslims in this world are Sunnis. Our intention in starting such discussion is not to try to convince the other party that his view is wrong, but merely to know and understand Shia from a Shia's perspective.
Our tour around the Imam Square continues to Ali Qapu Palace, which is unfortunately closing earlier than we expected. This used to be the place where Shah Abbas entertained his noble visitors and foreign ambassadors
We arrive in Esfahan just after the call to a morning prayer. I managed to sleep a little bit during the 6-hour long train ride. It was noisy and bumpy, but this was expected as I was too used to the comfort of European trains. But I'm happy that I'm in Esfahan now! I've always wanted to go to this city, which is the former capital city of Persia. When I think of Iran, Esfahan is the first thing that comes into my mind. The famous Square is the reason why I am drawn into this place.
The minute we step into Sharaf El Islam Restaurant we know that this is indeed a perfect place to taste authentic Iranian foods. My host, Reza, recommended me this restaurant located right inside the Grand Brazaar of Tehran. The restaurant is packed with Iranians and the tables are arranged very close to each other. The place is quite narrow and it is quite tricky to find a place to sit.
After what seems like the most boring 15-hour transit experience ever, my plane arrives in Tehran. I am finally here, in Iran. Today, 17th of December 2011, marks the start of my Middle East trip. The trip that I have always been waiting for. One dream can soon be checked off the list. I feel excited, thrilled, and nervous at the same time. Yes, I am alone here, at this moment. One part of me screams that I am insane. What am I doing in this totally strange place alone? The other part of me applauds myself for having the courage to do this. Well done, you have finally conquered your fear!
It’s been years since the last time I had a “major” trip. I did New Zealand during my last year in Australia. I did it as part of my official farewell to the continent. It was one of the most memorable trips that I had ever done. New Zealand’s natural beauty was not like any other places I had ever seen (mind you, I hadn’t explored Indonesia yet!). After that amazing trip, I vowed to myself that I would doRead more
The CouchSurfing Project (CS) is currently the world’s largest hospitality exchange network, founded by Casey Fenton in 1999. The network connects like-minded travellers for cultural exchange, friendship, and learning experience. Travellers can be hosted by the locals for free and sleep in whatever empty space available (floor, couch, or bed). The idea of CS came up when Fenton got a cheap flight ticket to Iceland. Rather than staying in a hotel, he spammed over 1,500 Icelandic students in Reykjavik toRead more
(Read the Part 1 first) After successfully got a good deal for the room, we dropped dead to sleep. We were just tooooo tired! I blamed the World Cup Final for this! 😀 We hadn’t had a good sleep until that afternoon. We were even woken up by a knock on a door and were asked whether we wanted to join for the snorkelling but we refused. We needed a good sleep. Come back tomorrow 😛 . We woke upRead more
(Embrace yourself, this is going to be a loooong post!) Yes, I went to Indonesia last June. It was honestly a sudden decision. Mom had been bragging me about coming back and I kept on resisting; hoping that I could plan an escape to somewhere in Europe. After days of "yes" and "no", eventually, I decided to go back. This vacation was a bit different than my previous ones. My lovely traveling buddy, Jessie, was spending her vacation too inRead more
I promised myself that I wouldn’t travel anywhere this year as I had to save money, but I just couldn’t resist it!!! It really was so hard not to travel when there were so many opened doors (cheap transports, free time, beautiful places, etc etc). So, a few weeks ago — during Easter holiday — my 4 friends and I went for yet-another-road-trip. I went for a road trip last year to Luxembourg, Strasbourg (north of France), and Heidelberg (Germany)Read more
I have lived here for more than 1.5 years and have traveled within the country for many times. These are just some of the places I'd recommend you to go to and some tips of what you should do when you are here 🙂 . Hope it's useful. Keukenhof, Lisse, and its surrounding In my honest opinion, the best time to visit the Netherlands is in the month of April or May. This is the time when flowers blossomed andRead more
Travelling around Belgium was my first trip out of the Netherlands ever since I arrived in this flat country 2 months ago. It felt weird to do this trip because I myself have not even visited Amsterdam! Hahaha. I actually planned to travel around the Netherlands during my one week break, but when my friends asked me to join the trip, I could not resist but to say YES!
Previous posts: Part 1 and Part 2 Skiing was indeed fun; although — to be honest — I couldn’t master most of the tricks that the instructor told me. I didn’t know how to turn left or right; so sometimes I screamed to random people to get out of my way 😛 or… if they’re too slow to move, in the end, I got bumped into them! 😀 I had to say SORRRRY all the time hehe. I looked atRead more
Read the previous post here. After cruising on Milford Sound and watching dolphins and seals, we headed back to Te Anau, passing the mountainous road once again. On our way to that small town, we made a stop at The Chasm — a 15-minute return walk where you can see a spectacular view of Cleddau River and waterfalls. In Te Anau, I ate one of the biggest burgers I’ve had in my life! 😀 (is it really important??) We thenRead more