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  • 10 Dishes You Can 'Travel to' Without Leaving Singapore

    Food is definitely an essential part of the traveling experience. In fact, we love to plan our itineraries around the food which we could taste at the intended destinations. Teasing our palates is a must for every journey. With the current situation, traveling overseas might still not be an option for us but that's not stopping us from "traveling" to these countries with our palates. We’ve identified 10 countries with a range of delicacies from the street to the fine dining experience for you to feast upon without even leaving Singapore.  via GIPHY 1. Hoeddeok in South Korea South Korea is definitely in most people’s bucket list. Apart from KPop, South Korea is also well-known for its food. One such interesting food that is a must-try is Hoeddeok. Hoeddeok can also be spelled as Hotteok. Hoeddeok is a pancake that is sweet with flavors like cinnamon, honey, brown sugar, and peanut. Hoeddeok is a popular Korean street food that is best eaten during the winter season. It is essentially flat, circular dough with fillings and is cooked on a griddle. This delicacy has a crunchy exterior and soft interior with an irresistible flavor.  Image Source: Mareena's Recipe Collection   2. Ramen in Japan A trip to Japan is definitely incomplete without Ramen. The oriental flavor of Ramen, a wheat noodles bowl served in a soy sauce or miso soup mixed with many kinds of ingredients would leave you feelings of warmth even hours after your meal. Typically, a Ramen has toppings such as green onion, slices of meat, egg, and seaweed; but the most important part of this dish is the soup. The rich and flavorful soup will leave you feeling very satisfied and maybe even crave for more of it. Check out our past videos and blogs on the different halal ramen shops here in Singapore. Goshin Ramen Ichikokudo   3. Roasted Duck Rice in Hong Kong  Apart from Disneyland, Hong Kong is a city that has a myriad of things to offer. One of them is their wonderful and delicious food paradise. One of the tastiest food in Hong Kong that we feel is worth mentioning is definitely the Roasted Duck Rice. The marinated crispy duck skin is enough to make you salivate! I highly recommend you to order side dishes with your duck rice that would be a great combination that would leave you tingling. Image Source: Banana Kayu on Instagram   4. Chilaquiles in Mexico Mexico is world-renowned for its exotic and mouthwatering cuisine. Food plays an important cultural role in the country as it is closely tied to symbolism and its festivals. Chilaquiles is an important dish to try in Mexico. It is a traditional breakfast meal consisting of lightly fried corn tortillas cut into quarters and topped with green or red salsa (the red salsa is slightly spicier). There are usually scrambled or fried eggs and pulled chicken on top. Additionally, a decadent amount of cheese and cream and a healthy dose of beans would make the essentials of Chilaquiles.  Image Source: BBC goodfood   5. Sour Fish Curry in Sri Lanka  Beautiful Sri Lanka not only has one of the most amazing train rides in the world, but it also has an array of tasty food that could entice you to settle down in that amazing country. Sour Fish Curry is a famous dish in Sri Lanka that is found in almost any restaurant along the street. Sour Fish Curry is not the usual spicy curry that is usually eaten in South East Asia. It is a creamy dish that is yellowish in color. The fish in the curry is cut into cubes, then sauteed in a blend of spices including black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, pandan leaves, and curry leaves. Perhaps the most important ingredient is dried goraka, a small fruit responsible for giving the fish a sour flavor. This mouth-watering dish is best eaten with rice.  Image Source: Island Smile   6. Chole Bhature in Delhi, India India is a country very rich with culture and warmth. You could head from northern to the southern part of India and discover plentiful and colorful cultures accompanied by amazing food to top it off. One incredible dish to eat in Delhi is Chole Bhature. At its core, chole bhature is a combination of two dishes: chole - a spicy chickpea curry, and bhature - a type of fried bread made with maida flour. Popular throughout North India, the dish was invented in Delhi in the 1940s. Image Source: Times Food   7. Lefse in Norway When you think of Norway, fjords, mountains, and a proud Viking heritage come to mind. Apart from Norway’s sheer beauty, it also has interesting delicacies. One unique delicacy to try in Norway is Lefse. Norwegians love this sweetened variety of the traditional soft flatbread with a cup of coffee. The flatbread is slathered with a blend of butter, sugar, and cinnamon, then meticulously folded or rolled and cut into portions that are easy to carry.  Image Source: Emma Christensen on Kitchn   8. Apricot Blatjang in South Africa South Africa is a country that is a must-visit for the adventurous soul. The beautiful outdoors would capture any adventurous person’s heart. On top of that, you could enjoy delicious meals while taking in beautiful sceneries in the outdoors. One such delicious food is Apricot Blatjang.  Apricot blatjang is a South African chutney made with dried apricots. It is the perfect condiment that goes well with cheese. Blatjang is the pride of Cape Malay-cuisine. Before changes were made for blatjang such as putting in apricots, dates, quinces, and raisins, blatjang was imported from Java. It was made from sun-dried prawns and shrimps, which were pounded with a wooden pestle and mortar and shaped into masses. In Malay, blatjang is spelled as belacan. Thus, for a rich cultural immersion, apricot blatjang is the dish to try.  Image Source: Diana Chistruga on The Spruce   9.Seafood paella in Spain  A trip to gorgeous Spain is incomplete without a seafood dish. One amazing seafood dish that is a must-try is Spain is the Seafood paella. The rich flavors would complete your visit to the Spanish beaches as the freshness in the seafood is not masked by the colorful and flavorful spices included in the dish. The seafood’s natural sweetness is complemented perfectly by the spices in the dish. The beautiful colors would also entice you to eat this tasty seafood dish.  Image Source: epicurious   10. Chocolate Souffle in France  Who does not love a decadent amount of chocolate? Well, one of the best chocolate desserts in the world has got to be the Chocolate Souffle that is found in France. French food relies on simple combinations of rich, natural flavors that come together to create unforgettable, internationally-renowned dishes.  Soufflé came from the French word “souffler” which means “to blow” or “to breathe” and it is a good description of this dish as it puffs up during the cooking process. The simplicity in its ingredients highlights the French’s simple and elegant characteristics. This delicious dessert is soft and fluffy, thus making you float as you explore gorgeous France.  Image Source: Expatica We hope that with this article, you were able to 'travel' to some destinations by looking at the incredible dishes each country has to offer. Happy eating! via GIPHY...

  • Top 10 Things To Do in Langkawi

    Langkawi is known to be the gem of Kedah, famous for its pristine beaches, stunning natural landscapes, and local legends. Its weather is perfect all year round to settle for that beach trip you had been craving for (but heed our advice to bring along sunblock or sunscreen if you are afraid to be kissed by the sun.) Exploring Langkawi is convenient via rented vehicles but fret not if you don't have a license as it is easy to grab around. Apart from being a great beach destination, Langkawi is known to be a duty-free island, providing you the best shopping experience. Let's dive into the 10 things you can do in Langkawi! via GIPHY   1. Hop on the Langkawi Cable Car and walk on the Langkawi Sky Bridge Image Source: Photo by Ryan Chu on Unsplash Search for activities to do in Langkawi, and you will definitely see Langkawi Sky Bridge as one of the lists. Suspended at 2,300ft above sea level, you will be awed by the panoramic view of the surrounding islands and the greeneries of Mount Mat Cinchang.To get to the Langkawi Sky Bridge, you will need to get on the Langkawi Cable Car. Along the way, you can already witness the beauty of what nature has to offer. You may feel this is a very typical activity to do (even I thought so too), but the views are stunning and it is something not to be missed! 2. Explore Oriental Village Image Source: Photo by Dayang Bay Langkawi One will pass by Oriental Village when heading for the Langkawi Skybridge as the booth of the Cable Car is located here. But it is unfair to just leave this place without exploring. This open-aired themed complex housed restaurants and stalls selling souvenirs and craft items, to name a few.There are other activities that you can explore here such as the 3D Art Museum. During my trip, I've purchased my attraction ticket from Klook, and it was a great deal as I was able to visit the 3D Art Museum and the SkyRex. But my best discovery was the free rabbit farm where you can purchase food for the rabbit and feed them. I can literally spend hours being surrounded by those cute rabbits and play with them!   3. Take a dip at Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls Image Source: Polycarp Norbert Nyulin on flickr.com Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls is also known as Seven Wells. It got its name from the seven pools which are situated in the higher area of the waterfall. To get to Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls, you need to climb up 638 steps but let me assure you that it is worth it! Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls is ideal for swimming and picnicking. It is definitely the best rest point before heading back down.You can easily follow the road from Oriental Village to reach Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls. The distance made it easy to plan for my trip when I was there. There are two viewing points to the waterfall; the base of the waterfall already offers you a stunning view. But I feel it is unlikely to swim here though picnicking is fine. I remember climbing up to the higher area early in the morning, and there were already groups of friends and tourists enjoying the water. As we descended down, we came across more families on their way up and I should say that Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls is a famous spot for locals and tourists. There is also a hiking trail that will lead you to the summit of Mat Cinchang if you love hiking.   4. Enjoy the sun at Pantai Cenang Image Source: Photo by Jay Tun on Unsplash Pantai Cenang must have been the busiest beach on the island. Locals and tourists flock to Pantai Cenang to enjoy the sun and enjoy various activities available. Pantai Cenang is surrounded by hotels and resorts, making it one of the most convenient beaches to travel to.If you are looking for some water sport activities, Pantai Cenang is known for it. You can find vendors providing water activities like jet ski and paragliding. Stroll along the long strip of beach, discover cafe to quench your thirst and relax and hop between shops to get some souvenirs. Pantai Cenang is also home to the Underwater World, one of the largest aquariums in Malaysia.   5. Get up close with animals at Langkawi Wildlife Park Image Source: Photo by Steve Douglas on Unsplash If there is one thing that excites animal lovers, it will be the zoo. But Langkawi Wildlife Park isn't only just your typical zoo. You can experience a close encounter with most animals, including feeding them! It will be a great adventure if you are traveling with families or even with friends.I have yet to experience a feeding zoo before, so I was excited when I visited Langkawi Wildlife Park. Getting a bag of feed and studied what animals can and cannot eat was fun. You may also want to check from time to time on various activities that the park organized, like cuddling a raccoon or touching a snake.   6. Take a boat tour down Kilim Karst Geoforest Park Image Source: Photo by Makarios Tang on Unsplash There are a few boat tours that you can engage in when in Langkawi. Being the UNESCO World Heritage site and an important ecosystem in Malaysia, there shouldn't be an excuse for you to give Kilim Geoforest Park a miss!Kilim Geoforest Park is notable for its mangrove swamps and karstic hills. Not to forget, the various wildlife you can spot like monitor lizards, otters, and different species of birds. Boat tours' prices vary from vendor to vendor and whichever suits your need. Most tours will bring you to explore the mangrove forest, crocodile caves, and the bat caves.   7. Savor a plate of Nasi Dagang at Nasi Dagang Pak Malau Image Source: Nasi Dagang Pak Malau on Facebook It might be out of the way but having breakfast at Nasi Dagang Pak Malau will be a great start to your day. And as the place closes at 2 pm or when they sell out, we advise that you come as early as you can to avoid disappointment.Nasi Dagang was traditionally served with fish curry, but at Nasi Dagang Pak Malau, you can find different dishes like chicken curry and beef rendang. The rice itself is flavorful and aromatic, cooked with onion, ginger, and fenugreek seeds. At Nasi Dagang Pak Malau, it's not only about the food but also about the setting. Surrounded by paddy field with the backdrop of the mountain, this should be the right way to start your day!   8. Hunt for local food at the night markets Image Source: Langkawi.com Often, you may have heard that night markets are only on selected days or only on the weekends. But not in Langkawi. The night markets here are held every single day at different locations of the island. Operating from 5 pm onwards, you can find arrays of local vendors selling food, apparel, and even souvenirs.Personally, I love night markets and I am that person who would settle for food at night markets as my dinner or supper. Not only that they are inexpensive, but the choices of local food are endless. According to a local grab driver, the Kuah night market is the largest night market to compare to the rest. Check out the schedule of each night market and make sure to make a trip down!   9. Stay at The Temak Villa Image Source: Photo by Booking.com Correct me if I'm wrong, but most of us would love to stay near the city/town area for accessibility and convenience. It is something that I would look for in an accommodation when traveling, but it would be nice if it is away from the crowd too. The Temak Villa fulfills all these criteria, adding up to the marvelous customer service, nothing can stop you from booking a room here!The Temak Villa is located at Pantai Tengah, approximately 6 minutes walk to Pantai Cenang. Its location is strategic, close to most attractions in Pantai Cenang. At such an inexpensive rate daily, The Temak Villa has all the amenities you needed for a trip, not to mention that you get your own villa with a garden view.   10. Shop 'til you drop Image Source: Photo by Tobi Law on Unsplash I've mentioned earlier in the article that Langkawi is tagged as a duty-free island. But let me break it to you that you can hardly find branded goods here. Also, not all stores and shopping malls are duty-free so if you are particular on this, do check them before putting items in your cart!One of my best buy in Langkawi duty-free shops are chocolates and perfumes. Not only are they great for souvenirs but for your own personal use too. You can also find cookware, watches, and bags, to name a few. Just a word of advice, make sure you have enough luggage space and make sure to check on your country's custom duty regulations. Langkawi provides a laid-back trip to those who want to escape urbanization and modern town. Expect to indulge in the culture and local lifestyle here. Personally, I did enjoy my short trip here, exploring what the island has to offer. Langkawi should be on the list of your travel destinations, as I can assure you that you will have a unique experience here! via GIPHY...

  • The Difference Between the Eids

    Cover Image Source: Photo by Abdullah Mukadam on Unsplash Ever wondered why there are two different Eids on the calendar? Well, here’s a brief overview of what Eid is all about. With many names each depending on where you’re from, Eid refers to the same two events that are significant on the Islamic calendar. One common misconception around the Eids is that they have sometimes been confused as being the “Muslim New Year”, but both Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr are both two different things and neither being the related to a New Year. Why are the Eids always on Different dates every year? On the Gregorian Calendar, you may have asked why are the Eids not on the same dates every year. The reason behind this is that Muslims follow the Islamic Calendar, a Lunar calendar as opposed to being a Solar calendar, this makes the Islamic Calendar lag behind the Gregorian Calendar at around 10 days every year.   What is Eid al-Adha? Image Source: Photo by Md Shairaf on Unsplash Let’s start with Eid al-Adha since it is just around the corner. Eid al-Adha, or sometimes known as “The Feast of Sacrifice” is celebrated at the end of the Hajj Pilgrimage, that’s where it gets its name “Hari Raya Haji'' in Southeast Asia. Celebrated in the month of Dhul-Hijjah in the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha is a celebration to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) total dedication to Allah (SWT) and the end of the Hajj pilgrimage, which is also very much tied to the tale of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was instructed by Allah (SWT) to sacrifice his son, Prophet Ismail (AS), to show his dedication to Him. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) loved his son but was not going to go against the commands of Allah (SWT), so he was ready to carry on with the sacrifice. He was eventually given a ram in place of his son to sacrifice. Ever since then, Muslims all over the world would celebrate Eid al-Adha to commemorate the tough test that both Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Prophet Ismail (AS) went through to show their obedience and dedication to Allah (SWT). How is it celebrated? Keeping in the spirit of commemorating Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) test, it is common for Muslims to perform Qurbani during Eid al-Adha. Qurbani is the act of sacrificing domestic animals such as sheep, cows, and camels to be distributed amongst family, friends, and the less fortunate, each getting a third of the share. For those who didn't offer Qurbani, it is recommended for Muslims to offer donations to charity during this period instead. The day starts with the special Eid Prayers and Takbir followed by a khutbah after which the act of Qurbani will be performed. After distributing the meat to the different recipients, the rest of the day is dedicated to spending time with the family and friends over food cooked with the meat from the Qurbani.   What is Eid al-Fitr? Image Source: Photo by Farhan Azam on Unsplash Eid al-Fitr, also known as Hari Raya Puasa or Aidilfitri in Southeast Asia, is the celebration of the completion of fasts in the holy month of Ramadan. During the whole month of Ramadan, it is required for all able-bodied Muslims to fast from sunrise to sunset, abstaining from consuming any form of food or drinks during this time. The month of Ramadan is also the time when Muslims pay Zakat, a form of alms-giving, another one of the five pillars in Islam.  Eid al-Fitr is a celebration to mark the end of the month-long sunrise to sunset fasting during Ramadan. An interesting fact around Eid al-Fitr is that the day of the celebration is determined by the sighting of the crescent moon the night before, if the crescent moon is not visible, Eid al-Fitr will be postponed to the day after. How is it celebrated? Celebrations for Eid al-Fitr technically starts at sunset the day before the actual day itself, where people make last-minute preparations. Similar to Eid al-Adha, Eid al-Fitr starts with the special Eid Prayers, Takbir, and Khutbah. Eid al-Fitr is also an opportune time for Muslims to visit and gather with their family and friends, exchanging gifts with one another.   Difference The reasons and meaning behind both the Eids are the main difference between the two Eids. In a nutshell, one commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) dedication to Allah (SWT) while the other Eid is a celebration to commemorate the end of the month-long fasting. It may seem that the proceedings for both Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr are almost the same, there is a contrast. Eid al-Adha, because of Qurbani, Meat is a very prominent factor in Eid al-Adha. On the other hand, Eid al-Fitr is sometimes known as the “Sweet Eid” due to the range of sweets and delicacies people serve during Eid al-Fitr.   Similarities As established before, the two Eids are in commemoration of different occasions and have different meanings to them, however, they do share some similarities. The most obvious ones are that both are called “Eid”. The word Eid translates to celebration or festival in Arabic. Fun Fact: the greeting “Eid Mubarak”, which means “Blessed Eid”, is traditionally and widely accepted as the form of greeting amongst Muslims on both the Eids as well. Second, both the Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha encourages the deed of charity or Zakat. Emphasizing the importance of charity and equality in Islam. Contributions in the form of Zakat will be distributed to those who are most in need. Possibly enabling them to join in the celebrations as well. The Takbir is also present in the morning of both the Eids as well. Ask any Muslim and they will say that the beautiful sound of the Takbir is definitely one of the most prominent aspects of any Eid. Donning the best attire, coming together with family and friends while also not forgetting the less fortunate is the reason why Muslims look forward to both the Eids so much. With different cultures from all over the world injecting their influence in the way the Eids are celebrated, the core reason why both Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr are major events in the Islamic calendar will always remain the same.   via GIPHY...

  • 11 Best Places To Visit In Greece For First-Timers

    As the world slowly moves away from a total lock-down, it is time to start thinking of taking a holiday again! With many countries opening airports for international travel, Greece started this process slowly and steadily on 15th June and is now moving towards welcoming travelers across all its beautiful islands. While taking the required precautions and also adhering to the new rules for tourists in this COVID-19 era, we are still excited to plan a trip to Greece to welcome a new sunrise as we start thinking, “let’s travel and enjoy other cultures and countries again!” Greece has so much to do and see, that choosing the best places to visit is a hard task. However, as many parts of Greece boast many historical sites, panoramic beaches, charming villages, mouthwatering food, sunny climes, and lots of shopping, we are ready to try out these 11 places in Greece as our first adventure for 2020!. As first-time travelers, we were overwhelmed with everything there is to do and see in Greece, including Greek island and beach hopping. After much research, this is what we have on our agenda for the Greek Islands as first-time travelers to this popular holiday destination. Let's dive in! via GIPHY Athens Image Credit: Photo by Adrian Dascal on Unsplash The capital of Greece is our first choice of cities to visit in this historically rich nation. Not only does Athens have a plethora of significant ancient Greek archaeological wonders, but the city is also a bustling business hub filled with modern-day attractions such as amusement parks, shopping squares, and of course the Greek food culture. While in Athens, these are some of the places to visit. Acropolis of Athens Hadrian's Library Parthenon Theatre of Dionysus Museum of Islamic Art Syntagma Square Temple of Olympian Zeus Old Temple of Athena Acropolis Museum Mount Lycabettus Piraeus Harbour National Garden Monastiraki Flea Market Omonia Square Central Municipal Athens Market Marina Zeas Allou! Fun Park Athens being a cosmopolitan city of Greece, there are several HALAL food restaurants serving a choice of cuisines.   The Greek Peninsula Mainland Greece, while being home to its capital city of Athens, is divided into the six regions of Thrace, Macedonia, and Epirus to the north, and Thessaly, Central Greece, and the Peloponnesus to the south. So, the Greek Peninsula does have much do and see as well. Delphi Image Credit: Photo by DiChatz on Unsplash A town nestled in the mountains of Central Greece, and home to many archaeologically significant sites of ancient Greece including the Temple of Apollo, the Athenian Treasury, the Castalian Spring and the Delphi theatre and hippodrome. Ioannina Image Credit: Photo by Hippo FromEarth on Unsplash in the region of Epirus is home to the only inhabited lake-island in Greece and offers a chance to stay in the castle or the mini-city of ‘Kastro’ while enjoying the stunning views of mountains and lake. Olympia Image Credit: Photo by James Lee on Unsplash in northwestern Peloponnese is the birthplace of the Olympic Games. An iconic village where the Olympic Flame is lit every two years and visiting the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games in Antiquity is a must. Thessaloniki Image Credit: Photo by Digio Lab on Unsplash is the capital city of the Macedonian region of Northern Greece and considered the second largest city after Athens. Like Athens, this city offers both the wonders of the ancient worlds and the modern attractions of today. Check out the city’s Byzantine walls, White Tower and Turkish baths, museums, art galleries and of course the lively food markets.   Santorini Image Credit: Photo by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash Next on the agenda is what we consider one of the best places to visit in Greece. Santorini, a part of the Cyclades island group, is one of the most visited Greek Isles, and no wonder! With its volcanic history, whitewashed houses clinging to the cliffs and the rugged landscape shaped by the volcanic eruption, this gorgeous island is a treasure of this Mediterranean country. While at Santorini, we plan to swim in the clear blue oceans, take in the intrinsic beauty of the villages and enjoy some fabulous Santorini cuisine. We also plan to take in the two main towns of Fira and Oia, where we can enjoy the unique features of each. Fira is known for its shopping and is also the capital of Santorini, while Oia is considered to be the more luxurious town offering many romantic restaurants and high-end shopping to take home that memorable romantic date. While HALAL food maybe a bit difficult to come by, there are many seafood and vegetarian options to choose from. Here are some of the sites and beaches to check out at this lovely Greek Island. Red Beach Paralia Vlichada Ancient Thera Períssa beach Corfu Image Credit: Photo by Karolis Puidokas on Unsplash Corfu is a popular Greek Island with numerous beaches and oceanside activities. Our plan for this Greek Island revolves around beach hopping, soaking in the true Greek beach culture, and enjoying some watersports. Some of the best beaches on this Greek Island include Porto Timoni beach, Agios Georgios of Pagoi, Ermones, Ampelaki beach, Alipa beach, and Platakia beach. To enjoy fun watersport activities, we plan to visit the beaches of Pelekas, Kontogialos, and Glyfada. Time permitting, we will soak in the atmosphere of Old Town Corfu and also visit Perithia. Unfortunately, Corfu like many of the Greek Isles has no HALAL food. But, no worries, as an island there is plenty of seafood choices and vegetarian dishes to choose from.   Crete As the largest of the Greek islands, a visit to Crete will be filled with changing scenes from the expected turquoise coastlines to rolling countryside and rugged mountain regions. Crete is also a mix of quiet villages and bustling cities. We look forward to enjoying a break to relax and unwind with authentic Greek coffee while taking in the vistas of the turquoise ocean views or olive trees as far as the eye can see. These are some of the cities and places on our “to visit” list for this large Greek island. Heraklion Image Credit: Photo by Evangelos Mpikakis on Unsplash As the capital port city of Crete, Heraklion is a mix of ancient ruins, picturesque old towns, restaurants, lots of places to shop, as well as traffic and a large population. Some of the places to visit are the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Vrondisi Fountain, Venetian Fortress, Natural History Museum of Crete, Palace of Knossos, and the Karteros beach. Agios Nikolaos Image Credit: Photo by ERROR 420 on Unsplash As one of the more popular tourist destinations of this Greek Isle, Agios Nikolaos has much to offer from a range of beaches, cafes and boutiques to breathtaking views of Mirabello Bay. A trip to this midsized town will surely be filled with lots of beach-type activity and sunscreen. Lake Voulismeni is also on our must-visit list with a day trip to the Cretan Olive Farm not too far away to learn all about olive oil. Balos Lagoon Image Credit: Photo by Krzysztof Kowalik on Unsplash Crete is renowned for some of the best beaches in Greece. While there are many beautiful beaches on this large Greek Island, Balos Lagoon takes the cake. Its pink sand and turquoise waters, it is not to be missed. Nestled between the island of Imeri Gramvousa and Crete itself, Balos Lagoon is located in the region of Chania near the town of Kissamos. Samaria Gorge Image Credit: Photo by Rinke Dohmen on Unsplash Visiting Crete would not be complete without a visit to its Samarai National Park in the White Mountains. The popular Samarai Gorge which starts in Xylóskalo is 16 kilometers in length, and renowned as the longest gorge in Europe and one of the most extraordinary gorges of Greece. This downhill hike concludes at the Agia Roumelli on the black sand beaches off of the Mediterranean sea. At an altitude of 1,230 meters, the Samarai Gorge is home to over 450 species of flora and fauna, of which nearly 70 are endemic to Crete. The 10-mile one-way hike takes you through rugged cliffs, ancient cypress and pine forests showcasing nature at its best. For your return trip, consider hiring a boat to Chora Sfakion, a remote and sparsely populated town where you can enjoy a rest before continuing your Greek holiday or returning home. A first-time visit to Greece must include Athens and some of the closer towns and places in mainland Greece as well as one or two Greek Islands such as Santorini and Corfu. Crete is an adventure all on its own and can be combined with sightseeing in Athens, Greece. So, while we plan this extended Greece holiday visit, take your time, do your research and put together a holiday plan that best suits your time and budget.  Point to note, as HALAL food and MOSQUES are difficult to find in most Geek towns and Isles, plan ahead and do your research, bring a prayer mat and use our Qibla Directions and Halal Restaurants feature on our app and you are all set to enjoy your Greek vacation.  As a bonus check out the Halal Trip article on Tips and Advice for HALAL food in Greece. via GIPHY...

  • 10 Best Places to Visit in Egypt For A Holiday for First-Timers

    The first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions “Egypt” is the Pyramids, the Sphinx, and the Nile. In any case, with over 7,000 years of unique history, legacy, and culture, there are numerous other amazing attractions in Egypt to justify its title as a tourist hotspot. With an intriguing history that spans back to the beginning of human civilization, Egypt is known to be a very popular tourist destination. Pharaohs being synonymous with this destination, Egypt is an amazing country to visit to explore ancient tombs, pyramids and attractions which will leave you in awe. An ideal place for adventurers, explorers and history buffs alike. Egypt is an allrounder for travelers looking for a blend of activities rich in tradition, gaining memorable experiences, and simply looking to let loose. Here are 10 Best Places to Visit in Egypt that should be on the top of your itinerary and bucket list when you finally decide to make a trip to this delightful nation. via GIPHY   Giza Image Credit: Photo by Pradeep Gopal on Unsplash Giza is presently known as one of the most renowned spots in Egypt where tourists often visit. Giza is filled with leading hotel chains, famous boutiques, cafés and large shopping centers. Near the hustle and bustle of the city lies the famous Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. You can't say you have been to Egypt without visiting and seeing these monuments first-hand. The extraordinary Pyramids at Giza are famously known for being one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and in addition to that, it is also undoubtedly one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Giza's pyramid complex has awed voyagers down through the ages. An unquestionable feature of any trip to Egypt, Giza's pyramids ought not to be missed. A large portion of the touring destinations at Giza is situated on the plateau aptly named the Giza Plateau, where the Great Sphinx and Great Pyramid stand tall. Don’t forget to snap some pictures of you riding a camel while soaking in the magnificence of the ancient pyramids (Indiana Jones-esque). The pyramids of Giza will definitely be the gem in any trip to Egypt.   Luxor Image Credit: Photo by Lea Kobal on Unsplash Luxor, also known as Thebes in Ancient times, is situated on the east bank of the Nile River in southern Egypt. At its peak, it was the ruling capital of the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom of Egypt. Luxor is also famously called the world’s greatest open-air museum. With iconic structures, temples, and historical museums, the city is a significant destination in Egypt. The essential touring destinations of the Luxor are not situated in the city itself but on the other side of the Nile in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. The Valley of the Kings is a burial spot of the Pharaohs of Thebes, this valley comprises of several burial places portraying the life of ancient Egyptians through the engravings inscribed on the walls and the roofs of the burial spots. The Valley of the Queens is likewise a burial location that contains close to 57 tombs including the breathtaking and remarkable burial place of Queen Nefertari. The vast majority of the Luxor attractions are found either on the East Bank or the West Bank of the Nile. Popular features on the East Bank incorporate Karnak Temple, an exceptional sanctuary city that took more than 2,000 years to develop and it is also known to be one of the largest religious places on the planet. The flawlessly lit up Luxor Temple is a jaw-dropping temple to visit at night. Some other attractions to check out in Luxor are the Luxor Museum and the Colossi of Memnon.   Cairo Image Credit: Photo by Dario Morandotti on Unsplash Cairo the capital of Egypt has a rich history of Islamic, Christian and Jewish culture. The 2000-year-old city is additionally the biggest city in Middle-East, Africa and the Arab world. Do not miss out on the opportunity to shop at Khan el-Khalili bazaar where coppersmiths continue to craft their wares despite having small workshops. Vendors are loaded with a variety of products such as ceramics, textiles, spice, perfume, collectibles, souvenirs, and jewelry. Khan el-Khalili is one of Cairo's must-visits with eateries, cafés and street food merchants scattered around the market adding to the appeal of the bazaar. The significant mosques in Cairo are the mosque of Amr Ibn Al-Aas (Al-Fustat), Mosque of Ahmed Ibn Tulun, Mosque of Al-Azhar, Mosque of Sultan Hassan (which is wonderfully lit up in the evening), Mosque of Al-Refai, The Blue Mosque and the Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali. Additionally, other Islamic sites are the Salah El-Din Citadel, House of Gamal-Al-Din and the Museum of Islamic Art (Bab Al-Khalq). At the widely acclaimed Egyptian Museum of Tahrir Square, guests can get a better perspective on Tutankhamun along with mummies and different antiquities from Egypt's Ancient past.   Aswan Image Credit: Photo by Mo Gabrail on Unsplash Aswan is the third biggest city in Egypt and is situated on the eastern bank of the Nile River. Aswan is the name given to this city by Arabs, the prior name of the city was "Suno" which translates to 'The Market'. Aswan gives one of the most delightful perspectives of Egypt with the eye-catching views of the town on the eastern bank. Aswan is likewise a bonus for guests as it is flooding with brilliant markets, aromas, Pharaonic and roman remains and artifacts from the ancient spot of Nubia. The two most amazing destinations of Aswan town are the two principle islands-Kitchener which is a botanical garden and Elephantine which is a site having vestiges of ancient structures and a museum. Elephantine and Kitchener Island are worth the time and money spent on exploring these islands. The Elephantine Islands are the ideal escape to loosen up. The vivid Nubian towns in the focal point of the island are unique Egypt vacation spots and make for an incredible night walk. It is also recommended to take the boat to Angelika Island to study the Temple of Philae which is from the Ptolemaic and Roman era. The biggest landmark of the island is the sanctuary of Isis which takes up around one-fourth of the island. Aswan is currently known for its amazing views on the desert dunes and the Nile stream. Some other essential attractions are Aga Khan Mausoleum, Tombs of the Nobles and the Temple of Philae.   Abu Simbel Image Credit: Photo by AussieActive on Unsplash Abu Simbel comprises of two enormous stone temples made out of appreciation for the powerful King Ramses II. Cut out of the mountainside, the sanctuaries are enduring energy of Ramesses II and Nefertari. The temple is the most remarkable temple of all ancient Egypt. Indeed, even in a nation brimming with temples and tombs, Abu Simbel is something uncommon. This is Ramses II's extraordinary sanctuary, embellished with enormous sculpture placed outside, and with an inside luxuriously finished with artistic creations on the wall. The stone impressions of the lord and the lady seated on their thrones is a notable aspect of ancient Egypt. The temple was shifted elsewhere as a result of the rising waters of the lake during the 60s and this attraction creates a flow of tourists throughout.   White Desert Image Credit: Photo by Mariam Soliman on Unsplash Prepare to be stunned by the extraordinary white-hued rock arrangements of the White Desert, the Bedouin national park north of Farafra. This exceptional natural wonder consists of strangely molded chalk mountains with colossal arrangements of chalk running from snow white to cream in color, which likewise includes the sand dunes of the Great Sand Sea and the cliffs of the Farafra Depression. The white rocks have been molded by wind disintegration for a few centuries. The landscapes here look nothing short of magical, with white stones and chunks. For desert fans and travelers, this would be your ideal setting, while at the same time basking in the regular landscape. With its stunning natural beauty, it is among the most delightful spots to visit in Egypt. PS – Lookout for the Rhim and Dorcas gazelle, the latter of which roams the landscape at the White Desert.   Siwa Oasis Image Credit: Photo by Flo P on Unsplash This dazzling oasis, encompassed by date palm ranches and various freshwater springs, is one of the Western Desert's most pleasant spots. The town is based on the remnants of an immense mud-block fortress that ruled the view. This is the best spot to slow down and rejuvenate for a couple of days. Vacationers go to the city to appreciate the town's numerous freshwater springs, walk around sections of land of palm forests and to explore antiquated mud-fabricated fortifications and leftovers of Siwa's Greco-Roman past. Gurgling springs are in bounty here. One of the most famous is a stone pool known as Cleopatra's Bath. A segregated and more private pool is situated on an island in Lake Siwa. An outing to the nearby commercial center offers guests the chance to tour the city's rich culture and soak up the uniqueness the place has to offer.   Alexandria Image Credit: Photo by Peter Nicola on Unsplash Situated on the Northern Coast of Egypt, Alexandria or known as the "Pearl of the Mediterranean" or the "Social Capital of Egypt" is an ancient city in Egypt which is viewed as a significant tourist point of Egypt, the second biggest city of Egypt and furthermore a bustling trade port. Alexandria is enhanced with numerous sublime Greek landmarks, offering incredible touring chances to all and worth a visit for its numerous social attractions which provides deeper insights into its past. The city is definitely a standout amongst other Egypt destinations which would allow you to unwind and relax stress-free. Well known touring spots in Alexandria are Fort Qait Bey, Bibliotheca Alexandrina (one of the largest and most significant library in the ancient world) and Pompey's Pillar Alexandria which is a decent spot to chill with your friends and walk around the boulevards which are loaded up with cafés.   Sinai Image Credit: Photo by Irina Nakonechnaya on Unsplash Egypt's focal point for seashore fun is the South Sinai which is on the Sinai Peninsula. Sharm el-Sheik or, more than likely known as the City of Peace is a European-style resort brimming with lavish lodgings, universally known eateries, and a plethora of activities to offer. Sharm el-Sheik is one of the most well-known retreat towns in Egypt, situated at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula. With its warm, dark blue waters and extraordinary brilliant seashores, it would be hard to eliminate such a spot from your itinerary. Try not to pass up on the opportunity to snorkel or dive into the phenomenal reefs around Tiran Island and Ras Mohammed National Park, home to some incredibly vivid marine life. Sharm el-Sheik gives access into the desert, where you can visit Bedouin camps and climb Mount Sinai, an ancient biblical spot famously known for its optimal view of the sunrise.   Dahab Image Credit: Photo by Nassim Wahba on Unsplash Dahab is a serene budget beach town that goes easy on your bank account. Dahab, which implies gold in English, is one of the most-visited urban communities by travelers and Egyptians in Southeast Sinai. It is otherwise called Sinai's most-cherished diving spot, which makes it a go-to spot for diving or swimming enthusiasts. Any place you pick in the South Sinai will have an association with diving. The Red Sea is one of the top diving destinations on the planet. Apart from being the most celebrated national park inside Egypt, Ras Muhammad National Park also happens to be one of the most well-known diving sites. This attraction is tucked in the midst of the beautiful coral reefs and mangroves of the Red Sea just along with the inland desert of Sinai. It has completely clear waters that permit divers and swimming lovers to effectively view the dynamic corals and aquatic life. If you decide to take a boat for a ride further into the sea, you might even get to spot some dolphins, including Risso's Dolphin.   Nile Cruising Image Credit: Photo by Lea Kobal on Unsplash You can never be finished with a trip to Egypt without going on a journey on the Nile River. Regardless of whether you take it toward the beginning of the day or around evening time, in a boat or a felucca, the appeal of the Nile will blow your mind. For some guests, a multi-day voyage upon this much-admired Nile is a noteworthy feature of their Egypt trip. Cruising the Nile is likewise the most loosening up approach to see the sanctuaries that stud the banks of the waterway on the course among Luxor and Aswan. The two celebrated sights on a Nile Cruise are the Temple of Kom Ombo and Edfu's Temple of Horus, where all the large cruise ships make a halt. You can also opt to voyage the Nile by felucca which is Egypt's conventional wooden boat. Boats and cruises leave from both Luxor and Aswan, yet feluccas must be boarded for trips from Aswan. Egypt offers the most intriguing encounters to tourists and such an experience that cannot be compared to any other place else on the planet. Everything about Egypt leaves its visitors in amazement.THE PS – It is advisable to wear full-length clothing in Egypt, to regard the traditions and save yourself from some serious sunburn.   via GIPHY...



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    The prayer room located in the public area is equipped with wudu facilities