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What to pack for Sahara desert trip

25th December 2017 - 6 min read
What to pack for Sahara desert trip

On our trip to Morocco, we took our time to also visit the greatness Sahara desert in Zagora. No matter which desert you went, there are several things you have to keep in mind. Look at also the weather forecast and simply the season when you will be there. This post explains in detailed on what we learnt during desert trip and what to pack for Sahara desert trip.

The season in Morocco is divided as follows*:

Low (May–Sep): Although this is summer, there are lots of discounts in accommodation and souqs. This is Ramadan and sacrifice day period.

Medium (Apr & Oct)Spring sandstorms in the Sahara and persistent rain in the north; popular elsewhere. Accommodation prices and demand jump around Easter.

High Season (Nov–Mar)Spring and autumn are the most popular times to visit. Accommodation prices are highest. Marrakesh and the south are popular at Christmas and New Year, but the north of the country can be chilly and wet.

We went during the so called high season period even though the price ticket was really cheap and accommodation was fair too. I think it applies around the busy Christmas and New year period literally. We went in the beginning of December and it was still perfect. While in the beginning of winter, the weather could be warm during the day (18-25) but drastically drop at night (7-10). Even though the winter in Morocco is fairly warmer than Europe, it can’t be categorised as warm. Never underestimate this.

  • Sport shoes

    It is very tricky to walk on the desert sand. Wearing sandals and open shoes will not help but burdening you as the sands particle will get in and you constantly need to clean it. Some other reasons is the camel ride. Camel is higher than you think, so you want to get rid of worries that your shoes might lose considering the bumpy ride. I personally think the good grip of the inside shoes are important to give extra support to walk in the sand texture. Some parts might require you to hike, so sport shoes is really a must!! Bring sandals to take shower or go to toilet.

  • Comfortable backpack

    There will be some times that requires you to ride camels. Although luggage is allowed and somehow possible to bring along on the camel, having comfortable bag (or backpack) will enable you to forget and merely enjoy the ride. I remembered I was a bit worried because my cabin bag was not properly tightened on the camel. That made me extra cautious and wanted to pay extra attention to the bag. If you have a base stay in Marrakech or somewhere else, I would recommend to just bring what’s important and leave the rests behind.

  • Flashlight

    There are not so much lights at night. The main source of light is literally stars and bonfire. Flashlight is to be used for extra sights.

  • Jeans or comfortable pants

    Shorts & skirts are not recommended. The camel saddles might cause itchiness and skin irritation. Also, it’s more comfortable to wear pants for any ride in general.

  • Sunscreen

    During the day, the sun can be very hot and hitting your skin.

  • Appropriate clothes

    Morocco is considered as a religious country, which means we need to be mindful to dress up. This also applies in the Sahara desert and its surrounding villages. The women should always cover the arms and knees up. Men needs to cover up the shoulders and above the knee.

    Warm clothes for winter season, this is also part of dress appropriately. Never underestimate winter in the desert, it is cold, dry, and windy. I do think the sand absorbs coldness and a spread agent. The tents do not have heater as it’s just a simple one made of thick garments.

  • A headscarf or hat and sunglasses

    This will be very helpful to cover your face from sun and dust. Desert can be very windy and your eyes will not be absent in getting some small of sands.

  • Sanitary

    At some nights, it will be too cold to take shower and sometimes the hot water will not work properly. This is when we tissue come to the rescue to freshen up your body quickly. I will also bring moisturiser and hand sanitiser everywhere, just in case 😉

  • Bottle water

    The tents provide bottle water with more expensive price. It is better to buy bottles of water before arrival. Also, I believe the supply to desert is more limited than in the city. Also, be mindful in using tap water because they have very limited sources in the middle desert.

  • Camera and phone charges

    This will be by default things to pack, just in case not, this will remind you. Desert is very majestic like no other views you see everyday (this is basically what I always say everywhere I go). Everywhere we go is different and worth memorising. Capturing the moment is what truly will remind us to be grateful and stay open.


Africa Milestone Morocco

4 Days Morocco Itinerary Tips and Stories

16th December 2017 - 14 min read
4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories

Morocco has always been a place in my list. Its berberian building and mosaic tiles are what prettified my 3 years vision board. This trip was a surprise trip (which almost failed) for Damar’s birthday. We made an agreement not to give each other’s gift this year, especially after buying a house and big next year’s travel plan. But, the flight ticket deal was absolutely irresistible. Usually we always plan the trip and itinerary together, this time I had to do it by myself (yes, very challenging to be decisive for me). In this post, I would like to share our Morocco itinerary tips and stories. Note that this travel is in budget and I’ll also share roughly our expense in upcoming post.

DAY 1 – Marrakech

We stayed over night in Tulip Inn hotel just right above Eindhoven airport. It is because we took the very first flight from Eindhoven to Morocco on that Sunday. Public transportation only starts operating at 8 am on Sunday. However, it paid off! Because the good thing about having first flight is that we don’t lose a day in Morocco and was able to enjoy the rest of our first day there. The flight was smooth and took 3 hours 45 minutes. I found it fascinating that in 4 hours away, we arrived in a whole complete different continent, Africa.

Once we arrived we immediately took BUS number 19 (read here why we took the bus). It only took 25 minutes to Jemaa El-Fna. Unlike other airports which location is in the outskirt of the city, this one it is quite close to the city. It is quite nearby Gueliz, the modern ‘new town’ of Marrakech. I wish I had more time to visit and try out its wide range of food. It is amazing to know that beyond the borders of the historical old town (Medina), there is a modern town. It was designed and developed by the French in the early 1900s and the French influences are obvious in stark difference in the design of the area.

We went straight to the Bab Doukkala (the stop of our stay (Riad Itry – from hostel world) which is 5 minutes away from Jemaa El-Fna square. We were already guided with the direction from our hostel on where we should go. Even so, we almost got scam on our way (read more for story and how to avoid it) Tips: Always follow the guidance, it is usually very clear or turn your GPS. Do not let other people who ‘pretend’ to be nice and want to show you the way. Always take your guard up. Believe in yourself or call your hostel for help.

We got tips for our kind hostel keeper to avoid people in the street who try to approach us. To be polite we can say ‘La, Syukron” (no, thank you) or just ignore and walk away (according to him, it is more effective). He also reminded that the price in the Souk (souq or souk is a marketplace in North African cities) is never a fix price. If you ever want to purchase something, be confident and do not let the shop owner play the mind trick. The mind trick here would be “acting” offended saying your bargain price is too low etc. Know how much you want to spend on stuff. To be safer, you can always secretly take picture and ask your hostel keeper once back in your stay how much that stuff usually worth.

We walked around Bab Doukkala to get some lunch, I was super starving that time that we just went in to a restaurant. It was the only restaurant we saw putting their menu and price clearly outside. It ended up not so bad (read more here). First time “tagine” experience in North Africa. While waiting for our food, we suddenly heard azan (islamic call to prayer). I missed that too much. We were used to it back in our home country (Indonesia). Such a beautiful sound! Please scare not, it has such a meaningful message.

We continued walking toward Koutubia Mosque (biggest mosque in Morocco) which is nearby Jemaa El-Fna. If you are moslem and have time, use the opportunity to pray there. It is always magical feeling to experience that in different country with different culture. You’ll be amazed on how normality is not existing anymore. Your way is not normal and you have to adapt on your surrounding, ALWAYS!


Koutubia Mosque

That is what I learn so much with traveling. To be more opened and understand people better. Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to pray in Morocco (you know why ;)) but Damar did and people around him did not take eyes off of him. He was also taught to do wudu (cleaning before praying) in the ‘correct’ way. Hahahha. Our routine is not theirs, theirs are not ours, but as my dad always says ‘never feel the most righteous, keep open minded’.

After spending sometimes and taking bunch of pictures in Koutubia Mosque, we went along to Jemaa El-Fna which was just 2 minutes walking distance from the mosque. I started hearing the sound of Moroccon instrument and vendors cheering. It was quite chaotic I must say, so many people, if you’re not used to it, it could be overwhelming. You’d quickly adjust though, don’t be afraid and smile. I was a bit scared then remember how blessed I was to be standing in that square really. Never had I dreamed when I was a kid, I would arrive in this point.

First thing first, ORANGE JUICE. They would all whistle at you and give you smoothie tester. I’d say stick with orange juice and pomegranate. I tried the mango which tasted sugar sweet. After the shot, we walked around the souk and all of the sudden I looked up and saw how beautiful the sky was! The color was just as terracotta as the typical Moroccan building. I trully admire it. I am sure there is something magical with sky in Morocco.

After getting lost and enjoying azan+sunset, we sat in a cafe and have moroccan mint tea. I saw so many guys by themselves (did not see much women in general) having their tea time. They take this rather seriously. At night for dinner, we got our food on our way and went home because the next day the desert tour driver would pick us up at 7 am.

DAY 2 and 3 – Sahara desert

We spent the whole day in Zagora desert which the details I would dedicate in my upcoming post. The desert was not closeby! It was 7 hours drive. We crossed the high atlast mountains and visit Kasbah Ait Ben Hadou which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a place where traditional Saharan habitat used to live. At the moment there were still 4 families living there. We had an hour tour continued with lunch and continued driving along Draa Valley. After arriving in the desert, we met our camel friends which brought us to an hour ride to our tents.

We left the next day to the desert early after sunrise and breakfast heading to Ouarzazate and eventually Marrakech. It was an incredible experience even in a short time.


4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories

4 days morocco itinerary tips and stories

DAY 4 – Marrakech

We started to do the tour ourselves from El Badi Palace, Tombeaux des Saadiens, Bahia Palace, Ben Youssef Madrasa (but closed when we were there), and Jardin Majorelle.

El Badi palace is a ruined palace that is used to be a display of best craftmanship in Saadian period. I imagined how was the setting and the hardwork back then. This needed 25 years to complete!

4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories 4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories

Bahia Palace means (palace of the beautiful, the brilliant) is a 19th century palace of eight hectares. It is one of the masterpieces of Moroccan architecture. This place is genuinely mesmerizing, out of the 3 (El Badi, Bahia, Tombeaux des Saadiens), this was my favorite. It is brilliant, just like its name. Capturing every little details will not fit a day.

4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories 4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories

4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories

Tombeaux des Saadiens is grave of Ahmad Al-Mansur and family. The most famous is the room with the twelve columns. This room contains the grave of the son of the sultan’s son, Ahmad Al-Mansur. Outside the building is a garden and the graves of soldiers and servants.

4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories

Ben Youssef Madrasa is islamic college in Marrakesh, named after the Almoravid sultan Ali ibn Yusuf (reigned 1106–1142), who expanded the city and its influence considerably. It is the largest madrasa in all of Morocco! Too bad, it closed for construction when we were there.

Jardin Majorelle is a place that I was always curious to see. This one needed 40 years to be completed, can you imagine? This garden contains many sahara plants (cactus etc). It is full of green plants color, and Morocco color in the building (cobalt blue from indigo and yellow from saffron). This was designed and built by French painter Jacques Majorelle and then rescued/bought over by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge on 2010.

4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories 4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories 4 days Morocco Itinerary tips and Stories

Where to stay in Marrakech

Try to stay in Riad if you want to have full Morroco trip experience. Riad is traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyardI’d suggest to not stay far from Jemaa El-Fnaa or in the old town (Medina) if you want to have much easy access to the places in the center. Everywhere is quite walking distance anyway. But staying in the city ease the access to get to food and attractions.

The second Riad we stayed is very much recommendable. The name is Riad La Caleche. It is affordable, nice staff, clean space, free breakfast and service to drop/pick up from the airport.

What you should go and try if you have more time in Marrakech

HAMAM / Spa – A bath is a type of public bathing associated with the culture of the Ottoman Empire and more widely the Islamic world

Cooking class – It will be amazing to learn cooking from the local master chef especially if you are like who love food. Check some of the options in here 

Dar si Said – A monument to Moroccan mâalems (master artisans), the residence of Bou Ahmed’s brother Si Said. The highlight of a visit here is the spectacular painted and domed wedding-reception chamber flanked by flower-painted musicians’ balconies; credits to artisans from Fez.

House of Photography (La Maison de La Photographia) –  It contains a large collection of pictures and documents gathered during the period 1870 to 1960 mostly by anonymous visitors and some very well-known photographers. Many people say the restaurant/cafe above is worth paying visit.

Gueliz – The modern ‘new town’ of Marrakech

Morocco Itinerary (Downloadable)


Africa Morocco Travel

Common scams in Marrakech and how to avoid them

9th December 2017 - 12 min read
common scams in Marrakech and how to avoid them

Besides its beauty and uniqueness, Marrakech is the type of destination that you have to keep your guard up at all times and well informed before hand. There are a lot of scams around you that is sometimes hard to tell until you experience it yourself. My friends who have been to Morocco either despise it or love it. Too bad that bad experiences caused of scams get many people to pass bad judgement on an amazing country and people. Just remember that the scammers are doing these because they are trying to live by in very poor conditions.

I have to say, at the end of the day it is about expectation management. Research and read what to expect in a new place you go. Even myself, I learnt and read a lot of articles about scam Morocco, and I almost fell into some. So, I thought it might be handy to share for you who are going or still dreaming to go. Note: It is definitely not a reason for you not to go and explore Marrakech or Morocco in general.  Do your research before, know what to look out for, and you will be fine.

Most of these scams are pretty harmless and won’t cost you more than a couple of coins. However they might leave you feel ashamed and mad. Sellers or scammers are aggressive: true, but not all Moroccans are like that. It is absolutely not part of their culture!

Ok, so basically, every scams that I had read are a real thing! It’s either happened to us or to other tourists around me. Here are the most common ones. I hope this list does not scare you but instead make you travel easier.

1. Taxi drivers

Once we exit the airport, we had to search for where the bus was at. I was a little bit reluctant to ride a bus, because of the scams fear etc. However, it’s the taxi which could get you into scams. All the taxis will call you out, insist to go with their taxi and if they figure you look for the bus, they will say that the taxi price is the same with bus, which is not. Price should be not more than 50 dirham but they surely will ask for around 100-200 dirham. If you travel by yourself and want some extra security and guard, you better make the arrangement with your stay for airport pick up.

At the end of our journey, we did not have any other choice then to reserve a taxi (arranged by our hostel). Our flight was at 6.55 am so we had to leave our stay at 4 am. The night before we agreed with the hostel that the cost would be 15 euro (which we calculated to be 170 dirham but the hostel calculated to be 150 dirham). And to be honest, 180 dirham was our last cash.

At 4 am a taxi driver, who looks very nice and sincere, picked us up. Damar, with his initiative make sure that 150 is the price we had to pay. You know, just to get agreement beforehand. You know what he said????? He pointed the watch and said no, 200 dirham!!! But because our cash is literally limited, we said that we don’t have the money. I said we only had 180 dirham. He nodded and agreed.

Once we arrive, Damar only gave the 170 dirham because he could not find the 10 in his pocket. The man said, it’s okay. Well there you go! It was happy ending for us, but can you imagine if Damar did not ask, we would be surprised and did not know what to do. Although in our case, nothing much we could do because we literally had none.

Tips: Always make sure and make agreement in the beginning. Also, taxi price will never be the same with bus, that is for sure. However, I think it is different if you already know and you decide to do it anyway. It means you agree to pay more and I would suggest to agree with the price in the beginning!! Also bring GPS with you to check where this taxi driver brings you. It’s worth paying more credit.

Bus in the airport 

The bus is operated by a Spanish company, Alsa. The Airport Bus service is no. 19 transferring from the Marrakech Menara airport to the medina (ancient city) and Gueliz (new city) of Marrakech.  Bus number 19 is definitely the least expensive method of airport transfer. Price is 30 dirham one way and 50 dirham return ticket at time of initial purchase. It comes every 3o minute.

Good to know is, the approximate time from airport to centre is 20 mins.

Where to wait

It is definitely not in a quick glance. You have go towards packing lot and you will see big sign of BUS 19 there. You will not be the only waiting for the bus. If you do, not so long after you there will be people coming and waiting under that sign.

2. Helpful local

There are several things in this category, but the most common one is someone tries to help you getting a direction. Out of politeness and a stranger in a place, you tend to be polite and oblivious. They will come towards you, be friendly, ask you where you are from etc. And then they will offer to guide you and ask for a service fee at the end. What almost happened to us was someone tried to mislead us by showing another turn. I almost fell into it, but Damar was confident with the direction from our hostel and generally his sense of direction is much better than me. So I followed.

Apparently after arriving to the hostel, the keeper told us to be careful with someone who pretend to want to show the way. Which was exactly what happened to us. The guy who tried to detour us would have showed up in our confusion and offer to find a way. He would take you to the “labyrinth” and made a complex route. It could be quadrupled longer than it should have been. At the end, they made you think that it’s impossible to find the place without their help. That is when they ask for money.

Tips: Walk around confidently (even if you are lost) and use GPS. They will still try and follow you. Our hostel keeper said the best way to avoid it is to just keep walking. Even saying ‘La, Syukron (no, thank you)’ will make them think they have chances and follow you even more. If you just smile and keep walking, after  5 meter, they will know you really are not interested.

3. Henna lady

I did not experience myself until the last day. Around Jemaa El-Fna there are a lot of Henna ladies. Some just sit and quietly offer, but some are really aggressive. I must say they get more aggressive and walk towards you at night. On our last night while walking in the middle of food stalls, the lady came over and offered henna. I said no, and she asked if i’d be interested tomorrow, well just to get away with it, I said sure. Then he took my hand and almost started drawing (to show what she can do) until I pulled my hand away quite roughly. I am sure she’d ask for money if that had happened.

Tips: If you are not interested, don’t come near it and do not take pictures. If you want to take the risk (fake henna, terrible drawing) be very clear with drawing you want and agree on price. If they happen to come towards you and ask, smile, say firm no and walk away. I’d suggest not to do in the square, if you really want it, go to Henna cafe not so far from the square.

4. Pictures (Snake, monkey)

When walking around Jemaa El-Fna square, there will be a lot of monkey handlers, cobra snakes performers etc. They will walk to you, put the animals around you and once you take pictures, they will ask money from you. Even you just enjoy from afar and take pictures, when they find out, they will force you to pay.

Tips: Do not go near it. Or if you want to take pictures, bargain the price first and agree before hand (10-20 dirham would make sense).

5. Restaurant or food stall

You go to the restaurant, check the menu and order. When it comes to pay the bill, the result is way more than what you ordered. The waitress would say you must read the menu wrong and showed different menu than you saw earlier.

Also, in the food stalls, if you receive food you don’t order. Never think it’s a complimentary food. They will add up at the end. This happened to us but I was conscious enough not to eat anything other than what I ordered.

Tips: Make a picture of every menu before you order so that if this happens you can show them the picture with the old prices.

6. Store visit / Tea offer

Usually in the rugs souk/market, the owners will invite you to sit down and have some tea. If you at the end refuse to buy anything, they’ll get angry and will ask you you pay for your tea. Usually it ends up with you buying something from their shop which you do not really want.

Tips: Avoid buying things in Jemaa El-Fna or buy with locals you know. If you are really interested with something, take picture (secretly) and ask your hostel keeper or local friend to price. You can use it as a base to bargain, if the sellers act like they get offended, don’t feel sorry, then they will realise that you know the price. If they invite for tea, just refuse it in the first place.

7. Toilet

Public toilet is free! There are scammers who appear at the entrance and demand a small fee.

Tips: Just pay with any coins you have and leave.


Emergency number to call

  • Police: 190 or 112
  • Police outside the city: 177
  • Ambulance: 150
  • Fire brigade: 15

Ignore the scams and enjoy the beauty of Marrakesh.


Other Morocco series

What to eat in Marrakech

Things to know before travelling to Morocco

Africa Culinary Morocco Travel

What to eat in Marrakech

8th December 2017 - 12 min read
What to eat in Marrakech

One of the great things in one’s place to try out is the culinary. It gives the sense of authenticity of a new place. Damar and I always take our time to taste the local food and adjust it with our taste bud. As we are from Indonesia and most of the food are rich in seasonings, Moroccan food are not at all hard to swallow. To be frankly speaking, its traditional local food is one of the things we remember the most.

There are things you should know before deciding to eat something in Marrakech. People can have very different opinions of the food in Morocco based on circumstance and the surroundings. Also, keep in mind that many of the best food in Marrakech, aren’t what you would think served in a “restaurants”.

These are our personal experience of food that we actually ate there along with the price and how we would rate it.

1.Terrace Cafe around Bab Doukkala

Good thing about Marrakech is that there are plenty of rooftops place to enjoy. We went to this place in our first day right after arriving. We ended up in this place due to hunger and somebody could not bear it anymore (read:me). This place was quite hidden from outside yet it had menu in the showcase with price so we knew what to expect.

We both wanted to taste Tagine (meal cooked in earthenware pot, which is named after) in our first day. So here what they look like. The waitress already took off the authentic cone-shaped lid.What to eat in Marrakech

It is chicken with vegetables with mild saffron spices sauce that tasted slightly like curry. It’s basically a mild curry. Damar expected more from this one (Price: 80 dirham, verdict: 6 of 10)

What to eat in Marrakech

It is called Kefta tagine which is minced meatballs with tomato sauce and eggs that were cracked right in the tagine itself. This one was pretty good. I like it more than Damar’s. (Price: 70 dirham, verdict: 7.5 of 10)

 2. Random Street food in Bab Doukkala

Our hostel keeper suggested to get food in Bab Doukkala area, because it’s not touristy hence worth the value. But then again, the risk is language barrier and scam. In this case, just use your instinct and be confident.

Fried fishes in Bab Doukkala street. Some bloggers I read do not recommend to get fishes or seafood because of its quality. Marrakech is land locked so it takes some effort to get seafood there. However, because we were curious, hungry and have certain budget, we bought anyway. It smelled so great. These street vendors were standing next to each other and only locals ate there.

If you really want to get it, take a small peek to the oils. If it’s very black, just walk away and do not risk it. I myself did not think about it to anticipate. The taste is like fried fish, nothing special, but I like fishes so my verdict might be bias. It was even better with the drip of lemon juice. Fresh! For the value, it is super cheap. You will get a full paper sack with different type of fishes and fried aubergine. (Price: 20 dirham, verdict: 6.5 out of 10)

Shish Kebab in a tiny hidden stall in Bab Doukkala street. We were lucky that it turned out good, the seller was nice honest man which love what he’s doing (seems like). The bread is round bread (typical moroccan bread – khobz) filled with seasoned minced meat grilled in a metal stick, amazing fresh homemade tomato sauce, and chilli sauce. (Price: 10 dirham, verdict: 7.5 out of 10)

3. Pastry from local Pattiserie or more like Boulangerie

Pastry was okay, quite sweet for my taste. However, it is safer to get to one of the ‘real’ place than carts in the square. The cookies and sweets look divine in the cart, but you will never know the ingredients quality (Price: 2 dirham/each, verdict: 5.5 out of 10).

4. A restaurant in Ouarzazate (chosen by the tour)

I had couscous and Damar had mix grilled plate. It was definitely overpriced than the value which we kind of expected it. The couscous was in plate with vegetables and very tender beef/lamb with saffron seasoning (Price: 80 dirham, verdict: 7 out of 10).

What to eat in Marrakech (3)Damar’s mixed grill (Price: 80 dirham, verdict: 5 out of 10)

5. Dinner in the desert (prepared by the tour)

We had another tagine, a bit similar with what Damar had in the first day but tasted better and richer in the filling. So I guess, it is worth to know where to eat this meal to avoid any disappointment. I bet it could be super good.

(Price: Included in the tour, verdict: 7 out of 10)

6. Breakfast (prepared by the tour)

Breakfast in Morocco is simple and easy. Pancake usually was the go to and also some pastry. That is what we had during this breakfast. No complain, to get plates were already one thing to be grateful for considering limited sources in the middle of the desert.

7. Lunch (chosen by the tour)

This time I also went for grilled meat. Again, Damar ordered chicken and I ordered the minced meat. It is almost like burger patty except it is much smaller.

What to eat in Marrakech (4) (Price: 80, verdict: 6 out of 10)

What to eat in Marrakech (5)

(Price: 80, verdict: 6 out of 10)

8. Mechoui Alley

Mechoui or Moroccan roasted lamb is a whole lamb roasted in deep pits with smoldering araar wood for 3-4 hours. There is a popular alley with 3 or 4 tiny restaurants that sell this amazing lamb. The seasonings I tasted in this lamb was mainly cumin and salt, yet it was very very good. The meat was incredibly tender. The best food I had I must say. We ate them with moroccan bread (khobz) and had moroccan tea as the drink. It was so greasy, we could not help to get orange juice in Jemaa El-Fna to get some get fresh intake afterwards.

The next day I woke up with headache, the lamb and oil successfully increased my blood pressure 😀 but it is totally worth trying. For the people who do not eat lamb because of the fishiness of the taste, do not worry because this meat is very long  in the process that all the lamb taste are gone.

What to eat in Morocco

(Price: 75 dirham, verdict: 8 out of 10)

9. Roti d’or

This restaurant is trendy, modern, cozy, affordable, and good quality. I would rate 5 starts for this place. Damar really enjoyed his grilled chicken. I ordered the chicken patty which I could taste the homemade-ness. Both came in bunch with many side vegetables, bread, french fries and different type of sauce. I heard they have an amazing vegan burger!

What to eat in Marrakech

The grilled chicken Damar really enjoyed, it’s his favourite of all food we tried in Marrakech (Price: 40, verdict: 9 out of 10).

The chicken patty (Price: 40, verdict: 7.5 out of 10)

What to eat in Marrakech

10. Snails soup in Jemaa El-Fna

When I first saw this, I knew I got to try for the sake of experience. It was chewy and tasted earthy. In the ingredients, I could taste a bit of ginger and pepper, while apparently it is flavoured by 15 different spices. Pluck the snails from their shells first with a toothpick and then slurp the soup. Moroccans believe the broth is good for digestion and fever.

What to eat in Marrakech

(Price: 5, verdict: 5 out of 10)

11. Stalls in Jemaa El-Fna

It has an exciting atmosphere and something to experience. The key is to look for the ones that have many Moroccan (families) eating. Some bloggers suggested to stick with grilled food, this place is not for tagine or couscous if you do not want to get disappointed. I think the government does a good job in organising this main square. It has hand washing stations and standard stalls-seating. Prepare to not get crazy in the stalls. The vendors will completely drag you and push you to their stalls. Be firm, smile and say ‘maybe tomorrow’ or ‘I just ate, I am full’, then they will ‘kind of’ understand.

We went to the grilled food place in stall 31 and we were not disappointed. We ate with locals and felt blended 🙂 They threw papers as a placemat. For me, the special part is the sauce. It is fresh tomato that I do not know what they put in it, it’s just so good and fresh. Also the moroccan bread (khobz) to scoop up the sauce and the side dish. Note that the sauce and bread was not included in the price. And you could see the olives in the picture below, they just served it without us ordering, also some different type of grilled veggies. Don’t think that it is a complimentary. They will add up in the end. What to eat in Marrakech

I ordered the sausage (Price: 30 dirham, verdict: 8 out of 10)

What to eat in Marrakech

Damar ordered, as usual, grilled chicken skewers (Price: 40 dirham, verdict: 7 out of 10)

What to eat in Marrakech

Good to know some french… Chicken: Poulet, Beef: du boeuf

Places that I really wanted to try but did not get the chance was

CAFE CLOCK which is famous with its camel burger and date smoothies

CAFE NOMAD which is famous with its lamb burger and vegetarian menu

Happy culinary!


Other Morocco series

Common scams in Marrakech

Things to know before travelling to Morocco


Africa Morocco

Things to know before travelling to Morocco

7th December 2017 - 8 min read

Morocco is such a cultural and special country. But I must say you need to be well-prepared before travelling there to avoid bad experiences. There are some good things to know before travelling to Morocco. Here are 8 of them:

  1. VISA

    Almost all English-speaking countries (with the exception of South Africa) require no visa to enter the country, and they can stay up to 90 days. It’s always better to check online or call their local embassy to make sure nevertheless. For INDONESIAN passport holder (like Damar and I), no visa is required.

    However, one thing for sure is everybody will need to fill in arrival form so prepare your PEN (it’s not provided). It was quite annoying when you have to depend on someone to lend you one. Also, prepare the detail of your stay, the name and address.

    things-to-know-before-travelling-to-MoroccoLost in the middle of Jemaa el-Fnaa

  2. It is possible to take bus from the airport

    It is very cheap, only 30 dirham/person (3 euro). It will get you to the main square and what not where usually tourist stay. It’s the BUS no 19! We had a great experience with it with a nice and sincere driver who told us where to stop. Worry not when you go out of the airport and you seem like the only one wait for the bus. Not to mention, the taxi drive who would come towards you and say ‘Taxi taxi, the price is same with the bus”. It’s not true. The fix rate of taxi is usually around 100-150 dirham. Slowly but sure, other tourists will follow you and wait together with you. The bus station is not right in front of the door. You have to walk a little bit towards the packing lot where taxis wait.

  3. Tap water

    They claim that the tap water is drinkable enough. However, if you come from a country with a high quality of water or used to drink from package, I’d suggest to avoid it. The price of water bottle is not ripping you off, it is more or less 9-11 Dirham or 1 euro. Damar and I did try out the tap water. For both of us, it has a bit of chlorine touch of taste which we did not really prefer. When you have no other easier option or want to save up your money, you can combine with packaged water bottle and once in a while take the tap water with your own.

  4. Weather

    Generally, Morocco’s climate is moderate and subtropical, cold by breezes off the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Winters can be fairly cold and the summers are very hot. Do not underestimate the weather of Morocco during winter time. It can be quite contrast during the day and night. We went on December and we thought it could have been a nice escape from a freezing-almost-snowing Amsterdam. But nope, it was quite cold than expected. In day time with sun exposure, the temperature could get to 15-20 celcius, at night it could really drop to 7 degree. It was very nice nevertheless because it is always almost sunny everyday. You will definitely need jacket and sweater for winter in Morocco, especially in the desert.

    Regardless of when you travel to Morocco, it’s a good idea to bring layers as your trip might involve travel through many different climate zones.

  5. Restaurant custom

    Do not feel obliged to order drinks and do not feel obliged to give tips. Obviously if you are in a budget trip, you want to save while still enriching your experience. In my opinion, not so many drinks you should try to get to know Morocco better, except the juices (especially orange and pomegranate) and the moroccan mint tea. Other than that, you are welcome to stay with water in which is okay to bring from home. However for the tips part, you are always welcomed to do so and it is always better to do so. To put a smile to someone’s day is always a nice feeling.


    You will see a lot of people just hang out in a cafe to enjoy their morocco tea time (or coffee). Most of them are men and just by themselves. It is quite interesting to see. I guess in the ‘mess’ of the county, they need some times alone to think and reflect. It is part of the culture that they take seriously.


  6. Get to know Berberian whiskey

    Damar and I were a bit surprised when we first got offered Berberian whiskey because Berber is supposedly known as muslim. Well it was a mislead, they refer to Moroccan tea. It is basically infused mint leaf in hot water with sugar. I do not usually put sugar in my drinks, but this time is special 🙂 Sometimes, it could get quite strong, but I love it. That’s the beauty of it, just like drinking coffee. It hit and wake you up. By the way, berbers are an ethnic group indigenous to Northern Africa. They are over 70% of the Moroccan population! I have met some of them and they are very welcoming with their limited english vocabulary.

  7. Dress culture

    Most of the Moroccan people dress modestly, especially when we speak about the women. Thus, it is polite to respect their culture by not dressing up vulgarly. Avoid too short bottom and sleeveless top. It is also for your own comfort to not be seen strangely and also to feel blended with your surroundings. If you are a woman travels solo, it might be a good idea to cover your self or have scarf with you.

  8. Crossing road

    things-to-know-before-travelling-to-MoroccoConsidering the crazy traffic and road, it is wise to not wait for the vehicles driver to stop, because they simply WILL NOT. So, just be brave and cross that road. In some places, it is clear with the traffic light for pedestrians, and some others are not.

  9. Taking picture

    things-to-know-before-travelling-to-MoroccoBe very discreet, if you want to take pictures of local people or the stuff in the market. Or just simply avoid it. Trust me, there are so much more details to capture in every other corners! Moroccans will not be happy by the idea of you taking their picture or the stuff they sell, which is understandable. If you take pictures of street performers in the square of Jemma el-Fna, they will surely ask and push to get money from you. Be extra careful, if you want to take risks, prepare some coins with you 🙂

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