Friday, December 21, 2012

Rihlah 6: Day 2–> Aqaba


26 October 2012

Our initial plan for today was exploring Petra but as today is Eid, we decided to stay for Eid prayer and Friday prayer in Aqaba.  As early as 6.15 am, we can start hearing the takbir from the mosque nearby the hotel.  In syaa Allah today, we will be experiencing Eid in the land of Jordan.

We asked the reception on the Eid prayer time to ensure we’ll be on time for the prayer.  At about 7 am, hubby and son when to the mosque.  I didn’t follow since was uncertain whether women go to the mosque for the prayer in Jordan.  I surely wouldn’t want to miss if i were in my home country.

We can hear clearly the takbir from our room but it sure is nothing like in Malaysia.  The takbir here is more energetic,no melancholy like in country.  When hubby reach the mosque, there we a group of people sitting in a circle who recite the takbir. The rest of the jemaah were sitting in the saff.  No one were wearing any traditional  costume or looking bright in new cloth.  It is just like a day to day dressing.  Nothing compare to Malaysian where everyone in colourful traditional clothes.   Maybe other parts of Jordan is different as Aqaba seems very modern.  At about 7.15 am, the prayer starts.  Still is early for us Malaysian.

Experiencing the Eid here..what we can say….nothing compares to the feeling at home.

2012-10-26 12.34.17

Mosque near Tulip Inn for Eid Prayer..

After Friday prayer, we decided to get a bigger glimpse of Aqaba and if we got the chance,maybe try on the neptune submarine boat which you could watch the corals underwater.  The red sea sure is beautiful even watching it from our car.We are not sure the specific location of the neptune as in its pamplet, it only says in Tala bay.  We drove to Tala Bay Marine back and park our car there.  There were quite a big crowd at the seaside. We walk in to a building nearby hoping to find the ticket counter somewhere there.  unfortunately, it was only a shell museum and a showroom.  Hubby ask around and alhamdulillah, the guy there willing to help calling for the neptune. Unfortunately again, the last boat was at 2 pm and it is already full. The kids were quite frustrated since the pictures of the neptune ride really looks tempting.  As we were already there, we just continue wandering around the museum and watch the show.  Interesting knowledge…actually. 


By the beach along the coast just giving some peak o what’s around….


At Tala beach….

P1190263 P1190253

Inside the shell museum…

We continue our evening heading for Petra as we already book a hotel there in Wadi Musa.  On the way to Petra we decided to stop by at Wadi Rum to get info on the packages and entrance though we knew some bits already from the net to decide whether we should explore Wadi Rum or not.


At Wadi Rum visitor centre…..

The few kilometres heading for Wadi Rum was beautiful already.  We sure inside the area is better than what we’ve seen outskirt of the area.   Once we at the tourist center, we knew we must explore Wadi Rum. The gigantic and unique mountain looks is convincing enough to extend another day in Jordan for Wadi Rum. Not to worried, surely someone will approach you offering packages for Wadi Rum exploration.


Beautiful sunset on our way back from Wadi Rum to Petra….


One of the few convenient stall by the roadside like a RnR stall…

In syaa Allah, we will be coming back here after our two days stay in Petra.  The evening will turn to night very soon. We will proceed our journey to Wadi Musa in Petra.  It was an unexpected temperature when we reach there. Luckily, we bring along our sweaters.  Alhamdulillah,the room was worth the money paid..(except the part of climbing the stairs as we were at the 4th floor Smile).  A good way of exercising preparing ourselves for the walking and hiking tomorrow.  Petra…a stone city of more than 2000 years that awaiting to be learned. –tw&

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rihlah6 : Day1-> Riyadh–Aqaba


24/25 October 2012

1600km!  Long way but a journey we’ve been longing for the past two years.  With some research and planning, we started our journey at around 4.45pm, hoping to reach the border by morning in order to avoid crowds…just to be safe.  Getting through immigration's is always one of our fears of the ‘unexpected’.

We will be entering Jordan through Al-Durra entry point via Tabuk.  This border is farther compare to two other borders entry but it is free from entry visa as Aqaba is declared as free trade zone area.   From Internet, the cost for Visa is JD13 (about SAR70) per person. This could save a lot for a big family like us. But we still need to pay for car insurance and exit visa later on.

As we are entering trough Aqaba, our itinerary will start from Aqaba and going further up to Petra, Karak, Amman and Jerash.  Extra time will be reserved for Wadi Rum and Irbid.

It was midnight when we reached the long desert lonely highway to Tabuk.  The kids were already asleep when the long dark single lane of a few hundred kilometres started. It sure is a challenging task for the driver to keep his eyes open…hoping for the co-pilot to be doing her role Winking smile

Alhamdulillah, after a few stops for stretches and refuelling, we reached Al-Durra at around 10am. As we entering AL-Durra, from afar we can see the blueness of the Red Sea. It was so tempting that we ‘forced’ to stop and smells the freshness of the blue Red Sea.

Then we proceed to the border at around 11.30 am, after one final full tank refuelling before paying JD0.70 (about SAR3.70) for a litre of Octane 90 as compared to SAR0.45 for RON91 in Saudi.. 8.5 times more expensive for slightly lower grade of petrol!

It was surprisingly quiet at the border. We were expecting crowds since this is the long vacation season, but it turns out to be not the case. Well, good for us, our border procedure will be faster, or so we hope.

It was as usually simple at Saudi border…about 15 minutes of queuing and stamping our exit visa and passports, we were just few metres away to be in Jordan side of the border. While queuing one thing that caught our attention.., surprisingly we saw this car in front of us with his son inside threw a milk box he just finished drink in front of the immigration booth! Wow…something we think not any Malaysian have the guts to do . It was becoming our family topic of discussion and laughing stock for 3 minutes.. Smile 


View of red sea at Saudi side before entering border..very peaceful n quiet…


How i wish i can jump in the water this instantly.  A great stop after 16 hours drive!


After a short 15 minutes stop at the Red Sea,and one last full tank refuelling we proceeds to the border.

At 11.45 we were entering Jordan immigration.  There were about 6 or 7 cars in front of us and only one lane opened at that time.  We just follow the queue not knowing what the procedure will be. We hope there is a board or notice put at a visible place for us to find rather than guessing of the steps.

As we saw other car stop when reaching the counter, we follow the same step. Well,  the step isn’t as simple as it looks.  We really hope they tell us in advance on what we should do till complete.  Well, it took us about 2 hours to complete the whole procedures though only about 6 or 7 car in front of us. 

Not to mention the part where I have to drive the car myself for inspection while hubby were trying to get our passport chopped inside their office!  I was hesitated at first but the immigration guy keep on asking for my hubby in Arabic.  Other car couldn’t pass through us as there were three lorries parked at the right side. In between whether trying to locate my husband or drive our car forward, I asked the immigration guy who asked for my husband whether I could drive to the inspection point?  When he nodded at me… I quickly jump to the driver seat though I can see the Saudi cars at the back are watching.  The kids were panicking as they knew it is wrong for women to drive in Saudi (and also they were scared to see their mom driving big cars Smile).  Panic with the situation, I even forgot to change the gear.. haha.  I hope the Saudi guys at the back waiting in their car were not irritated with me for driving after a few minutes out of their country Winking smile.


Aqaba flagpole claim to be the highest in the world in its pamphlet but according to Wikipedia its the fifth at 430 ft high weight 172 tons.

Finally, after we were out of the immigration at around 2.50 pm, we going along the Red Sea and into the heart of Aqaba. We decided to check-in into the hotel in Aqaba as soon as possible. Hubby is really exhausted from the long drive. As we do not have any reservations, we just called a couple of hotels that we found in GPS directory, and decided to stay at Golden Tulips Hotel.

As we parked our car near the hotel, there were two kids coming to our car asking for sadakah.  A little bit surprise with the unexpected welcoming ‘gesture’, we told the kids we are sorry. We didn’t have any change at that time as we just entering Jordan. Then they keep asking for money and insist on having it. They said they want to buy food. I told them that we do not have dinar yet and gave them some biscuits and snacks that we have with us. They took the biscuit but still blocking me from getting out of the car. They said they want to buy chicken! They still want the money. Only after hubby shouted at them to go…they left.  Wow…so high determination asking for sadakah.

P1190130The kids never feel tired when seeing water.  Immediately jumping into the water after checking-in into the hotel Smile.

P1190157Nice! Sky of umbrella at a street when we stroll for the night.

P1190173The very simple 7-Eleven.  Wondering whether this is 7-E franchise?  Nothing like in 7-E in Malaysia.

2012-10-25 20.24.42We took a rest for the evening and only went out for dinner that night. What we can say…the price of food is more expensive compare to Saudi. Maybe because of the exchange rate, JD1=SR5.4. We went to an average restaurant (based on our observation) and it cost us JD21 for a mix grills and a fish which cost JD13 per kg. That’s the cheapest we found when we stroll along the sidewalk of a few streets.

Anyway…it was a wonderful meal..the fish were great and the service were wonderful as well.  We gave some tips to the waiter who was from Egypt and actually a lawyer Surprised smile for the friendly and efficient service. As from what we read, tips is part of the culture here.

Tomorrow is Eid ‘Adha.  Let see what we will experience tomorrow. Ma ‘assalamah. –tw & eth

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Rihlah 6 – Kembara Jordan 2012


Finally, after 2 years longing to visit Jordan, we were given the chances to do that..

The rihlah that was planned since 2010 was postponed last year due to the political instability in the Middle East, especially Syria. Instead, last year we went to UAE.

This time, counting our days in Saudi Arabia near to the end, we determined to make it happened even though without possibility to go to Syria. 5 days Hajj vacations coupled with the 2 weekends gave us reasonable 9 days to explore Jordan.

So, on Wednesday Oct 24, 2012 at about 4.45 pm our 5th rihlah started. On GPS, the journey covering almost 1600km should take about 15 hours to reach our 1st destination, Aqaba!! That's excluding the extra times for the stops for refuelling, foods, pray, rests and leaking business. So, this apparently going to be one of our longest journey ever.

Wait for our updated day-to-day Rihlah of Jordan 2012, including ups and down of our journeys, highlights, traps, tips and tricks in our blog

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Back to the land of Sahara…leaving lush beauty of homeland

7th September 2012

Like it or not…life must goes on.  2 months back home spending time with family, relatives, eating your favourite food, going down the memory lane of your surroundings makes the two months feels like two days.

Still….i’m grateful as these makes me appreciate my life more.  Getting the benefit of both sides of my life…no words can describe how lucky i am.  Just couldn’t resist the homesick feeling once thinking of the great times at home…


yess…I can ride freely here at home..feels great!


experiencing ummie and abah’s childhood…


just love the green of my ‘kampung’….


Power rangers is enjoying the day under the sun Winking smile..


enjoying grandma ‘nasi berlauk’ as much as you can Winking smile at her kedai kopi..

DSC_3405DSC_2956Missing the great food…


and the fun….Sad smile


and specially beloved family…

Friday, August 31, 2012

Mee Udang lagi…sepetang di Kuala Sepetang


31st August 2012

Tak complete cuti kami kalau tak pegi makan mee udang.  Menjadi acara tahunan keluarga kami setiap kali pulang ke tanah air.  Walau pack macamana sekalipon…yang ni mesti kena pegi….kalau tak nanti mesti termimpi2 mee udang kat tengah padang pasir!

Nampaknye makin cantik kedai Mak Teh selepas dua tahun lepas kami menziarah.  Tahun lepas kami ke Mee Udang pulau sayak.  Taun ni tak sempat nak gi jauh2.   Apapon…dua2nye tetap sedap dan menyelerakan.


2 terunaku bermain mata di depan warung Mak Teh Winking smile


Tengok tu…berseleranya!





Dah kenyang perut, tetiba terasa nak ke pekan Taiping.  Alang2 sampai Taiping, kami meneruskan niat untuk ke Night Safari Zoo Taiping.  Lama dah pasang niat nak ke sana, tak sampai2 jugak.  Akhirnya, walaupon jarum jam sudah menunjukkan ke angka 10..kami meneruskan niat untuk melawat zoo.  Takut pasni tak jadi lagi.

Well…not bad after all.  Cumanya best lagi kalau diorang tambahkan lampu.  Tak puas rasanye tengok binatang2 liar ni dalam gelap.   Tambahan pula keretapi roda zoo ni jalan agak laju la jugak.  Landscape zoo ni memang menarik.  Kalau siang mesti lagi cantik.  Memandangkan kitorang masuk pon dah lewat…jadinya tak la berpeluang nak bersiar2 dengan kaki.

Hopefully, next time boleh datang lagi waktu siang pulak.-tw


Yeah!  Akhirnya sampai jugak ke Zoo Taiping Night Safari…