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Vancouver travel guide

vancouver travel guide

 

Travel Guide to Vancouver British Columbia

When people tell me they want to visit Canada; Vancouver is one of the first places they list off. I understand why some of my friends have gone for a vacation and never come back, in this article you will discover 3 days itinerary in Vancouver, the best places in Vancouver, and where to eat, all in this Vancouver travel guide.

Vancouver is incredible

vancouver travel guidevancouver travel guide

Vancouver travel guide

Vancouver skyline

I spent about a week using the city as a base to explore and catch up with some of those friends that abandoned me a couple of years ago. There’s so much to see and do, both in the city and in the surrounding area.

However, most people aren’t lucky enough to get a whole week in this awesome city, so I’ve picked the best bits (based on my experience) to create a more reasonable guide. So for anyone heading to western Canada, here is the best of Vancouver in 3 Days.

Getting In

Stanley Park gardens

vancouver travel guide
You can arrive in Vancouver by almost any means. Cruise ship, car, bus, train, plane. Maybe even by foot if you are particularly adventurous. Whatever method you choose, arriving in Vancouver is pretty easy.

By Plane: Vancouver has a large international airport located about 30 minutes outside of the city centre. The easiest way to get downtown from the airport is to take the Skytrain’s Canada Line, which has several stops along the way and ends at Vancouver Waterfront. It runs frequently and will get you to the Waterfront in 25 minutes. I recommend using Skyscanner for flight searches. They are my go-to for finding cheap flights.

From the airport, follow the signs for the train. You can purchase your ticket from one of the machines at the platform; cost depends on which ‘zone’ you are going to. Don’t worry, there’s a big map with everything listed to make it easy. The machines will take cash or a credit card.

By Train or Bus: Vancouver’s main train station is the Pacific Central Station. It acts as the terminal for Via Rail and Amtrack along with Greyhound busses. Pacific Central Station isn’t quite downtown, but it’s not too far. There is a nearby Skytrain station where you can take the westbound line to get to the waterfront.

By Cruise ship: Cruise ship might be the easiest way to get in; you land at Canada Place which is on the Vancouver waterfront. The Skytrain’s waterfront station is right there! If your hotel is more towards the centre of town, hop on the appropriate train line, bus, or grab a taxi.

Getting Around

Vancouver Street Art

vancouver travel guide
Downtown Vancouver is incredibly walkable and pretty small. Popular areas like Gastown, the Waterfront, and even Stanley Park can easily be done on foot. However, if you are interested in exploring other neighborhoods such as North Vancouver or Kitsilano, then you will definitely need to use public transportation.

The Skytrain is a great way to get around, but Vancouver also has a pretty handy local bus service as well. It’s really friendly too, everyone yells ‘thanks’ to the driver when they get off.

If you think you will be using public transportation a fair amount, do yourself a favour and pick up a compass card. It works on both the Skytrain and the city busses and can be purchased from a variety of vendors in the city, including at the Skytrain stations and at many London Drugs drugstores.

It may also be worth considering a hop-on-hop-off bus pass. You won’t need it for the whole stay (based on my itinerary) but there is a 24 and 48-hour option. Book the Vancouver hop-on-hop-off bus pass here.

Vancouver Accommodation

Vancouver skyline

vancouver travel guide
If you are visiting to sight-see, your bet is to stay downtown. Especially if you only have 3 days in Vancouver. Not only will you save yourself a bit of money by not having to travel in and out of downtown every day, but you will also save yourself a lot of time. Traffic in Vancouver, especially during rush hour, can get a bit crazy.

Even though accommodation downtown might be more expensive than it the outlying areas, there are still options for every budget. Here are some recommendations for Vancouver accommodation:

If you are on a tight budget, try: The Cambie Hostel in Gastown or the Barclay Hotel

For a mid-range budget, consider the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel or the Moda Hotel, or even the Wedgewood Hotel and Spa

If you want the best, splurge on a stay at the Fairmont Pacific Rim or the Loden Hotel.

Or, you can also check out the local Airbnbs.

Day 1: Stanley Park

If you are a secret tree hugger who loves walking trails, beaches, nature, and of course, giant trees, Stanley Park will seem like a little slice of heaven. It’s an absolute must-see in Vancouver and, considering that the park is over 1000 acres, it’s easy to spend one of your 3 days in Vancouver just exploring this area.

Stanley Park

Start your day early at the Vancouver Aquarium; you’ll beat the crowds if you go for opening time (10am). The Aquarium has lots of rescue and rehabilitation programs and many of the star residents, including two dolphins, were injured and rescued themselves.

After the Aquarium it’s time to hit the trails; there are dozens to choose from. Consider downloading a map on your phone ahead of time to keep track of where you are going. Some of the paths are quiet with few people, while others are a bit busier. Wander where you will but at some time in the day you should make sure to find the Totem Poles, Beaver Lake, the Lost Lagoon, Prospect Point (for great views), and the Rose Garden. The Hollow Tree is another popular spot to visit, however Stanley park has dozens of cool trees that make for great photos, so just keep an eye out for one.

Stanley Park Totem Poles

While I definitely recommend wandering though the centre of the park, don’t forget to spend at least a bit of time on the Seawall for some of the best views. It’s a busier path, with plenty of walkers, runners, and cyclists, but you can’t beat those views. Especially if you luck in and get a clear day. Then, as the day draws to an end, take in the sunset from Third Beach.

Tip: There are a couple of places to eat in Stanley Park including at the aquarium or the famous Teahouse Restaurant, however it tends to be a bit expensive and the Teahouse usually requires reservations. If you are on a budget, consider packing a lunch and bringing it with you and having a later dinner back in the city center.

 

Day 2: Vancouver Neighbourhoods

vancouver travel guide
Day 2 of your 3 days in Vancouver should be dedicated to exploring the downtown core of the city. It may be small, but there is a lot to see.

If your feet are a bit sore from your day at Stanley Park, or you are interested in learning a bit more about the city, consider doing a hop on hop off tour.The tour takes a couple of hours to do the complete circuit. Be sure to visit the following:

Waterfront/ Canada Place: Chances are you will have been here already, but if not it’s a great spot to take photos. On a clear day you can see across the water to Vancouver’s many mountains.

Gastown: Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood with boutique shops, great restaurants, bars, and beautiful Victorian architecture. Make sure to stop by the famous steam clock, the only one of its kind in the world. If you plan on doing some shopping and picking up souvenirs, this is a great spot to do it, especially if you are interested in any traditional First Nations artwork or designs. Also in the neighborhood is the Vancouver Lookout which offers a panoramic view of the city and surrounding area. Definitely worth doing if you have a clear day!

PS: If you are a foodie and enjoy craft beer, consider taking this Gastown tour or this walking food tour.

Gastown

Granville Island: A must for everyone, but definitely for foodies. Granville Island is home to an incredible (and massive) Public Market where you can get just about everything to eat there, or go. Fresh produce, pasta, meats, and seafood if you are cooking on your own. If you are eating while you are there, Italian dishes, sandwiches, coffee and iced teas, ice cream, pastries, French macarons, sausages, polish pierogis… the list goes on and on. It’s the perfect place to stop for lunch and, if you head outside, you’ll probably be able to find some entertainment while you eat.

Granville island is also home to the Granville Island Brewing Co. as well as several galleries and boutique shops. It’s a great place to explore and one of the coolest areas in Vancouver.

Granville Island

ChinaTown: Vancouver is home to Canada’s largest Chinatown which was established back in 1890. If you are in the mood for authentic Asian cuisine, this is the place to come. It’s also a fun place to shop for souvenirs and home to the peaceful Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Classical Chinese gardens.

Davie Village: Rainbow flags and décor cover the buildings and streets in Davie village which is known for its gay and lesbian community. It’s a fun, chilled out place to wander during the day and has a vibrant nightlife.

Yaletown: Yaletown is one of the chicest areas of Vancouver. Urban coffee shops, boutique shopping, outdoor patios, and plenty of dining options can all be found here.

Kitsilano: While not included on the hop on hop off tours, Kitsilano is a trendy neighbourhood about a 15-minute bus ride from the downtown core. Kits Beach is a great place to spend some time on a warm, sunny day; there are SUPs to rent, volleyball nets, and tons of big logs perfect for sitting and watching the sunset. Like so many other Vancouver neighbourhoods, there are plenty of cool shops, great restaurants, and some cool street art here as well.

Day 3: Explore the Nearby Outdoors

vancouver travel guide
Sure, Vancouver is a fun city with lots to do. But part of the draw and charm of this coastal city is its proximity to mountains, trails, the ocean, and so much more. How you spend your final of 3 days in Vancouver will depend on your interests and whether or not you have access to a vehicle or need to rely on public transportation, but here are a three awesome ideas:

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and Grouse Mountain

Both these places are two of Vancouver’s biggest attractions. They are relatively close to town, and great for anyone travelling with children. They are also quite close to each other, making it easy to combine to two in a single day trip.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park hangs 70m above the Capilano River and stretches 140m long. While it remains the biggest attraction, there are several other paths and trails though the area including the treetops adventure and cliffwalk. You can get your advance tickets here.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

vancouver travel guide
Grouse Mountain offers stunning views via a cable car ride up the mountain. At the top, visitors can take in the Lumberjack Show, birds in motion demonstration, and get to see the mountain’s resident Grizzley bears, Grinder and Coola who were both orphaned cubs. There are various shows throughout the day to make sure to check the schedule ahead of time. Also on the mountain for an extra fee; helicopter rides, ziplining, tandem paragliding and more!

Grouse Mountain Bear

*If you are feeling up for a challenge, get up early and try the Grouse Grind, aka ‘Mother Nature’s stairmaster’.

There are free shuttles to both the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and Grouse Mountain. The shuttles leave from outside of Canada Place and operate on a first come first serve basis. Both areas are also accessible by public transit.

Whale Watching or Snorkeling/Kayaking with Seals

Being on the ocean, Vancouver has plenty of amazing sea life right at its doorstep. Perhaps the most popular activity is whale watching, where you can join a boat tour and head out into Howe Sound and the surrounding area looking for orcas. It’s not a guaranteed sighting, but your chances are pretty good.

Another awesome activity is to go snorkeling and kayaking with seals. Seadragon Charters offers this incredible experience to visitors to Vancouver, and I can tell you from personal experience that it is amazing. There are a couple of places where the seals congregate and we explored three of them. Two spots were for snorkeling (don’t worry, wetsuits are provided, and the third spot you can kayak or snorkel). The seals are curious creatures and, if you are quiet enough, will allow you to get quite close. During my visit in August, I was lucky enough to see a couple seal pups as well. An incredible experience and probably the highlight of my 3 days in Vancouver. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves the ocean and water sports.

Vancouver seals

Tip: Both the whale watching and seal tours can book up quickly, so if it’s something you want to do make sure to book well in advance.

Road Trip to Vancouver via the Sea to Sky Highway

You really shouldn’t visit Vancouver without checking out Whistler as well. Less than two hours away by car, it’s a stunning and scenic drive with some great stops along the way. The sea to sky highway follows along the water and the mountains offering stunning views for the length of the trip.

Take a break in Squamish and take the Sea to Sky Gondola. The top of the mountain offers panoramic views, hiking trails, and a suspension bridge. It’s easy to spend a couple hours here.

Sea to Sky Gondola

Whistler is a cute ski village with plenty of shops, restaurants, and outdoor activities. The peak to peak gondola is probably the highlight here, though check the hours ahead of time because it shut down at 5pm when I visited in August.

Whistler, BC

If you have the time along the way, stop to check out Shannon Galls (just before Squamish) Brandywine Falls (closer to Whistler), and Lighthouse Park (Vancouver).

Psst: Hoping to get some amazing travel photos of yourself? Have you considered booking a photoshoot with a local photographer? Localgrapher offers photoshoots around the world for solo travelers, couples, friends, and families. I did a shoot in Santorini and it was fun and resulted in amazing photos. Check out my experience here.

Food and Drink

vancouver travel guide
Vancouver is an awesome city for foodies; you can get just about anything and everything you want. Fresh seafood is an obvious choice, whether you are more interested in grilled with or fresh sushi, you won’t be disappointed. There are a million and one food suggestions for this city, but these were my favorite finds.

Granville Island

Granville Island’s Public Market: I know I already mentioned it above, but the public market is an absolute must! Everything looked amazing but I can personally vouch for the pierogis. So good.

The Boathouse: Great seafood options ranging from fish and chips to salmon burgers to maple-glazed salmon. There are two locations, one at Kitsilano Beach and another at English Bay. The Kits Beach location is a great sunset spot. Bonus: go during happy hour and try the Bellinis- they are delicious.

Trees Organic Coffee: This coffee shop piqued my interest when they advertised the best cheesecake in Vancouver. Needless to say, I needed to try, and it did not disappoint. It’s a pricey treat, but well worth it. Try the white chocolate raspberry.

best cheesecake in Vancouver

*Note: When eating seafood try to stick to restaurants with the Ocean Wise labels. This means that the seafood served here is ethically caught from healthy fish populations.

There are also lots of foodie tours. I linked to a couple under the Gastown section (Day 2) and beer lovers may be interested in this craft brewery tour.

Nightlife in Vancouver

Whether you are looking for a cool place to grab a drink with your friends, dance the night away, or go out for a laugh, Vancouver has a ton of options.

I’ll admit I’m not big into clubbing anymore, but if you want to check out the clubs, Yaletown, Davie Street, and Gastown will be the best areas to check out.

For a fun night out with friends, head to Craft Beer Market which has Canada’s largest selection of draft beer on tap; over 100.

Craft Beer Market

If you’re out for a laugh, head to Granville Island’s TheatreSports League with nightly improves shows.

Or, if you’re up for something spooky, try one of the ghost tours. Vancouver has some creepy stories, so if you are brave enough, check them out with Ghostly Vancouver Tours.

10 amazing things to do in Vancouver

Vancouver is an amazing city with so much to see and do both within the city itself and in the surrounding area. While 3 days in Vancouver won’t allow you to see everything,it will give you a great taste of what this awesome Canadian city has to offer.

1. Walk all alongside the waterfront

Winding for thirteen miles alongside Vancouver’s waterfront, the Seawall creates a herbal strolling tour of the city. The route passes seashores such as Jericho (chilled out), Kits (sporty) and English Bay (lively), as properly as Granville Island, with its meals stalls and road performers, and the former Olympic Village, the place right pit stops consist of Earnest Ice Cream and Terra Breads. There’s additionally the hazard to lose your self amidst the 400-year-old bushes of Stanley Park (designed with the aid of Central Park’s architect), and take in views of the mighty North Shore Mountains from Coal Harbour.

2. Go lower back to the drawing board

Art type meets comedy at the month-to-month Come Draw With Me nights at the Hot Art Wet City gallery. Participants are influenced to draw with marker pens, and the outcomes judged with the aid of funnywoman Alicia Tobin. It’s silly, intimate and a magnet for the city’s innovative crowd.

3. Bike-hop round the breweries

With its latest increase in microbreweries, Vancouver is quickly turning into recognized as the Portland of the north. Take gain of the city’s new bikeshare scheme to tour the craft brewers on wheels. Create your personal artisan-ale route with this available map, stopping by using 33 Acres, Doan’s, Off the Rail, Parallel 49, Powell Street and Strange Fellows.

4. Walk thru a wooded area in mid-air

Although many site visitors discover their way to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, few recognize the quieter, equally beautiful alternative. The 60ft-high TreeWalk winds between century-old cedars, firs and pines, and is subsequent door to 800 hectares of old-growth woodland in Pacific Spirit Park. The pure air smells of fallen rain and moss, and you should spend hours combing the 20-odd trails.

5. Sleep on the water in a hip houseboat

Wake up to mountains on one aspect and ocean on the different by way of staying in one of North Vancouver’s spacious and contemporary floating homes. The region additionally has the first-class Persian eating places in town; and your trip to the town is a 10-minute Seabus throughout the harbour. Check Airbnb for listings.

6. Do bare yoga on the beach

A Vancouver institution, the clothing-optional Wreck Beach combines a freewheeling hippie vibe with dramatic herbal scenery. To get there you will want to navigate 400-plus steps on the part of the University of British Columbia campus; down beneath is a lively, continuously evolving scene of meals and garb stalls, drum circles, nude yoga and skinny-dippers. Take your very own towel.

7. Chill out on one of Canada’s coolest streets

Once the city’s Little Italy, Commercial Drive has end up its hippest street, with chock-a-block indie outposts. Start at the pinnacle of The Drive with Mexican brunch at Bandidas, then make your way down to browse the counter-cultural racks at the People’s Co-op Bookstore, attempt the craft brews at St Augustine’s (the internet site has stay updates of the whole lot on tap) and trap a new play at The Cultch.

Find it: thedrive.ca

8. Get face to face with a totem pole

Experiencing First Nations cultures is a necessary section of any go to to Vancouver. The downtown Bill Reid Gallery showcases finely handcrafted jewelry and sculptures by means of an acclaimed Haida artist, who died in 1998, plus totem poles, painted masks and different works from west-coast First Nations artists. When you are passing via the airport, seem to be out for Reid’s famed ‘Jade Canoe’, which featured on the Canadian $20 note.

9. Hang out with the innovative crowd

Spend a day meandering thru Main Street’s 30 blocks of hip eateries, bars and shops, the pulsing coronary heart of Vancouver’s creative community. The drip espresso and innovative doughnuts at forty ninth Parallel are second-to-none, as is the vegan remedy meals at Meet on Main (try the deep-fried apple pie if you dare, and put together to queue). Head to Front and Company for its quirky series of family designs and items (from denim patches to cookie cutters) and, if you are lucky, seize an nighttime gig at Red Cat Records.

10. Catch the most up to date tuna in town

Sushi is the must-eat meals on Canada’s west coast proper now, and the most up to date eating places are presently the oceanfront Miku and its sister restaurant Minami in Yaletown. The two have made aburi sushi a hit, serving it phase flame-seared, section raw. Try the salmon oshi and the every day goma-ae, a kale and sesame dish.

Psst: Wondering what my must-have travel items are? Here’s what you’ll always find in my bag.
Huge thank you to Tourism Vancouver who provided me with a media pass during my stay.

Imsouane Travel guide – Morocco, beach surf

imsouane travel guide

Imsouane travel guide: Since we decided to find a new destination to land and surf for our next trip, Imsouane, a small isolated fishing village located along the Atlantic coast of Morocco, was in a corner of my head.


Imsouane, this little surfing paradise, long-kept “secret” (for its waves and unique spots), a thousand miles from the seaside resorts of Agadir, Essaouira, or Taghazout, was the ideal destination, let’s discover the ultimate Imsouane travel guide.
And I confirm if you dream of a quiet place, where your life is punctuated by the ocean, the waves and the tides, the bay of Imsouane may please you very much.


This article aims to be a comprehensive, useful, and practical guide to Imsouane. You will learn when and how to get to Imsouane, where to stay, where to eat, and above all, we will talk about the season and surf spots, not to mention the budget issue!

Located 100 kilometers north of Agadir, about 60 from Taghazout and about 100 south of Essaouira, this small fishing village is not so easy to reach.

imsouane travel guide


Note: I was quite hesitant to write this article. The charm of Imsouane lies in its atmosphere and its “raw” /little touristy side. And we all know the consequences of mass tourism. But having found no “guide” on Imsouane in English, I decided. (And, I don’t think my blog will upset Imsouane’s tourism).


When to get to Imsouane? Weather, climate and surfing season

Yes, you have to distinguish between the best time to go to the Atlantic coast of Morocco from a “purely” weather point of view and the best time to surf.


General climate and weather in Imsouane

imsouane weather
Imsouane Weather

we should confirm that we are in Morocco, a popular destination for Europeans, so it’s not for nothing, the climate, and the weather much more pleasant and mild throughout the year.


That’s how it looks. To give you an idea, the “freshest” month is January, with an average of 14.1 degrees. We’ve been through worse. Summer can be hot or even very hot, but the huge advantage of being on the waterfront, with views of the Atlantic Ocean, is that you have the wind and fresh air.

Where, in places like Marrakech, you are quickly suffocated by the heat, however, contrary to what the table suggests, summer is not necessarily the best time to get there, quite the contrary. Because in general, when you go to Imsouane, it’s to surf or at least discover surfing!


The surfing season in Imsouane

Although the Moroccan coast enjoys a large and constant swell most of the year, the surfing season is even longer than Taghazout for example.

Imsouane’s surfing season runs from October to May/June.

surfing season in Imsouane Morocco
Surfing season in Imsouane Morocco


We were there in September, and we still had plenty to surf. Some days, good big swells brought super waves, which heralded the arrival of the real season. Others were calmer.


The locals still told us that there was enough to surf throughout the year. But in practical terms, if you want to be sure to have constant swells and good waves almost every day, it’s better to come in winter (November to March), where the surfing season is in full swing!

More information about Magicseaweed (the reference for surf forecasts).


However, which says high season also says that all travelers/surfers come back, we were told of 2000 people when there are the best swells in the middle of winter. And given the size of the village, it must be hell both outside and in the water.


In September, it was perfect for us, in the end quite few travelers and waves that allowed us to surf almost every day, and except when the surf schools of Taghazout went up to Imsouane (lack of waves there), the number of people in the water was really not a problem.


How do I get to Imsouane?

To make this Imsouane travel guide a very useful one, here is how to get to Imsouane: Well, the first step is to go to Morocco. You don’t need a visa, you’re entitled to three months of tourist visa. Quiet.
The nearest popular airport in Imsouane is Agadir Al-Massira. There are often flights at very interesting prices (in the 30-40 by taking you early!)

…Flight to Agadir..

We paid 80 euros round trip with a plane ticket to Agadir and a return flight from Marrakech, to give you an idea.
There is also Essaouira airport not too far to the north, but I think Agadir airport was the 3rd most popular airport in the country (behind Casablanca and Marrakech), it is much better served.

Route Agadir airport to Imsouane

I think there are three options for arriving in Imsouane from Agadir airport:

1. Book a rental car

1. Book a private taxi

1. Take group taxis and buses

1. Rent a car for Imsouane

Car rental

For his stay in Morocco has become a popular practice. Many tourists see it as an ideal solution to explore the entire Moroccan Atlantic coast from Agadir to Casablanca (or part of it, because it’s been a long time!).


It is also possible to pick up your vehicle from Agadir airport directly by booking via Rentalcars. You enter your date and your arrival city (or airport), when and where you want to drop off the vehicle and compare.

2. Book a taxi from Agadir Airport

The quick, simple and more expensive version is to take a taxi to make Agadir airport – Taghazout and which costs between 300 and 400 MAD (dirhams, or 28 to 38)


3. Use group taxis and buses to get to Imsouane

I’m going to divide this trip into two steps.

  • Route Agadir – Taghazout

I detail how to make this same journey more economically (especially via collective taxis) in the article intended for Taghazout.
But basically, you have to get out of the airport, walk to the roundabout, cross and wait for a collective taxi to arrive. You have to go to the Salam district (Abattoir) west of Agadir, the locals will help you, it’s a small adventure!

  • Taghazout – Imsouane Route
Village of Taghazoute Morocco
Village of Taghazoute Morocco

There is, of course, the simple option of private taxis. I think Taghazout – Imsouane in taxi varies between 300-400 MAD.
This is obviously not the method we have chosen. We like to make complicated (but especially cheaper).


So, from Taghazout, take the bus line 33 to the north (bus stop just past the mosque – 9 MAD/pers). No timetable, it’s lucky. You’re in Morocco or you’re not.

The bus terminal is in Tamri (which is also a fairly famous surf spot in the Agadir/Taghazout area).

"Important information, Tamri is where the last ATM (silver dispenser) is on the way to Imsouane. So think about taking out enough for your entire stay in Imsouane, the distributors closest to Imsouane, however, are to the north, in Tamanar."

On the other hand, this is where it gets fun, because there are no buses going to Imsouane from Tamri. No public transport goes to Imsouane, for that matter.


So we looked for a collective taxi, but nothing. So our only solution was to negotiate a taxi. We will eventually give in for 120 MAD for two to make Tamri – Imsouane village.


Total cost of the Taghazout -Imsouane village route: 138 MAD for two (12 and 2 good hours).

Surfing in Imsouane: the guide

Well, it’s nice to know when and how to get to this secluded little surfing paradise, but why Imsouane?
The question of “what to do in Imsouane?” is almost nothing to be said for.

To be realistic in this Imsouane travel guide, When you know that Imsouane is the place where the longest wave in Africa is located, 6 to 800 meters, in good season, just that! Can you imagine surfing for more than three minutes? Imsouane, and especially the spot “The Bay“, is a paradise for intermediaries and those who want to learn or progress to surf with a longboard. It’s a completely different style of surfing, which we quickly loved.

Sorfing in Imsouane
Sorfing in Imsouane


To see some, it’s an art. Walking to the front of their board, turning around, it’s almost poetic. It’s almost like a dance, but it obviously requires a lot of practice and mastery.


I wrote some kind of little surf guide for Imsouane. The explanations of the spots are meant to be “accessible” to all. If you’ve never been interested in surfing and I tell you, it’s a “right break for longboard, best swell at low-mid tide” spot, it’s not going to help the masses.


We had already surfed a bit in Asia and especially in Sri Lanka, but it was almost a year ago, so we were quite rusty despite our small level of intermediary, and Imsouane proved perfect to resume.

“I just allow myself to give 2 very important rules when you surf; because a lot of beginners don’t respect them and it’s sometimes very frustrating.

Do not take the wave if someone is about to take it before you, or if someone is already surfing it in your direction. It’s called priority.Priority to premises; it’s their spot first and foremost. We’re just guests, they’re at home.Take waves of its level.

Imsouane is mainly 3 surf spots:


1. “The Bay” – Africa’s Longest Right

Also called “Magic Bay” or simply “the bay.” This spot has long remained secret because it is unique.Ideal to start (most surf camps/schools go there), perfect for progressing, and perfect for longboarding. Long waves, easy to take that take you up to 700 meters down, the dream.

The Bay Africa's Longest Right
Imsouane surf waves Morocco


Be careful that in the middle of the season, there can be quite waves, even at The Bay (hence the “take waves of its level”).


Even in September, we were able to enjoy the first good swells of the season. Check MagicSeaWeed regularly even if the best way to know the conditions is always to go and see for yourself the spot and check the weather conditions, and especially the wind.


Best tide to surf The Bay: from low tide to mid-tide (up in general it’s better, but even descending it works well sometimes). But on good days, the spot works at any time. (But inevitably you take the shorter waves at high tide (secret beach – 2nd beach))Way to surf 2 sessions a day. Depending on the times of the tides that change every day necessarily.


2. Surfing at “The Reef”

Imsouane surf waves Morocco
The Reef, Imsouane surf waves Morocco

The spot for beginners and intermediates who want to practice more shortboard. Shorter waves, which break faster and drier (depending on the conditions necessarily).When The Bay wasn’t working, sometimes The Reef worked well for us.
Overall 90% of the time we overrated the bay, but it was a matter of taste. We had some really cool sessions on the reef too.
Best tide for The reef: high tide (rising tide). But as usual, it will depend on the wind and the conditions.


The Reef can extend to Cathedral Point on good days, so there’s plenty for everyone, no worries!


3. Experienced surfer only:

Cathedral points the spot that it is better not to tackle when you do not have the required experience. It worked a few times when we were there, and frankly, I will not venture there unless I am a confirmed surfer (which is far from the case, haha).


That said, just seeing the locals feasting at Cathedral Point is already a real sight.


I put you a link to a guide to surfing in Imsouane more complete and detailed, and written by Hafid, a local surfer with whom we stayed for a few days, who runs a guesthouse that I’ll tell you about below!


Rent surfboards in Imsouane

You’ll see that in the center of the village of Imsouane, there are loads of surf shops. After negotiations, we will be able to rent our boards – wetsuits for 70 MAD/day/person (or less than 7 euros/day/person) at “Reef point surfshop”.

Rent surfboards in Imsouane
Rent surfboards in Imsouane


3 big advantages: Ideally located between The Bay and The ReefYou could surf as much as you wanted, from sunrise to sunset, bring the boards back, go back, etc.

You could change boards as many times as you wanted; Every day. Wide choice of shorts and longboards, it was great to adapt to the conditions.And the owners were really cool. I broke an end, he didn’t charge me anything, sometimes we paid a little less if we surfed less, we could pay the next day if we didn’t have enough on us. In short, Berber, simple and relaxed!


Where to stay in Imsouane?

Now that you are convinced that the waves and beaches of Imsouane are worth it, you have to find accommodation in Imsouane, my good friend.


The popularity and quality of surfing in Imsouane is bound to attract. A lot of hostels, guesthouses, surf house apartments/studio for rent have emerged. And there’s something for every budget. Fortunately, not yet “hotels” per se.

There are however a few villas, I will try to make recommendations for all budgets, indicating only accommodations that we tested or with very good marks on booking. Starting by describing our own experience and where we stayed.


Our week at Olo surf – Nature

Hostels in Imsouane

Guesthouses

Apartments

Double rooms

The Airbnb

1. A week at Olo surf – Nature – Surf Camp

ImsouaneSomething we really wanted to test was a week in surf camp. So, we did not experience it 100%, because we did not take group surf lessons, renting boards was more than enough for us!
So we had the opportunity to spend a week in the #OloFamily! And especially in their surf hostel “Tayourt” (which reminds a little of a medina of surfing, if it means anything?) to the unique atmosphere.
But hey, our week in Olo was the best in Imsouane, because when your room overlooks this view (spot “the bay”), hard to do better.

We had a really good week. A good part of the staff is made up of travelers who work in exchange for accommodation and access to surfboards, so it’s very easy to exchange.


Olo regularly organizes activities around Imsouane, garbage drives on the beaches (in which we participated), and the place as such is really “chill” with an ideal setting to land, read, always with good music in the background, etc.

There are also yoga classes every morning and late afternoon, and other more punctual events!
Staying in the Tayourt house?

The Tayourt Lodge has private double rooms and a 4-bed dorm (which is far from the classic dorm, it is a large room with 4 “real beds”).


A double room, with bathroom to share, direct view of the spot, with plenty of space to land, and wifi (not very common in Imsouane) costs 120 euros per person per week (Tayourt House).


Regarding the dormitory, I think it costs about 90 euros per week, you can see more photos, check availability, and book here for Tayourt House!
It’s not the cheapest in Imsouane, but it’s still very reasonable for the comfort, the view, and the atmosphere of the place.

Finally, Tayourt is one of the 4 types of accommodation offered by Olo Surf – Nature, there are more private guesthouses and the luxurious Dar Zitoun, you can find all the accommodations here.


2. Hostels in Imsouane

Ideal for those who want to meet people quickly. In Morocco, and especially in Imsouane, there is really a family spirit that emanates from hostels.  It is not always the great luxury, but the interest is mostly in the spirit and above all, the waves of the area.

Imsouane Ocean Surfhouse Apartment

The Little SurferImsouane Soul Lodge

3. Guesthouses / apartments / Double rooms

Well, let’s face it, once you start traveling together, hostel dorms aren’t really the types of accommodation you prefer anymore. Especially since you can sometimes even find double rooms (especially in Asia) that cost less than 2 beds in a dormitory.


Small mention to Hafid, where we are almost a week too. He manages several rooms in a house that looks directly onto the beach, you hear the waves from the bed, and he will obviously advise you on the spots, because it is he who wrote the guide that I quote above!


Double rooms – apartments in Imsouane:

At Hafid (double rooms)

Sunrise Guesthouse

Wind House (apartment for rent for 4 people)

Aloha Imsouane (for those with the budget and want to have fun)


4. Airbnb

I explained it in the article on Taghazout, but we had been surprised to find lots of Airbnb in Morocco (we stayed at Khalid’s during our week there, found via Airbnb).

Many premises do not have the means to open hostels or hostels and therefore adapt their accommodation to make rooms dedicated to welcoming travelers.


If you’re interested, going through my sponsorship link, you’ll get 30 euros off a reservation of more than 65 euros (excluding charge), it’s a gift!


What to do in and around Imsouane?

Imsouane Morocco
Where to stay in Imsouane Morocco

If you stay at Olo, you can take part in (paying) trips to the area. They invited us to the “The Source” trip; you visit a cooperative in Argan where you learn how Argan products are made (oil, soaps, etc.)


And then they take you to a place 20 min from Imsouane called “The Source” for the sunset. With an incredible sunset and a real Moroccan tea shared among all, believe me you are well.

But probably other guesthouses and accommodations organize activities, surf trips and excursions around Imsouane.
The village was isolated, there is necessarily no way to book activities remotely; you can still take a look at the excursions around Taghazout and the activities around Essaouira (to the north).


There are many animal-related activities in Morocco (on camels, horses, etc.). Everyone does what they want, but these are activities that I advise 20%. To become docile, the animals probably had to be forced and trained for many months. I’ve seen behaviors of the owners of these animals that I’ll never condone there (but it’s the same everywhere else, with elephants in Asia, etc.).


To sum up, don’t be that tourist willing to fund this to get his photo on the back of a camel.


Where to eat in Imsouane?

Aaaaah, After a good surfing session, that’s all it is!
However, this is the small concern of Imsouane, it is not so easy to eat well for “cheap”.

The vegetarian options of many of the small restaurants are far from ideal. That’s why we ended up looking for a place where we could cook on our own, buying from the small shops in the village.
We expected to eat tagines and couscous with a shovel and for cheap, bah no.


We will find a restaurant that will make us big vegetarian tagines. But hey, you can’t eat that every night.


HOWEVER, some nice addresses:


La Cre-pierre: the most profitable breakfast in the village! 30 MAD per person for all-you-can-eat bread (jam, butter, honey) – omelette (or sugar pancake) – Hot drink – fresh orange juice. Enough to fill up after a good session. Whether it was in the morning or in the afternoon, it had become our post-surfing ritual the last week. A good plan to squat a good wifi connection by the way!

Coffee House: a little off-center and secluded, but their vegetarian tacos are amazing and for only 25 MAD! Their margarita and veggie pizzas pass just as well. But the tacos you take and you tag me on IG, please! And they have wifi that works great too! We usually managed to eat for 30-35 MAD per person max, although after two weeks we decided to find a place to cook for ourselves, and our stomachs were clearly better last week!


The black spot of Imsouane Only black spot I have to mention for Imsouane (and especially for the spot The Bay), is that some of the wastewater, unfortunately, ends up in the spot. You’ll soon see where.
Basically, Imsouane is a tiny fishing/surfer village with less than 8,000 inhabitants, and with the development due to surfing, guesthouses/surf house etc. have emerged, and the infrastructure (including evacuation) is not able to “follow”.


We quickly had stomach problems (nothing serious, just bah I’m not going to draw you a picture), and the locals confirmed that it’s because of the time spent in the spot The Bay.
Again, nothing dramatic, it’s just not top, but you live with it. The proof is, we still went surfing at The Bay for 3 weeks and a half.
And quite frankly, if you pay attention to what you eat, it’s viable. The junk food mix – The Bay is not top top.
Not a very glorious party or “dream travel blog”, but it’s part of reality and my willingness to share destinations as they are.


Telling you everything is perfect go for it is not my style; and I would have liked to have had this information directly when I arrived, believe me.
Edacious February 2020: we return soon (haste!), I will update this section according to the evolution of things, I know that he was already working there during our first stay there!

Stay in Imsouane: The budget

The article being long, to summarize the budget and give an idea, I detail the costs for a week:


Accommodation: varies between 200 and 400 MAD per night (depending on what you are looking for): So it can range from 120 to 240 (or even much more) per week for two.

Food: It will depend on whether you eat outside for each meal: we were doing well for -120 MAD for two a day, on average. That’s 840 MAD per week for two

Rental (surfboard-combi): 140 MAD/day for two: 5/6 times a week700 MAD per week for two Total per week for two: 2800 MAD (or 140 euros per person per week).


It is actually very little for a week in Morocco. And even in Imsouane, it can quickly be much more if you want an apartment, eat well without cooking, etc., but it’s to give an idea of our budget.

Surfer to stay in Imsouane, Morocco: my opinion

beach sunset Imsouane MoroccoLive at the rhythm of the tides, the waves, it’s a really crazy feeling.


I had forgotten how surfing is a state of mind, a way of life. The ocean dictates your days. And you respect nature much more, it’s the nature that decides. If she says, “You don’t surf, buddy, ” well, you’re doing something else.

On the other hand, when it is in a good mood (we may not have been able to surf 5 days on almost 1 month), you grab your board and run into the water and you enjoy an incredible spot, a view, sunsets …

For a budget like this, a spot like this, I think it’s hard to say it’s not worth it!
I hope you liked/helped/interested this article/guide on the small Moroccan village of Imsouane!

Do not hesitate to recommend this guide or this blog if the opportunity arises, word of mouth and sharing help me enormously to make it known. 🙂

languages of Morocco and cultural diversity

Language spoken in morocco


Multilingualism and cultural diversity are an inherent characteristic of human society so that it is difficult to speak of a monolingual society or culture, in all countries, different languages ​​and cultures coexist to such an extent. Moroccan society is no exception, and throughout its history, ancient civilizations have coexisted with the Amazigh civilization, which has been witnessed by history as the first civilization in North Africa, so what are the languages of Morocco

What language is spoken in morocco

The Arab-Islamic civilization

Throughout its history and thanks to its strategic location, Morocco has been a transit zone, where great civilizations have flocked: Phoenician, Byzantine, Roman, Arab-Islamic … It coexisted with the “indigenous peoples”, and there was a mix, take and give, and the trans cultures overlapped with the local cultures. The Arab-Islamic civilization is the most important civilization that has crossed Morocco for many centuries, and it is still today, where Islam and the Arabic language are part of the Moroccan identity.

While most states (especially during the last two decades of the 20th century) have worked to combat multilingualism and cultural diversity by adopting official languages ​​rather than an official language, Morocco has not yet a clear vision of this pluralism, and its language policy is not clear enough (if it is true to speak of language policy in Morocco), despite the changes that took place at the turn of the third millennium after the political confinement of ‘part of the Berbercultural movement and the work to teach it in primary education, so we see the need to stand up On the linguistic situation in Morocco to determine the place of the Berbers in the dominant linguistic map.


Multilingualism and cultural diversity are an inherent characteristic of human society so that it is difficult to speak of a monolingual society or culture, in all countries, different languages ​​and cultures coexist to such an extent. Moroccan society is no exception, and throughout its history, ancient civilizations have coexisted with the Berber civilization, which has been witnessed by history as the first civilization in North Africa.

The linguistic situation in Morocco


Language is a social and cultural character, not only a tool for communication, it is a tool for transmitting values ​​and expression of social life, the basis of collective and individual identity, a symbol of cultural heritage and bearer of knowledge and its transmission, as well as a socialization tool, through which the behavior and personality model is determined, and the individual cannot create and think outside of himself so that the function language must be determined: is language a simple tool for the consumption of preparation and knowledge is it a tool of creativity?

The role and status of language in Morocco

Languages of Morocco and cultural diversity

The role and status of language can only be determined by its function so that some interested in the subject continue to talk about the fact that the linguistic question in Morocco can be approached from three levels: the universal language, the national-official language, and mother tongue.

The linguistic situation of Morocco is characterized by existing multilingualism which nobody denies, and total chaos which makes the languages ​​coexist within it, each language working to ensure its location, its role, and its status, and to monopolize its geographical areas. It is a situation in which the dominant public policy has contributed, and the West of today coexists: the Amazighs (rural, Tashselhit), as well as Arabic (colloquia including Hasina), classical Arabic (or classic according to the words of colonial sociology), and foreign languages: French, Spanish, and English, what future for all these languages ​​in Morocco?

Moroccan language status

He used to determine the status and status of languages ​​through their functions, where most of the theses were based on Arabic to religious affairs, and to education, in part, in a decent way at the administration and the media, while French was assigned to the economy, administration, education, and foreign policy, while Spanish remained in circulation within the borders of certain northern regions and some southern regions formerly colonized by Spain, while English was too late. Amazighs and familiar Arabs were considered a daily communication tool, although they had a vast and rich cultural heritage.

Berber and Arabic coexitence

In Morocco today, Amazighs (in its dialects), Arabic (in its dialects), French and poor circulation coexist in Spanish and English, and what we think we need are three official languages and necessary: ​​Amazigh, Arabic, and French, so we see the need to clarify and compare preliminary between these languages: French: a language left by French colonialism, with a strong influence in the administration and social institutions ( education and media), and historically although it was generalized in the educational system which was French at a historical stage, it is a language associated with a limited social group, the bourgeoisie of all kinds, with the influence of very weak on the petty bourgeoisie.

French community

The existence of a French community and groups which must be recognized in their language is very weak compared to the colonial period, and what is still consecrated as a language, it is the political and economic interests of the French capital, which controls still the workings of the Moroccan economy and its foreign policy.

The need to manage the linguistic situation in Morocco


Managing the linguistic situation in Morocco requires a clear linguistic policy capable of putting an end to the linguistic chaos in which we live, a policy entrusted to all the parties concerned and to all the scientific institutions capable of designing such a strategy which meets demand pluralism and maintaining it, which will only happen through dialogue between the cultural components and Morocco is not lacking in scientific institutions capable of pressing for the revival of pluralism, the development of the linguistic map and the correction of the distortion, nor for lack of skills, but it lacks the will and awareness of the historic need for this measure.

Managing their linguistic status before the Second World War and accumulating enough experience, are we incapable of real measurement? The management of the linguistic situation needs a huge material and human potential, and this should not justify its rejection, because ending the current “linguistic chaos” is fairness for history, civilization and the peoples in the same time.

“Morocco, which, throughout its long history, is known for its long history of age and linguistic pluralism, is also obliged to approach the same language as European countries, with its Arabic language at the front -guard, so that it is a functional language, in education, administration, economics, and information, “he said. In our opinion, this solution does not offer anything new to the current situation, except the recognition of the linguistic and linguistic pluralism that Morocco has known throughout its long history. Considering that the Arabic language is not at the forefront means nothing other than to withdraw French from its status, and the Amazigh has no place in such a perception. In 1994, the French Minister of Culture, Jacques Toubon, recognized the need to use French in the following six areas: education, commerce, media, public places, public interest, industrial seminars, and in 1994.

We know that French society is multilingual because it is a very immigrant society, where French trades: German dialect is found in Alsace, Basque, Bruton, Catalan, Corsica, West Flemish, Oxytok, Arabic, Amazigh, Idish, Western Armenian …

In our opinion, France is not the appropriate model, because most European countries have worked to manage multilingualism by adopting at least two official national languages:

Languages spoken in morocco

Arab

Arabic is the only official language recognized and sanctioned by the Constitution, although it is not the only dominant language, and here we are talking about classical Arabic, and not Arabic, that is say different variations of colloquial Arabic rather than classical Arabic (classic in colonial sociology). Regarding its official use, it is the language that ranks first in education and information.

Amazigh

languages of Morocco and cultural diversity
Amazigh Woman, in Morocco


Amazigh is a language of daily circulation and continuous communication throughout the history of Morocco, and it has not been able to establish itself as a written language until the last two decades, officially after its adoption in the education system at the turn of the third millennium, and the attempts in progress are historical attempts that should be maintained and protected with fairness from its legitimacy and the possibility of a new resurgence of an ancient and ancient civilization in time.

Amazigh status of multilingualism in Morocco


Speaking of Amazigh in Morocco, you need an overview of Amazigh, a language that is currently found in several countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. Morocco and Algeria are the most important countries in terms of interest in the Amazigh question in language and culture, for several reasons, the most important of which are:

  • The strong presence of the Amazigh-speaking population (Algeria 25% and Morocco 40%);
  • Cultural wealth parallel to this presence;
  • The strength of the Amazigh movement in support of Amazigh culture and the demand for the demarcation of the Amazigh language;
  • The power of research institutes and the revival of the Amazigh cultural heritage …

Therefore, the problem of the Amazigh language and its culture does not mean Morocco alone, as regards a people divided into regions: Morocco, the Sahara, the Sahel … To do this, it is necessary to treat the language and Amazigh culture from a holistic and holistic point of view, and not as a problem with Morocco and only, because the Amazigh question goes beyond the level of political position and political will.

Amazigh does not go beyond society, religion, history, and civilization, but basically, Amazigh has an ancient civilization as well as all the civilizations of peoples, and their language has remained within the limits of the language of communication and was not up to a written language due to several factors, and their culture is diverse: literary, artistic, ritual, symbolic, religious … The old social institutions have been studied and studied and inspired the interest of sociologists and anthropologists, as well as the village of the doctrinal elite at different stages: Ibn Khaldun, Al-Sussi.

What remains of Amazigh through historical development is language: this strong link with a diverse and rich culture, which gave Amazighs a unique identity that feels the power of ethnicity, an oral link which mainly varies from one region to another where it is possible to speak of three Amazigh linguistic regions of Morocco: the countryside; the Middle Atlas; the Souss region and the small and large atlas.

Artistic expressions of music and the art of knitting (mainly zarabi), folk dance (various types of folklore) and poetry … It is still present and strong to this day, and has grown and reinforced with the growth of the “Amazigh cultural movement”, and with the growing sense and awareness of cultural and ethnic belonging.

With regard to custom and social organization, there have been constant changes, some of which have disintegrated and the rest remain, so the main issue here is a problematic one that needs to be carefully considered: what is – what made the Amazigh culture (despite the cultural succession in Morocco) preserved? What made it a living culture in front of other foreign cultures with which I have lived in this country for a long time? What contributed to the preservation of the Amazighs, even if it is not a written language? Islamic civilization, for example, is the oldest civilization that colonized Morocco compared to the Phoenicians, Romans and Byzantines … Despite its strength in all respects, it was not able to dominate and dominate culturally, but the Amazigh culture remained self-sufficient.

Things you should know about the languages of Morocco

English is emerging, especially in larger cities

If you’re on a mainstream visitor path, the English audio system abounds. Museums, tourism companies, inns (mid-range and above) and tourist-oriented eating places all have a tendency to have the body of workers reachable who are experts sufficient in English to at least talk about their offerings and pricing. Similarly, many retailers in the Fes and Marrakech medinas comprehend ample English to name out for your interest and negotiate a sale. Despite this, few eating places appear to provide menus in English, regardless of the place you are. And most taxi drivers, even in large cities, talk very little (if any) English.

That said, English is developing in recognition amongst trained youth. It is amongst the languages delivered in public essential schools, and it is on the upward jab in personal schools.

As you begin to wander away from the large cities and traveler attractions, English rapidly will become much less common. If you intend to tour independently or discover less-frequented areas of the country, simple phrases in a greater frequent language come in handy.

French is Morocco’s unofficial second language

France and Spain managed Morocco in the early 1900s, and although Morocco received independence in 1956, French stays extensively spoken by using Moroccans of all a long time during a great deal of the country.

It features as the language of government, diplomacy, and business. Primary colleges introduce French to college students in their 0.33 year, growing its use each 12 months into secondary college and using it as the language for educating scientific subjects. Universities embody French as their most important language of instruction.

Though no longer as frequent in villages and far off areas, cities of various sizes have French-speaking taxi drivers, eating places with menus in French, and every now and then even French road signs.

Even if you solely took a yr or two of French in school, you may also locate it nicely well worth your time to brush up on the fundamentals simply ample to master a few phrases and refer to a French phrasebook with ease. And audio system of different romance languages can also discover it simpler to familiarize themselves with a little French, in contrast to choosing up some Arabic.

Spanish can help in the north

Spanish is fairly frequent in northern Morocco, and it can be a beneficial verbal exchange complement when trying to make reservations, navigate transactions and apprehend directions. It’s specifically available if you choose to hop over one of the land borders into Ceuta or Melilla, each independent Spanish city on Morocco’s northern coast.

Darija is the Moroccan Arabic differs from Classical Arabic.

Morocco’s reputable language is classical Arabic, which is the popular Arabic spoken via tons of the Middle East. However, Morocco’s special dialect of Arabic is what the populace speaks.

If you decide to study fundamental Arabic in practice for your trip, make positive you examine Moroccan Arabic, specifically. While Moroccans apprehend trendy Arabic, it may additionally no longer assist you to apprehend Moroccans.

Although gaining knowledge of some Arabic can assist you to talk extra without problems all through the country, it is now not sincerely crucial for playing your visit. If you can communicate some French, are knowledgeable with animated gestures, graph to remain in massive cities or visitor mainstays, or have different preparations to assist you to get around (e.g., journeying with an information or tour group), then you’ll do properly with a few easy phrases that absolutely exhibit that you’re inclined to try.

5 Best Short Trips from Singapore

5 Best Short Trips from Singapore


One of the nice matters about dwelling in Singapore is its proximity to all the terrific locations that Southeast Asia has to offer. These are my preferred brief journeys from Singapore, all reachable with direct flights (or a ferry ride!). Start planning your Singapore weekend getaways now!

Note: This publish includes affiliate links. This ability that if you click on a link, I may additionally get hold of a small fee at no extra value to you.

Chekout our 20 places to visit in Europ

Singapore has the enviable function of being a brief 1-3 hour flight from a whole lot of Southeast Asia. After dwelling most of my lifestyles in the comparatively remoted international locations of New Zealand and Australia, I’m continuously jamming in weekend getaways from Singapore and maximizing public holidays.

I’ve taken all these weekend journeys from Singapore over two or three nights, and numerous as a solo lady traveler, along with Siem Reap, Bali, and Yogyakarta. If you have the luxury of time, then they’re additionally all well worth a longer break. (Except possibly Bintan / Batam … no longer so an awful lot going on there).

If you’re planning a quick getaway from Singapore, examine on for my pinnacle journeys from Singapore, alongside with my preferred accommodation, food, and activities. These getaways have all been road-tested by using yours truly! Hard job, however, someone’s gotta do it.

If you without a doubt can’t muster up the electricity for but some other time out to the airport, why no longer deal with your self with a wonderful Singapore staycation instead?!

Top Short Trips and Weekend Getaways from Singapore
Without similarly ado, and in no unique order, right here are my preferred Singapore weekend trips.

1. Hoi An, Vietnam


Weekend getaways from Singapore – Hoi A Vietnam, Colorful Hoi An Old Town

Why Visit Hoi An


Hoi An boasts one of the prettiest ancient cities in South East Asia and is surrounded by way of lush geographical region and tropical beaches. Plus Vietnamese meals are to die for!

Flights from Singapore to Hoi An


It’s a direct 2h 45m flight from Singapore to Da Nang Airport with Silk Air or Jetstar. Hoi An is an effortless 45-minute force from Da Nang Airport.

Hoi An Accommodation


My favored region to continue to be in Hoi An is a brief stroll or bike journey from Hoi An’s atmospheric Old Town. I like to be shut to the action, however now not so shut that you can’t sleep thru the noise!

Old Town – Villa Orchid Garden Riverside


My favorite Hoi An lodging close to the Old Quarter used to be Villa Orchid Garden Riverside. Villa Orchid Garden Riverside Hoi An is a very nicely priced boutique hotel. It’s in a quiet riverfront region and is solely a 10-minute bike journey to the Hoi An Ancient Town.

Book Villa Orchid Garden: Booking.com | Agoda

Old Town – Lantana Hoi An Boutique Hotel & Spa


If you desire to be on the doorstep of the Old Town, we additionally loved Lantana Hoi An Boutique Hotel & Spa. The motel has stunning satisfied rooms, is fairly priced and you certainly can’t beat the location!

Book Lantana Hoi An: Booking.com | Agoda

Beach – Hyatt Regency Da Nang Resort & Spa


If you select to remain at the beach, I can endorse the Hyatt Regency Da Nang Resort & Spa. The Hyatt Da Nang is a greater luxe choice on a stunning quiet stretch of white sandy beach. It’s very modern-day with quality rooms (splash out on an ocean view one!) and an amazing resort-style pool and restaurant area.

Da Nang is a bit of a power from Hoi An, so this is a precise alternative for seashore bums who solely prefer to come into the Old Town for a day, or for night time or two at the top of a longer trip.

Book Hyatt Regency: Booking.com | Agoda

Eat + Drink


Gorge on Vietnamese road meals and the neighborhood specialties in Hoi An! My favorites are the banh mi pork baguette (try Madam Khanh the Banh Mi Queen or Banh Mi Phuong), white rose dumplings and crispy wanton (try Miss Ly Cafe or the White Rose Restaurant). Wash it down with a vino at White Marble Wine Bar whilst you watch the ancient city go by.

Hoi An Activities


Ohh the place do I begin with all the outstanding Hoi An activities?!

In a nutshell: wander around the picturesque Old Town, discover the nation-state with the aid of bike (we cherished our Heaven & Earth tour), hit the beach, be part of a cooking type or avenue meals tour (we cherished our Hoi An Street Food Tour by way of Motorbike), and get some garments tailored.

Read more: Top Ten Things To Do In Hoi An Vietnam

2. Siem Reap, Cambodia


Angkor Wat Cambodia sunrise


FINALLY see the well-known Angkor Wat break of day on my 1/3 day trip to Siem Reap (admittedly, I slept via dawn on time out #2)

Why Visit Siem Reap

siem reap Cambodia

Temples, temples and greater temples! I’ve considered many a temple in my time, and the Angkor Temples virtually win a joint-first location (along with the Taj Mahal, which is surely a mausoleum) as the most extraordinary historic constructions in Asia.

Flights from Singapore to Siem Reap


Singapore to Siem Reap is a direct 2h 15m flight with Silk Air or Jetstar. Easy!

Siem Reap Accommodation


Luxe – Shinta Mani Shack
I’ve stayed at Shinta Mani Shack Siem Reap twice, and it is except a doubt one of my favorite motels ever. Yup, ever. Shinta Mani Shack is a boutique resort with fashionable black and white residence decor, super service, and a wonderful pool surrounded via tranquil gardens. It’s additionally simply a brief stroll from the Pub Street restaurants, and a handy tuk-tuk journey to the temples.

Book Shinta Mani Shack: Booking.com | Agoda

Less – Cyclo D’Angkor Boutique Hotel


There are lots of finances lodging in Siem Reap. If you’re on extra of a flashpacker budget, test out Cyclo D’Angkor Boutique Hotel. I stayed in Cyclo D’Angkor Siem Reap for an absolute good buy charge for a hotel and was once noticeably satisfied to find out a boutique fashion in with a small pool and restaurant. Cyclo D’Angkor is solely a quick tuk-tuk experience from the Angkor Wat temples and Siem Reap town.

Book Cyclo D’Angkor: Booking.com | Agoda

Eat + Drink


There’s a lot of incredible eating places in Siem Reap, from the less costly eats and birthday party surroundings of Club Street to fancier joints in hotels. My all-time favs are:

Luxe: Viroth’s Restaurant in Siem Reap serves definitely scrumptious Cambodian cuisine, and is surprisingly correct cost for a greater cease restaurant. I additionally love that Viroth’s has a remarkable informal however sophisticated atmosphere, and is no longer incredible posh like some different excessive give up Siem Reap restaurants.

Less: I have to have been to Khmer Family Restaurant alongside Club St at least 10 times. Actually, that may also be an understatement. I die for the amok Cambodian curry. High reward given that I’m now not sincerely a curry fan.

You additionally can’t go incorrect with a 50c nearby draught beer or $1.75 mojito, which you’ll locate at most pubs and bars around Club St!

Siem Reap Activities


Temples: Of course, the great component to do in Siem Reap is to go to the terrific Angkor Wat temple complex. My favorites are the famous temples of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom / Bayon, and Ta Prohm, the small however extraordinarily Banteay Srei and the quieter Rolous Group. As a bonus, test out Preah Khan and Pre Rup. The excellent way to go to the temples is to appoint a tuk-tuk and sense the (hot-humid) wind in your hair.

Other: Once you’re all templed out, go to the Wat They Killing Fields (small monument with historic information) and the fascinating Angkor National Museum, or loosen up at one of the beautiful day spas.

3. Bali, Indonesia


Weekend journeys from Singapore – Bali Indonesia Uluwatu temple
The temple at Uluwatu comes 2nd in the back of the attractive views!

Why Visit Bali


Bali is a well-trodden visitor path, however for a precise reason. It’s obtained the entirety you want for a chilled and convenient seashore break, and masses of things to do to maintain you entertained past the beach.

Bali is my preferred spot for a convenient quick getaway from Singapore. In fact, I’ve already clocked up 10 journeys to Bali!

Flights from Singapore to Bali


Singapore to Bali is a direct two-hour forty-minute flight. There are various every day flights from Singapore to Bali with many airlines, which include Jetstar, Singapore Airlines, Scoot, KLM, Air Asia, and Garuda Indonesia.

Bali Accommodation


Bali may additionally be an island, however, it’s a highly huge one, and it takes quite a few hours to power throughout the island. Traffic in Bali can additionally be surprisingly atrocious and rather slow. For a weekend day out to Bali, I decide upon to stick to one region inside an hour or so from the airport, normally Seminyak for its effortless get entry to to the beach, nightlife and shopping. A few of my favs are:

Luxe – Seminyak


I cherished luxing it up at the Double-Six Luxury Hotel in Seminyak for the duration of a solo day out to Bali. The motel is stunning, the pool is relaxing, the al-a-carte breakfast is drool-worthy, and the beachfront vicinity is stunning and safe.

Book Double-Six: Booking.com | Agoda

When touring to Bali with a group, it’s, in reality, a true fee to rent a non-public villa with a pool. My favorite Bali villa to date is Villa Tirta Naga. Villa Tirta Naga is best for two couples, as it has two separate rooms (kinda like mini-villas) set around a pool and out of doors kitchen and residing area. It’s additionally in the coronary heart of Seminyak, proper on the doorstep of Ku De Ta.

Book Villa Tirta Naga: Booking.com | Agoda

Less – Seminyak


I loved staying at Dash Boutique Hotel when I used to be on a solo outing to Bali and attempting to stick to a budget. Dash is a vivid funky resort on the most important Petitenget strip, slap bang in the center of magnificent restaurants, seashore golf equipment, and boutique shops. In fact, Petitenget is my fav vicinity to continue to be in Seminyak!

Book Dash Boutique Hotel: Booking.com | Agoda

Luxe – Ubud


On but any other solo day out to Bali I stayed at the honeymoon necessary Komaneka at Tanggayuda. What a treat! I had an epic villa with a non-public plunge pool. Not that I wanted it, as my fav factor about the lodge used to be the infinity pool with mesmerizing views of the Ubud jungle.

Komaneka at Tanggayuda is round 10 minutes pressure from Ubud. The lodge presents a normal shuttle service. I shall return. There are additionally three different Komaneka lodges around Ubud that are equally dream-worthy, and are on my Bali bucket list.

Book Komaneka at Tanggayuda: Booking.com | Agoda

Eat + Drink


I have no doubt that there are blogs galore about all the tremendous locations to consume in Bali, so I’ll preserve this short. In Seminyak, my favorites are Motel Mexicola, Potato Head Beach Club, Woo Bar at the W Hotel, Ku De Ta, or any neighborhood warung (restaurant) for satay and nasi goreng.

Bali Activities


My preferred matters to do in Balia re to discover the Ubud rice fields, go to a Balinese temple (Uluwatu Temple and Tanah Lot are especially relatively with the aid of the ocean), devour seafood on the seashore in Jimbaran Bay, sit back and human beings watch at the cutting-edge seashore bars, and stay it up in a villa.

If you’re up for an undertaking (and a ridiculously early morning), hike Mt Batur at sunrise. The daybreak views are spectacular if you’re inclined to share them with heaps of different hikers.

4. Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Yogyakarta Indonesia temples


Borobudur and the hidden Buddha (top) and Prambanan (bottom)

Why Visit Yogyakarta


Visit Yogyakarta Indonesia to soak up the environment at Buddhist and Hindu temples that are a bit greater off-the-path than Angkor. When you’re done, revel in the bright metropolis lifestyles in Yogyakarta, additionally acknowledged as Jogjakarta.

Flights from Singapore to Yogyakarta


Singapore to Yogyakarta is a direct two hour 10 flight with Air Asia or Silk Air.

Yogyakarta Accommodation


I’m an absolute sucker for a boutique colonial hotel, so it was once no shock that I cherished the great Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta. I used to be in Yogyakarta as a solo lady traveler and felt very protected at my motel and on foot around the city.

Book Phoenix Hotel: Booking.com | Agoda

Eat + Drink


The nice spots to dine in Yogyakarta are alongside the modern-day Jl Prawirotaman or the bustling Jl Malioboro.

Yogyakarta Activities


Most humans go to Yogyakarta to see the splendid temples of Borobudur and Prambanan.

Borobudur: Borobudur is the world’s biggest Buddhist temple. It’s virtually impressive, with more than one layer and clever all-knowing Buddhist faces, and is a preferred first light spot. Borobudur is round 1-hour power from Yogyakarta, which potential a very early begin if you do desire to make sunrise! (Or in my case, now not virtually seeing first light due to the haze.)

Prambanan: Prambanan is a ninth-century Hindu temple complicated on the outskirts of Yogyakarta. If you have time, go to each Borobudur and Prambanan.

Biking: If you have a spare day, take a biking tour around the idyllic nation-state close to Yogyakarta. I cherished my Yogyakarta Cycling day trip with Indoparadiso Day Tours (see the AF’s TripAdvisor review).

5. Bintan or Batam Islands, Indonesia


Short Trips from Singapore – Tempat Senang Batam pool
Tempat Senang – difficult to locate relax time between all the spa treatments

Why Visit Bintan and Batam


Bintan and Batam are perhaps the best brief day trip from Singapore. Relax, play golf and indulge in a day spa, at a fraction of the fee of Singapore and all barring desiring a flight – pure convenience!

Fly from Singapore to Bintan and Batam


No flights required (woohoo!). Bintan and Batam are a handy 50-minute ferry journey from Singapore, with more than one each day departures. Great for an ultimate minute brief outing from Singapore!

Bintan and Batam Accommodation and Food


I haven’t determined any genuinely wonderful accommodations or bargains in Bintan or Batam. However, I did revel in my stay at Mayang Sari Beach Resort in Bintan and Tempat Senang Spa Resort in Batam.

The exceptional locations to consume in Bintan and Batam are at your inn or alongside the beach. Tempat Senang in precise has incredible Indonesian food.

Bintan – Mayang Sari Beach Resort


Mayang Sari is on a stunning quiet stretch of beach, with adorable little seashore bungalows and a chilled restaurant. The motel doesn’t have a restaurant, however, you can pop to the resort subsequent door and use their pool.

Book Mayang Sari: Booking.com | Agoda

Batam – Tempat Senang Spa Resort


My choice for Batam is Tempat Senang Spa Resort. Tempat Senang has a notable day spa, the place you can do an indulgent 1/2 day or full day spa for around $150 / $300 per person. The lodge additionally has great Indonesian food, a fresh pool, convenient get entry to a close-by golf membership and cozy rooms.

Book Tempat Senang: Booking.com | Agoda

Bintan and Batam Activities


Chillax at the pool or beach, play golf or unwind with a day spa. Yup, that’s about it on these islands!

I love the spa at Tempat Senang at Batam, which affords Balinese fashion half-day (3 hour) and full-day (6 hours, plus lunch break) spa sessions. The spa menu consists of massages, facials, foot reflexology, physique scrubs, and mani/pedis.

Java Travel Guide – Indonesia’s outstanding island

java indonisia travel guide

Java Travel Guide


Your tour information to Java, Indonesia’s essential island and additionally the fifth-largest island. Java makes up 65% of Indonesia’s populace making it the most populated island on earth. Java boasts many herbal and historic visitor attractions. Here you can locate historic temples like Borobudur and Prambanan. There are additionally volcanoes and mountains to hike and countrywide parks to trek and explore.

Java Historical background

The island’s records are something of the biggest hits of the world’s large religions. The eighth-century Mataram kingdom was once the first big fiefdom on the island and produced the temples of the Dieng Plateau. The Buddhist Sailendra dynasty got here next, developing the temple of Borobudur. After an interlude of numerous others, the awesome Majapahit kingdom, which claimed sovereignty over Java and Bali, rose to strength round the 14th century and with its decline, Islam rose to prominence. The Dutch took manage of most of Java by using the quit of the 18th century (at a stretch we may want to name this Christianity’s major appearance, even though missionaries have lengthy traipsed to faraway areas of the archipelago looking for souls) and stayed in electricity till Indonesian independence in 1945.

West Java hosts the Sundanese

Java hosts the teeming, messy capital of Jakarta, the one of a kind administrative district of Yogyakarta, and the provinces of East Java, West Java, Central Java, and Banten. Three principal ethnic agencies stay on the island: West Java hosts the Sundanese, the Javanese are unfolded throughout West and Central Java, and the Madurese come from the island of Madura (a phase of East Java).

Getting around the island

Getting around the island is pretty easy, with a realistic if growing older train, bus, and airplane network. The Javanese are eager home tourists, so lots of the island’s tourism infrastructure is geared towards locals, however, it is effortless ample for eager overseas vacationers to faucet into the network. Having stated that, there is additionally a well-trodden overseas visitor path that skill non-adventure vacationers can get round pretty a bit barring wandering too a long way backyard their alleviation zone.

Many vacationers fly into the mega-city of Jakarta to start their trip. The metropolis tends to both enthrall or repel, with its visitors’ congestion, polluted waterways, ill-functioning public transport, and soiled streets; the flipside of this city nightmare is glittering shops and exciting markets; fashionably-clad, pleasant people; ever-trendier eating places and bars; fascinating historic web sites and a vibrant, if smog-choked, street- and night-life.

Escape from Jakarta

Escape from Jakarta and the photograph is pretty different. Java stays a predominantly agricultural island, peppered with volcanoes whose eruptions have left fertile soil in their wake, permitting the land to feed such a big population.

Bogor simply backyard Jakarta is a famous inexperienced and cool getaway from the metropolis — and subsequent end on the well-worn traveler trail, accompanied by way of Bandung. This main metropolis hosted the 1955 first-ever Asian-African Conference, or Bandung Conference, a high-profile affair of its technology that brought about a wave of nationalist and anti-colonialist moves round the world.

Java seashores and surf breaks

Java seashores and surf breaks

Java presents some right seashores and surf breaks. In West Java, Pangandaran is the most famous seaside motel area; lashed by means of a tsunami in 2006 that killed extra than five hundred people, the city has due to the fact regenerated and bounced back. West Java’s first-class surf breaks consist of Pelabuhan Ratu and Panaitan Island.

Places to visit in Java

The self-governing metropolis of Yogyakarta is one of Java’s pinnacle attractions. The cultural and inventive capital of the island manages to maintain on to subculture whilst additionally making nods to modernity. In the historic town lies the Kraton, an 18th-century constructed walled place with the sultan dwelling at the very center.

Yogyakarta is the spot to trap a wayang kulit (shadow puppet) show, hear some gamelan, browse batik shops and study a little about standard and modern-day Javanese art. The Indonesian language publications on provide in this town are famed as being the first-rate on the island, if now not all of the country.

Thanks to the variety of college college students dwelling here, Yogyakarta has a vibrancy: assume much lower-priced however first-rate restaurants, precise market buying presenting younger nearby designers, first-rate stay track and different assorted cultural attractions.

A quick distance from Yogyakarta — and normally visited on day journeys from right here — are Indonesia’s two most famed archaeological sites. The first is the stunning ninth-century Buddhist temple complicated of Borobudur. This UNESCO World Heritage website online is one of the few Javanese traveler sights that genuinely attracts large crowds, so be organized for a less-than-deserted experience. It’s well worth arriving at break of day to see the thousands of Buddhist statues amid the muted pinks and yellows of dawn.

Oldest Hindu temples

In Central Java, Dieng Plateau boasts Java’s oldest Hindu temples from around the eighth century. Over four hundred temples as soon as dotted the place but nowadays simply eight remain. Located excessive above sea level, the spot is well worth a go to greater for the fascinating outing itself than the temples, with mists descending in the afternoons including to the atmosphere.

The small Karimunjawa archipelago

Another Central Java appeal is the small Karimunjawa archipelago north of the town of Semarang. The coral-fringed islands continue to be broadly speaking undeveloped for now and boast stunning beaches, excellent snorkeling, and diving.

East Java’s Surabaya is Indonesia’s 2d city. Though the fundamental port and business middle of the east, it is now not pretty on the scale of Jakarta, however, it is nonetheless a congested, annoying metropolis with charms that are now not without difficulty uncovered.

Gunung Bromo volcano

From here, on a single day trip to Gunung Bromo, an energetic volcano, is a famous and profitable excursion. Ride on a horse throughout a sweeping empty simple reminiscent of a Tibetan plateau or traipse throughout on foot to witness the top at sunrise.

Lying simply off East Java is the rugged island of Madura, famed for its bull races; other regional sights consist of the former royal capital of Solo or Surakarta, as nicely as Malang, domestic to cooler weather, apple orchards and crowds of home tourists.

From East Java, it is simply a brief hop over to Bali — however, this is any other section.

Starting a family business the ultimate guide

start a family business

starting a family business

Most people would advise you to get a job on your own and work at it for a couple of years before joining the family business. I completely agree with this and think it’s a beneficial way of acquiring a few skills that the family business won’t get you.

  1. Working outside the family firm will improve your business judgement and will help you bring some new ideas for the family firm.
  2. Interview. The nerve wracking interview.. If you end up in the family business you might interview and hire employees. If you have gone through the process yourself you’d be more qualified at interviewing a future employee.
  3. Working outside the family business can boost your confidence and self esteem. This will also help you stop questioning wether you really want to join the family business.
  4. Etc…

I’m a sophomore student and have the option of working and joining the family firm. I believe that I want to join the family firm and take over. However, I can’t know for sure unless I try other fields of work. I’m considering working somewhere else to gain some experience and then join the family firm. I still have time to decide this. Don’t get me wrong, starting off directly at the family firm is great too, but why not learn a few things outside.

A Japanese phrase that I have been adopting is Genchi Genbutsu– “go and see for yourself”.

You can’t know unless you try.

How do you professionalize a family business?

Your question implies that a family-run business is not professional, maybe by its very nature.  Family members tend to be too close, emotionally, to each other that when working closely together their “true personalities” can come through under stressful circumstances.  There also may be a tendency to take advantage of family members and unilaterally do things without consulting the other players.  (These things can happen in a non-family-run business, too, if the upper management has an authoritarian, top-down style of management —  which I personally couldn’t work for.)

Have respect for each other

To be “professional” I think you’re implying that a sense of civility, decorum, and respect for coworkers and customers should be evident in the day-to-day running of the business.  Yes?   To me this implies that there has to be a certain emotional distance.  Don’t take things personally, don’t raise your voice when “discussing” things, don’t attack when things aren’t done quite perfectly.  In short, have respect for each other.

Work environment

The rest of it, like a clean and updated work environment, appropriate technology to run the business,  and clean/pressed uniforms (these just pop into my head as things that make a business appear professional to me), are good, but maybe not necessary, additions to make a business look professional.  How the members treat each other — and treat the customer — makes the atmosphere far more professional.

And that’s just my personal perspective.  Generally, if I have a choice between shopping at a big box store or a smaller local retailer I’ll tend to give my business to the “little guy,”  because I want to foster smaller businesses in my community.

What are the key challenges for family businesses?

In addition to the normal business issues, the big killer for a family business is nepotism and ultimately, transfer of control.

A family member gets hired.

Let’s assume the family member is not qualified for the position and is expected to grow into it. When they make mistakes, unlike with other employees, there are no consequences.

The family member knows they aren’t going to get fired so they don’t work as hard and everyone around them emulates their work ethic. “Joe doesn’t put in the hours to get the job done right and on time, why should I?”

Let’s assume the family member is to ultimately inherit the company and they are instead hard working and very conscientious. They will have a different viewpoint from the head of the company who will always view them as not as knowledgeable as them. The head will only give up control when the family member is ready, and that day will never come.

I was told that most family businesses do not survive to the second generation.

I’ve seen a 3rd generation (probably 4th by now) business thrive.

Family members can have summer jobs while in school but they are supervised by a non-family member who is expected to cut them zero slack. They can and do get fired faster than a normal employee.

Family members after their education is done have to wait to work for the family business for a minimum of five years. They have to get a job somewhere else and be successful at it before they can apply for a job in the family business. They have to be the best candidate for the job as determined by non-family members.

All family members get a portion of profits from the business. So it is in their best interest to only hire the best person for the job.

Many family members work in the business because it’s what they grew up with, it’s their passion, and they feel they can grow it better than anyone else.

Ultimately, all family members put the company way above any specific family member retaining their job. And all the other non-family members know they have a shot at advancing because in a tie, they’ll get the job over an equally qualified family member.

What are the pros and cons of working for a family-run business?

Advantages of family businesses

  • Common values – you and your family are likely to share the same ethos and beliefs on how things should be done. This will give you an extra sense of purpose and pride – and a competitive edge for your business.
  • Strong commitment – building a lasting family enterprise means you’re more likely to put in the extra hours and effort needed to make it a success. Your family is more likely to understand that you need to take a more flexible approach to your working hours.
  • Loyalty – strong personal bonds mean you and family members are likely to stick together in hard times and show the determination needed for business success.
  • Stability – knowing you’re building for future generations encourages the long-term thinking needed for growth and success – though it can also produce a potentially damaging inability to react to change.
  • Decreased costs – family members may be more willing to make financial sacrifices for the sake of the business. For example, accepting lower pay than they would get elsewhere to help the business in the longer term, or deferring wages during a cashflow crisis. You may also find you don’t need employers’ liability insurance if you only employ close family members.
  • Family members could cover you in case of emergency or absence for nothing.

Disadvantages of family businesses

  • Lack of skills or experience – some family businesses will appoint family members into roles that they do not have the skills or training for. This can have a negative effect on the success of the business and lead to a stressful working environment. And it will be very difficult to hire someone else to his job.
  • Family conflict – conflict can arise in any business, but it’s important to consider that disputes within a family business can become personal as the staff are working with the people closest to them. Bad feelings and resentment could destabilise the business’ operations and put your family relations at risk.
  • Favouritism – can you be objective when promoting staff and only promote the best person for the job whether they are a relative or not? It is important to make business decisions for business reasons, rather than personal ones. This can sometimes be difficult if family members are involved.
  • Succession planning – many family business owners may find it difficult to decide who will be in charge of the business if they were to step down. The leader must determine objectively who can best take the business forward and aim to reduce the potential for future conflict – this can be a daunting decision.
  • Emotional and social considerations Will be a challenge, where you should separate them from business strategies.
  • Second generation conflicts and politics, mostly it is better to move the business to the next level and to be on the stock market, where each share holder is free to sell his shares whenever he want.

In general, most successful businesses are basically family businesses

How should I invest my money during the coronavirus crisis?

Money investement
Money investement

How should I invest my money during the coronavirus crisis?

invest my money during the coronavirus crisis

This answer might shock you because it will show why investors during the Great Depression, actually could have made a profit barely a few years later……but more on that below.

Firstly, a good investor should imagine they are controlling a catapult.

You need to load it with “balls”. The more balls you loads into the catapult, the better for your “attack”.

This is what an investor often needs to do. In your working years, you need to fill the catapult with units, and then “fire” (sell) these units in retirement.

The lower markets get, during the virus, means the more units you can “fill up on”.

So take the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) as an example.

The price now is $123.31. So if you have $15,000 to invest today, you can buy 121.64 units.

In comparison, imagine the price was $62 – about half of what it is now.

In that case you can buy 241 units. So rationally speaking, a young investor should want markets to fall, and somebody approaching retirement should want them to rise, as they will want to be net sellers.

I will give you a simple example of somebody profiting from the Great Depression.

Let’s say somebody bought the Dow Jones in 1929 right at the outset of the biggest financial crisis ever – I know index funds weren’t available in 1929 but stay with me when I illustrate a point.

Let’s keep this simple and say they invested $10,000 a year (adjusted for inflation) from 1929 until 1960 when they retired.

They would have made an absolute fortune. More than if markets had kept going up in a straight line!

In fact, they would have made about 12x-14x more than they put in, despite all of the deflation of the 1930s.

Why? The markets had a brutal 90% fall from the absolute peak to the absolute bottom and stayed low for years.

So during those years that young invested (or even middle aged person) in the early 1930s, could have “loaded up” his balls for the catapult for a few years.

What about somebody with a lot of money already invested?

You might say, the last example only works because somebody who invested $10,000 a year (inflation adjusted) from 1929 until 1960, only invested during a few “awful years” when they had less invested.

In other words, it wasn’t as if they had 100k invested on day 1. They were only getting started during the worst of the crisis.

So let’s look at another example:

“Person 2” had a 100k lump sum (inflation adjusted again) invested in 1929 + they add 12k a year in each subsequent year.

How scary you might say! They invested 100k just before a 90% decline!

So how many years would it have taken their portfolio to recover?

1930 = 112k contributed. Account value = 76k. A big drop

1931 = $124k contributed. Account value = 54k. A massive drop

1932 = 136k total contribution. Account value = 54k. An even bigger drop!

1933 = 148k contribution. Account value = 90k. Green shoots!

1934 =160k contribution. Account value = 98.7k

1935 = 172k contributed. Account value = 150k

1936 = 184k contributed. Account value =……….232k!

So the account is up substantially within 6–7 years of a Great Depression…..despite having a decent sized lump sum at the beginning!

The reason is simple. Markets might have declined 90% from the very top to the very bottom, but by patiently investing during this down market, this investor has “filled up their catapult with units”.

And that isn’t factoring in:

  1. Deflation which was huge in the 1930s
  2. If you rebalanced from bonds the figures above would be huge
  3. Of course if this investor would have carried on for 10–20 years more, the returns would have been bigger.

A more recent example – The Nasdaq

From 1995 until 2018, the Nasdaq produced about 12%-13% per year for a lump sum investor but from 2000–2002, it fell by 76%!

Yet somebody who bought extra units during that period would have gotten even higher than 13% returns for obvious reasons.

Why? The Nasdaq was 900 in 1995. 5,050 before the crash in 2000.

It hit 1,200 at the bottom in 2002 and stayed low for years, before hitting 10,000 1–2 months ago, before the recent fall. It also fell a lot in 2008.

So somebody who rebalanced from bonds into the Nasdaq from 2000–2002 and 2008–2010, and monthly invested via their salary, could have made up to 15% per year, by taking advantage of the lower valuations.

I am not implying that people should focus on the Nasdaq over the S&P500.

I am merely saying an investor shouldn’t fear big falls if they rebalance and/or are young enough to deal with the volatility.

So surely an investor should just wait for the right time to get into the markets?

It isn’t that simple. Nobody can predict what will happen to markets, even though they have always historically came back to hit record highs.

So the easiest thing is just to buy index and bond funds. Short-term government bonds went up during the last month, but medium term ones fell.

If you have $100,000 invested and $70,000 is in markets and $30,000 is in government bonds, and markets dip again, add more and rebalance from the bonds.

Don’t try to focus on if your portfolio is going up or down during the crisis.

Focus on what things will look like in 20–30 years or whenever you plan to retire.

Some reading

The ultimate visit Chefchaouen guide

things-to-see-in-chefchaouen

Best places to visit in Chefchaouen the Blue City of Morocco

This article, entirely dedicated to Chefchaouen tourist attractions, aims to make you want to visit Chefchaouen but also to share with you some addresses and tips to better discover the city and know things to do in Chefchaouen.

This small town in northern Morocco is the pearl of the Rif mountains. Many travelers come to visit Chefchaouen after having fallen under the spell of the alleys of the medina that we see many photographs of Morocco, painted in a light blue color going from it a unique city, calm and place of relaxation by exellence.

Nicknamed “the holy city” or chefchaouen blue city for its many religious buildings, the medina of Chefchaouen is undoubtedly the prettiest in the Rif. In a peaceful atmosphere, the blue city offers the simple charms of a city of craftsmen. Founded in the 15th century, chefchaouen morocco was one of the sultan’s strongholds in its resistance to the Portuguese. To protect itself from repeated attacks from its western neighbors, it has long been banned for Christians, but not for Jews.

How to get to Chefchaouen?

There are several ways to integrate Chefchaouen into your travel itinerary, you can take the plane to the city of Tangier, several airlines make the trip from the big cities of Europe, like for example the company eDreams, which organizes several trips to this city.

If you have a rental car, you can easily reach Chefchaouen. Allow around 2 hours to drive from Tangier for around 110 km. From Fez, further away from Chaouen, it will take around 3h30 / 4 hours by road to cover the 200 kilometers, which separate the 2 cities.

If you did not opt for a rental car, you can obviously reach Chefchaouen using public transport. You should know that Chefchaouen is not served by train. You will have to take a bus.
Fez and Tangier are served by train. It is therefore very likely that your route will pass through one of these cities.

You can then reach Chefchaouen by bus:
From Tangier: allow around 2h45 / 3 hours by road. I recommend that you take the Supratours or CTM (Local Companies).
From Fez: allow 4 hours by bus to reach Chefchaouen. Similarly, you can go through Supratours or CTM, several departures per day.
Tickets can be purchased on the CTM website and it costs around € 5 per person + € 1 for luggage in the hold of the bus. The buses are comfortable, air-conditioned, secure, but remember to book early because seats sell out quickly.

If you don’t want to take the lead and enjoy Morocco a little longer, you can also book your stay on sites like Voyage Privé, the offers are often very attractive.

Then, in addition to the stay, you organize your own circuit of a few days by bus, train or car in the region of Morocco that you want to discover.

A good alternative for those who want to relax at first and then discover a region of the country by doing an autonomous circuit.

Places to visit in Chefchaouen

Visit the Kasbah

In the chefchaouen medina the square around the Kasbah is very lively, between restaurants, shisha bars and street musicians. The Kasbah of Chefchaouen contains within its walls the collections of the ethnographic museum. This is the place to visit to learn more about the crafts, beliefs and culture of the locals.

One of the most Picturesque Mosques occupies a hill facing the city: The Boushafar Mosque. The view is simply incredible. If time allows, you can stay there for a while admiring the city and clapping with Moroccan and Moroccan tourists are singing in conviviality and joy.

The cemetery in the chefchaouen medina

Another place to visit is above the city, above The cemetery next to the “brutalist” hotel (ok, this is not brutalism but a geometric architecture of the 1960s / 70s favoring concrete) and the other side of the enclosure above the river. You will only see Chefchaouen in part, your view of the surrounding valleys and hills, a very nice view of the city.

Go up to see the sunset

Chefchaouen from the top
Chefchaouen from the top

If the medina of Chefchaouen is beautiful, it is doubly worth it to take the height to see it at sunset! For that you have a small simple and not steep path (in 20min it’s done), which runs along the river (a place full of life that I love here), houses of shepherds and nature before reaching the Bouzzafar Mosque which offers a magnificent panorama.

Getting lost in the streets

Here, it goes up, it goes down, it twists in a brief hilly medina where it is clearly worth getting lost! We see the inhabitants who repaint each street at the end of the day, the children who play in the middle of the houses, the cats who run smoothly and a lot of small hidden photo spots. Some spots are instagrammable during the day, so you will be admiring your photos in return.

Pigeon bird square

At the beginning of your trip to Chefchaouen, you must visit Wataa El Hamam Square, which is the beating heart of civilization and the center of social and tourist life in it.

Bargain in the souk

Clearly shopping remains one of Chaouen’s main activities. We will tell you that it is 10 times cheaper than in the big cities, that it is 100% local blah blah drop it is almost false all the time ahah. But here you will find many Berber rugs & cushions or tunics. The rest (wicker or leather bags, wooden objects, dishes etc.) will be more interesting in Fez, Tangier or Marrakech.

What to do in the surroundings of Chefchaouen

After you have finished your visit to Chefchaouen, you might rightly be tempted to want to visit the surroundings of Chefchaouen. Several excursions can be considered.
As is often the case, it is better to have a rental car to be fully autonomous and avoid being constrained by bus schedules, especially if you are traveling for a fairly short period. If you plan to travel by car in Morocco, at least for part of your stay, I recommend that you read my ticket entitled road trip in Morocco.

Another alternative to the rental car in Morocco, opt for a day trip by taxi but it will cost you more!
First possible visit, Talassemtane National Park. Ideal for a trek, the park offers magnificent mountain landscapes!

chefchaouen akchour waterfalls

In the north of the park, do not miss the Akchour waterfall or the Pont Of God (natural arch in the rock).

How to get to the Akchour Waterfalls from Chefchaouen

Akchour is a 45 minutes’ drive from Chefchaouen. Driving, there is a small parking fee of 10 Dirham. However, if you don’t have a car yourself, there are taxis that can take you.
The cheapest option is to take a shared taxi, also called Grand Taxi. They take 4-6 persons and run once they fill up.
The taxi stand is outside the Medina of Chefchaouen. You can easily ask for directions to get there. Once at the taxi stand, tell them you want to go to Akchour waterfall and you will be guided onto the right Grand Taxi.
The medina of Tétouan is also very pleasant, with its white houses and alleys. You can spend half a day there. If you go from Tangier to Chefchaouen by bus, the bus will stop at Tétouan, so you can easily stop there and take a bus the next day (or later in the day if possible or even finish the journey by grand taxi).

Where to sleep in Chefchaouen?

You will find many small hotels, guest houses but no 4-star hotels … Well yes, there is one but a little unpleasant.

Chefchaouen hotels

Nothing like choosing a small boutique hotel like:

The Dar Zambra Hotel:

The room is ok, there is a small bathroom with shower, but I especially had a crush on the beautiful roof terrace from which you can enjoy a beautiful view over the rooftops of Chefchaouen.

Dar Echchaouen:

Located on the edge of the medina, it is possible to reach the heart of the medina in 5 minutes on foot (it goes up a little for the return…). The reception is top, the rooms magnificent and its location offers a magnificent view of the medina but also of the surrounding mountains. And the pool is nice! A real crush on Chefchaouen! The address is in great demand in Chefchaouen, if you want to sleep there, it is recommended to book as soon as possible.

Here are 2 other addresses tested, approved and well located to visit Chefchaouen:

Casa Khaldi hotel

For more basic accommodation and for a low budget, I recommend the Casa Khaldi hotel. Simple but clean, it is located on the edge of the medina. Around 25 euros per double room.

Lina Riad & Spa

A larger budget and the desire for a classy riad, go to the Lina Riad & Spa. It is located in the medina and it is a magnificent riad! Surely the most beautiful address in the city. Count around 120 euros per night in a double room with breakfast.

Best restaurant in chefchaouen

Here is a list of the best restaurants where you can taste Moroccan cuisine and the Cheefchaouen specialty in the city:

  1. Restaurante El Jaleo
  2. Hamsa
  3. Cafe Clock Chefchaouen
  4. Marisco Twins
  5. Cafe Restaurant Sofia
  6. Lala Mesouda
  7. Mandala Pizzeria
  8. Sindibad
  9. Chez Aziz
  10. Toda Creperie & Ice Cream

Hiking in the mountains around Chefchaouen

If the spectacle of tourist overcrowding distresses you and you dream of calm, continue behind the Boushafar mosque, the marked path empties quickly to make way for a hiking trail where rare shepherds pass with their goats and sheep.
The surroundings of Chefchaouen include many natural wonders: Forests, waterfalls, caves, natural bridges and water sources. Several villages follow one another and all offer homestays to those who wish to make the loop in the mountains. Allow 20/25 Euro for the evening meal / accommodation / breakfast. Maybe less if you manage to negotiate, the loop of about 40 km can be done in 2/3 days or more depending on your pace and the time you have.

Camping in Chefchaouen

If you need a campsite, this is the only one, with friendly staff. For a cheap price for what you get, toilets and showers, it lacks a bit of cleaning, to access it not complicate you have a lot of signs in the city to guide you.
The location is great, near the medina, Partly adjoining, Space also available for large campers, WIFI at the front of the entrance is ok.

Chefchaouen and Cannabis (Kif and Haschich)

The mountainous villages of the Rif around Chefchaouen (and Ketama further south) are also known (for the local population) for their production of cannabis, yes Morocco is among the big producers of Cannabis. Originally kif was a mixture of cannabis and pipe tobacco. Today kif is a psychoactive powder produced by the first screening of cannabis flowers (called “buds”). The compression of kif gives hashish, the leading Moroccan export product.
We will suggest you to visit farms where kif is made. We will suggest you taste the kif in an agro-tourist atmosphere.
The Rif Mountains region is the epicenter of hash making in Morocco. In 2003/2004 (therefore certainly not today):
More than 3,000 tonnes of hashish are produced each year,
37% of world production of hashish is Moroccan,
80% of the hash seized in Europe is Moroccan,
134,000 hectares of fields are devoted to the cultivation of cannabis,
35,000 hectares of forest cleared in 20 years in the Rif to increase cultivation,
96,000 families are 800,000 people involved in the cultivation of cannabis (66% of peasant families in the Rif),
50% of their income is linked to the cultivation of cannabis,
14,000,000 (14 million) dollars in income for peasants and….
$ 12,000,000,000 ($ 12 billion) for traffickers.

Coronavirus Homemade Mask

coronavirus mask
coronavirus mask

Homemade fabric masks against coronavirus is this really a good idea?

coronavirus mask

Since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, surgical masks have been ripping off, and hospitals have been concerned about the shortage of this tool necessary to protect health care workers. An alternative method blooms online: the coronavirus homemade mask. But this summary bulwark is only ineffective, especially if it is poorly worn.

The surgical face protection mask has become the symbol of the epidemic, the tool by excellence to avoid contamination, and everyone wants his own. But this object is in the center of a daily battle between the government and freaking citizens, in order to avoid shortages. There are indeed fears that this highly sought-after protective equipment will be lacking in hospitals, for health care workers who have to treat COVID-19 patients without being infected themselves, so here comes the idea of a coronavirus homemade mask.

The government is calling on the public not to get them, and to leave them to the sick, for health transport, personal assistance, and caregivers.
In order to benefit from a mask without tapping into existing stocks, many online tutorials for “coronavirus homemade mask” protection are flourishing. “Tuto making masks,” “a tuto to make your own coronavirus homemade mask in two steps three movements,” “tutorial mask against coronavirus” … Many rely on a document circulated by the Grenoble University Hospital, giving patterns and a method to create his own fabric mask.

Is the tissue ineffective against the virus

“The tissue is somehow ineffective because what is expected of a homemade coronavirus mask is microscopic filtration,” Dr. Stéphane Gayet, an infectious disease doctor at the CHRU in Strasbourg, France, told Le Figaro: In order to be completely protective, a mask must be able to stop the secretions emitted by coughing, through which COVID-19 is transmitted.
In an article explaining that protecting the mouth with a scarf or scarf was not helpful against coronavirus, Fox News explained that coronavirus measures only 60 to 140 nanometers (for example, a hair measures 100,000 nanometers on average). The protection to be used must, therefore, be studied to properly stop these micro-particles.
“That pharmacists make hydro-alcoholic gel is something that is accessible, with a recipe, a chemical mixture, and doses to respect. But the masks must be tested: you can’t do anything and everything,” Pascal Astagneau, an infectious disease doctor at the Paris Public Hospitals Assistance, told France Inter, referring to “false protection.”

A “last resort” solution

coronavirus mask

“It’s better than nothing,” says Dr. Jean-Paul Hamon, a general practitioner in Clamart and president of the French Federation of Physicians, in 20 minutes. “I even tried to mobilize the knitters in my city to make these handmade masks. Given the glaring failure of the administration, unfortunately, we are tinkering with solutions that are not really anywhere!”
A 2013 British study published in the scientific journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness compares the effectiveness of surgical masks and fabric masks. Their findings suggest that “a homemade mask should only be considered as a last resort to prevent the transmission of droplets by infected people, but is better than no protection at all.” In their study, “the surgical mask was found to be 3 times more effective at blocking transmission than the homemade mask.”

“So it’s not a medical device, be careful, it’s just the first barrier that will protect you from droplet projections and avoid hand-to-mouth contact,” explains the Instagram page Make My Lemonade, in a tutorial to learn how to make your own fabric mask. It is specified from the beginning of the video that “these masks – to, they are only worn for a few hours max”.
A poorly worn mask is ineffective and dangerous.

The danger of wearing masks, whatever they may be, lies mainly in the use that is made of them. “I see a lot of masks in the street, I see a lot of masks in professionals who have no reason to be exposed to patients. These masks are misplaced, these masks are misused,” Said Director-General of Health Jérôme Salomon at his daily press briefing on Tuesday evening, calling for attention to their use.

In the tutorial provided by the CHU of Oakland, for example, it is specified that one should wash his cloth mask “daily” with “30oC with conventional detergent”. In addition, it should only be worn for a few hours.

The World Health Organization stresses that “the mask is only effective if it is associated with frequent hand washing with a hydroalcoholic solution or with water and soap.” Then, the mask should “cover the nose and mouth and make sure to adjust it to your face as best you can,” the WHO writes. It is absolutely not necessary to touch the front when it is worn, and when it is used, throw it in a closed trash can and wash your hands back, with soap or a hydroalcoholic solution.

Stay strapped or get clapped George Washington

Stay strapped or get clapped George Washington

Stay strapped or get clapped George Washington

Washington’s first experience in politics was in 1758 when as a colonel in the Virginia militia he ran for the House of Burgesses, the legislative body of that colony. Unable to go to the polls personally, he recruited a friend to attend, and he was elected following a party that was the way the campaigns were conducted at the time, in which voters were bent with large amounts of alcohol

Aside from politics and his role as president, George Washington had a real sense of humor, this is illustrated in many of these speeches.
Here’s one of the most popular Quotes he said:


Stay strapped or get clapped George Washington

Stay strapped or get clapped George Washington

What made George Washington a great President?

  1. He put service above self — whether that was service to his family or country – is always about his duty.
  2. He served England honorably as an officer in their army.
  3. He was an inventor and agricultural genius.
  4. He was a statesman, whose honor was worth more than money.
  5. He served the colonies as the commanding general of the continental army.
  6. As the commanding general of the continental army, he beat the world’s most powerful navy — never could have happened if it weren’t for the hand of providence.
  7. He saved the United States from a military coup, from his own continental army officers, as they were contemplating overthrowing the members of the continental congress for the past due to wages.
  8. He refused to even consider being named King after the hard-fought battle against England was won. In fact, those military officers and continental congress members were privately shamed for their recommendation of such a notion.
  9. He reluctantly served as the president of the constitutional convention.
  10. He was so revered by his fellow countrymen, they unanimously voted him the first president of the United States.
  11. After serving very reluctant 2 terms as president of the United States, George Washington retired — gave up vast amounts of power — an act that King George stated: “would make Washington the greatest man living.”
  12. He freed his slaves upon the death of his wife, Martha — an act that Virginia would very quickly rectify with law — making it virtually impossible for any Virginian to ever free their slaves upon death again — Thomas Jefferson went broke keeping his slaves in a life of comfort, despite being one of the richest men in the United States at one point.
  13. One of the eulogies for George Washington upon his death was that of his long time, faithful manservant, Billy Lee.

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