The first day of our tour is quite hectic. In Casablanca we will be visiting the central market, Habous Quarter souq, Mohammed V square, Hassan II mosque followed by lunch at Ain Diab, dubbed as the croniche of Casablanca.
After lunch, we’ll take a 100km drive to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. There, we’ll visit the King’s palace, Mohamed V Mausoleum, Kasbah of Udayas and the mouth of river Bou Regreg. In almost all the major cities in Morocco, the King has a palace.
First in the itinerary is a visit to the central market. In the 60’s, this central market is frequented by celebrities, royalties, dignitaries and of-course the local. Rubbing shoulders with them was common. All-in-all the central market now is just like any other market in a big city. You’ll find vendors selling vegetables, fruits, flowers, spice power, kitchen essentials and the like.
Our trip to Morocco was way back in November 2012 when sampaisudah.com wasn’t conceived yet. Because of its fascinating and intriguing aspect of the country, we’ve decided to include posts of it now.
Morocco has been in our dream list for a long time but due to the highly priced package tour, it has been put off for a while. A long while actually. It materialised when we came across a 8D/7N full board ground package tour offered by a local travel agent for only RM2,050 (USD600 in 2012). The Etihad return air ticket (KUL-CMN-KUL) cost more but both totaled below RM5,000.
Note (July 2017) : As of mid July 2017, the government of Malaysia and Morocco have signed an agreement to allow citizens of both countries to travel back and forth without visa requirements. Passport holders who are traveling for business or social visits with valid documents are allowed to enter and exit both countries without a visa for a maximum period of 90 days. This agreement should come into force on 27 December 2017 (please check).
For Malaysian citizens, you do require a visa to enter Morocco. You can download the visa application form here. You would also need a letter from your employer confirming your employment and their knowledge that you will be holidaying in Morocco among other documents. If you are retired, a declaration letter by yourself would suffice. Fill the form up, submit 2 black & white passport size photos, copies of your ID together with your passport and pay the visa fees (RM100-please check) to the Moroccan embassy in Wisma Selangor Dredging, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Approval isn’t on the spot, you’ll need to come back later (about 1 week) for your passport. Make sure during this period, you do not require your passport for travel elsewhere.
The ground package tour includes pick-up and send-off to & from Casablanca hotel – airport, all meals, air-conditioned transportation, 4 stars accommodations, entry fees and tour guide. As usual, you are expected to tip your tour guide and the bus driver.
The tour starts from Casablanca – Rabat – Meknes – Volubilis – Fes – Ifrane – Beni Mellal – Marrakesh – Casablanca. At the airport upon our arrival, we were greeted by a representative of the tour agency. Here we found out there’s another Malaysian couple and an Australian couple in the same flight joining the tour too. We were than transferred to our hotel and free for the rest of the day. The tour starts the next day.
A couple of hours transit in Abu Dhabi and we’re off to Casablanca.
Safely arrived in the early morning into Mohammed V airport, Casablanca.
We had the opportunity to be in the transit hall of Abu Dhabi airport as we had to change plane for our onward flight to Casablanca via Etihad from Kuala Lumpur. One most noticeable design of this airport is the unique ‘funnel’ like structure in the middle of the transit hall. On this level and the level below, there are stores for you to shop duty-free. The transit hall is rather small and finding a seat is a challenge.
Passage to the transit hall.
The unique ‘funnel’ shaped structure in the transit hall.