Travellogues: Itinerary for a Trip to Japan

This time last year, I remember praying everyday that I get to see sakura in Japan. LOL. With sakura season coming again, I thought I’d take a break from my Morocco posts to talk about one of my favouritest destinations in the world – JAPAN!!

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An Epic Itinerary for An Adventure in Morocco

A bucketlist country of mine is definitely Morocco. The gateway to Africa, and one whose culture emanates all over the world including in the small country of Brunei. Even tile art from Morocco dot our mosques and palaces – only heightening my desires to visit!

However, I always thought going to Morocco is somewhat out of reach. It’s super far away and thus expensive – and in fact I already have another holiday planned for January 2019 – even pitched for some sponsorships!

But, alhamdullilah this year rezeki to go to Morocco because lo and behold for some fluke I found Saudia Airlines offering cheap fare from Kuala Lumpur to Casablanca for only GBP374!

I didn’t think much – quickly found travel buddies (not easy) – bought the tickets for approximately 10 days in Morocco and thus began my fumbling around in the darkness looking for information.

In hindsight, I should’ve booked a longer trip – considering the journey to Casablanca took 20++ hours and this country is simply an incredible place..

Unlike more countries I’ve visited there is really limited information about Morocco online. I find this very strange, considering it is a really popular country to visit! Furthermore the more I researched the more I thought how insufficient 10 days was! In the end after reading several resources, we settled on the following destinations:

  • Casablanca (of course since we are landing there)
  • Off to Chefchaouen immediately by Minivan
  • Back to Fes by Bus
  • Fes to Marrakech by Train
  • Essaouira day trip from Marrakech by bus
  • Back to Casablanca

Of course once we arrived in Morocco, all the plans sort of changed and we ended up with this new itinerary!

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How to Get to Morocco: 5 Tips for Bruneians

01: 24 Hour Journey – and recommended flights!

At the moment there are no direct flights to Morocco from Brunei. However, you have the following options:

Via Kuala Lumpur

There are no direct flights from Kuala Lumpur either. These are the options to get to Casablanca (Morocco’s largest airport)

Big Boeing Dreamliner – very full but fortunately spacious and comfortable in Economy
  • Saudia Airlines (Transit in Jeddah/Madinah for 4 hours)
  • Emirates (Transit in Dubai)
  • Etihad Airways (Transit in Abu Dhabi Airport)
  • Turkish Airlines (Transit in Istanbul)

For my trip, I went using Saudia Airlines (this is the cheapest option). On the first leg to Jeddah, the flight was very full, as this is a popular time also for umrah.

Pilgrims kan Umrah in ihram

Fortunately, the Dreamliner was very comfortable and had a lot of space and leg room. Be warned though that the toilet floors can get wet because umrah pilgrims (I assume) doing ablution.

No aerobridge – down to the tarmac we go!
Make sure u already are wearing something warm if coming in winter!

For those choosing Saudia, I’d like to add that transit was quite challenging as Jeddah Airport was extremely packed and there may be very limited places to rest. Our gate number was also not published until about 1 hour before the flight.

People just sitting around anywhere on the floor or wherever yang ada space at the Jeddah International Airport

To be honest, if you don’t mind the price difference, I recommend Emirates or Etihad Airways for a journey this long – only because both Dubai and Abu Dhabi Airports are much more comfortable for long layovers (plus you may even get a chance to shower/clean up).

Via Singapore

Slightly more expensive option going through Singapore (everything is expensive in Singapore haha) but some prefer it. From Singapore to Casablanca:

  • Qatar Airways (Transit in Doha, Qatar)
  • Emirates (Transit in Dubai)
  • Turkish Airlines (Transit in Istanbul)
  • Air France (Transit in Paris)

Via Bangkok

Not my preferred country for transit as flights leaving Bangkok usually serve non-halal meals, I was just curious to see. Surprisingly quite a few options for flights leaving to Casablanca – much cheaper than from Singapore:

  • Gulf Air (Transit in Bahrain)
  • Egypt Air (Transit in Cairo)
  • Emirates (Transit in Dubai)
  • Qatar Airways (Transit in Doha, Qatar)
  • Etihad Airways (Transit in Abu Dhabi Airport)

02: Apply for Visa

Brunei has the 17th most powerful passport in the world allowing visa-free access to most countries. However Morocco ain’t one of these countries so please kamu jangan confident ke sana without Visa ok!!!!

You need this:

A real life stail lama visa!

To apply for a Visa to enter Morocco, you have 2 options:

  1. Fly to Kuala Lumpur (where the nearest Moroccan Embassy is), and personally apply for a visa yourself.
  2. If you don’t have time to fly to KL, apply for a visa via any travel agency in Brunei. I asked Pan Bright Travel Services who quoted BND250 per person.

There is no online application option at this moment for Bruneians.

They do not give out visa upon arrival in most cases – so please make sure you get this sorted before coming into Morocco.

How much is the Visa?

  • Single Entry: RM91
  • Double Entry: RM137
Take note the submission and collection times!

What documents are needed to apply for a Visa?

  • Visa Application Form, duly filled in and signed
  • 2x Passport Sized Photo (white background)
  • Original Passport
  • Photocopy of Passport
  • Copy of Flight Tickets
  • Copy of Hotel Bookings

Where to submit the documents?

It’s a suite in K Residence – super understated except for the Moroccan flag outside.

If you Google the address for Embassy of Morocco in Kuala Lumpur, you will see the old address. DO NOT GO TO THIS OLD ADDRESS. The new address is:

42-3A, 42 Floor, K Residence, Avenue K, 156 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur Tel: +60321610701/05

Address of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia since 2017

Just use the LRT and stop at KLCC – the KLCC station is actually located in Avenue K Shopping Mall (FYI there is a Sephora here).

Walking from the old Embassy to Avenue K where the real Embassy is now – panas. Don’t go to the old address. I had to do a trip down to KL to do up my tourist visa.

Kindly note submission for visa application is between 10am to 1pm only.

How long does it take to complete?

2-3 business days

03: Start Learning French

Seriously!

If you are an independent traveller like me (meaning you are not joining any tour packages or anything of the sort) you have to make your way yourself, and seriously, in Morocco, English use is quite limited. Signs, directions, and the universal language used is French, followed by Moroccan Arabic (Darija) and Berber.

French Ticket Stup

Bye Arabic nya pun lain – aku faham syukran saja!

French is taught universally and serves as Morocco’s primary language of commerce and economics, culture, sciences and medicine; it is also widely used in education and government.

A departure board I don’t understand at the Gare du Marrakech at the Gueliz in Marraech

Learn some French!

04: Leave Your BND at Home

Morocco’s money is Dirham, and it is what we call a closed currency. It can only be bought at a Bureau de Change once u land in Morocco and only using several currencies which you can get at any local banks in Brunei:

  • USD
  • Euro
  • GBP

If you don’t have time to change money at the bank, you can of course withdraw from the ATM once you get there. Credit Cards are thankfully widely accepted in most outlets.

Please don’t bring BND or SGD as they will not accept it in the whole of Morocco.

05: Stay Connected and Download These Apps

FYI, free simcards are given out at the Casablanca Airport by Maroc Telecoms. All you need to do is approach the booth and provide your passport. Coverage is for the whole of Morocco. Once you go out of the baggage claim area, just buy top up as u need at the kedai runcit. Kalau habis, just buy more!

MAD20 equivalent to about BND3

And apps yang wajib di download adalah: Maps.Me! For Marrakech, Casablanca and Fes, you will need this map to manoeuvre around the Medina – there are a million alley ways and small streets so Google Maps and Apple Maps are not useful to find your way. Maps.me has more information and additionally it can be used while offline!

NEXT POST: Budget & Itinerary for My Trip to Morocco

In the Movies: The Nun

It’s a big week for me and my horror obsession 😂 – two nights in a row at the cinema!

Two different cinemas, two different movies and this time it’s a much awaited sequel from The Conjuring universe, The Nun!

I don’t know why I like to torture myself.

So if you wanna read my opinion and review of The Nun, see below – as usual SPOILERS AHEAD!

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Salon Maurina: Easy December Party Look

It’s the end of the year and it’s that time of the year where you get invited to a couple of parties – gift exchange, or just a wonderful high tea with your girlfriends.

Check out a tutorial I made for this:

BTW, I mentioned a pallete called Doll Crush Pallete in the video. If you’d like to purchase this pallete, check her out here: https://dollcrushbeauty.com/ and add her on Instagram too cause sometimes she gives out discount codes. 🙂

Know of any other Brunei cosmetics brands? Let me know! 🙂

In the Movies: Joko Anwar’s Pengabdi Setan

Oh boy, I love my horror movies. In fact I pretty much only exclusively watch horror movies.

I don’t know what it is: the adrenaline rush, the suspense, the crazy makeup, or what?

Anyway, after IT this was my first foray to the cinema for a horror movie.

I LOVE IT.

But first:

If you are planning to watch the latest version of Pengabdi Setan, I recommend you watch the older version first!

Here, I’ll wait.

The 1980s version is a highly meme-able movie, with memorably corny lines and superficial storyline which is much like most horror movies in the era.

In fact, I find it iconic of the era – the non stop on screen smoking (perhaps a heavy sponsorship from Djarum?), the cars and the house, the party Rita attended (in true 70s style), Darminah’s krebo hair, the blatant disregard of Islamic values and the comically frequent closeups!

If nothing, the movie imprints our mind with the first 10 minutes showing Muslim funeral proceedings in full detail.

It’s a movie worthy of the 80s. More importantly, it sets the background for the current version.

The current version of Pengabdi Setan is not a continuation of it, but rather a reboot. What that means basically u don’t need to watch the old one to understand the new, but there are certain parts of the movie you catch where it is an homage to the old version.

I caught some noteworthy ones:

SPOILER ALERT! BANYAK SPOILER BERABIS DI DUNIA! DAN GAMBAR BARITAKUT!

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How to Renew Your Passport

As a Bruneian, we have one of the stronger passports in the world – ranked 23rd by Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index. As such, we are eligible for visa-free travel to a total of 151 countries including US (only ESTA needed), the EU. So I'm super psyched to be a holder of one 😂

However, call me weird but one of those things that gives me terrible anxiety are stuff like renewing passports.

On the night before I usually obsess about how I need to be there at 7am before they open so that they don't run out of queue numbers, terrorise everyone about why can't I do this online? Why this? Why that? People are going to stare at me cause I dunno anything, will there be labels telling me where to go and if I'm in the right place? 😂😂😂

Introvert problems.

So today I finally went to renew my passport and it went really well, haha!

However, for people with the same kind of documentation anxiety as me, I've compiled a step by step guide on how to do it.

STEP ONE: Make an appointment.

Did you know that you now can make an appointment for passport renewal?

All you have to do is simply call their number at 2381856 or 2382257 between 830am to 1130am to book a slot convenient for you.

Remember though:

– Call at least a day earlier
– Come 15 minutes before your appointment
– Have all documentation ready

OR

STEP ONE: COME EARLY

HOWEVER! If like me, you didn't know about this whole appointment thing, don't worry!

Walk-ins are welcome too!

BUT! COME EARLY!

How early is early? Well, depends on you haha.

I came at about 840am on a Saturday and my number was 56. My friend was there at 730am and his number was 10. When I sat, he was just leaving.

So the earlier u are, higher chance u have of completing the process faster!

Note: There is a quota of how many walk in customers they can accept per day so on certain days if you come late, there may be a chance of u not being entertained.

STEP TWO: Make sure all your documents are ready

All you need is a:

  • Form – duly completed and signed (You can get this at the venue itself but if you like to fill them in early, you can download the forms available here)
  • Copy of IC
  • Copy of Passport
  • BND60

STEP THREE: Submit your form & then wait in line

The place to submit your form is at the Third Floor, the room on your far left.


There is a counter, and a friendly and helpful man who will assign u a number and assist you.

After that, you sit and wait for your name to be called.

Bring books, powerbank, knitting kit – the wait can take from 30 to 90 minutes or in my case, 1 hour.

STEP 4: Get your photo taken!

This part is le simple. The lovely staff will assist you.

First, you record your fingerprints on their digital scanner, and then, photo time!

FYI, the photo needs to have your ears visible and hey, smile!

STEP 4: Payment!

There will be a counter for payment and they will provide a receipt with pickup date.

STEP 5: Finished!

The passport will be done in 3 days. HOWEVER!

Look what came in by SMS at 422pm 😂

Well done to the Department of Immigration & National Registration for being awesome and efficient. 🙂

Hope this article helps you a bit with your passport renewing anxiety. 😂