marrakech for virgins

Getting ready for a big trip requires a lot of blog reading, travel guides hunting and asking people who have been to the place.

Philippine passport holder can enjoy three months in Morocco without resorting to impersonating a desert gypsy or worse, a camel, to elude the immigration authority who will track you down the slopes of the desert.

It has been in our bucket list to fly to Marrakech for the longest time but the biggest roadblock for budget travelers like us is the airfare. Unless there’s a really dirt cheap flights to Marrakech on sale and we will start packing some Carrie Bradshaw-ish wardrobe ensemble.

Recently, a good friend went on her epic adventure in Morocco. We are really eager to listen to her stories while cringing out of jealousy. And we asked her the basics of what a Marrakech virgin would want to know before booking that flight to this rich cultural African destination… (Yes, AF-RI-CA! They may have that mid west swag and euro-attitude but they are in Africa!)

Photo by Cla Ines

What were your expectations while you were on the flight enroute to Marrakech?

My expectations were based on the photos we’ve seen and the blog we’ve read. In short: vast emptiness in the desert and chaos abound in the medinas.

Describe Marrakech in three words.

Cosmopolitan, vibrant and QUIAPO.

What is the first thing that caught your attention on your first hour in the city? 

There were a lot more tourists in Marrakech than in the other Moroccan cities we went to. Most of them are in town for the weekend from Europe.

What is that one meal that you consider a “Must eat” in Marrakech? other than the men.

Other than the men? Tagine is the most well known Moroccan dish. It’s basically a stew of meat (beef, venison, chicken, fish) or vegestables slow cooked in tomatoes, herbs, and spices in a clay pot with a conical lid, which is called a tagine.

What tips will you give to first time travelers to Marrakech? 

Have lots of patience. The touts can be a little too aggressive and rather off-putting specially if you’re coming in from a long haul flight or an overnight bus ride. In the market or in the Djemma El Fna square, people will approach you asking where you’re from and try to engage you in a conversation leading up to selling a product or service. Be friendly but wary: even if you say no to whatever they’re selling, they can be really persistent. Be careful about waving your hand; my friend ended up with a sparkly, glittery henna that she didn’t want, but the henna lady still insisted that she pay her.

It was really sweet of her that she even bought us something from her trip. The Assouss Argane soap from a rare plant that grows only on dead camels (I’m kidding!) and the famous Filipinos Chocolate Biscuit. Now I have all the right reasons to say that “Filipinos are damn delicious” and you should try it too. No pun intended.

Nina Fuentes of is a Philippine based nocturnal travel writer and she spells love with the capital WTF. Nina is the reigning winner of Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards for Best Travel Blog!

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  • estan

    January 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    nauna nga si nina! dream destination ko rin ang morocco 🙂

  • journeyingjames

    January 17, 2012 at 1:16 am

    will i ever see this part of the world?
    and i have yet to try that chocolate. what’s better, the red or white?

  • Krizz

    January 17, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Marrakech is on my travel list for 2012 too. Maybe this coming autumn season. I will go first to Libanon to visit Beirut (“Paris of the Midle East) and Byblos this spring. By the way, the Filipinos Chocolate Biscuit is really yummy. I discover them on my first Spain vacation with my friends back in high school. They are also well known in Portugal.

  • Courtney Mroch

    January 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Marrakech looks awesome! It sounds so neat. I don’t know if I’ll ever get there, but I love all the tips you shared!

  • flip'n travels

    January 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    @Courtney, we’re glad that you liked it. cheers!
    @Krizz, whoa! i bet its gonna be a big year for you, sabit mo kami! LOL
    @James, we never got the chance to try it, Chyng took it! heheheh
    @Estan, LETS GO! This year?

  • nina

    January 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Kalurkey! Para dito pala yun! Thanks for picking a good photo 😛

  • Simurgh | Ang Pala-lagaw

    January 23, 2012 at 4:57 am

    Sounds like a must visit..
    I guess pimps are all over the world, one just needs to know how to deal with them

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