Posts Tagged With: backpacking
Today we had finally tried the Uzbekistan national meal of Plov in Samarqand, Uzbekistan. Costing only 12,000 Uzbek SOM each (just under $3), this delicious meal consisted of flavoured oily rice with cuts of meat and sweet carrots chopped into cubes. This was much more delicious then yesterday’s meal of ‘lagman’ the Uyghur noodles.
The restaurant was a small cafe on the side of the road recommended by our guide.
Its been absolutely ages since we had uploaded a YouTube video so please do bear with us as we get back to Video Editing basics! For now, we have uploaded Short Clips of Guangzhou, China
So we have finally arrived to Tashkent, Uzbekistan (well done to those that guessed correctly from the previous post!)
We stayed at a quiet backstreet hostel called Topchan Hostel.
We spent our first day touring round the old Tashkent and visited old Islamic monuments. For lunch, we went to a restaurant that specialised in old Uyghur noodles which was delicious!
Mixed with bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and other veg with soft tender meat in a tomato broth, with the famous noodles hiding underneath – which were completely handmade!
This was just opposite the mosque and museum that has the old Quran of Usmaan, approx 3-4minute walk away.
After a long walk, the jetlagged feeling came back (as well as some travellers blisters) we decided to get a take away and headed back to the hostel.
We got a dish called Dolma, an authentic dish of rice and minced meat wrapped in vine leaves – a meal I was familiar with by my Turkish heritage.
Thoughts of Tashkent – when we first arrived I had thought it would be like Kuala Lumpur where I didn’t enjoy the city- but it had a relaxing atmosphere amongst the busy traffic, only struggle is not a lot of people know English! But with the friendly Uzbek people, sign language and a few words here and there, does the job!
We are now off to our next Backpacking Destination! Can anyone guess where?
Hint: National food dish is PLOV!
After our short stopover in Guangzhou, China. We had finally landed in Kuala Lumpur – we caught the 10RM coach (which is £2!) into the city where we arrived at our hostel near China town.
China town at night isn’t the most loveliest of sites to see but at that time, we just wanted to get to our room.
We came up to our hostel and finally arrived at our prebooked room (we only prebook the first couple of nights and then from there its all free flow travel). The room was clean, no window, had air con and the shared bathrooms were very clean. The receptionist was also lovely and as we settled into our room, we resorted to pringles for dinner!
(Cannot remember the hostel name – sorry!…but it did begin with a letter ‘M’).
After a good night’s sleep we used the new day to explore the local area as we knew the next day would be off up north!
This dish was delicious!! Something I would have to try and recreate.
Local artwork at the Islamic art museum in Kuala Lumpur which I would highly recommend!
A lot of people love Kuala Lumpur but we didn’t find it that attracting and couldn’t wait to explore the outer regions of Malaysia!
The next morning we had planned to take the 10am coach from Putra Jaya to Kota Bharu but after arriving there at 9:30am, we were then told that we were TOO EARLY!! The coach is actually at 10pm – with nothing planned and the sun becoming more hot nearing midday – we frantically walked from different coach ticket stations in the heat until we were offered the 10am coach to Kuala Terranganu which we had never researched before but knew it was near Kuala Besut (which was our original plan as we had booked a place for scuba diving on the Perethian Islands). So for 45RM each one way, we took the 9 hour coach to Kuala Terraganu with only 5minutes to make it to the coach from the ticket booth!
But thank God we had made it and have to stay, I loved that 9 hour coach journey and ever since that journey – I wouldn’t mind taking another coach for that long either as it was just beautiful and scenic.
Kuala Terraganu was everything we hoped for in Malaysia, completely different Kuala Lumpur and more of a ‘homely’ atmosphere with hardly any tourists but the most cheapest of hotels (50RM for both of us for one night – £5 each).
This yummy looking meal was truly delicious – it looks bland but the Malaysians have stolen my heart when it comes to their food with the amount of flavour and you can tell how much love they put into their food. This meal (which I have completely forgot was called!) was made by a lovely lady, like a mum figure, with the most warming of smiles. Kuala Terraganu was like home
The next day we had to leave Kuala Terraganu and head towards Kuala Besut for the jetty onto the Perethian Islands.
Firstly, huge apologies for the lack of activity but I now plan to post more topics and recipes very soon! And what better way then to show you all pictures from our backpacking trip in China & Malaysia back in May 2014. Since it was a long journey, I thought to put up one post a day of each leg of our backpacking trip.
LONDON – GUAGZHOU, CHINA
Our trip started off from London Heathrow to Gaugzhou, China via China Southern Airlines (which have to say was a superb Airline for such a cheap flight it had all the necessities and luxuries of a mid class flight! – ticket price was approx £400 each return via holidaygenie.com).
The stopover in China was approx 23 hours long where the airline had also given us a free hotel for the night -another surprise! The hotel was very clean and the staff knew some sort of English which was perfect for asking questions regarding the shuttle bus and what’s for breakfast.
Since we had a long stopover, we decided the next morning to explore more of China especially the old architecture and mosques. We first rang for a taxi from the hotel so we can get to the city which is a 40 minute to 1 hour drive depending on traffic.
(Quick note, to get around China, make sure you have the place you want to go screenshot on your phone in Chinese chatters – NOT English. Oh and go for the green coloured taxis!)
We had wanted to explore the old mosque of Saad Ibn Waqas (companion of the Prophet, peace be upon him). When we had entered the city, it was bustling with loads of people and it now hit us that we were in a different country with the Chinese women riding their bicycles on the main road with straw hats and their weekly groceries shopping hanging onto their baskets. The air was so humid and sticky also as you hear the sounds of the Chinese language wherever you walked past…I loved it!!
We tried finding the mosque after walking around the main park while getting used to a few locals raising their heads twice seeing us walk past them – I guess you don’t get much tourist in Guagzhou, but yet I still loved it, they had a friendly nature to them and it was the help of a Muslim China man that lead us in the end to the mosque.
And what an amazing mosque it was!! Built in the traditional Chinese style but with elements to symbolise it was a place of worship, the mosque was nestled in a backstreet entering via a garden footpath that was completely cutoff to the hustle and bustle of the city. The atmosphere suddenly became so serene and beautiful with the constant song of the exotic birds in the garden – at this point I was mesmerised with its serenity even though still being in the heart of Guagzhou.
After praying in the mosque we then kept walking along the footpath to find the tomb of the person the mosque was dedicated to – Saad Ibn Waqas.
(While bumping into a few locals and cats!) #catfans
After we stayed there for an hour or so absorbing the surroundings and beauty of the area. We decided we had to quickly make it to the hotel as after all this was just the stopover and we didn’t want to miss our flight to Malaysia where our journey really began!
First things first, we had to figure out is how do we get a taxi? It was easy for us at the hotel as they simply called them to pick us up, being in a completely different country and not knowing the language I might add, we had to ask the locals – in our attempt with sign language and English!
This local told us how – just to simply wave your hand and flag one down! He was a very humble person and a local Muslim that lived in the area, after he kindly told us how to get a taxi he then went back to baking bread for his stall. Which I had to quickly take a photo of!
After a few minutes we managed to flag a taxi down thankfully and then using our hotel business card as the directions on where we wanted to go – we were on our way back to the hotel!
We then quickly boarded our shuttle bus and was on the way to the airport to continue our backpacking trip in Malaysia – next stop Kuala Lumpur!!
A quick snap of our airport food. It was noodle broth in a mix of seafood with omelette on top. This wasn’t bad at all and wouldn’t mind recreating this dish -minus the octopus though- the broth was the best part with it looking weak it actually had a lot of flavour! This was accompanied by cute cherry tomatoes and freshly squeezed apple juice (we had to share one because of the high costs of airport food as we were on a budget backpacking trip).
Next post will be up this week of our trip in Malaysia!
After hours spent last night on taking pictures, learning in’s and out’s of Picasa 3 software to create my header, spending ages on choosing a theme to suit my blog, then another hour or so fiddling around with it.
Finally my blog has been updated and has a new organized and professional approach especially with a new header image depicting the recipes I have created so far.
Let’s have a quick look on how it looked before…
Even though I loved the background to this old theme, I felt I needed something to show exactly what my blog was about. The reason I like the previous background was due to the fact that the colours always reminded me of warm Mediterranean cuisine and culture. So using that incentive, I decided to create a colourful image header with my main aim to show that my recipes are inspired from around the world and even via my back packing travels. As for the background, I wanted a food image but a bright ingredient, so I chose orange lentils from my Turkish lentil soup.
I hope you all like it as much as I do! Let me know what you think, you might find there will be a few more tweaking as I go along!
Do you prefer the old layout or the new?
Please comment below your views as it will be MUCH appreciated!
Tweet me your answers also on @thewanderincook
P.S As well as the lovely new layout, more lovely new recipes will be on it’s way………
As most of you might know, my husband and I are planning on backpacking next year and our first stop will be France and then eastwards from there. Since we intend to visit a lot of countries, and on a budget also! We have found a very affordable way to travel from the UK to Paris for £25 one way! That’s from Birgmingham straight to Paris, including the boat fare from Dover to France also with just a 1hour stop in London.
Of course, it’s going to be a longg journey, 12-13hours to be precise! But if you intend on backpacking, then it should be the norm to travel such length of hours and on particularly, a bus! But I have heard that they do wi-fi on the coaches, whoop whoop! And I think we all know how long we are on the internet whether it’s social network sites, to catching up on your favorite programmes or updating your posts on your blog, time will definitely fly by.
The coach company is called MegaBus ( http://uk.megabus.com/) and they do coaches from different parts of the UK and can also take you to Beligum and other European countries. Once I heard about this cheap way of travel, my road became more clearer and bright with our journey to backpack. Looking forward to all the wonderful foods also.
MegaBus here we come!
P.S : Very good tip!!!
If your not too particular with your days on which to travel, take some time to check the prices of how much it’ll cost to your destination on different days. For instance, usual price from Birmingham to Paris one way is £25, but as a lucky search, on 23rd February 2013, it’s only £1! Bargain.