Island Fever

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I’ve got to get off this island for a few days. I haven’t travelled for a while now and am fully in the throes of the dreaded island fever. I owe it to myself to chill a bit and rejuvenate and what better way of doing that jetting off somewhere nice, relax by the beach or lake, go visit nice museums and garden centres and sleep late and do all that with your family around you?

So I’ve decided. Unlike my usual thing of staying put during the Eid holidays, this time I am determined to get the hell out of Dodge for a few days. I’ve considered several places so far including Thailand and the Seychelles (no, I won’t consider any Arab country, thanks very much) and the arrangements must be on a reasonable budget for 4 or 5 days.

Do you have any suggestions or experiences that we might consider?

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33 Comments
  • Barry
    25 August 2008

    I’m not sure how you feel about Indonesia, and I know it’s almost cliche to do, but perhaps Bali?

    I also hear Thailand is wonderful, especially if you enjoy visiting other religious sites, but the resorts are wonderful even if you’re away from actual Thai culture :).

  • iniarhaB
    25 August 2008

    I can vouch for Bali … what a wonderful place … It might not be kids friendly though. It’s a totally romantic, couples destination. The Seychelles are nice, and depending on your resort, the kids will definitely find things to keep’em busy.

    Best of luck any where you choose to go, you’ll have fun as long as it’s a secular destination 😉

  • Pricey
    25 August 2008

    Cabin fever recently took me on separate trips to Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. The first two are probably best saved for a proper holiday but despite the long flights, Singers and Honkers are cracking getaways. Hong Kong is only an hours boat ride away from Macau which should also be considered.

  • adlin
    25 August 2008

    Mahmood,

    If you’re seriously thinking about Seychelles I can get you accommodation at Berjaya Praslin Beach Resort,Seychelles or Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Beach Resort & Casino,Seychelles at BD 26 per night. Subject to availability tho. Its for a superior room(can accomodate 2 adults). I also have accommodation at Berjaya Hotels in Malaysia too. And I’m definitely spending my Eid in Malaysia.

    Interested?Drop me an email 🙂

  • Redbelt
    25 August 2008

    My Brother came from Shanghai, he loves it. My Sister had the same notion when she visited Beijing so why not?
    My dad went to Srilanka recently. If you want to spend a quite time between lush greenery and natural waterfalls, head there. Don’t expect much modernization though.
    The Maldives look nice. Never been there before though.
    I’ve been to Belgium, quite modern time. Kinda like Paris with less shopping and less pricey and less noise. Paris light.
    hows that?

  • Joel
    25 August 2008

    I wonder if you have been to the Botanical Gardens of the Hill Resort called Ooty, in Tamil Nadu, in South India. Great beautiful hills, peaceful lakes, lots of green trees, wonderful weather. Try it some other time, if you can’t do it this time. (Or the hill resort ‘Kodaikanal’ nearby which also has similar stuff).

    Oh btw, your english is always very good. So, I can’t resist the urge to point out a teensie-weensie spelling error that you seem to have inadvertently missed. Shouldn’t that be ‘throes’ instead of ‘throws’??

  • mahmood
    25 August 2008

    Ah! Thanks Joel, corrected. 😳

    Thanks for your suggestions too!

  • Abdullatif
    25 August 2008

    I hear Mauritius is nice, but for family fun your probably better off going to Malaysia.

    Australia is too far and London doesn’t have beaches.. I miss London.. 🙁

  • Bedoon Esam
    25 August 2008

    Mahmood,

    How about DUBAI, if you held a poll I am sure it would fail to qualify as ARAB State ….. 😆 😆 😆

  • Lee Ann
    25 August 2008

    I just spent 3 days in Duabi…I agree…I could count on my fingers the number of people that looked Arab…as in wearing thobes and abayas and hijabs. Looked very European.

    it was a lot of fun…and the mall of the emirates has a ski slope in it…way cool.

  • mahmood
    26 August 2008

    Mauritius, now that’s a nice suggestion. Dubai, on the other hand, is not. I’ve been to and seen Dubai countless times that it has no charm left. I would rather explore more exotic and different environs this time.

  • Abdullatif
    26 August 2008

    Cool, so do I win the “Where is Mahmood going to vacation?” competition? :mrgreen:

  • mahmood
    26 August 2008

    Not yet, but you’re close!

  • Reza
    26 August 2008

    Thailand hands down, best visited in the festive seasons

  • anon
    26 August 2008

    في اكثر من مكان: في اسيا عندك هونج كونج او سنغافور يصلحون حق عطلة ام 4 او 5 ايام بالكثير . فهالديرتين تقدر تزور متاحف Ùˆ اماكن تراثية Ùˆ نفس الوقت تقدر تستمتع باسواقهم Ùˆ مطاعمهم . ايام اول -ايام العز- تقدر تروح لهالديرتين مع طيران الخليج لكن الحين ما لك الا غير الكاثي باسيفيك او وحدة من الشركات الثانية مثل القطرية او انك تجرب تروح سريلانكا الاهل راحو هناك Ùˆ استانسو. فاوروبا عندك اليونان او قبرص 🙂

  • Troy Z
    26 August 2008

    I’ll make a plug for Estonia.

    It’s a small enough country with its own language and culture that enjoys a certain low-key obscurity; calming, unspoiled billboard-free farmlands in the countryside; all while still having a substantial draw for the nightlife in its capital.

    If you’re fascinated by history at all, you may very well appreciate the fact that there’s a pharmacy in the old town square that’s operated as such continuously for almost 400 years. Getting around in that area is not a problem: If you are so much as a waiter in a restaurant in the VanaTallin section of the capital city, you are required to be fluent in at least two languages and functional in four.

    Other factors you may appreciate: 100% literacy rate. The University in Tartu just celebrated its 375th anniversary. It’s reputed to be one of the most “wired” countries in Europe, which may have a special attraction to a blogger like yourself.

    I can make a list of some recommended locations to visit if this is your eventual decision.

  • Ronald
    27 August 2008

    Langkawi! A Paradise on earth!

  • Maenad
    27 August 2008

    Barcelona. Water, Mountains, some fantastic buildings, museums, history and its a lively city without being too overcrowded. Also has some great seafood. I could have satyed there forever, not just the 8 days we were.

  • Desert Island Boy
    27 August 2008

    When we were growing up and needed a quick getaway like you’re describing, Cyprus was the top spot.

    It has everything you’re seem to be looking for. Beaches, though some an get crowded. Of course you’ll be traveling past the season anyway, it looks like. Of course, the mountains are a short drive away. Not exactly the Pyrennes, but you can expect a bit more terrain, and lot more foliage than our dear Jebel Ad-Dukhan…

    If you can catch on, I would recommend hiring a sailboat. Not sure what that runs you anymore, though…

    Plenty of old historical sites, especially if you can drop in on an old side-of-the-road monastery. Some might say it’s not the most appropriate thing to do for Eid, but I don’t think you, of all people, could lose the spirit of the holiday doing something like that.

    My dad used to harp about it being an inexpensive vaca, but that was in the 90s, so I would do some more research, but hopefully, it’s a place you would consider.

  • mahmood
    28 August 2008

    Good to have you back DiB!

    I think the common consensus in our household now is either Thailand or Malaysia. I prefer Phuket meself but hey, it’s a democracy. I’ll wait for them to confirm my choice 😀

  • Charlie
    28 August 2008

    If you want to go to Malaysia, you MUST see Langkawi, it is absolutely STUNNING!

  • voyer
    29 August 2008

    Mururoa Atoll? Nice and quite and extremely peaceful. Turquoise sea and bleached white sand all around. Nothing Arab, nothing Islamic, nothing exciting, in fact NOTHING at all !! If you can get past the French military and maybe a few Iranian observers floating a few miles off shore, you could quite possibly encounter extremely idyllic relaxation. Factor 5 lotion might NOT be quite enough though.
    At the mention of Iranian and much closer to home and still not Arab.
    Kish Island.
    The problem is the wine is not too good there bro. Seriously! (not)
    I can get you an apartment on Amwaj. It’s a bit Arab but not much.

  • mahmood
    29 August 2008

    Mururoa Atoll

    I said I wanted to go somewhere green, not in which I can turn green!

    But I’ll take your suggestion on Amwaj, you’re closer to the truth there!

  • Insana
    3 September 2008

    Mahmood…
    If you are considering Thailand, then PHUKET should be your destination. My last visit to Thailand was in May 2008, stayed at the JW Marriott Phuket Beach Club. 5 stars resort, excellent for children. You will really enjoy it…

    Great Food, Great Night life, Lovely sandy beaches………

    Just Pack & Go

  • mahmood
    3 September 2008

    Thanks Insana, and everyone for your suggestions.

    In the end, the consensus in the household over-ruled my Eastern adventure in favour of gondolas, ice cream, a big lake and some fashion shopping.

    So the tickets have been booked to Milan where we will pick up a car and drive to Sirmione on the shores of Lake Garda to enjoy and relax for a week.

    Buon giorno!

  • Helen
    3 September 2008

    Well, enjoy Italy but of course I’m disappointed you didn’t think of Cape Town! We have BEAUTIFUL gardens, excellent accommodation, nature, museums, art galleries, beaches, restaurants…what more could you ask for? Maybe next time?

  • mahmood
    4 September 2008

    South Africa is on the list of “things to do before I die” so rest assured that given another chance that I shall visit.

    Get your fold-out sofa ready!

  • Steve the American
    4 September 2008

    Well, I would have suggested Des Moines, Iowa, USA but the Iowa State Fair is over. You just missed a corndogging, funny-car-racing, funnel-cake-eating, carnival-riding, cow-judging, hog-calling good time. Hoooooweeee! One time they had a sideshow with REAL SPACE ALIENS, one buck. Turns out they were just fish gutted and turned inside out, but then maybe that’s how the aliens disguise themselves.

  • mahmood
    5 September 2008

    You know Steve, I’ve been to the four corners of the States but never in its central heartland. I should think that would be a very enjoyable experience too and that is on my eternal list to-do.

  • Jett
    5 September 2008

    If you come here to Des Moines please email me as I would love a chance to talk to someone from Bahrain as I doubt I will get the chance to go back. Yes the Heartland of the country is great. We are much different from the coast cities but with our own unique charm.

    About the State Fair..I enjoy going one day each year..mostly to eat all the food. Corndogs included Steve.

  • IMTIAZ AHMED
    12 September 2008

    Mr.mahmood
    As salaam Alai kum

    I am from India – But now a days I am living in China a city namesd Shenzhen,
    here EID is not so good becasue not so many muslim here in this city
    So, i have decided to go to Malaysia a muslim country , i have never been to KL, i will reach 29th sept in KL till 4th of OCT
    as i was checking on google I found your blog
    So, if you are comming to malaysia -, may be we can meet and enjoy our EID holidays together

  • mahmood
    12 September 2008

    oh thrill!

  • victoria
    15 September 2008

    I agree DIB ,, cyprus is beautiful !! and a charming mix of east meets west…

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