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Topics include Transportation, Morocco: For Foreign Visitors & more!
Can be intimidating , even to a hard nosed traveller, as the street sellers and beggars are relentless for your attention and your money. but do not let that put you off , this is one experience that is a must and is perhaps the closest thing you will get to the middle ages and what it must have been like , a few simple rules will see you through.
1. When approached by beggars either ignore them and continue walking or have plenty of loose change and give them 1or 2 Dh as you are approached (remember other beggars will be watching and if you look like an easy target by giving money then you will get more than you bargained for, so do your giving near the end of the day or when your about to leave the area.
2. Some beggars have now changed tactics for the better and have now started selling things, so you will get them selling you small packets of tissue, small toys etc. would recommend the tissues as they are useful in the restaurants as you don't get any proper napkins, you will just be given a piece of thin paper to wipe your hands ( like fish and chips wrapping paper).
tissues: 2 - 3 Dh or more if you prefer
flying light : 4 - 5 Dh
3. You will get many touts asking seemingly innocent questions about “where your from” , “how are you” etc. if you stop and reply, it becomes an invitation to sell you something. you need to be prepared to walk away if your not interested , which will become very difficult , if your not a decisive person and gets taken in easily. Otherwise a firm but polite “No thank you”, "La shukran" or “ non merci” and walking away will do, but you may have to repeat it a couple of times and continue walking and then just ignore them.
If something is completely of no interest to you, either completely ignore the touts and keep walking or say “no thank you” once and then totally ignore them and keep walking if you can.
Take all your medication with you, at least the basics like, painkillers, Diarrhoea, hay-fever tabs. creams, lotions etc. Make a list and prepare well otherwise a small bug could ruin your holiday for several days. Pharmacies in Morocco are well stocked with brand name drugs and pharmacists are well trained and helpful
Marrakesh to Airport , should be around 100 Dh always agree before you get in the car, at night they do try and charge more, time and a half so 150 Dh . if there are a few of you its worth getting the taxi, if not get the bus which is 20 Dh, Taxi is a good option if you don't want hassle and go straight to the hotel, but use the option of the bus as a bartering tool, taxis will usually quote you 200 or 300 Dh , but they will come down to 100 Dh.
Petit taxis (small taxis):
these carry max . 3 passengers and have metres, ask them to use the metre , whilst most of them do, some dont and then make up prices, some will start the metre from down the road as soon as they spot you. the petit taxis are quite cheap they work out about 10 Dh for a mile (£1)
Horse and carriage around Marrakesh , visit all the major sites , paid 100 Dh for 1 hour with only one stop to see the palace. you may need a 2 hour deal to stop at all the sites , so you could get it from 150 Dh to 200Dh. Everything is open to bargaining , so you pay what you feel is a fair price.
Cheap eats - on rue Bab Agnaou, there are a couple of cheap eats with prices clearly marked, you will see the women near the entrance to the little cafe/restaurants making fresh crepes all day long, you can have a choice of your own filling or just have them plain. from 6 Dh to 12 Dh . (less than a £1.) tea & coffee is around 5 Dh. also try the small cakes at the front , which are 2dh, they also do pure sugar cane juice squeezed in front of you through a machine.
The freshly squeezed orange juice carts are an absolute bargain at 4Dh, just make sure the glasses are clean, or carry your own.
Exchange rate is around 12 / 13Dh to £1.
get the money changed at the square in Marrakesh (jema el fna) exchange offices clearly marked and lit up, they are on ” Rue Bab Agnaou” which is a walkway leading to Djemaa el fna from the main road, where the taxis are parked up and the Hotel Tazi is located.
Its always difficult judging money when your in a new country and the currency is different. Advice would be to look at your Dh currency in the following way:
£1 = 10 Dh, so 1Dh is equal to 10p roughly.
10 Dh is equal to £1. and so on
This way you will be better able to judge the value of something , for example what would you pay for a pack of pocket tissues in the UK ? 30 or 40p take a third off that for morocco and they cost 2-3 Dh. a coffee? £2 , morocco £1 to £1.50 small local cafes will be even less, around 50 to 60p
Take a cheap handset with you in case you lose it or it gets damaged, make sure it is unlocked, which means it will accept any network sim card, most small mobile phone retailers in the uk sell new unlocked handsets from £20. eg. Nokia 100.
Buy a sim card, at the time of this review “ INWI “ sim card (20 Dh), which were the best value and cheapest calls and apparently Internet is free on inwi, if you have an Internet phone . If your in a group and you need to contact each other this is the best method. The sim cards cost 20 Dh and they come with the same amount of credit on them. However you may have problems trying to buy it for 20 Dh on the street, if you ask anyone selling them they will try and charge you more. Best way to buy it is to ask them for an inwi sim card and just hand over 20dh, if they don't accept it walk away and try someone else, there are so many sellers, it wont be a problem.
The glass cabinet telephone people are probably the cheapest to buy from.
Coach service to and from Agadir and Marrakesh
Supra Tours and CTM, they go every couple of hours, journey time is approx. 2 hours 30 min. Cost is 100 Dh each way.