Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hotel Stay report for Movenpick Hotel, Karachi

For quiet a while, I have been hoping to stay at movenpick hotel, karachi.
They seemingly offered a great weekend package for families which was priced at around US$ 100 / night for 2 adults / 2 children including breakfast.

I booked the room over the phone and requested for early check-in by 12 pm which was easily accommodated as their regualr check-in time is 2 pm.

Check-in
On check-in the lobby was nice with good security and valet parking for visitors and guests.
My children liked the first look of the hotel.

On check-in i requested for late check out which was also accommodated.

The Room
The room was big with balcony and facing the pool and side of the chief minister house.
It was quiet enough for a family of 5, with 2 children and 1 infant. It comes with tea and coffee making facility and complimentary water bottles.

Hotel Room - Quiet spacious for a family of 5.

View from the room

View from the room - Pool View
The Pool
The pool was good and relaxing and quiet alright.
however, the washrooms by the pool were not maintained and note nicely kept. There was no soap in the soap dispenser and the doors to the change room were broken. It seemed that the washrooms are not maintained regularly.


Hotel Bed.

The Breakfast
The breakfast was grand and scrumptious with a wide variety of dishes including breads, eggs, and other dishes. All in all it was a grand breakfast which was be easily classified as a brunch rather than a breakfast. The selection of rice, mushrooms, fish, chicken and vegetable dishes.

Verdict
For the price and service this is totally worth hotel to stay and try, specially for the breakfast. This is a nice getaway for your stay in karachi, where you will feel secured and at ease.








Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Quaid e Azam House Museum, karachi

Quaid e Azam House Museum is located on main sh-e-faisal, just opposite metropole and / or avair tower.

This has been the residence of Quaid e Azam. The building is nostalgic and takes you to pre-partition era.
You can visit the various rooms which were under the use of quaid e azam.
One thing of interest was the the main drawing room, where Quaid-e-Azam used to hold important meetings of All India Muslim League.

Another thing of interest was the dinning room on the first floor which was specifically used by Quaid-e-Azam and Fatima Jinnah specially for breakfast.

This is a must visit place for history lovers and it takes you back in time about the life style of the founding father of pakistan.

Visiting times daily except wednesday: 9 am - 4 pm
Entry is free


Passage to rear entrance

Main building

Rear Entrance Area.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Halal Street Food in Guangzhou, China

On my recent tour to china, I was able to experience Halal Street Food in guangzhou, china.
The food was served by local chinese muslims and mainly consist of roasted / grilled chicken and fish which is served with bread and spicy salad.

This is a must try halal street food dish in china, specially if you love grilled items.
The fish, cost RMB 25 and was amazing, soft, juciy and just as i like it.

The chicken was equally good and cost the same RMB 25.
Bread RMB 2
Salad: Complimentay

Halal Street Food Stall in Guanzhou, China


We tasted this street food near the main guanzhou railway station. The nearest metro station was Sunyanli metro station. Exit sunyanli metro station, take exit C and then walk towards the guanzhou metro station.

 The footpaths is lined with street vendors selling from clothings, glasses, hand bags, children garments, toys etc.

The street specially comes to live at night as it is near to the main wholesale market and many people who are out on business during the day, explore the streets at night.

The street it self is popular among pakistanis, indians and african national as it is near the main wholesale market.

So if you are in guangzhou, you should try the halal street food, 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Halal Food in Canton Fair 2016, Guangzhou China

I have travelled to china several times, but this time i travelled there to attend the canton fair.
Canton Fair is held twice a year. Once in April - May and then second in October.

Each fair has 3 phases, ranging to a vast variety of products.

I have been trying to get the visa in time to attend the first phase as it is relevant to my business type.
However, I was unable to get the visa in time, and hence visited china for the second phase.

View of Canton Fair, 2016, China

View of Canton Fair, 2016, China


The exhibition is huge, spread across several square meters and caters to a wide range of products.

One thing interesting was the availability of halal food at the canton fair food court.
The food was halal chinese food, with some variety of beef and chicked. The food was fine and good for the taste and apetite, though my friend did not like it, but it was good enough for me.

China seems to be having a growing number of halal food options for the muslim visitors.

Food Court with Halal Food Area

Halal Food Counter in Canton Fair, China 2016


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Karachi Airport. The Bad and the Ugly

Karachi Airport is the busiest Airport of Pakistan. On my recent flight from Karachi Airport, I feel that the airport needs major refurbishment, uplift and more easier system.

As I entered the main departure building, my luggage was first scanned by the scanner machines of the Airport security force. After passing that, I was greeted by Custom Officers who were inquiring me with all sorts of questions like my destination, the purpose of my visit, duration of my visit and my profession.

If you are lucky you can pass thru custom officers without having them open your luggage. But if they decide to check your luggage, they will open your luggage on an open type table, infront of several on looking eyes. My luggage and its belongings are very personal and private to me and I do not feel alright to have my bag inspected infront of everyone.

After being done with the customs, I was greeted by Anti Narcotic Force (ANF) who had similar questions as that of custom officials. So if they let you pass thru then you are lucky, else once again you are made to open your bags and having your belongings inspected by the ANF officials.

After passing thru the ANF counter, I went to the airline check-in counter for the boarding pass. I then went to the immigration counter. After passing thru the immigration counter, there was another counter named “FIA Immigration RE-checking counter”. Apparently, here they checked that my passport was stamped correctly by the immigration officer, but yet again these people asked somewhat similar questions as I have been answering ever since entering the airport.




Finally, after passing all these hurdles, I went into the main departure lounge.

Main Departure Area / Gates

The main departure lounge had only two or three washrooms with only two toilets each. There were long ques to use the toilet and need for more washrooms was greatly felt.


Over the years air travel has increased many folds and the need to upgrade Karachi Airport facilities and system is felt everytime I travel.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

National Museum of Pakistan, Karachi

I always wanted to visit this museum, which is location near arts council, opposit DJ college and Tax Ombudsman.

I was visiting there for a some work and had some time, so i thought to visit it.

The place is good, with moderate collection from mohejodaro, gandhara, budha statues, prehistoric to independence day stuff. Collection of different manuscript of quranic verses.

The place is well maintained and kept, unlike for a pakistan heritage site.
Pity the place is not much visited, there were just very few people visiting the museum at that time, however it has something for history lovers, having collection from pre-historic times, gandhara, mohejodaro, dubha etc to partition time.

All in all it was not that bad.




Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dreamworld Resort, Hotel & Golf Course, Karachi. Rooms and facilities review

Dreamworld resort and hotel is a resort in Karachi, which is a bit outside the city.
The resort is membership based, however rooms are available for non members on a special price.

The rooms are well laid and maintained with free wi-fi internet, free mini bar and use of their facilities like bowling, swimming, archery, horse riding, buggy ride etc.

The washrooms in the room are well kept.

The hotel is good for long weekends or getaway. The resort also has 4 restaurant offering variety of food, but my pick is cafe lagoon, which has a good selection of burgers and steaks.

They also offer night facilities which are open well into the night upto 5 am.

While resort is huge, you may not find it over crowded except at the pool area and washrooms around the pool where people tend to be loud.

Over all its a good experience to spend some time at the resort.

Suite Room - Living Area

View from Balcony of Deluxe Room

View from Suite Room

View from Suite Room

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Trip to Manora beach by local boat

Karachi is full of tourist spot, it is just that we need to understand and develop the trend of tourism in this city which has a mix of old and new, modern and historical. However, tourism in Karachi is neglected by both the locals and government.

Recently, I along with my few friends decided to visit manora island and beach for a evening.

For this we went to Keamari Jetty to take a boat to manora island. Many public boats flock to an fro from manora on daily basis with a one way fare of Rs. 50 / person.

However, we decided to hire our own private local boat. After some barganing we hired a boat for 3 of us for Rs. 1200 (Rs. 400 / person ) for 2-way trip.

We were accompanied by 2 other passengers, so the boat was sory of semi-private.

The trip to manora from Keamari takes about 20 minutes, and you dont really get a feeling that you are in deep open sea as manora is very much near the karachi port.

Once we reached manora jetty, we paid the entrance toll to manora which was Rs. 10 / person.
Once inside manora, it looked quiet impressive as the area is under pakistan navy. The roads were smooth and clean as per pakistani standards and many shops were selling drink, eatables etc.

WE took a local suzuki carry to take us to the beach. The fare was Rs. 20 / per person.
It took less than 5 minutes to reach the beach.

Once we were at the beach area, it was worth the visit.

The Road leading to the beach area. Clean and Crisp.
The facilities at the beach were also an added advantage which you do not find easily in other beaches of Karachi. There were clean washrooms, place to wash your feet once you are out from the beach, and eateries.

Manora Tower in the background. Eateries and Washrooms.

The beach itself was clean, well maintained and many people were enjoying there on a saturday evening which is not a holiday. The environment and location seemed clean, impressive and secure.

View of Manora Beach

Since we were on a short trip, we spent less than an hour at the beach before heading back to karachi.
All in all it was a memorable trip, and longer duration can be planned easily, as the place is easily accessible, secure and clean.

So we took a suzuki back to the manora jetty, and headed back to karachi before sunset.

Approaching Karachi's Keamari Jetty.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Burj Khalifa, "At the top"

On this recent trip to dubai, I booked online tickets for Burj Khalifa "At the top"
I booked the ticket for a fixed date and fixed time which was around AED 125 / per person

Express ticket, which can be purhcased at the spot is AED 500 / per person

So it is better to book in advance either online or from the ticket counter at burj khalifa for a fixed date / time ticket which is far cheaper.

We went there at around 3 pm. The skies were clear and it was a good view from the top which was 125th Floor of burj khalifa.

The views were stunning with a 360 degree viewing of dubai from the top.

Lift, which takes to 125th floor in 60 seconds


View from the Top of Burj Khalifa

View from the Top


Al Mamzar Beach Park, Dubai Beach and Chalet Rental

On my recent trip to dubai, I wanted to spend some time on the beach.

I read and heard about mamzar beach park in dubai which is a bit off the city but a good park.
Another good thing is that they offer chalet rental, which can be rented from the park itself, or dubai muncipality office in dubai or online on the dmc.gov.ae website.

A friend of mine staying in dubai booked the chalet for me.

The chalet is at the extreme end of the park which makes it a bit private as that part is not much visited by the people but had to walk a long way to reach the chalet.

The chalet was nicely build with refrigerator, satellite tv channels, completely air conditioned, with small kitchenette which included a sink and cabinets and a 4 seater sofa and complete washroom with toilet and shower facility and running hot and cold water.


View from Inside the Chalet

Small Kitchenette with Sink

Sitting Area with sofas, table, refrigerator, tv and Air conditioning

Chalet

Chalet Washroom


The out door patio had sitting area and barbecue area.

This was a great chalet for a beach day with lots of place to sit and barbecue and direct access to the beach. My family loved it the most.

The chalet was well kept and maintained which was very surprising to us, but hats off to the dubai municipality.

We rented a small chalet which was AED 150 / day timing from 8 am till 10 pm.

We took a bus to the mamzar beach park. The bus route was C28, which we took from REEF Mall / Salah Al din metro station and it dropped us right outside the beach park.

Bus fare was around AED 3 / person / one way
Park Entrance: AED 5 / person


Here is a brief walkthru video of the chalet