My favorite place to take tourists

Post by Mark

I have a friend visiting Kuwait for a few days and last night around midnight I took him to my favorite touristic hotspot in Kuwait, the water towers in Adailiya. I love that place and in the middle of the night when it’s vacant it’s a very chilled and beautiful place.

The Adailiya water towers got cleaned up and painted around a year ago so they look really pretty during the day and night. They’re located inside a park that’s open 24/7 which means you can pass by them at anytime. You can also walk up extremely close to them since the fence surrounding the towers is very very close. I also think you can get a lot more nicer shots (selfies) at the water towers when compared to the Kuwait Towers since the water towers are not as tall and since there are a few of them all huddled very closely, they easily show in all your shots.

So if you ever have visitors and are looking for a cool place to take them to, I would highly recommend the Adailiya water towers any time after midnight. Here is their location on [Google Maps]


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The Peruvian Food Festival

Post by Mark

Yesterday I was invited to the Peruvian Food Festival that is currently taking place this week at JW Marriott. I wasn’t planning to go at first but then I told myself I didn’t want to be one of those people who complain about nothing to do in Kuwait when in fact there are things to do and I just wasn’t doing them. The food festival is organized by the Peruvian embassy and they brought in three chefs from Peru as well as some Peruvian dancers. During various stages of the dinner the dancers would perform the traditional Peruvian dances and I thought was pretty entertaining. The food was also really interesting with lots of new flavors I hadn’t experienced before.

If you’re looking for something to do this week then this festival is on until the 15th of March. Having dinner while watching dancers perform is something you generally don’t see taking place in Kuwait so take advantage of this opportunity. The cost is KD15 per person (it’s an open buffet) and is from 7pm to 11pm at La Brasserie in JW Marriott Hotel.


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Star Trails Session IV

Post by Mark

Calling all photographers, if you’re interested in taking part in a group activity then this is a good one. Star trails photography involves long exposure shots of either the sky or landscapes where the movement of the stars in the sky form light trails in your shots (similar to the shot above). Not only will you end up with some interesting shots but its also a great way to meet new people.

Here is a list of gear you need to bring:
1. A DSLR
2. A tripod
3. Bring extra batteries or at least fully charge yours
4. A high capacity memory card
5. Shutter release
6. Food
7. Flashlights
8. Mat or chair to sit on

The meetup point will be the Mishref CO-OP parking lot on March 15th at 6PM. For more details check this [Link]

Photo above taken by Saleh AlRashaid

Thanks Kim


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Next time you’re in Lebanon, Paraglide!

Post by Mark

I’m currently in Lebanon for the weekend and earlier today I went paragliding. Now that I’ve tried it I think everyone should when they visit Lebanon the next time since it’s a pretty cool experience. It wasn’t something I had planned to do, I was snowboarding with a friend and during a break we started talking and I found out he paraglides. So I told him I wanted to try it and he called his friend up and we booked an appointment for 2PM. Once we were done snowboarding we headed to the take off location which was high up in the mountain above the area Jounieh. The view was obviously spectacular and the weather was fantastic.

It was me and another girl who were planning to paraglide. It’s a tandem flight meaning you fly while strapped to an expert. You start off high up in the mountain and end up down right next to the sea (where I am pointing in the picture above). There was only one expert so the girl went first and I waited for them to land and get back up. The spot we were taking off from is a popular location and right after they left, 3 military men (I think they were French) arrived and also took off in sequence.

To take off the wind speed and direction need to be right and when it was my turn we didn’t have to wait long to go. I was strapped to the paraglider and when he told me run I had to run. Then suddenly just like that we were up in the air. It was an incredible feeling and surprisingly not very scary. The only parts that were freaky for me was when I was Instagramming the picture above live while up in the sky since I was worried I would drop my phone while doing so. The second scary part was when he gave me the controls to fly for a bit. It’s pretty simple to work but still the idea that I was flying the thing was freaky. The whole flight took around 20 minutes.

So yeah if you’re in Lebanon the next time you should definitely give this a try. The whole experience cost me just $120. To book an appointment call Caroline on +9613559992 or visit their website for more details [Here]


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A Day in Jahra

Post by Mark

Over the weekend I visited Jahra for the first time with a friend and I have to say it turned out to be a lot more interesting than I was expecting it to be. Below are some things I would recommend doing if you do decide to visit (listed in the order I visited):

Al Sabeenat
Al Sabeenat is a traditional Kuwaiti restaurant located in Jahra. The place is pretty spacious and on a Friday for lunch we had no trouble at all finding a place to sit. I had the morabyen and it was pretty good and price wise they seemed similar to Freej Swaileh. The restaurant is also located near a resort, a mall and The 99 Village which makes it a convenient starting point. Here is their location on [Google Maps]

Random Art
I found this by chance hidden behind a building and I thought it was pretty cool and very random. There were two walls, one had bicycles mounted all over it while the other had designs created with hubcaps. To find the place you need to enter the mall near Al Sabeenat and come out the other side where you will find a Red Tag store. The two walls are located behind Red Tag so you need to make your way to the back of that building (there are some hidden stairs behind the mosque). Here is the location on [Google Maps]

The 99 Village
Take an amusement park and slap some stickers with The 99 superhero characters and you end up with The 99 Village. Wasn’t that disappointing a visit since they had a sack slide which I was able to slide down a few times. But sadly they didn’t let me jump on the trampolines. Here is the location on [Google Maps]

Hungry Bunny
Hungry Bunny was one of the first fast food burger joints in Kuwait and so it holds a big nostalgia factor. I had the Super Bunny and I thought it was pretty decent and tasted very similar to what I recall a Super Bunny tasting like in the 80s. But, unless you have childhood memories of the place, Hungry Bunny might not be for you. Here is the location on [Google Maps]

Red Fort
We ended our visit to Jahra with a tour of the Red Fort (or Red Palace). The Red Fort was the site of the Battle of Jahra in 1920 between Kuwaiti and Saudi forces and so has historical importance. The fort was smaller than I expected it to be and not that exciting as well but entrance was free and it was nice to walk around inside. Here is the location on [Google Maps]

Even though nothing we visited had a wow factor, when combined all these places provided for a pretty entertaining afternoon.


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Bungee Jumping at Marina Crescent

Post by Mark

Today is the last day if you want to do this. [YouTube]


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Cinemagic rooftop movie schedule for the holidays

Post by Mark

If you’re staying in Kuwait during the holidays then this is something you can do. Below is the Cinemagic’s rooftop movie schedule starting this Thursday:

Thursday February 21st, 2013 at 7:30PM
THE WHITE RIBBON
Winner of the 2009 Palme D’or at Cannes, and directed by living maser Michael Haneke. Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.

Saturday February 23rd, 2013 at 7:30PM
BULLHEAD
Nominated for best foreign film at the 2011 Oscars, and winner of many international awards for best film and best actor. A young cattle farmer is approached by a veterinarian to make a deal with a notorious beef trader. But the assassination of a federal policeman, and an unexpected confrontation with a mysterious secret from Jacky’s past, set in motion a chain of events with far reaching consequences.

Thursday February 28th, 2013 at 7:30PM
THE CLASS
Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, as well being on over 20 top ten of the year lists, The Class follows teacher and novelist François Bégaudeau who plays a version of himself as he negotiates a year with his racially mixed students from a tough Parisian neighborhood.

Cinemagic Kuwait, is organizing these events as part of its efforts to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Kuwaiti audio-visual production industry, partly by bringing the filmmakers and audiences together and by Increasing the public’s interest in – and appreciation for – the art of film-making. Cinemagic movies are screened in the old Salmiya, on the roof on top of Alghanim Electronics and LG and there is no entrance fee. Here is a link to their Facebook group [Link]


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Kuwait City Museums

Post by Mark

Over the weekend I decided to pass by three museums with a friend of mine. All three museums are located right next to each other so you could cover them all in under two hours. There’s actually a fourth museum right next to the Maritime Museum which you could visit as well, the Modern Art Museum, but they were closed when I passed by.

Maritime Museum
Our first stop was the Maritime Museum which is located opposite Souk Sharq. It’s easy to spot since they have to large wooden ships parked outside with a miniature light house [Google Maps]. The museum is pretty nicely designed on the inside, it’s two floors and pretty modern looking with a ship like structure being the main inspiration to the design. They have a lot of sea related items on display from old tools used to build the ships to fishermen gear. Really worth checking out.

Here is their visiting hours:

Monday to Saturday
8:30AM to 12:30PM and 4:30PM to 8:30PM

Friday
4:30PM to 8:30PM

Dickson House Cultural Centre
Further up the road was the Dickson House Cultural Centre. The Dickson House served as offices and residences for the British Political Agents in the early 1900’s. I didn’t like this place much since there wasn’t much to see inside and the whole interior was refurbished but not to the original state. The outdoor yard in the back on the other hand was nice and the Dickson House caretaker Fayez, whom one of my readers nicknamed the Tour Guide Nazi (in reference to Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi) was a really interesting character. I actually enjoyed sitting on the bench in the yard chatting with him more than the actual tour. [Google Maps]

Here is their visiting hours:

Monday to Saturday
8:30AM to 11:30AM and 4:30PM to 8:30PM

Friday
4:30PM to 8:30PM

Amricani Cultural Centre
The final destination was the Amricani Cultural Centre which is located across the street from the House of Parliament. The Amricani was originally the American Mission Hospital and just recently got renovated and opened to the public. Lectures and exhibitions take place there occasionally but when I passed by there wasn’t anything going on. They do have a 20 minute movie you can watch about the history of the hospital but personally I’d go there just to see their freaky looking display. It’s a small corner showing how the hospital used to look like when it first opened but it really looks like a scene from the movie SAW. Definitely worth checking out. They didn’t have opening hours displayed and I couldn’t find anything on their website but my guess it’s similar to the other two museums above. [Google Maps]

Monday to Saturday
8:30AM to 11:30AM and 4:30PM to 8:30PM

Friday
4:30PM to 8:30PM

All the museums above are free of charge to enter.


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A day at the Kuwait Camel Race Track

Post by Mark

Yesterday me and some friends headed to the Kuwait Camel Race Club in Kabd. I had never been to a camel race before and when my friend proposed it I figured it would be something exciting to do on a quiet Saturday afternoon. My friend got in contact with a person at the track so when we got there we had a guide waiting for us.


[YouTube]

The guide got into the car with us and took us past the security gate into the center of the race track where the camel owners drive alongside their camels during the race. The Kuwait Camel Club no longer use human jockeys but instead use robotic ones due to the controversial child jockey problems faced in the past. During the race the camel owners drive down the track alongside their camels controlling their robot jockeys with wireless controllers. The guide made me tune into 93.1mhz on the FM radio because there was a live broadcast of the actual race so we could follow it that way. You could watch the short video above to get a feel of the view from inside the car. During the start of every race all the cars drive to the starting line where the owners make last checks on their camels. The camels don’t start in front of the spectators stand but 3KM away from the finish line. Once the camels are ready they are lined up and the race begins. The cars drive alongside the camels all the way to the finish line and then the cars drive back to the starting line to check on the other set of camels. We did this maybe five or six times until all the races had been finished and then we drove back to the spectator stands.

There was a black tent near the track where the winner was given his prize. Afterwards we were invited to some dates with camel butter and camel milk. The butter was absolutely delicious and even the milk didn’t taste bad at all, kinda like something between buttermilk and laban.

If you’re interested in visiting the tracks to watch a race it’s very easy to find and do. Take the 6th Ring Road and if 360 Mall is on your right keep heading straight past the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium. Keep driving until you pass the new Kuwait University campus on your left (currently just hills and hills of sand surrounded by hoarding) and then after that in a bit you’ll see a sign for the 604 exit. Once you take the exit stop at the traffic light and then take a left and pass under the bridge. Then keep driving straight until you get to a roundabout, drive straight past that roundabout and keep driving until you get to a second roundabout. Once again pass that roundabout and keep driving until you hit the third roundabout. At the third roundabout go left and then head all the way till the end of the road. Once your read the end go right until you get to the end of the road again and you’ll spot the Kuwait Camel Club on your left. The whole ride shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes. There is no entrance fee and races are held every Saturday from 2:30pm between October and April. Here is the location on [Google Maps]


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