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Tequila has to be one of the ultimate party drinks. It can be knocked back neat, swallowed in between a lick of salt and a bite of lime, or added to a host of cocktails, and it is a staple in bars and clubs in many countries around the world.
The beverage is made in Mexico from the blue agave plant, which looks like a cactus but is in fact a relative of the lily. Farmers remove its sharp leaves by hand, leaving just the heart of the plant. This is then steamed in brick ovens to convert its starches to sugars, before it is passed through a mill to produce a sweet water. This liquid is fermented with yeast and distilled to create tequila. Broadly speaking, there are four types of the tipple and these are white, gold, rested and aged.
For parties and nights out, tequila cocktails are perfect and the margarita is the most popular cocktail in the UK. To make this drink, the beverage is added to orange liqour and fresh lime juice, and it is served with ice cubes and a lime wedge garnish. For best results, the glass should have a salted rim too.
Nobody could accuse Dubai of hiding its lights under a bushel, and some features of the desert kingdom – like a miniature world map made out of artificial islands – might seem kitsch. But that is also part of the appeal. There are loads of great Dubai holiday packages out there, and if you go for one, why not just embrace the pleasures on offer in this most unlikely of places. Here’s a top three of things to see and do if you get a chance.
Wild Wadi Water Park
Wadi means valley or dry river bed in Arabic, but there is nothing dry about the Wild Wadi Water Park, one of Dubai’s best active holiday destinations. Located just in front of the luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel, the park is one of the largest and most sophisticated of its kind anywhere in the world. There are thirty rides, all themed around a tale from Arabian folklore. Among them is the Wipeout Flowrider, a surfing experience that blasts out more than seven tonnes of water per second in a thin stream across a moulded foam sheet – perfect for body boarding without having to worry about the timing to catch the wave.
Dubai Gold Souk
There are many souks (traditional street markets) in the downtown area of the city, selling goods such as spices, textiles and fish. However the most amazing is probably the gold souk. With every trader competing to offer the most glittering display, it feels like walking through a true Aladdin’s cave of treasures. Arab countries have a well-known tradition of bartering, and nowhere is this more in evidence than in the gold souk of Dubai. If you are used to paying the price on the label, it can feel strange at first to come in with a lower offer, but soon you will get used to it and be bargaining with the best of them.
Alongside the wealth and hedonism, Dubai has a fascinating culture that’s crying out to be explored. The beautiful Jumeirah Mosque is a good place to start. They operate an open-doors policy meaning you don’t have to be Muslim to go inside, though modest dress is recommended. Combining the 75 minute tour with a meal hosted by an Emirati guide is a superb way to get to know more about how Dubai has preserved its traditions amidst the boom of the past decade.
* This is a Guest Post
“Ang tigas talaga ng ulo mo!”
I’ve heard that statement a lot of times. From my family, friends and those sincerely care about me. I may look like a pa-demure woman because of how I dress up or how I blog, but there is this side of me wherein I fight for what I believe in even if everything is doubtful about it. I am a bit of a rebel, but in a good way.
I am back here in Bangkok. It is my 11th day outside the Philippines and I am now exploring the city on my own. I am bound to go on a long trip somewhere in Thailand later and I am not even sure why I am so determined even if I only have enough money here. As in sakto lang for meals and minimal expenses.
I want to explore some parts of Thailand while I still can but I also do miss the company of my friends who are now in Siem Reap. It’s just that I feel the need to move and start doing things on my own.