Hajj and Umrah are both holy pilgrimages to Mecca performed by Muslims. Hajj is expected by all Muslims that have the physical and financial ability to make the trek. It is only done during the Holiest of Months (once a year).
Umrah is a pilgrimage to Mecca that is shorter but still shows the devotion of the participant.
Regardless of whether you decide to make a Hajj, Umrah, or both; read on to learn the things you must see.
Places to Visit During Your Hajj or Umrah
Both Makkah and Madinah are places of historic and religious significance making them the perfect addition to your Hajj or Umrah trip.
As with most trips, take the time to learn about the area before you arrive.
Mina is a valley approximately 3 miles east of Makkah. On your Umrah or Hajj you will gather with other Pilgrims on the 8th or 10th -13th to show you devotion. Many pilgrims also through stones from the Jamarat Bridge.
The stones are thrown, together, symbolically at the devil.
The mosque at Muzdalifah, is between the Arafat and the Mina. Most pilgrims make a day trip from Mina, and stay in Muzdalifah, until sunset. This allows them to optimize their time spend in prayers or devotion.
There is also a mosque for pilgrims to offer their prayers at the top hill of Muzdalifah.
Al Quba Mosque
The Al Quba mosque is one stop you should definitely include. The Prophet Muhammad stayed at this mosque when he reached Madinah.
There are many hotels that offer high-quality accommodations during your Umrah. Be sure to choose the one that best suits your needs.
A trip to Saudi Arabia and Mecca are not only for devout Muslims, the history of the land is powerful and can be a great historic adventure for any couple.
Jabbal-e-Noor is significant because it is the location where Allah shared the first words of the Quran. This holy cave is (Hira) is the place where the holy spirit Jibrael and the Prophet Muhammad first met.
Praying and prostrating in this location connects the devout to the foundation of the Muslim faith as you are literally walking in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad.
Cave Suhr is another sacred location on the path of Allah’s Apostle, providing a night of rest for Allah’s Apostle before continuing on to Medina.
These are just a few of the places you can visit on your Hajj or Umrah, there are many more to explore. Make sure you take your time planning your trip so you can hit as many of these historic and religious locations as possible based on your time and budget.
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A Quick Guide to Some of the Best Restaurants on Timog Avenue
Timog Avenue (and its neighboring street, Tomas Morato) is well-known among the hip and young of Metro Manila as the place to be for a night of drinks and parties. Still, there’s so much more to Timog than just craft beer, tasty cocktails, and pumping beats. Specifically, this long stretch of road in Quezon City is home to some of the best restaurants in town. It doesn’t matter if you love Japanese, Korean, Italian, or Chinese cuisine; you’re sure to find something here to satisfy your taste buds and your hungry tummy.
Are you ready for the ultimate gastronomic experience?
Here’s a shortlist of some of the best restaurants on Timog in Manilla, Philippines.
Steak 77, as the name suggests, is one of the best places to get juicy, flavorful steaks in the city. For something straightforward, go for the Steak 77 Ribeye. It has the perfect balance of seasonings, and it doesn’t come with any sauces or unnecessary frills that will distract you from the succulent, melt-in-your-mouth goodness of U.S. beef. Here, other must-try recipes include the Classic Ribeye, the Classic Kagoshima Wagyu A5 Ribeye, and the US Angus Tomahawk. For some decadent indulgence, order the rich and tender Osso Buco. Steak 77 is located near Santi’s Delicatessen, across Go Hotel Timog. Drop by one of these days to satisfy your steak cravings!
If you love sushi and maki, then you’ll love 81 Seihai. It’s a relatively new restaurant, with big, bold, and modern Japanese decor that stretches wall-to-wall and up to the ceiling. One of the best sellers at 81 Seihai is the Flaming Maki, which features a generous blanket of melted cheese and a dusting of togarashi for a spicy kick. Of course, there are also plenty of Japanese favorites on the menu like chicken karaage, gyoza, maki, ramen, and even wagyu cubes. There’s also a wide array of main dishes if you’re looking for a full meal, like the Beef Yakiniku Steak and the Grilled Salmon Teriyaki. The highlight of the restaurant, however, is their sushi specials. Executive Chef Ronnie de Guzman has more than ten years of experience in Japanese food preparation, so you know that every dish here is always up to stellar standards. If you’re looking for a chill night out with some delicious Japanese fare to go with it, 81 Seihai is the perfect place.
Seoul in Timog
Are you a big fan of eat-all-you-can Korean barbecue? How about Korean buffets? Well, Seoul in Timog offers both. This bright, spacious, and minimalistically designed restaurant has everything you want in an “unli samgyup” place: quality cuts of meat at affordable prices. What’s even better is that their Php 499 rate is already good for the eat-all-you-can Korean barbecue AND the buffet table. Talk about value for money! In addition, you don’t have to worry about falling in line for too long, since the restaurant is quite extensive and can seat a lot of people. If you prefer, you can come in at odd hours. They’re open from 11 AM to 7 AM of the following day! Make sure to try their herb-based pork for a delicate, aromatic flavor.
Causeway Seafood Restaurant
If you prefer Chinese food and dim sum in a family-style setting, Causeway Seafood Restaurant is a trusted name. You can find many Chinese favorites here, from spicy Gochujang noodles to wonton shrimp noodles. They also serve beancurd rolls, tausi-style dishes, white chicken, sweet and sour pork, and egg yolk pie. Visit Causeway from 2 PM to 6 PM for their half-price deal for those who love dim sum. The place often gets crowded, which means the service slows down during peak hours. Despite this, people keep coming back time and again to enjoy Causeway’s delicious food!
Cucina di Paulina
This Italian restaurant with a twist is located in 8 Seas Food Park. Just head up the stairs, and you’ll be greeted by this unassuming restaurant that serves creative and delicious food. The owner, Bombay Suarez, is a wrestler. He’s one of the pioneers of PWR (Philippine Wrestling Revolution), and he brings his passion for the PWR ring straight into the kitchen of Cucina di Paulina. You can see and taste this in dishes like the traditional Neapolitan style pizza and putok-batok pizza topped with bacon, chicharron, ham, Lechon kawali, Italian sausage, pepperoni, and sisig. Eat it at your own risk! If you’re more of a cheese aficionado than a meat-lover, then the Trio Formaggi is the pizza for you. For something lighter, go for the pasta dishes like the Pesto with Shrimp or the Truffled Chicken & Mushroom Alfredo.
These are just five of the many excellent restaurants and diners dotting the length of Timog Avenue. Give them a try the next time you’re craving some good food!
Las Vegas Restaurants You Need to Visit
There is no shortage of high-end restaurants in Las Vegas. The city is widely known for its top-notch cuisine and elaborate array of celebrity chef restaurants that cater to your every whim. But we settled on four that will absolutely blow your mind.
With endless decadence throughout the Las Vegas Strip, you can experience rare luxury and food that’s only available in Sin City.
MGM Resorts houses some of the best restaurants on the planet. Along with attracting some of the biggest names in the business, MGM and its affiliates provide world-class service and experiences that cannot be found anywhere else.
While we tried to be as fair and objective as possible in deciphering this list, it’s no surprise that most of these great places to grab one-of-a-kind grub are staples in MGM resort locations.
Who doesn’t want the best value? The most bang for your buck only happens when you earn special rewards on every purchase from MGM. Be sure to enhance your experience with the benefit of M life Rewards.
The options are endless and the delicacies are so delicious that it’s almost impossible to settle on a winner. With literally thousands of restaurants to choose from, MGM’s restaurants kept finding themselves at the top of the list.
Although it was hard to pick just four, here are the restaurants by famous chefs that will leave you absolutely speechless.
The only Las Vegas location of LA chef Roy Choi, Best Friend in the Park MGM Hotel and Casino has opened to rave reviews and is quickly gaining the reputation of the best Korean BBQ in Sin City.
Choi refers to his latest venture on the Las Vegas Strip as “a remixed and remastered collection of the evolution of Los Angeles.” From sweet to spicy, to finger-licking good, Best Friend is the hottest new place in Vegas.
The atmosphere is a twisted ‘90s hip hop theme and the food and music will make you feel like you are right at home with your best friend, Roy Choi.
When you are craving the highest of the high end, Joel Robuchon’s unparalleled French restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip is the only place to visit for the best French onion soup.
The high-end atmosphere is quiet and intimate, even though it is located at the heart of the Vegas Strip in the flagship MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.
Luxurious and intimate, Joel Robuchon is traditional French cuisine perfected. In the words of Chef Joel Robuchon, “to make a grand meal, you have to make it simple.”
Face it, when you’re in Vegas you have to try a high-end restaurant and Joel Robuchon is as good as it gets.
Morimoto Las Vegas
Everyone loves sushi, but not everyone can get authentic Japanese sushi and seafood from the Iron Chef himself, Morimoto. This restaurant is pure Las Vegas.
Contemporary design and a luxurious atmosphere makes Morimoto’s flagship restaurant in the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino a part of the complete Vegas experience.
From an elegant sushi bar, to “buri-bop” cooked tableside, the Iron Chef’s restaurant will leave your mouth watering for more.
No one has to search very far to know the name Wolfgang Puck. The most celebrated chef who ever lived is back with a brand-new adventure for your taste buds.
Cut is the breathtaking restaurant by the grandfather of celebrity chefs, Wolfgang Puck, in the new Palazzo Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. This particular hot spot carries its own member rewards. So, unlike the M life Rewards members, the deals may not be as sweet, but we still recommend sinking your teeth into their ribeye.
Enjoy some of the finest food in the world with an intimate dive into the culinary mastery of Wolfgang Puck.
When visiting Las Vegas, the choices for top-quality cuisine are endless, but with the right guide and the right rewards membership, dining in Sin City is a piece of cake.
M life Rewards from MGM is the premier rewards program that can be used internationally around the world. A complete list of restaurants and rewards levels can be found on their various location websites and signing up to earn massive rewards is quick and easy.
It’s why Forbes called it the best hotel and dining rewards program on the planet. Sign up today and start earning cash every time you dine, play, or relax at an MGM resort.
Best Countries to Visit for Gambling
Gambling is a popular pastime all over the world, with casinos and sports betting, in particular, being enjoyed by millions. While millions of people enjoy gambling, not every country is as open to it as others. For that reason, countries that do offer safe and legal gambling often experience greater tourism, with curious travelers keen to play at real casinos. Lots of countries around the world feature land-based casinos, and many places have online casinos now too. If you’re short of time on your trip or are taking a long train journey, playing at an online casino is a great way to enjoy some gambling. Below, we’ll look at the best countries to visit if you love to gamble.
The USA is quite a unique place in that the laws on gambling depend on which state you’re in. If you’re traveling to the US for gambling, it’s definitely recommended that you check out Atlantic City in New Jersey and Las Vegas in Nevada. These cities are home to some of the biggest and most exciting land-based casinos in the world. Las Vegas is very famous for its mega-casinos which include the MGM Grand and the Encore and the Mandalay Bay. All of these casinos are packed with tables to play games like blackjack and roulette, plus there are plenty of slots.
Atlantic City is also very popular among gamblers in the US, and New Jersey features legal online casinos too. This means that anyone over the age of twenty-one can legally sign up and play at a gambling site, enjoying a variety of games including live roulette and online slots. Online casinos make it easier than ever to enjoy casino gaming, and they’re a great way to pass the time if you’re waiting around or traveling.
Aside from the usual spots, the US has plenty of casinos throughout the country. In some states, there are tribal casinos available on tribal reservations, and many other states have legalized gambling in all areas. If you’re planning a road trip around the US, it’s definitely worth checking out a few of these on your way. You can stop off at all the major gambling states and have lots of fun along the way.
The UK has had legal gambling throughout the country since the 2000s and offers both land-based and online gambling. Some of the oldest and most interesting casinos in the world can be found in London, with the West End being home to lots of exciting gambling spots. Aside from casinos, the UK also has a strong presence of sports betting shops, and bets can be placed on everything from the latest Premier League football to the winner of the Eurovision song contest.
Bingo is also very popular in the UK, and this game is typically played at bingo halls. If you’ve never played before, it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re traveling to the UK. All sorts of different people love to play bingo and it’s a fun way to spend an evening. Throughout the country, the legal age for gambling is eighteen, and most casinos will require you to verify your ID before you can enter.
Monaco is a sovereign city-state located on the French Riviera. It’s one of the most glamorous destinations in Europe and frequently attracts high rollers from all over the world. As it’s not technically part of France, it sets its own laws, and gambling has been legal there for a long time.
Monte Carlo is the most famous area of Monaco due to its association with gambling, offering some of the most exciting land-based casinos. Here, gamblers can enjoy everything from blackjack and baccarat to the wheel of fortune, French roulette, and slots. When you’re not enjoying yourself at a land-based casino, you can head to the beach or take a trip out on a boat to enjoy the beautiful and warm Mediterranean sea.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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