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« Baku, Azerbaijan | Main | All That Azeri Jazz »

Wednesday, 30 August 2006



I would love to get onboard. Next trip is to Hoi An, Vietnam in mid October. B1 thinks that I am a SUPERWOMAN, able to travel and come back a week before Hari Raya. Hari Raya is such a stomach-clenching time for me, what with 2 days open house with around 1,000 visitors that I HAVE TO COOK FOR!!!!!

However, since my kittens have advised me to go, I will go. And I will bring my camera along this time.

And I am very sure that my kittens will help me to COOK during my open house...... LOL


My dearest DeeT, thank you for leaving such an interesting comment! You know I love you but in my defence I didn't use my card in Baku hence had no idea how difficult it is to use one over there. Am so glad you and your other half went to Fire Mountain. Azerbaijan actually means Land of Fire! Methinks I should get you onboard and do postings on your trips abroad for me, how about it? Hugabugs xx


Dearest Emma,
Yes, you did a wonderful job scouting around Baku for places of Retail Therapy for me. Unfortunately, you left out 1 MAJOR DETAIL!!!


So for people like me who do not bring lots of cash (in my case, its because my dearest hubby hasn't put a limit on my credit card, TOUCH WOOD, he puts a limit on my cash though, I lurve you B1), please take note of this VERY IMPORTANT FACT. Bring lots of US$. ATM machines are not so reliable either.
Things to buy:
1) Beluga Caviar: 113gms for app US$50 (in Europe, it costs around US$300)
2) Azerbaijani carpets: Pile or Pile-less (Pile carpets are nice and thick) Be prepared to spend around US$300 for a decent one. My personal favourites are the Garabagh (flowery) and Tabriz (historical scenes) carpets.
3) Paintings: They have some very good art galleries. I fell in love with a painting of Shirvanshah Palace (I had a tour of it). It cost US$1,000, so I had to kiss it goodbye. Thank you very much EMMA!!

For everyone's info, all art items (carpets, paintings, sculptures, etc.) need an export permit, even if they only cost US$50. You can get the permit from the Museum of Arts.

As per Emma's recommendation, hubby and I went to Fire Mountain (about 1 hour's drive from the capital). It was more like a hill rather than a mountain. Bukit Shahbandar is higher, maybe the Tourism Department can rename it Mount Shahbandar! It had rained the whole morning of my tour, we arrived at Fire Mountain at around 2pm. Believe it or not, fire was still coming out at the foot of the hill. The ground was wet and muddy (bloody cold too). Hubby and I lit up our ciggies with the fire that was coming out from the cracks. I happily warmed up my cold, aching bones and butt too. However, I was told that on a normal hot dry day, we wouldn't have been able to get too near.

Apparently, this mountain has had fire coming out from the cracks around it since way before Allah spoke to Nabi Musa. Azerbaijan is so rich with oil and gas, they produce 200,000 barrels per day and have reserves for up to 100 years (as opposed to Brunei's 100,000 barrels and estimated to last for another 15 years ONLY).

People used to be Fire Worshippers. I recall a story I read in 'The Bible Story Hour' (I read everything, okay) where Nabi Musa said that Allah spoke to him from a burning bush. I think that this explains the burning bush question that I have been wondering about.

I visited lots of museums and historical places. Azerbaijan is a beautiful place that places a very high value on her arts. I believe this is due to having lost so many of her art pieces (and people) when they were under Russian rule.

Russia gave away the southern part of Azerbaijan inclusive of 38 million people to Iran. This is where the best carpet making people lived (note the beautiful Iranian carpets, many of them are made by those former Azeris!).

Russia also gave away part of western Azerbaijan to Georgia, splitting her into 2 parts. If you look at her map, its something like Brunei with Limbang separating Temburong from the others. I can't remember how many million people were given away, all I can remember is that Azeris can't drive through Georgia to get to Nakhchivan, they have to fly. On a plane lah...

Oh yeah, the late President Heydar Aliyev came from Nakhchivan. I swear, I fell in love with him. I saw a picture of him (at the Heydar Aliyev Foundation) wearing his army officer's uniform and it was love at first sight! What is it about men in army officers uniforms? Apparently, many Azeri women felt the same, maybe that's why he became the 1st President of Azerbaijan. He was also a very sweet and kind man who waited many years to marry his wife (some political whatnot lah), never remarried after she died (I think he died around 15 or so years later).

Anyway, whatever it is, I AM IN LOVE WITH HEYDAR ALIYEV.

I must say that I truly enjoyed my trip to Azerbaijan, more so because I had a personal translator, a very sweet 18 yr old International Relations student by the name of Miss Gunay Hashimova AND a chauffeur driven mercedes S350.... Yeehaaa.... Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera nor my recently purchased DVD video camera, sorry Emma, sorry again B1.

However, I would have enjoyed it more if someone had told me to bring lots of cash.......

Official website:
p.s. I couldn't find that yummy picture of Mr. Aliyev during his army days. Damn...


some trendy. some not. Yea its true la, the more money you have , the more Bazaar, the more Vogue, the more Rush you can afford. The more money the more Gucci. It can be fake..but so long you have Vogue. You're in good hands :) but that's just me.

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