I've heard and read about how overwhelming it can be in the Medina of Marrakech, and before embarking on a walking tour of the area, I searched diligently for a tour guide that would take away all my worries and address my concerns. Thank god, I found Saeed online! I am quite impressed with what I've read on his website "Marrakech by Locals" as well as, the many people here on Trip Advisor who has given him excellent reviews. I would like to echo their sentiment. In all my travels, Saeed is by far one of, if not, THE BEST tour guide I've met. Why is this so? Because I payed attention to him from beginning to end and did not roll my eyes whenever he cracks a joke.
More often than not, when I am in the company of a tour guide, I have this tendency to drift away and ignore most of what they are saying (opting to read about the places I see via guide books or the internet after i've come home instead). no disrespect to these other hard working people, but it always felt like all the information a tour guide says is just a distraction from my photography. However with Saeed, my photography has taken a back seat, and listened eagerly to the next information he will impart. That's how brilliant he is!
Did I just say he's BRILLIANT? Yes! He is! In the span of 3 hours or so, I've learned so much about Morocco, the city of Marrakech and the way of life in the Medina without the feeling of having information overload. His jokes are well-timed and well-intended without being forced or corny. I think we spent a lot of time laughing as we made our way through the medina. He is very patient and flexible too. Since I was with my mother on the tour, he would always look back to check on her and adjust the pace we are going. Me and my mother, really had a great time! I would say, we were well taken care of. Most importantly, I found Saeed to be a very genuine and kind person, at the end of the day he even dropped by the Riad to give my mother a little present, which is very nice of him.
I could go on and on about how good Saeed is, but you will never really get to know what I'm talking about unless you seek his services when you are in Marrakech. A day before we met Saeed, we were told by another guide that Saeed's rates was higher than others in city, probably a desperate attempt to have me hire this other guide instead, however i was not swayed. I went with my gut and did not cancel with Saeed, i'd rather pay premium and not be hassled. Besides, that is the point of Saeed's services, clearly stated on his website and attested by many people. No matter how much my mother (and sometimes, myself) love to shop, I really would like to keep it separate from sightseeing, specially in a place like beautiful Marrakech. Everything is done in a cultural perspective and should you want to go shopping, you can do it after the walking tour. Which is what we did.
I guess with all the insider tips Saeed has given us about how to deal with the locals, how to take photos in the souks, bargaining, and choosing which stall to eat at Jemaa el-Fna, he gave us all the confidence we needed to go back to the souks after our tour with him. That afternoon, we had fun in the souk by ourselves, all the while applying what Saeed has taught us. For that, I am truly grateful for him. My only regret is that I wish we could have stayed longer and maybe take him to dinner and just hang out like friends i know we are going to be for a long time.
So, to anyone who is interested in hiring Saeed as a guide, i highly recommend him - PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE! Drop me a message, and i will personally vouch for him.
Thank you Saeed, hopefully one day when i come back to morocco we can have tea and share more stories again!
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