$7 Private Boat Ride in BASRA IRAQ
Good evening, guys from another video here in Basra, and in today's video guys we're going to be exploring the evening time here in the city with my buddy Luke here. He's doing a quick little negotiation right here, and we're gonna go on one of the boats, and let's get out Google translate because that's how we get-- we get things going here. How much for a boat ride around the bridge? Let’s go for 30 minutes. Alright, we're gonna use handy dandy Google translate. Alright, here we go. Salam Alaikum [Peace be upon you]
Yeah 10,000 is a solid seven bones for us to go for a quick little cruise. We literally made it just in time. Luke’s like laying there, and he's like dude sun's going down in like eight minutes, and I was like, oh bro yallah, let's go, let's go. Fall one, okay. Okay. Oh so, we're doing a quick hop skip, and jump. And a one, and two. Oh it's my phone, I almost dropped my phone. Yeah that's the only thing I was worried. Are you coming with us?
Yeah, we're doubling down. Alright, and let's see if I can make it because this is-- Salaam Alaikum [Peace be upon you] Alright, looks like we're going cruising. We gotta get the engine started, full speed ahead. Yallah, yallah. Yallah, yallah. [Speaking Arabic] I don't know. [Speaking Arabic]
Alright, until next time. Goodbye my friends. Here we go. We are heading out into the water, and it's nice. We have a bunch of kids here that are giving us a nice goodbye greeting. I guess it's not a greeting, a
goodbye. And yeah, check out the boat here. We’ve got our captain, El Capitan, got some fresh lights on the boat here. And actually, I think the route that we convinced him to take us on for about 30 minutes is going to be under this really new bridge. And so,
as they say, Yalabina [Lets go] Salaam [Peace be upon you] You know that boat we were at back there, the one right where we got on that was Saddam Hussein old yacht. Really? Yeah, yeah. How do you know that? Because I read it in an article earlier so I remember the photo. No, that's a casino bro. Oh that one, I don't know. Yeah, yeah, restaurant casino.
Hello. He’s doing a fresh catch. Argele [Shisha] That’s a proper greeting over here. We just got argele at this hour. It’s a nice little area though. This whole area up and down, we got everyone hanging out outside, seems like it's gonna be pretty modern here over the next couple years though. We've got brand new construction
going up that's actually something I read about this place is that there's a lot of new construction always going on here. They're building a lot because it's becoming a pretty big hot spot for tourism. We got some other locals boating. Hello. Salaam [Peace be upon you]
Oh. And oh, we got a wave out of them just in time. Oh, the cops. I wonder if we can film them. Well, we're filming the bridge.
Salaam Alaikum [Peace be upon you] Alright, this is the infamous bridge. That’s just what-- Oh yeah infamous, I guess famous. Infamous sounds more majestic but it's more just famous than infamous but it's like the most modern structure here. It’s the iconic part of Basra. So all
these shipwrecks right here, I think some of them are from the Saddam Hussein days from what I read in another article. Yeah actually, this is like the first time in a long time that I actually read a bunch about it because I really-- when we got here, I really had no idea what to do here. And so, I think the articles I found are actually super insightful, and yeah there's a lot to do. You got all these like restaurant boats
along the water here, and then further down, there's like a some sort of like monument that you can check out. I’m not entirely sure what the significance is but you can see, it's like pretty much a full moon tonight, so it makes it even that much more majestic. Our captain just told us that if you sit on top of the boat, you get arrested, and now the police boat's in full speed ahead towards us. So, I kind of have a feeling that we're gonna be paying a bribe. I’m gonna
set up the camera because they're definitely stopping us. He’s gonna-- I’m guessing, he wants a bribe from me. I wonder how much he's gonna want. My guess it's 20k.
Salaam Alaikum [Peace be upon you] Not entirely sure what's going on but the cops are yelling at the captain. You always greet him with a smile and Salaam Alaikum, even if you know you're in trouble but at least set us in a good— good spot. And, we're docking up with them.
Damn, I wasn't filming-- And they're asking when we arrived to Baghdad or to Iraq. I don't know. Can you translate on your phone? Translate? Hey Mac, do you have the Arabic keyboard on yours? No. I’ll get mine. Arabic. Where are the workers? The workers, maybe they're asking if we have a tour guide.
The tourist. Tourists. I’m scared my phone's gonna drop in. Hopefully not. Otherwise I am going for a dive in the river. Mac, like so if workers. So- so if workers. It's not translating nicely.
Sorry, sorry. Shukran Habibi [Thank you], Shukran Shukran [Thank you] Well that's one way to make this trip exciting. Alright well, interesting experience. The good news is sometimes it's great when you don't speak the local language because the thing is I’ve noticed in a lot of countries if you basically can't communicate with them, and the police maybe want something out of you or they want to question you more, eventually they just get very tired of it because we were passing back, and forth the phone, and basically translating things. The translations weren't making sense,
and so like the police all of a sudden eventually gave up, and we're like alright, these guys aren't a threat but you know if we spoke the local language, I think what they were ultimately asking us is why aren't you with a tour guide because Luke said something that like the translation came back is like where are the workers which I mean like usually where are the tour guides because I have heard from other vloggers that when you're traveling Iraq, it's good to have a tour guide because when you get stopped by the police then they basically work it out for you. So the nice part is, we got away. We're finishing our cruise. Yallah habibi. Make some more entertaining. Hasta luego [See you later] cops. Well, I’ll find out how dirty this water
is very soon because I was hanging out, getting photos, realized a bunch of it got in my mouth. So I can't say, it's very clean but we'll find out soon. Proper little golden hour though, just in time. I must say though, it's a pretty enjoyable cruise, although there's not many other boats on the water, so it is a-- What day is it? Tuesday today so I bet on the weekends, it probably gets a little bit busier. The cool part is we're getting closer to looks like both sides of the river here. We got some flashing lights, I know the left side is
definitely a theme park. The right side, it kind of looks like one from afar. What I’ve noticed in Iraq is they do love their like flashing multi-colored carnival lights. And now, we're— we’re starting to see a bunch, as we cruise down further. Salam [Peace] Oh, we're getting— we’re getting the front row seating this time.
Now we don't have to hop over the boats. Let’s see the skills you got boss. And— oh look at that. Very nice. Yeah exactly. I’d say. To deal with the cops? Oh yeah, well since we're talking to a police officer right here, Iraqi police we will pop open, and as I’m pulling my badge out, we'll give them a solid 25k, I’d say since he negotiated our trouble out. Don’t worry boss, I’m Iraqi police too. Yeah, we're giving you 25. No, no, no. No change. Shukran. Thank you.
Shukran [Thank you] Alright, Yalabina [Lets go] Yeah, the sun went down quite quickly there fun little boat ride. Honestly, having the police stop us adds— adds a little fun, adds a little spice to the boat ride. We pretty much saw everything we wanted to see, so that was cool. This right here though, this I saw was a Saddam Hussein's boat. Yeah way back
in the day, I actually read about that one the one I was mentioning a little bit earlier in the video. And it's cool, you got like this whole place where people are hanging out, locals, we've got some nice young ones. Salaam [Peace be upon you] and you got a couple stands around here. So we got— we got Luke over
here, that's getting some fresh chickpeas, and it seems like he's a bit of a local. He's— he knew to put the lemon juice right in there. How were those chickpeas? About 2.5 out of 10. Alright, so pretty zane [Nice]. Pretty zane. Shukran [Thank you] my friends. We will go now. Bye, thank you. Bye, goodbye. Alright, and we're gonna keep walking down this way. They say go towards the flashing lights, and by they, I mean me.
Oh they've got a custom made one there, you see that, he's got his water bottle. Hold on to it. Salaam Alaikum [Peace be upon you] Zane [Nice] Shisha, eh? Zane [Nice] Shisha Oh, and Zane [Nice] bananas.
That's a not so zane [Nice] banana. Yeah well, sometimes they're better, they're sweeter that way. Seem better days. Well what do we do, keep walking or maybe we can come back later? Yeah The optical illusion of this bridge looks like it like is just floating but it's just because like the wires, the light stops up there. Well it's been an eventful night. We're gonna cruise
back over, and find some food. So I guess, we shall see what we end up eating. Maybe we'll try the hotel's food or something along the way. We shall see. Yallah. Oh, the place looks much different when you arrive, when the place isn't completely shut down for the night. So, we're back at Castle Hotel and Restaurant.
Hello. Number 5 restaurant. Yallah. I think in Arabic that says argele [Shisha].
Yeah, it definitely does. Comment below if that's correct. Oh looks like they're not serving. Hello, Hello Alright, well that answers that, no food here.
Alright guys, so as you saw up there, there was no luck in the restaurant at the moment. Seems like, there wasn't too much business going on at 7 p.m. So, we freshened up, changed up, tossed some pants on here because we are going to a restaurant that was recommended by a connection I have down here in Basra. And apparently, it's got a beautiful view from the terrace at night, and some really good food over there. So, we're gonna go ahead, and flag down a taxi now, and show you guys the spot once we get on over there. Salam Alaikum [Peace be upon you] Yeah, we got the nicely covered seats here.
Alright, we are going to Shanshal Albasra. Alright, guys we're arriving downtown here. We've got our really nice driver who found the way for us. We’re communicating in a mix of Arabic, and one or two English words, and we're in a super modern parts of Basra. Oh yeah, this is it. Wow, wow, super modern. As you guys can see, we have
restaurants, we have shops, everything's super well lit up. And yeah, we're going to get dropped off I think at this building. He was telling us. Ah this is it. Perfect, perfect. Alright, and yallah, yallah. Shukran [Thank you] Habibi.
Iraqi police. Showed him my wallet, Iraqi police. And let's get our guy. Shukran [Thank you] Habibi. Nice driver, gave him about double the price the usual just because he was really nice, and got a new subscriber Shanshal mall that's why he dropped us off at this entrance.
Salaam Alaikum [Peace be upon you] Oh no. Guys one of the biggest piece of advice I can give you is always have Google translate available on your phone because when we walked right into the mall here, we got stopped by literally probably like over 10 security guards. We're like all saying stuff to us in Arabic, and-- and luckily I pulled out Google translate after like trying to speak broken English, and broken Arabic back and forth. And then they-- I sent-- I showed them on the on Google translate, we're just going up to the restaurant to film, and then they're all like, yes go on right up. So now, we're cruising up this modern mall, like everything is super like lit up. Oh
it's vibrant in here, like a lot of super cool looking-- I’m saying super a million times but that's because I’m blown away by everything going on. Oh guitar bar, looks like a vibe. We’ve got the chocolate bar there. Yeah, we’ve got a little bit of everything. We might have to do a big tour. Yeah so, the restaurant we're going up to guys is on the fifth floor. So we're trying to actually figure out how to get up there
because the first couple floors, it's very clear. there's escalators in the middle parts, and then like once you get up to this floor, it's kind of a mystery how you get up to the top. But a lot of cool stuff here. Shanshal. Kind of a dodgy-- Oh, here we go, elevator.
Four. Alright, we can go up one level. Alright, Salam Alaikum [Peace be upon you] Shanshal cafe? This place has got to be good because they definitely have it hidden from us. Terrace? Oh, yeah there. Perfect. This is nice.
Well I was hoping, we're gonna get terrace views but this will have to do. How we doing over here? I’m ready for a sheesha. Yeah, sheesha time. Try out the food they've got here, and we'll see how it goes. Oh so, we’ve got our guy here. He's gonna be taking care of us? Perfect. We got menus here. Shukran Habibi [Thank you] So at first glance, you might think this is only in Arabic but it opens up the same way Arabic does but we have our English options here. So I’ve got some— some ideas of what I’m thinking of
getting. You've got a mix of American food along with traditional food, and I’m thinking. Good news is here they made these menus for English speakers too. So, it opens up like-- like you read in Arabic but as soon as you
get here, you have both options of Arabic writing as well as English writing but we've got a lot of good options. I’m probably gonna get some sort of mix of maybe something some comfort food aka some western food because I’ve only had probably like a meal and a half. Luke and I’ve only had probably like a meal and a half in the last two days between traveling on the train, and not really eating to like eating cotton candy, and popcorn on the Ferris wheel or at the theme park. So, I’m gonna get maybe a local recommendation, something with chicken because they've got a lot of options with chicken that's for sure. Maybe like mozzarella sticks even though
it says mozzarella steak. So, or cheese rolls, actually cheese rolls are somewhere in between, right. We’ve got a bunch of different options for drinks, iced teas, sparkling waters, fresh drinks, fresh juices, that sounds nice. Some desserts but I don't know if this belly needs anything else. Yeah. Oh yeah, and maybe we'll finish off with a little argele. We shall see. Finish off we'll stop. We got Mr. Argele right here in full effect. And we're gonna try the Basra argele.
The go-to. The Basra spirit, all the Basra we are. We have to get the special here because we are the Baghdadi. So, when we're in Baghdad, we have to have the Basra special, while in Basra, Basra for sure.
The Basra or the-- Maybe one of each. Yeah. For me, can I please have a cheese rolls? Hey, cheese rolls. And then, what do you recommend for chicken? Iraqi chicken? Iraqi chicken, yes. Chicken Iraqi. All this Iraqi. Yeah. Which is best, zane [Nice]? All this best.
All of it? Then— then, take your pick. You tell me. Yeah. Whatever that one is. Kalmar— kamara. Oh arrey’s chicken? Yeah we'll try. That's good. But I--
Alright, we'll do beef then. Let's do beef. Well guys, I attempted to get a recommendation but it ended up being Luke's recommendation, so-- What's my recommendation, my magic finger like that. Oh, here's the smoothie, strawberry smoothie. Zane [Nice]? Oh yeah. Let’s give it a shot guys.
Oh that's like a strawberry milkshake, that is nice. It’s very milky but I like it, it's the Iraqi way. Zane argele [Nice Shisha]. Good and you? I am a lot better now that the argele [Shisha] is out. Oh, those are grande coals too, look at those big ones.
This is the best flavor. Best flavor? Voila Well we got the two different ones. Yeah Oh yeah, we gotta change seats. We gotta be argele ready. How many shishas do you smoke per day? Yeah all day. All day.
That’s lungs of shisha. Shukran habibi. Alright, here we go. Yeah, we are shisha-ing off right now. Get the tip right in there, toss it right in, and- shisha. Yallah. Oh, zane [nice], zane my friend. You have a phone? Oh that is zane. Shukran habibi.
Yeah, mine has got like a a light fruity taste to it, so it's basically like-- it's like Baghdadi's cousin. So, it's much lighter on the lungs, I feel. You can take massive hits like this but it doesn't like-- it doesn't make you as light-headed. Well I guess we'll find out after that hit. Alright, swap sides. Alright, we're doing this is called
musical chairs, shisha edition. Put it in. Ready? Three, two, one. Oh, mine's way better. Yeah Yeah this one's good. Well you were saying that this is like less in the background, that's even less than this one. Yeah, yeah, it is way less. This one's like a very mild version. I think they're like literally the same taste, that one's just weakened. Yeah, yeah,
exactly. It's gotta be because this one-- this one tastes good but it doesn't taste as good. Maybe they got them wrong because like I’m the shisha king, maybe I must be sitting here. Oh look at him, he's trying-- he's trying to take over my the shisha king spot, and he's the one keep in mind, he's the one who said where to set them. So yeah, presentation is nice though the coals are huge.
As you can see up top, and the unit's pretty nice. I will say Iraq definitely is the country that for me is like number one for shisha presentation, shisha taste, and I think, that's all the things that I would rate a shisha on. So impressed. But I’m giving this back to him because I want to go back to the good shisha. Enjoy. Yeah. I will enjoy my 8 out of 10 shisha. And I’ll be over here on my 10 out of 10.
Taking her down. Wow, quick delivery of the food. That's not all for us. Is it? Oh my God if it is, we are going to be eating like kings. Cheese rolls. Oh yeah. Oh. Yum. Oh this is like-- oh we got like a quesadilla looking thing over here. Oh yeah, thank goodness all that food wasn't for us. I was like, oh no. Shukran [Thank you]
Habibi. Wow, what a presentation though. I can't believe how quick they turn food around here though. Like in some places I’ve been, you might wait like 45 minutes for a meal. Here it's like we order the meal, we order the
shisha, and all of a sudden, it's time to chow but as you can see, this was the recommendation that Luke randomly pointed on. Then our guy up sold me on the beef we got, we got pickles, we've got fries, and we have the cheese rolls which is a must for me anywhere I go in the world, something with cheese is a must. Here we go. Actually they made these kind of like Argentinian-- Argentinian empanadas. They use that same type of like--
What would you call this like half circle pressed piece with the cheese inside, and that adds, and I think it's probably deep fried the way the texture is. Alright now, we'll try this one. There's some sort of like syrup on it. Is it barbecue sauce or is it sweet? Is it pomegranate juice? Syrup? It's gotta be pomegranate. Is this pomegranate? Pomegranate sauce on it? Bread Iraqi.
Ah so, it's not beef. Okay. Alright, I will say, when he said beef, that's what he meant by beef. It’s actually sheep meat which is something I’m trying to avoid because sheep meat's good, and all but I prefer chicken in general. That said it is still delicious. Basically it's almost like-- it reminds me of Lahm bi ajeen which I had in Lebanon because it's like grinded up meat, sitting on basically like a similar type of bread that a manoushes on. So, it really has like a very similar taste plus on top of it, then they have this sauce that he mentioned that I still haven't really figured out what it is but it is nice. Alright now, we've gotta have him try the as Luke calls him a cheese pocket.
I call it an Iraqi cheese paratha. The Iraqi cheese paratha, right? Yeah. Alright, these are a different style of cheese paratha but they're crispy. It's something unique. I haven't tried this ever before so Wow. The best part of the meal. That is top notch. Wow The cheese just like oozes out like that. Yeah, it's crispy as well, that makes it
so much better. Yeah delicious. Could have been-- Not as good as a cheese paratha but hop there, pretty good. barack, it has to do. Guys we're making some solid progress, finished off all the cheese, got one little slice left here. Luke's almost done with that. How was the mozzarella chicken burger? How does that rate compared to other meals in like Kurdistan? The mozzarella makes a 10 out of 10, honestly. There’s more cheese contents than chicken content so-- Oh that's a-- that's a bang up. That’s when you know it's good if there's that much cheese.
And then we're finishing off a little dessert, I found that actually you take a sip of the-- got only a little bit left here sip of the strawberry shake, and then since you got a fruity aftertaste, it's almost like dessert to the milkshake. Oh, a mix of many flavors. In college. Zane [Nice] English. You speak very good English. My name is Zayn. Zayn?
Ah Zane has it. Zayn's name is Zayn. Oh, that shisha is nice. As always guys, I don't recommend to smoke shisha. It's very bad for you. Smoking a full shisha for 90 minutes is equivalent like 100 cigs. But when I’m traveling to some of these places, I always like to try some of the things the locals do, and so that's why you've seen a couple shishas in the videos but don't do them. I don't
recommend them but it does taste good. Choked on that last one. See that's what it will do to your lungs. [Speaking Arabic] Do you have any guesses on the pioces? I think, it's like pretty reasonable price. 70. 70k? No actually. A little less. 50, 50. Yeah, yeah. 54. Alright, smart guess because these were 12 each I remember that.
I think 50 though spot on. Still have my Lebanese Arabic. I think some of that must be Lebanese because I said [Speaking Arabic] Can you bring me the bill? Do me a favor, and bring the bill and he didn't seem to fully understand but that's also a much different accent, and it's me speaking with a horrible Arabic accent, so. We are looking at a number of-- Oh man. Drumroll. 54,500. Oh wow. Yeah he must have added that up.
Quick maths. Yeah, that's a pretty good guess I’d say. That’s a bargain. 54 What’s that equivalent to like 7 times 5, 35, 35. Yeah 35 US. Yeah not bad, not bad. Pull out the handy dandy Iraqi police wallet, get some cash out, pull out a 25 spotter out of there.
Shukran [Thank you] Yallabina? [Lets go] Make it count. So guys, that's where I’m gonna go ahead, and end this video tonight. Pretty eventful night from getting stopped by the police on the boat to having some delicious food here in the modern parts of Basra. So, it's been an enjoyable night. And as always guys, thanks so much for watching. If you want to see more videos like this both here in Basra as well as all around the world, make sure you hit that subscribe button below, and if you can hit that like button, it helps so much. And I’ll see you guys in the next one. [Music]