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Oman

Curious what backpackers do in Oman? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • The first time in an arabic country.. Very different, but very enjoyable!
    This people pay a lot of attention to their culture, which is a good thing. Well - akward was that these folks have as many tailors for female clothing than we have hairsaloons in Europe!

    By the way.. The local market is georgeous - and huge! Got almost lost.. But I'm done with most christmas presents! :-)

  • Although Oman wasn't initially in our travel plans we added it in to make a pitstop to visit our friend Mohamed who lives there. Mohamed and Rupal met in Poland when Rupal was living there and have kept in touch over the last four years.

    Mohamed welcomed us openly to visit his hometown of Muscat and had many activities planned for us. Our favorite was visiting Wadi Shab a valley within the mountainous terrain about 2 hours outside of Muscat. The scenery there was beautiful and the water cave we walked for an hour to was well worth it! We had fun swimming and cliff jumping in the cave where the reflecting light made the water so clear and blue. We didn't realize Oman had such natural beauty and can't wait to go back to explore more!

    We also enjoyed the hospitality of Mohamed and his friends who made us feel at home while we were there. We had a fun BBQ on the beach where we drank beers and grilled meat and fish to eat with pita and hummus; it was delicious!

    Although our time was short, we also managed to visit the The Royal Opera House of Oman which is a beautiful made building with precise detail carved in wood and marble, got to stroll the marina where we walked through the old souk and saw the king's 2 massive yachts and even enjoyed a pretty sunset on the beach.

    Just like many people we didn't know much about Oman but thanks to Mohamed we were introduced to a gem of a country that we know we'll visit again in the future!
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  • Today was our first port of call, which was Khasab, Oman 🇴🇲.
    The port is surrounded by some very impressive mountains, but there is not much else here, unless you wanted to do a Dhow cruise to see dolphins. I just had a stroll along the coast road to stretch my legs. As usual with Oman the locals were very friendly and everyone I passed said hello and smiled, so I got to practice my only Arabic phrase "Salam Alaikum" which actually means "God be with you" but is used as a general greeting like hello.Read more

  • Yesterday was the first of our two days in Muscat which is the capital of Oman 🇴🇲.
    I took myself off for a walk on my own, as Sheila didn't want to get off, which is the norm nowadays as she can't walk far, and the lads didn't bother either deciding instead to take advantage of the half empty ship.
    Anyway, back to my walk. I decided to walk in the back streets instead of the usual well trodden path of the Corniche and the Mutrah Souq.
    Now the souq is well worth a visit, but I've been before, so fancied a change.
    To be honest there's not a lot to see off the beaten track, as every mosque was barred to non muslims.
    Which was a bit disappointing as although I'm not religious, I do appreciate the beauty and history of the buildings. But every one had a sign saying non muslims not allowed.
    I did come across an interesting cemetery though, and some nice buildings.
    But as is usual in most cities around the world the back streets are quite run down.
    Anyway I circled around back to the corniche and crossed over to walk along by the sea wall.
    There are some lovely views of the harbour, and you can see Riyam Park, and the huge incense burner that stands on the headland over looking the town.
    Then you look over the sea wall and down on to the small sandy beach, and you see the litter, I'm sorry to say that the beach is strewn with hundreds of plastic bags and bottles.
    I'm afraid that the mystical, romantic, Muscat of the travel brochures is obviously only in the private resorts and hotels like the Al Bustan.
    Ironically there are signs up by the beach banning beach fishing, saying that this is to keep the beach clean! Sorry guys the ban is not working.
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  • 2nd day in Muscat and the lads wanted to have a walk to the famous giant incense burner that you can see on the headland as you sail into Muscat.
    It's actually situated in the old Muscat area of the town, in the beautiful Al Riyam Park.
    The walk along the Corniche is very pleasant and easy, if a tad long! It took a good 40 minutes to walk to the park, but you do have some lovely views of the harbour, and really spectacular views of the mountains which surround Muscat.
    Also on the way you see one or two old forts perched on the mountains, apparently you cannot go inside them, but they make impressive viewing from the corniche.
    Anyway at the end of the corniche you come to the very pretty and very green Al Riyam Park at the end of which set on a big hill is the incense burner. The gates to the path up to it where locked so we couldn't go right to the top, which if I'm honest I was secretly glad about, as the climb to the top looked quite long, as the path wound itself around the steep hill.
    It was worth the walk out to it though, as the corniche is beautiful and as I said the views are spectacular.
    On the way back we had a walk through Mutrah Souq which is an experience in itself. The place is over 200 years old and huge with so many paths and alleyways it is quite easy to get lost.
    That is unless you are Andy who had an uncanny sense of direction and found the way out very easily.
    After the souq it was straight back to the ship for a bite to eat and a well earned rest.
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  • I decided to get the shuttle into Khasab today and then walk back to the ship.
    It was a beautiful walk, with the impressive mountains which are the backdrop of the town, looking like how I'd imagine the moon to look. As usual I went off the beaten path, and ended up walking through some what looked like allotments, where the locals were growing vegetables etc.
    And I got the chance to try out one of my few Arabic phrases, saying "Salam Alikum" to a few people and getting big smiles and getting the response "Alikum Salama" in reply.
    I came across a small mosque and asked what looked like the caretaker if I could go in for a look, he said ok, so I went in and got a couple of photos.
    I must say that the Omani's that I met on my walk where very friendly.
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  • Didn't get off today as I'd been off twice last week.
    We had a lazy day in the Solarium, then a couple of hours sleep before tonight's events, which include captains pinnacle party on the bridge, which was lovely. Captain Marek is a real people person and puts everyone at ease.
    Also making it a pinnacle party and not a pinnacles and suites party, made it feel very special. And holding it on the bridge was the icing on the cake.
    After that we all went to the concierge lounge for an hour or so before going to the top tier party at which the captain gives a song. He's not got a bad voice and used to be in a rock band back in the day in Poland 🇵🇱.
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  • Today we where back in Khasab, Oman 🇴🇲, for the last time on this trip, so I decided to have a stroll to the castle.
    On the previous two visits here on this trip, I'd been put off going by various people saying, it's very small, not a lot there, blah blah blah.
    Well I shouldn't have listened to them.
    Firstly it's a beautifully preserved, 17th century Castle , not a reconstruction as I thought. It was built in the 17th century by the Portuguese on top of what was an old fort and has some very well preserved artifacts.
    The middle tower which apparently is the oldest part of the castle, houses an air-conditioned room with very informative displays, showing how life was and in some cases still is in Khasab.
    On ground level the courtyard displays three old Omani boats that originate from the northern part of Musandam, along with a number of canons and old dhows displayed at the entrance of the fort.
    Also in the courtyard are two reconstructions one is a traditional bait al qufl (“house of the lock”) which is a stone construction with a floor below ground level, which the nomadic mountain tribes used to store their valuables that they could not carry with them, on their summer trips down to the sea and a barasti (palm thatch) summer house, ingeniously constructed using stone pillars with permeable walls fashioned out of palm branches.
    Which kept the occupants cool in the very hot summer months.
    It is a really interesting place and it was very easy to spend an hour or so there, all for the princely sum of 1 Omani Rial, which is about £2.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Sultanate of Oman, Oman, ኦማን, Omán, عمان, ܥܘܡܐܢ, Аман, Оман, Omaŋ, ওমান, ཨོ་མན།, Oman nutome, Ομάν, Omano, Omaan, Óman, ઓમાન, אומן, ओमान, Omàn, Օման, オマーン国, ომანი, Omani, អូម៉ង់, ಓಮನ್, 오만, عومان, Omaani, Ománɛ, ໂອມານ, Omanas, Omane, Omāna, ഒമാൻ, အိုမန်, ओमन, ଓମାନ୍, Omã, Uman, Omâni, ඕමානය, Cumaan, ஓமான், ఒమాన్, โอมาน, ʻOmani, Umman, ئومان, Ummon, Ô-man, Lomän, Orílẹ́ède Ọọma, 阿曼, i-Oman