OM: Muscat Day 1

The first day, or shall I say second day (? whatever lah ) started very early. The sun ray that slipped through the curtain woke me up at around 6.45am. The original plan is to visit the bustling fish market just right in front of the hotel, but once all of us were ready, it was already 7.30am. And we should be at the Blue Marlin marina by 7.45am for the dolphin watching trip. So we have to skip the fish market.

Since our stay at the hotel includes breakfast, we tried our best to pack the breakfast and eat it on the way to the marina. Hoping for a full continental breakfast, what we got just few toasts with butter and jam! Well, better than nothing.

The journey from the hotel to the marina took us along the Muttrah Corniche and through the old Muscat. It was a beautiful sight to behold. It supposed to be a short trip, especially Friday morning since it is a weekend there and not many traffic. However, our wonderful map-reader got a wrong direction and we ended up near a church in Old Muscat.

Once we reached the Marina, there were six other people already waiting for us One Oriental guy and the remaining are Americans (from the slang). Zal argued a bit with the travel agent representative on the cost and the trip. At the end, we decided only to do the dolphin watching for OMR15 and skip the snorkeling part. The whole dolphin watching or rather dolphin chasing was only less than one hour (one hour plus a bit if includes the journey to the area [10 – 15 mins each way]).

Back to the shore, did a bit of photography around the area of the marina before driving to the south towards Bandar Jissah. This looks like a new area developed by the government by building three international hotels. The interesting part of the area is its link with Muscat through a series of picturesque modern roads. Really really beautiful.

Then, we drove back to the city area using a different road. This time we drove towards Ruwi and on the way, there is a Friday Market at Wadi Al Khabir. Stopped by to look around and get a bite (somebody was soooo hungry…)

Since it was Friday (a weekend in Oman is same as Saudi, Thursday and Friday), the traffic was light and when we passed Ruwi, most part of the area were still deserted. So, we decided to go to the Qurm Beach, an area where you see the luxury lifestyles of the Omanis (and probably expats). This is the area where majority of international brand hotels are situated. Very nice beach. White sandy beach with clear blue water.

The humidity has got all over us and we decided to go back to the hotel to freshen up and take a nap (haha..still ada masa nak tido).

At 3.30pm, we decided to explore the Souq. The souq is only opened at 4pm, so we decided to go to Old Muscat first. According to Zal, our “walking travel advisor”, Muscat is flanked between two forts, Fort Mirani and Fort Jalali. It is bordered witha series of wall.

Souq Muttrah is one of the highlights if you are visiting Oman. Unfortunately, it is not up to my expectations. It is quite big, but it is missing something. May be there is no trace of Omani culture and traditional blended there. But we did spend around 3.5 hours there. :-) Did not buy anything.. wait.. I did buy something.. yes.. I bought Omani Henna for my mum. I bought once for her last time I went back home (from D0ha) and she likes it. Omani henna is one of the expensive henna. Yemeni henna is a bit more expensive since it is already being mixed with lemon juice (according to the seller) and it is good for body art. It is not suitable for other part of the body i.e. hair.

Later at night, we planned to have a dinner somewhere near the Grand Hyatt as recommended by the TimeOut guide. Once we got there, we saw another cafĂ© (Candle Cafe) which is next to the one recommended and it is by the beach. In no time, we decided to have late dinner at Candle Cafe. Not sure whetehr it is a good decision or not since everybody was not so pleased with the food. The food was not great (I had Nasi Goreng P!noy style) and I don’t recommend this place for dinner. However, for hubbly bubbly and casual meeting, this place received my endorsement. You can enjoy the beach view and once a while, an aircraft departing from the nearby Seeb airport.

Late dinner was our last activity for the day… tomorrow’s plan, history of Oman… :-)

~ MT @ 0man
~~ Muttrah

~ To Travel Is To Discover Oneself ~


zal said...

eh... bukan ke u ada beli kummah kat souq tu... hehehe...

MT said...

i beli ke kummah tu? lupa la... :-p

Pato & Pearl said...

gosh, that highway image is just fantastic!