Welcome to Oman
Next door to the fashionable United Arab Emirates and to the north of Yemen lies a rustic stuffed with sudden magnificence that I fell in love with.
Oman. I had barely heard the identify earlier than visiting and knew nearly nothing about it. To give the very best instance of how little I knew, I used to have the ability to identify each nation in alphabetical order as a child. Oman simply occurs to be the one nation that begins with the letter “O.” Beyond that, I knew it was a majority Muslim nation within the Middle East. That’s about it.
When I flew to a way more widespread vacation spot within the UAE, I simply occurred to see a $40 flight to Muscat, the sprawling capital metropolis. Since Oman altered their visa requirements for American vacationers, this was the proper time to go to. I purchased the ticket, and it was the most effective journey selections I’ve ever made!
Oman Is Safe
Any point out of touring to the Middle East could be met with concern and confused appears. While there are international locations within the area that may be deemed ‘unsafe,’ Oman actually isn’t one in every of them. While their neighbors to the south are in a horrendous conflict, Oman is a thriving nation and changing into more and more popular. Not as soon as did I ever really feel unsafe or unwelcome, even when wandering the streets late at night time for the very best kabob you’ll ever have.
The U.S. State Department presently has Oman listed as: Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution.
Mutrah: The Heart Of Muscat
I went on a 3-week backpacking trip to 5 European and Middle Eastern countries, where Oman was my second to last stop. Honestly, I was tired at this point and now wish I had stayed here longer and explored further. But for the duration of my time in Oman, I stayed in Mutrah. I have no regrets about that, as it was my favorite district in Muscat. From gorgeous mosques to well-preserved historical forts, the architecture in this area is stunning and takes you back in time.
The surrounding surroundings is eye-popping, the native delicacies is immaculate wherever you go, and the favored souq will activate all your senses. You expertise the distinctive Omani buildings in all instructions, the scrumptious cafes with Turkish and Omani espresso, the aromas of freshly cooked road meals, and the intense colours of assorted decor illuminating the sidewalks. It was surprising how rapidly I fell in love with this place.
There are many hills in Mutrah, that are actually enjoyable to wander. You by no means know what sort of retailers or hole-in-the-wall eating places you’ll discover within the alleyways. When you attain the underside of the hill, the streets open up on the corniche, and the entire environment adjustments. The chaos of the market rapidly turns into picture-perfect serenity with waves crashing into the seawall and delightful mountains in every course, particularly at sundown.
It really is an excellent place.
The Welcoming Nature Of Omani People
As an American vacationer, I usually stood out like a sore thumb. As a frequent traveler, I’ve discovered it’s regular to be pestered by distributors attempting to make a sale, however what isn’t regular is for them to be so good after rejecting their pitches.
One lasting reminiscence that stands out is when I declined to buy conventional Omani clothes at a small store inside the souq. The vendor rapidly modified topics with a smile on his face, all to indicate me his world forex assortment. He stated he had forex from over 100 international locations, however his most prized possession was an American two-dollar invoice. The type man couldn’t care much less if he made a sale. What he cared about was making a human connection.
This occurred throughout Oman time and time once more. One morning, I met one other American at my lodge, and he informed me Omani seashores are gorgeous, so I determined to go. To gasoline up for the day, I stopped at a espresso store and used their wi-fi for a bit. When I was wrapping up some work, the store proprietor seen me and requested me to affix him at his desk. He was from Kenya however, like me, fell in love with Oman and by no means seemed again. He needed to know my life story, why I visited Oman, and if there was something he might do to make my journey extra pleasant.
To some studying this, they may surprise if this was some form of shady gross sales pitch to generate profits off “the American.” It wasn’t. He gave me a complimentary Turkish espresso, and we added one another on Instagram. Just one other warm-hearted individual on this superb place.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com