Welcome to Oman
Next door to the stylish United Arab Emirates and to the north of Yemen lies a rustic filled with sudden magnificence that I fell in love with.
Oman. I had barely heard the title earlier than visiting and knew virtually nothing about it. To give the very best instance of how little I knew, I used to have the ability to title 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 well-liked 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 right time to go to. I purchased the ticket, and it was among the best journey selections I’ve ever made!
Oman Is Safe
Any point out of touring to the Middle East might be met with concern and confused appears. While there are international locations within the area that may be deemed ‘unsafe,’ Oman definitely isn’t one among them. While their neighbors to the south are in a horrendous warfare, 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.
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The U.S. State Department presently has Oman listed as: Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution.
It is not advised to go near the Yemen border.
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 anyplace 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 avenue meals, and the intense colours of varied decor illuminating the sidewalks. It was stunning 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 kind of outlets 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 route, particularly at sundown.
It actually is an excellent place.
The Welcoming Nature Of Omani People
As an American vacationer, I typically stood out like a sore thumb. As a frequent traveler, I’ve discovered it’s regular to be pestered by distributors making an attempt 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 point out me his world forex assortment. He mentioned he had forex from over 100 international locations, however his most prized possession was an American two-dollar invoice. The variety 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 instructed me Omani seashores are gorgeous, so I determined to go. To gas 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 observed me and requested me to hitch him at his desk. He was from Kenya however, like me, fell in love with Oman and by no means seemed again. He wished to know my life story, why I visited Oman, and if there was something he might do to make my journey extra satisfying.
To some studying this, they could surprise if this was some kind of shady gross sales pitch to earn a living 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 particular person on this superb place.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com