Thursday, 4 May 2017

Review of Muscat and the Oman countryside

Muscat is Mrs Mayochup's place of birth so when we go back to visit family and friends, it's also coupled as a holiday for me.

For those who aren't familiar with the country of Oman or where it is (admittedly I had no idea before I met Mrs Mayochup), it can be found in the Middle East below the United Arab Emirates. The below map should help.


Oman is a very peaceful country and does not condone any violence whatsoever. It's probably the safest country you can go around in the Middle East. You don't see any begging, any reports of mugging, no guns, no gangs, no shouting and I believe this is due to the ban of drinking alcohol in public. I'm not sure of the penalty of doing so but I was told you'll be in a LOT of trouble if caught!

Muscat is the capital and is an up and coming city however, if you don't hire car then it's very difficult to get around as there is a lack of public transport. There is no rail network to speak of however, hiring a car and petrol is super cheap. 

The climate is hot and very dry so bottles of water is a must. I have only visited in November and December and the temperatures can range from 21 to 31 degrees. I have been told that in summer, it can be as high as 45! Therefore sun screen is a must.

The areas by the Royal Palace and the Corniche is well worth a visit and go to the souq there but be prepared to bargain as the locals can tell a tourist and raise the price however, that's the same with most markets you go to.

The true beauty of Oman is when you travel outside of the cities. Most of Oman is unpopulated due to the rocky terrain and spectacular peaks and troughs of the mountains but every now and again, a little village will spring up. If you plan to travel, it is strongly recommended you hire a 4x4 due to the steep roads paved and unpaved.


There's many signposts which direct you to Wadi's. A Wadi is best described as a valley which is dry for the majority of the year however, when there's rainfall, the water will build up to form a lake or a riverbed. These are areas of outstanding natural beauty and well worth a visit.



There isn't really a traditional Oman cuisine however there's a number of outstanding restaurants in Muscat and I was lucky enough to eat at one of Her Highness's restaurant in Corniche called Kurkum. It's not the cheapest however, the food is excellent and I really enjoyed my evening there. Unfortunately, I could not get any photos as they like their mood lighting so it was too dark to capture any.

Another is Turkish House in Al-Khuair where a group of us went to eat. The food portions are so huge that we couldn't finish it all. I recommend ordering the King Prawns as they are the best prawns I have ever tasted. Anywhere. 





We spent one night camping in the Green Mountain (Jabal Akhdar) where the temperatures dipped to the levels we are used to in the UK. We set up a fire using scraps of wood on the landscape and polished off a bottle of Tequila. 



Elsewhere we visited a naturally formed sink hole which was created by the erosion of the limestone rock over millions of years. The water found below is surprisingly salt water and little fish come to clean your feet if you keep them still for long enough.


On the way back to Muscat, we stopped and took a picture of a double rainbow as it did rain for a short period which is rare!


Oman is not really featured in travel brochures nor do you see TV adverts for it but I would recommend a visit. If you are one of those who like natural beauty and don't mind the heat, then this is the country for you. 



17 comments:

  1. We have heard a lot about Oman. We have some close friends in Muscat and they always rave about the place and keep saying that is quite safe. We plan to visit Muscat soon. Your pic of double rainbow looks beautiful!

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    1. It's very safe. There's no shouting, scuffles or any unrest at all. Anywhere. Such a peaceful country

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  2. Great read, love to see people traveling to lesser known areas.

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    1. You don't find it in brochures and on TV adverts. It's a wonderful country to visit

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  3. Love the scenic pictures! I definitely didn't know how beautiful Oman was.

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    1. Oman isn't very populated so there's a lot of natural beauty to see

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  4. Oman seems like such a fascinating country, would love to visit some day! And Wadi looks amazing!

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    1. It is! Best time to go is Nov - Feb as it's not too hot

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  5. Wow stunning pictures and what a great thing to do camping out. The food looks amazing and I love your blog name - following you on Twitter

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    1. Thank you, have followed you back too :)

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  6. The sink hole is fascinating. Salt water, you say? I'm not sure I want fish nibbling at my feet, though :)

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    1. It feels exactly like a fish spa if you have been to one of them

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  7. That scenery is incredible! Makes you wonder why there aren't more people there, but it's good for those that do go there! Thanks for a really interesting post!

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    1. Oman is not commercialised nor overly populated which keeps its beauty

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  8. I would definitely visit Oman! I love that it's off the typical tourist trail. How are solo female travelers handled in Oman? Are they accepted or deemed strange?

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    1. Oman is a very safe country but bear in mind it is a Muslim country so no revealing clothing!

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  9. It is beautiful. Great to know that it is so safe. The food looks amazing. Is that one plate hummus? The fresh fish looks scrumptious. Thanks for sharing. I knew nothing about Oman prior to your post.

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