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Muscat, Oman

This was the second time I have visited Muscat. I have to admit that I was under whelmed the first time I came here. There just aren't a lot of activities that appeal to me. There seemed to be more shopping centres and the city was lit up with lights for their national holiday. I definitely left with the impression that they were trying to open themselves up to Western tourists more, and there were some tour packages presented to us, but they seemed a bit expensive.

If you like mountains, rocky slopes, and cliff, then there is lots for you here. The beaches are ok, but they aren't world class. Some friends of mine went diving, but I'm not into that. Let's say that Oman has "natural beauty".

There were a few bars in the bigger hotels (Sheraton, Intercontinental, Hyatt), which is also where you could find the best restaurants. There was lots of cheap and tasty local food available everywhere. McDonalds and Starbucks have made inroads here, unfortunately.

This was the view going in. The rocky cliffs were very scenic, and it is not obvious what the size of the city is until you get closer.

The view from the main street in front of the Souk. There were several good restaurants on the street which catered to travelers, allowing them to sample the local food without being fully "committed".

Same street, but with the fort visible. You couldn't go up into this fort, which is too bad since the view would have been spectacular.

All along the coast there were several outposts similar to the fort. Apparently, these were built by the Portuguese in the 17th century to fend off bad guys from Persia.

The white thing (I thought it was a water tower) is actually a lookout tower located in a park. It was closed.

The fort at night. Muscat was generally lit up with plenty of colourful lights at night.

The local streets near my hotel were pretty quiet during the day. Everything seemed to be well kept. This road headed past a movie theatre to the beach about a block away. It got real busy at night.

This was where the "rich people" live according to my taxi driver. Most homes seemed to be walled in, and had a distinctive middle-eastern "block" appearance.

This home was right on the beach.

This is the atrium of my hotel, where a small cafe was located. There wasn't much on offer, and the only time it got even a little busy was at breakfast. I paid 40 Omani Rials (about $120 US) per night.

This is the courtyard of the Intercontinental Hotel. This is actually inside the building, so think of it as hollowed out tube. I didn't stay here, but I like to visit bars and restaurants of hotels which are better than mine.

The beach - looking back towards the main city.

...people fishing at the beach...

... more...

... more...

Fishing nets - the silver things are fish.

Yep... fish...


That's it. I would never recommend that someone travel all the way to the Middle East just to visit Muscat, but if you happen to be visiting the U.A.E., then it might be worthwhile to spend a few days here too.

This page was updated May 22, 2008