I flew from Jeddah via Muscat (the capital) to Salalah, Oman on Oman Air. The airport shuttle bus from the terminal out to the plane was the most comfortable, luxurious airport shuttle I’ve ever seen. Look at these seats!
My transit in Muscat was horrific. I’ve lost some weight in my face since my passport picture, and the guy SWORE it wasn’t me in the picture. Then, he was not happy at all when he looked through my stamps and saw visits to Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, etc. I spent over an hour explaining my travels to the head of security and that I’m not a terrorist.
I got to Salalah at 2am, went to the hotel, and passed out.
I was up early for the day trip to Yemen, so let’s talk about Salalah after I got back.
The countryside between Salalah and Sarfayt (the border town) is incredible. It’s super beautiful and had amazing quality of roads.
We also stopped at the Mughsail beach & geyser, which I wouldn’t have known about without my local driver offering to stop there on our way back.
It was a really beautiful place. Of course I only got video of a small spout from the geyser and not the 2 big ones that I saw.
Next, we continued back towards Salalah. There was a big typhoon a few years ago, which destroyed the road. They had to divert and build a new road.
We continued to the port area, which was …eh.
Back at the hotel, the guide dropped me off, and I had the hotel call about my still missing suitcase. Since they couldn’t get anyone to answer the phone, and I was on day 3 of the same clothes, it was off to the mall.
I flagged down the shared van and caught a ride to the mall. The ride was 500 baisa (half a Rial), which is a little over a dollar. I gave the guy a 5 Rial note, and he didn’t have change, so he let me go without paying, since he didn’t want to wait for me to get change.
The mall was super weird. I got some clean socks & underwear plus a t-shirt. No way was I trying the Mexican restaurant.
I caught another shared van down to the Sultan Qaboos Mosque, which was super beautiful. Prayers were about to start, so I ran out when the call to prayer started. There were a lot of confused faces from the people arriving for prayers, wondering why I was going the wrong direction.
Across the street, I went to Udupi, a delicious vegetarian Indian restaurant. It was full of the many Indian migrant workers.
I wandered the streets until late at night then caught a taxi back to the hotel. I was surprised by Salalah. It was beautiful, clean, and had way more foreign tourists than I’d expected. I only knew of it as my gateway to visiting Yemen. However, there were tons of Europeans there on holiday for the warm weather and beaches. I’d had no idea.
After the agents in Muscat had clearly marked something in the computer for my passport, I had another fun time with airport security. They of course saw the notes about my suspicious travels and were even more upset when they saw that I’d crossed the border to Yemen, which added to their theories that I was some kind of terrorist. I finally told them, “I don’t believe in God, and I’m definitely doing anything dangerous. I just want to see every country in the world. This was the only safe part of Yemen possible to visit.” I even showed them my ultra-touristy pictures, and that made them realize I’m just a traveling weirdo.
Salalah was awesome. I’d definitely go back.This entry was posted in asia, Middle East, Oman, Salalah