Toufic Abou Nader, an adventurer and explorer. A beautiful person inside out and we are so happy to have him part of Travel Junkie Diary sharing with us his wonderful experience in Oman and why everyone should visit!
Here is his diary
Having lived most of my life around nature exploring the unknown and hidden secrets of mountains, valleys, caves… the satisfaction I get grew my curiosity to explore more and know more about this stunning world. I spend my free time on different types of adventures exploring places I have never been to or in fact no other human being ever stepped foot into.
As an explorer I rarely stay at hotels, however the only 3 hotels I ever checked in Oman were Majan Guest House, Safari Hotel (both in Bahla city) and Haffa House in Salalah. When it comes to hotels, the deal is most of the times “you get what you pay”. Prices:
2 bedroom apartment in Majan was for 1000AED. 1 room with 2 beds in Safari was for AED 150. 1 room with 2 beds in Haffa was for AED 250.
The 3 hotels are of old structures and need maintenance in terms of beautifying and revamping. However the structures seemed to be safe. The interiors of the hotels are Middle Eastern looking with the Arab touch Rooms’ conditions: there is nothing bad to report definitely no hygienic issues nor safety related matters. Don’t expect to sleep on a comfortable mattress nor have a romantic bath.
Dining: They offer the same cuisines, bit of Indian/Pakistani food along with Arabic (GCC) cuisine. Breakfast included chicken sausages, boiled eggs, red kidney beans, bit of vegies and fruits, tea, milk and bottled juices.
Hotel facilities and activities: There are no available facilities in Majan nor in Safari. Both had swimming pools but were under maintenance. On the other hand, Haffa had many facilities and entertainments such as TV in the room, swimming pool, gym, pool tables and table tennis tables.
They all have contacts with activity and adventure Tour companies. So if you don’t know what to do around, they can hook you up with a Tour.
In a nutshell, they provide a roof and food on the table to live for another day of adventure with a nice and lovely staff.
In your suitcase As an explorer and adventurer, my car is always loaded with gear and essentials and I keep my back pack always ready for the action that includes: Small Binoculars , Water, Shock proof camera (GoPro), Satellite phone , Backup charger, Hiking shoes , Water , Isotonic water for dehydration (Isostar, pokari sweat…), Wet wipes, Basic 1st aid kit, Basic survival kit (firestarter, paracord bracelet, whistle, compass, 2 candles, dried food, a small knife and an emergency blanket) – you can buy a ready-made kit or customize your own the way I do. Windproof lighter, Energy bars, Multipurpose knife, Headlight with backup batteries, 20m climbing rope and couple of climbing slings and carbines that I use for cliff drops.
Oman is a beautiful place that offers touristic experiences (spas, old forts, natural landscapes, adventures…) and a place to explore and discover Mother Nature. I spend my time exploring and discovering new areas and meeting new locals. Exploring includes hiking, trekking, climbing, caving, cannyoning and camping all over Oman, from the eastern side to the western, north to south. I meet many locals during the time I spend in Oman and couldn’t but notice their humble and respect traits. They are very welcoming and generous, expect they invite you for a meal, offer you their best dates and pomegranate then invite you for a homemade Arabic coffee. The lovely villagers of Nadan in Jabel Al Kawr offering me all what they got from dates, pomegranate, water and Arabic coffee.
Major areas I have visited are
Shopped at Oman is known to its Arabic oriental lifestyle, shopping streets and malls are not what I would try to find. Though you can head to the Friday animal auction market in Bahla, enjoy the old Souqs and shop yourself some Arabian style home gadgets and souvenirs.
Dined In when it comes to food, you better like heavy meals with loads of rice that fills your hunger for a week. As most of the restaurants in Oman serve the same food, Beryani, Mandi and Mansef, the meals are very similar, meat (lamb, chicken or beef) and rice with different sauce. Same restaurant will serve Shawarma, Tikka meat and other fast food. But if you want to dine having multinational cuisine, head to well-known hotels and spas. This is your only option.
Tips The way I see it:
From sweating, dehydration and skin burns (temperature reaches above 51 degrees Celsius) in the summer to freezing cold (temperature reaches below 0) in winter time. Oman is known to its random sand storms and unexpected heavy rain that creates dangerous floods and streams with unsafe roads to drive on especially in the mountains where roads might collapse and falling boulders can knock down houses.
A dominating Arabic and Islamic culture based on honor, honesty, respect and generosity. Many are highly educated however they preserve their national traditions in all aspects, from how they live, eat, dress and behave. Wearing revealing clothing is not a problem, however it is not very respectful to their culture, a t-shirt and shorts are fine.
Things to do:
Don’t be mistaken to its geographic location and consider it a dry desert. Oman is full of water. Wadis full of water streams, natural waterfalls and beautiful canyons. In a picture you will find the water is so blue due the high level of PH.
Many activities can be done:
2) The very famous Snake Canyon in Wadi Bani Awuf
5) Dhow Cruise
7) Sight Seeing
11) Wild life
12) Marine Life such as dolphins, sharks, sea turtles. ( It has the largest sea turtle farm reserve)
13) Animals from wild cats, donkeys, goats, foxes
Mode of Travel Driving from Dubai