My most recent trip was a visit to the Dhofar region of Oman which I decided to take a 5 day trip in celebration of my birthday mid September.
Oman is exactly the kind of destination that appeals to me. It has a variety of interestingly natural ecosystems and physical beauty with an interesting history and culture complemented by very accessible and hospitable people.
My trip started off on a high note having spent the better part of my birthday being pampered by friends and colleagues, taking a late night flight with Oman Air and arriving in Muscat early morning yet for another transit to Salalah where I checked into Marriot Resort Salalah.
Salalah is the perfect destination to escape the sweltering heat of the Gulf and experience beautiful, climate, luxurious surroundings and greenery. I was lucky to enjoy the last part of the Monsoon season, known locally as the “ Khareef Season”.
Marriot Resort Salalah is abit of a drive away from Salalah airport. It is located in Mirbat 80km from the airport. I did not mind the drive at all to the hotel seeing that I was on a touring trip. The scenery to Mirbat is amazing, an interesting combination between, mountain, desert and sea all in one place. The resort is the perfect destination for a family, couples or solo retreat like the one I had. It has luxurious surroundings, stunning leisure facilities and spacious rooms and not forgetting amazingly friendly stuff who wear their best smiles at all times.
My first and second days were spent enjoying the facilities at the resort. On my third day I took a day trip to see the Mirbat and the surrounding areas dubbed Magical Dhofar. I visited the great frankincense port at Khor Rori Samhuram along the road from Taqah to Mirbat. It is an ancient rectangular shaped town with inscriptions at the site which indicate that it dates back to 1st century BC. I was intrigued to learn that frankincense trees only grow in Southern Oman and parts of Somalia and India and many Omanis to this day still burn it on glowing charcoal to fumigate rooms and clothing or bending it with perfumes. Frankincense was used very widely in ancient days and was prized as highly as gold.
I also visited coconut groves and banana plantations passing through Arzat springs where natural fountains which flow between the rocks, come together in a pond which then flows into the sea. Along the way I also visited Taqa and Mirbat castles and forts and picturesque bays and inlets where fishing is the main source of income for many locals. Worth to mention is the 200m anti gravity spot between taqah and mirbat road. You will find lots of people there stopping their cars to release the breaks. The car will start moving uphill seeming to defy gravity. How cool is that J.Salalah has many other attractions, gold and hand crafted jewellery souqs as well as souqs for traditional and modern goods.
These are just some of the many attractions that i managed to explore and still feel as though that was just a drop in the ocean to the vast landscape waiting to be explored. Oman displays itself as an attractive and distinctive tourism destination, embracing its local culture and heritage and proudly presenting them to the world. I am by far the biggest fan of Oman, next trip to Muscat is in the horizon