This was my second time visiting Oman and I still loved it as much as the first time. The mountains are amazing, the coast is beautiful, the people are exceptionally nice and there’s so much to do! It’s just the best! I was there in December and January which are their winter months. I was expecting to escape the cold British weather but unfortunately it had followed me there for the first two weeks. Later on, it was much nicer, apart from the fact it started to grow cold at around four and five, and we were always late in doing things. So if you’re going there in the winter months make sure to wake up early and make the most of it. You will also need a jumper to keep warm in the evening and windy days. Here are a few fun things to do while you’re in the beautiful Oman.
Snorkeling is frighting at first, especially if you rarely go swimming and you’ve only ever tried it twice years ago. Before ventured to properly snorkle, we practiced in the shallow first, right next to the coast. I had to mentally prepare myself to keep calm and just breathe. As soon as I dunked my head in the water all I could hear my own ragged, gasping breaths which was quite disturbing at first, but weirdly calming after I figured out hearing your breaths can help you control your breathing. After that, we scouted for clear water to dive into. One of the well known areas for snorkeling is Bandar Khayran. It’s in the mountains and you have to trek for about fifteen minutes to get to the secluded beach, but it’s worth it! And if you’re like me, the trek is part of the fun.
Once you enter the ocean, it’s like you’re in a completely different world. It’s so beautiful. You are hit with a heavy feeling of being part of something huge. As you circle and watch the sea life live their natural lives you too feel like you’re part of nature. It’s calming and wonderful. Gliding over different fish and catching sight of incredible life is so unreal. Here are some fish I saw.
PS: I had to do some serious googling because I had no idea what these fish were called. The first one is my favorite. It reminds me of a shoe. Not going to lie, I stalked it for quite a bit.
Now, I’m not that into fishing, but my brother’s love it. I’d say most of our trip consisted of looking for remote fishing spots and trying them out. The good thing about that is we got to see a lot of different places and enjoy different view points. Catching fish from the coast never worked out for us because we didn’t know what bait to use and all that fun stuff. My brothers spoke to a few locals and from that they kind of understood what they needed to use and what fish they could catch. It turned out to be smaller fish than they expected because all the research on the internet told them they would catch giant tuna and GT, but nope, to their disappointment we came in the wrong season and everyone informed them they had to get to very deep waters for that.
We once tried out a local boat, which by the way are not the safest looking things. We finally caught two fish which were tiny, but at least we caught something! The boat guy was really nice and friendly. Locals don’t speak that much English but he told us he learnt it by speaking to tourists and through music, isn’t that amazing? He also helped my dad to climb back up the mountain by half carrying him because he had bad knees. We had no idea, we turned around and saw the whole thing happening. It was quite funny. We also tried deep sea fishing. This was more of a win and lose situation. It was a win because we finally caught a lot of fish! A lose because me and my brother became extremely travel sick and ended up lying on the seats most of the time. Though, I’m not going to lie, it was quite nice lying there in a gentle rocking boat, enjoying the view with the sea breeze on my face. Ah good times. We ended up catching a bunch of fish and a tiny baby tuna. He had also caught a baby shark with customers he took out previously and we got to hold him and as we were holding him he tried to bite our hands. You’ll be happy to know he threw him back into the water. The ride back was so much fun. I sat at the front of the boat as he shot down full speed with the wind blowing in our face and the front of the boat faced skywards. It felt as if I was in a movie!
BIMMAH SINK HOLE
Bimmah sink hole is breathtaking. It looks just like it does in the photos. Vibrant and clear green/blue waters. We didn’t spend too much time there because we didn’t swim. I wish we did, so if you want to visit, I’d recommend swimming. Seriously, it’s so beautiful that you feel like jumping straight into the water. We did dip out feet in there because they have those little fish that nibble on dead skin. Personally, I did not like it. I could only let it happen for about 10 seconds and I was done. It felt disgusting to me and I’m extremely ticklish. My dad and brother’s endured it a lot longer than me and you could see a difference in their feet afterwards. It looked like they came from a pedicure. It was such a stunning place that I was sad to leave it.
I think it’s one of my favorite places ever! It’s changed a lot since I went in 2013. It has a lot more greenery now and made easier for tourists to find their way to the waters. When you first get there there are some Omani boat guys that take you across the water for 1 rial, and they leave at around 5:30-6. It takes about 40mins to walk after that to get to the water depending on your pace. There is a cemented path so it’s not that hard to find your way. There is a portion where you have to figure out which rocks to climb, but that’s the fun part, at least for me. Then you just follow the pipe line (as I overheard someone telling a tourist) and you get to the pools. We ended up going later in the day so again we couldn’t swim, but definitely go earlier so you can swim. Good thing about going later was that the burning sun had gone and the weather cooled down which made the hike easier and a lot more pleasant. The valley in general is so nice to be in and the view is incredible. Imagine being surrounded by ginormous mountains, a blue sky with sun rays peaking off the mountains and green shrubs around it. It makes you feel so alive and so insignificant in comparison to the world around you. I don’t think I will ever not like Wadi Shab. Now I really want to go back and swim. Just look at the pictures, doesn’t it look magical?
Kayaking is my new favorite thing! It’s become a dream of mine to own a kayak and cruise the waters. I loved everything about it! From the rowing to the journey. We went with a group of people and were taught how to kayak. It was lucky we had chaperones because my brother who was the most terrified about falling in the water, fell in. Also, one of the guys who worked there climbed up a tall cliff with nothing but his bare hands and dived off it backwards. That’s the kind of confident I wish to be in the water. Someday, I would like to take snorkeling equipment and kayak my way around the ocean until I find a place to snorkel and get back on my kayak and journey on. The people we went with usually go on trips and camp at different beaches and islands, doesn’t that sound amazing?
Picnics and Walks
The Omani’s are known for their night time picnics on the beach and parks. The atmosphere is extremely lively and joyful. Our local spot was Azaiba Beach. We usually went for walks and/or to eat mishkaki at random spots, but one day we ordered pizza and set up a picnic on the beach at night. You can even barbecue and have a full on camp fire which is what most people were doing. Maybe we’ll do it next time. Once there were people playing the drums and a huge family were having the most elaborate, fancy picnic I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I tried to take a sneaky picture but it didn’t work out. I’ll try to paint a mental picture. They had a long table on the floor fit for 15 people, adorned with a fancy table runner, candles, flowers in vases as centre pieces, picture frames and cushions to sit on. It was quite amazing.
People also come out in their loudest cars and cruise down the roads while others go for walks. If you want to go for a walk in a packed area full of locals go to Al Mouj on a weekend night. Let me warn you, you might not find a place to park though. Its insanely crowded.
There’s not much to say about jet skiing apart from the fact it is extremely fun. My brother’s were flying past me in full speed, and while I tried my best to catch up, I was still left behind. My excuse is that I am a tiny human so I kept almost flying off the jet ski, but really I think it’s because I’ve only ever done it twice and I’m still a chicken. My goal is to be able to hold the throttle fully down like they did. It’s an adrenaline rush everyone needs to experience. Unfortunately, I don’t ave any pictures for this, but I’m sure we all know what jet skiing looks like.
There you have it! That should have convinced you to visit Oman, if not, I have so much more to add on! Seriously it’s awesome!