Sas and I were visiting our friends Tammy and Shawn who split their time between Singapore and Muscat for the time being. Having them show us around was the ultimate luxury as we didn’t need to map out too much in advance, but all the sights were worth repeating.
After a night stay in Muscat, we piled into the car and made our way to Jebel Akhdar for a night of camping in the Al Hajar mountain range. We pitched a tent on a mountain ridge just above the Anantara Hotel. Apparently pitching a tent without any permission is allowed across the country at your own discretion, so definitely recommend this approach.
In the morning, we made our way through the mountains down to the desert for a quick dip in the Wadi Bani Khalid, the best-known wadi of the Sharqiyah region just outside of Al Kamil town. After a luxurious swim in the crystal blue waters of Wadi Bani Khalid, we made our way out to the Wahiba Sands dunes where we set up camp, scaled a massive sand dune to take in an epic sunset, and slept like babies under the shooting stars.
After a night spent in the desert, it was nice to make our way back to civilization, going for another dip at the Bimmah Sinkhole in Hawiyat Najm Park – a massive naturally occurring sinkhole that is rumored to be left behind by a falling star.
Back in town, we explored the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque with the world’s second largest chandelier and exquisite Persian carpet across the giant mosque. We also visited the Sultan’s former home, Al Alam Palace for a step back in time. It’s fascinating seeing how the city was developed amongst the natural defensive borders of the mountains along the sea.
Finish the day with a drink poolside at The Chedi Muscat, an opulent hotel along the Boushar Beachfront in Muscat.
Kargeen Café – delicious outdoor restaurant with a medley of Lebanese and Yemeni inspired cuisine. Don’t miss the bread with cheese, my god.
The Chedi – nothing beats a poolside burger in the sunshine overlooking the ocean.
Camping – if you are outside of town, simply find a beautiful spot in the mountains or desert or beach and set up a tent – it’s perfectly safe and friendly.
Anantara Hotel (Jebel Akhdar) – opulent with a view, stunning remote hotel.
The Chedi (Muscat) – upscale but perfect.
For a traditional keepsake, definitely check out Dar alHerfya, a cooperative selling handicrafts and beautiful trinkets. We bought a beautiful goat hair rug and some smaller tokens.