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Oman roadtrip, empty beaches, desert drive, mountain drive (with GPX maps)

Oman roadtrip, empty beaches, desert drive, mountain drive (with GPX maps)

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Old Nov 26, 14, 3:43 am
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Oman roadtrip, empty beaches, desert drive, mountain drive (with GPX maps)

Hi All,

after beiing already to Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE there was one "easy" country left in that area to go to. We prefer freedom; so a 10 day drive through Oman by ourselves would be great. We visited from Jemen border, to empty quarter to Oman (we did not visit the places close to UAE border as we did that before from UAE).

So what is spectacular in Oman? Lots of things but most spectacular for us was:
- A 5km white sand beach close to Duqm with thousdans of crabs. and the thing was: NOBODY THERE! (GPS coordinates and driving directs in the blog post).
- Driving through the hawar mountains, with Cliffs one side down 500 meters other side up 500 meters or more up to the highest point. (make sure you are confident about driving this and know your 4x4) its possible to do with not that much knowledge BUT safety first! Do not cross and speed take it easy.
- Watching sea turtles lay eggs at ras al jinz turtle reserve. SO BEAUTIFULL.
- Driving trough the desert on roads where you do not see anyone for hours; skulls in the desert and other things.

One tip: make sure you have a spare tire, make sure you put your gas tank full each time it's down to 50% (or even if it's 75% full fill it up).
Always carry your passport; MANY controls. do not speed; it's expensive, i know. In the rural area's, you can wear your western clothes; but, put on the arabic clothes. It will get you in easy contact with locals.

Read our full experience here, we did this with family, kids were 8 and 10 years old. they loved it. As roads are sometimes difficult; find also GPS coordinates and googlemaps GPX files for download. feel free to use and comment.

Read the full story and many great photos here:
Oman from Salalah to Muscat full story

safe travels!

Chris

Last edited by christravelblog; Nov 27, 14 at 6:38 am Reason: small update
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Old Nov 26, 14, 4:14 am
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Originally Posted by christravelblog View Post
One tip: make sure you have a spare tire, make sure you put your gas tank full each time it's down to 50% (or even if it's 75% full fill it up).
Always carry your passport; MANY controls. do not speed; it's expensive, i know. In the rural area's, you can wear your western clothes; but, put on the arabic clothes. It will get you in easy contact with locals.
I agree 100% about Oman's charms - and your advice is spot-on. Except for the Lawrence of Arabia idea of wearing "arab" gear.

What on earth is that all about? Did you feel hostility, or were you somehow less well treated when you were wearing your more usual clothes? Certainly a more conservative, cover-up approach to wardrobe is sensible, but adopting alien garb seems extreme, just a little OTT.

I'm all for folk wearing whatever compromise is required between comfort and respect, but i'd hate them to feel they are required to get rigged out in special clothes to get the most out of visiting Oman.
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Old Nov 26, 14, 6:39 am
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
I agree 100% about Oman's charms - and your advice is spot-on. Except for the Lawrence of Arabia idea of wearing "arab" gear.

What on earth is that all about? Did you feel hostility, or were you somehow less well treated when you were wearing your more usual clothes? Certainly a more conservative, cover-up approach to wardrobe is sensible, but adopting alien garb seems extreme, just a little OTT.

I'm all for folk wearing whatever compromise is required between comfort and respect, but i'd hate them to feel they are required to get rigged out in special clothes to get the most out of visiting Oman.
You do not need to in Oman. WIth normal usual (western) clothes you are FINE. no problem!!
BUT, if you go to small towns, talk to the old people, go off radar.....it's better to use it. then they come to you for small talk.

it has NOTHING to do with hostility. also not about treatening.

just if you want to go really to the people..........
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Old Nov 26, 14, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by christravelblog View Post
You do not need to in Oman. WIth normal usual (western) clothes you are FINE. no problem!!
BUT, if you go to small towns, talk to the old people, go off radar.....it's better to use it. then they come to you for small talk.

it has NOTHING to do with hostility. also not about treatening.

just if you want to go really to the people..........
I've got to agree with Ian.
We've camped all over Oman for years, spoken to people, been invited to weddings, to meals, and have always been wearing western clothes. Even 30 years ago, when everything was much more remote, modest western clothes were perfectly acceptable and didn't stop people coming to talk to you.
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Old Nov 26, 14, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by christravelblog View Post
You do not need to in Oman. WIth normal usual (western) clothes you are FINE. no problem!!
BUT, if you go to small towns, talk to the old people, go off radar.....it's better to use it. then they come to you for small talk.

Honestly, I've been pretty active visiting some far flung spots in Dhofar as well as the Muscat/Nizwa circuit. Usually in jeans (), I've met with courtesy, interest and some great kindness.

Who knows - I might have missed out on a lot; but I'm not entirely convinced...

I think to make the claim stick, we need to do a normalised survey of the integration and satisfaction of tourists both in and out of mufti. Now we only need someone to fund the study

Seriously, I'm not having a go at you - I'm pleased you enjoyed Oman, and I'm perfectly at ease with however you chose to dress. My concern is that your advice might persuade people to go to some cost (and potential embarrassment) in dressing up. I'm sure you were able to replicate the appropriate wear, but after seeing how tourists ape local dress in the tourism hot-spots of Egypt, I think their good intention in Oman might be interpreted as parody and condescension
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Old Nov 26, 14, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Honestly, I've been pretty active visiting some far flung spots in Dhofar as well as the Muscat/Nizwa circuit. Usually in jeans (), I've met with courtesy, interest and some great kindness.

Who knows - I might have missed out on a lot; but I'm not entirely convinced...

I think to make the claim stick, we need to do a normalised survey of the integration and satisfaction of tourists both in and out of mufti. Now we only need someone to fund the study

Seriously, I'm not having a go at you - I'm pleased you enjoyed Oman, and I'm perfectly at ease with however you chose to dress. My concern is that your advice might persuade people to go to some cost (and potential embarrassment) in dressing up. I'm sure you were able to replicate the appropriate wear, but after seeing how tourists ape local dress in the tourism hot-spots of Egypt, I think their good intention in Oman might be interpreted as parody and condescension
Agree; in tourist hot spots: would not do it. Myself, also not all the time had this. I just experienced from various days (western clothing, and having the local clothing) that in the latter getting into contact with local peole was more easy.
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Old Nov 27, 14, 2:26 am
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So I have to ask. Out of Oman, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar, which was your favorite and why? Did you feel 10 days was a perfect amount of time around Oman?
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Old Nov 27, 14, 6:32 am
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Originally Posted by SEAskyrider View Post
So I have to ask. Out of Oman, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar, which was your favorite and why? Did you feel 10 days was a perfect amount of time around Oman?
@seaskyrider

kuwait & Qatar are at the bottom of the list. reason being it was not much to do. Of course something but making a list these two go at the bottom. I wanted to visit Failaka Island in kuwait, but did not plant hat and we had only 2 days there and those 2 days no boat going; and going on a private boat it was not recommanded due to safety.

bahrain & UAE come after that. but not for the same reason. UAE is for the relax, sun and modern things, luxury (but of course you can do budget). Bahrain, more for the history things there is more to see. Further Bahrain we were free (i assume as nobody stopped us) to wander along the oil pipelines and things - this was really interesting!

oman for myself was best. Reason it had all. history, nature, beaches sun, etc etc. It does not have the modern stuff like UAE which I like (oman does have lots of investment in infrastructure that's good but, i prefer all the offroad).

10 days enough, for what we did yes. but of course you can spend more time. it depends. For the things, unique things we did in Oman it was OK. if you want to go camping in dessert (we did not) then add more time. But this we did elsewhere.

only: we did not visit the area's close to the border with UAE; so add maybe 2 days for there.

further, we drove muscat through hawar mountains and back. and next day again to area nizwa. this was a bit bad planning better stay overnight in nizwa.

would I go back? No. But that's not because I did not like it but because I (allmost never) do things twice.

would you only want sun, beach, luxury? choose UAE.

EDIT: we are soon off to Jordan. for all most 12 days there. will comment on that in January.

I want to go to: Syria, Jemen, Iraq and Iran. of which Syria&Jemen is kind of out the question at the moment. They have so much history and things to see. Iraq only the kurdistan part will work; hope to do that soon. For Iran, we have plans - it's not difficult, but it's a 3 week trip and at the moment cannot spare that time in one shot. maybe have to split it; it's a huge country.
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