First of all, for any of you who live and die by Jungle Fever (ha!), I must apologize profusely and beg your forgiveness for not posting in 2 WEEKS. Shameful. We moved from Oman back to Hawai’i and with the 14-hour time difference I’ve been caught in a haze of jet lag, moving between the bed and the couch only to surface for some Spam musubi, effectively undoing my weeks of desert yoga podcasts. Aagh!
But enough with the excuses and back to the regular programming. Let’s talk about OMAN. It was so hard to leave such a wonderful country, especially after living a year of such adventure. I waffle between stopping strangers on the street to tell them they MUST VISIT NOW and pretending I never went so it won’t be inundated with tourists in my next visit, but as blogging is done in the spirit of generosity (and because you all do live and die by Jungle Fever), I will give you 5 good reasons it should be on the top of your bucket list:
1. Arabia! Arabia! When you think of visiting Arabia, this is exactly what you have in mind. Men with turbans on and daggers around their waist, beautiful mosques echoing the call to prayer, goats on dusty roads, and aqua oases in date plantations.
2. The Diving. The majority of tourists (which are not many) come to Oman for the diving. The coastline is stunning and the coral formations are healthy, not to mention that summer is whale shark season. Go on a dhow (traditional fishing boat) trip in the fjords of Mussandam, visit the gorgeous Daymaniyat Islands near Barka, or experience the pelagics in Mirbat.
3. Unspoiled Nature. With mountains high enough to freeze, canyons to rival Grand Canyon, and countess wadis (swimming holes), Oman is an adventurers dream. Camp when you’d like, where you’d like, without a permit and whether you’re trekking, canyoneering, dune bashing, or kite boarding, there’s a good chance you’ll be only one there.
4. The People. I feel like I say this about every country, but the Omanis are hands down the friendliest locals we’ve ever met. Arab hospitality is legendary, and the Omanis do not disappoint. Dates and coffee are always offered to visitors, and both of our pet goats were given to us by strangers. Bonus: Most people speak some English.
5. It’s Now or Never. Ok, that’s a little dramatic, but now really is the time to visit. Oman went from living in the Middle Ages to modern times within the span of one generation, and it is now in a particular point in its history that people have retained their sense of tradition while still offering you, the tourist, modern conveniences. Get it now, before it turns into another Dubai.