One of the best parts of Muscat Festival is being able to see the traditional Omani lifestyle in the Oman Heritage & Culture Village of Qurum Park. I love seeing these displays of talented craftsmen working away at simple tasks in pretty much the same way it’s been done for hundreds of years.
What is this gentleman making exactly? You can see a pile of the finished products on the left side there. Are they for boats? for use with agriculture? Anyone out there want to enlighten me? Here’s a short video of this scene:
Fanja is 53 kms west of Muscat on the road to Nizwa. I must have driven by here dozens of times and have always been impressed with the wide wadis, mountains with old mud homes upon them and the lush palm trees of this area. I recently decided to explore this town with a population of a little over 20,000 and am glad I did.
Fanja is the first city of the Dakhiliyah Region as you drive from Muscat. There is a lot to see and plenty of places to explore in this charming town if one doesn’t mind the occasional narrow roads which only have space for one car at a time.
I can never get enough of the old dishdasha scarecrows one can see driving through the farming towns of Oman!
There were two older female shepherds tending the flock in this wadi near the watchtower I was exploring. One can be seen here on the left.
Bidbid is a small town with a population of around 20,000 and is located about 40 kms from Muscat International Airport as you drive towards Nizwa. Bidbid Fort is the only thing to see in this small town (no disrespect intended to any of you reading who happen to be from Bidbid! 🙂 ) and some would argue that it’s not even worth getting off the main road. As someone who enjoys exploring, I’d disagree. If you get lost looking for this place like I did, remember that the easiest way to find a fort (especially one this small) is to keep your eye out for an Omani flag! 🙂 Here’s a map to give you an idea of where it is.
The main entrance to Bidbid Fort was closed and locked. This was at 10am on a weekday (Monday). The Ministry of Tourism should ensure that such tourist sites are open at their scheduled times. This has happened to me on several occasions…
Cannon from the 17th or 18th century still standing guard over the fort. Notice the local Omani lady working away on the left side of the photo (pulling weeds I think).
The walls of Bidbid Fort are around 100 feet (or 30 metres) tall. There are a total of 3 towers; the large one you see here and the 2 smaller, more rounded Western towers in the back.
“Forty towers once defended this area and many still stand, the most famous of which are Fanja Tower and Bidbid Fort.” (from “Concise Guide to the Dhakiliya”, Ministry of Tourism Guide) The GPS co-ordinates of Bidbid Fort are: N23″24’45 E58″07’35 (from Jerzy Wierzbicki’s great Photography/write-up on Bidbid Fort in Y Magazine’s Dec 13th Edition, 2011 on page 32)
Posted in Forts, History, tourist sites
Tagged Al Dakhiliyah, ancient fort Oman, Bid Bid Oman, Bidbid, Bidbid Castle, Bidbid Fort, Bidbid Fort oman, Bidbid Fort Y-Magazine, Bidbid GPS coordinates, Bidbid Oman, Dakhiliya region Oman, Dhakiliya, Jerzy Wierzbicki, old fort Oman
Al Husn is an impressive adults-only hotel in Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa. Many people are unaware that there is even a 6-star hotel in the Sultanate. Shangri-La itself is listed as a 5-star hotel but actually consists of 3 hotels: Al Bandar, Al Waha and Al Husn. Al Husn is the only 6-star hotel of the 3 and currently the only 6-star hotel in the entire Sultanate.
This pic is from the Shangri-La website.
This pic (from www.clubairtravel.co.uk) is of Al Husn’s sweet private beach!
All of Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa’s 3 hotels are in Entertainer Oman 2012 with “a complimentary night when a night of equal or greater value is purchased coupons”. Have any of you reading this stayed at Al Husn? If so, how was your experience?