Daily Archives: November 26, 2012

Our Salalah Tour (Part 2 of 5): “Hairpin-Bend Road” Towards Yemen

After spending a bit of time at Mughsail Beach, we continued our tour on the road towards Yemen.

It’s interesting to note that there is no reference to Yemen, but this is the road one would take to get there.  It is also the way to Fazayah Beach which was the highlight of our tour.  Marnif Cave is to the left of this picture with a petrol station to the right.  We didn’t go all the way to see the sinkhole mentioned on this sign but there’s always next trip, God willing! 🙂

The “hairpin road” continued for about 15 to 20 kilometers before the turn-off for Al Fazayeh Beach which was our destination.

There are so many Frankincense trees along this road that our tourguide told us that the road is sometimes referred to as “Frankincense Road” or “Frankincense valley”.  On the Salalah city map, there are several “plantations” where the trees are cultivated, but they grow wild and free on this road.

We stopped at this Frankincense tree to see the sap that is used from the tree to make “the holy incense”.  Here is a close-up shot:

Our tourguide told us that the main section of this road took 7 years to construct (from 1983 to 1990) with the help of a great deal of dynamite.

You can see a lot of Desert Rose on this road.  Desert Rose, or Adenium Arabicum, is a flowering plant common in tropical Africa and Arabia.

Surprised to see a lot of cacti as well!

Bye Bye, “Baby”! Hello, Gangnam Style!

Order has been restored to the universe momentarily! 😉  Justin Bieber’s “Baby” is no longer the most viewed youtube video of all time!  Maybe you’ve seen this pic around the internet that I had to agree with wholeheartedly!

So, Gangnam Style is now the most viewed as of this Saturday, Nov. 24th.  To celebrate, here are some dogs with a cute parody for your entertainment:My son, Gershom (2 years 9 months), loves Gangnam Style and gets a tad bit excited when I play it on the laptop.  Here he is doing “Gershom Gangnam Style” until tiring himself out: 

Our Salalah Tour (Part 1 of 5): Mughsayl Beach / Marnif Cave

While staying at the Hilton Salalah Resort, the Sales Manager, Ali Malik, organized a personal tour for us (from Al Fawaz Tours) to take us wherever we wanted to go for the day! WOW!  His motivation?  He’s familiar with my blog and so he graciously offered a tour of Salalah as he thought that my readers would love to see what Salalah has to offer! That is Salalah hospitality for you!  Thanks again, Mr. Malik! What a treat!  🙂

This was our tour-guide for the day, Mahad Issa; a Salalah local with 14 years of tourguide experience with a passion for tourism and all things Salalah. (99485040 if you’re ever in Salalah and need an experienced tourguide)  He picked us up after breakfast for a full-day tour that shall not be forgotten anytime soon!

Here is a quick video to show you a bit of the beauty west of Salalah as we drove to Mughsail: Here is the New Zealand website Stuff’s article Mahad was referring to in the video that lists Mughsayl Beach as the 10th top beach in the world!  As they mention in that article, Mughsayl is “certainly worth the visit“!

Maghsail Bay Beach

Check out the dolphin in the water! And so close to shore!

Now 2 dolphins!

Salalah is a real birdwatcher’s paradise.

Marnif Cave and the famous blowholes in the distance

Unfortunately, the blowholes were not “working” when we visited this time.  Summer, during the monsoon rains (known as “Khareef“) is the best time to experience the famous Mughsayl blowholes.  Here is a video of one of them at full strength from my trip to Salalah in the summer of 2010:

It’s a gorgeous time of year to visit Salalah.  Some people only think of visiting during the “green season” which is in the summer.  There are benefits of going November to March such as:

  • Less crowds!
  • Better conditions for swimming
  • Scuba diving season in Salalah!
  • Lower prices at many hotels/resorts

Stay tuned for parts 2 to 5 of our incredible tour of Salalah!  (FYI, Al Fawaz offers tours in English, French, German and of course Arabic as well.)