August 7, 2010

Nizwa and Surrounds

Nizwa is only about 140km from Muscat, so it makes a perfect location for a day trip. Zeina, being the nice host, offered to drive me there.

It took us almost 2 hours to reach there. We had a tour around the city centre and then, off to Nizwa Fort.

entrance fee is OMR0.5 per person

This fort dominates the town of Nizwa, it is said to be the biggest fort in the Arabian Peninsula.

The fort is like a maze, with narrow staircases and corridors leading you to false doors, rooms and halls. You have to zig zag through them...

and eventually, it will lead you to the main round tower.

This is the fort's main attraction. Standing at 30m tall, it gives a stunning views of Nizwa and the surrounding areas. 

inside the tower

view from the tower

We then went to Al Hamra. There are a few attractions here, such as Jebel Shams, Misfat Al Abryeen and Al Hoota Cave.

Jebel Shams is the highest mountain in Oman. I wanted to go up there, as the peak gives you a breathtaking view of the Grand Canyon of Arabia, Wadi Ghul. However, due to time constraint, we only went to Al Hoota Cave, which is located at the feet of the mountain.

Al Hoota Cave is basically a 2.7km tunnel containing some magnificent cave formations, stalactites, stalagmites, and columns which have formed over millions of years.

We had to walk about 500m around the mountain to the cave as the train that was supposed to bring us was under maintenance.

out of order

Photography wasn't allowed inside the cave, but I managed to sneakily snapped a few photos. ;p

What? I paid OMR5.5 for the entrance fee and couldn't have anything to bring back as souvenirs? *rebel mode*

Not far from the cave, lies a mountainside village, Misfat Al Abryeen.

saw a camel wandering by the roadside on the way to the village

wassup stranger!

Most of the village were falling down but I was told that it is going to be rebuilt soon.


The area was like a green paradise. Banana trees and date palms grow happily on the mountain. It is a rare sight indeed, as in most other areas they grow on the plains.

The falaj which runs through the village no doubt has ensured the sustenance of the date palms.

I couldn't help but felt melancholy as we drove back to Muscat. All good things must come to an end, and sadly, I was going back to KL the next morning. :(

Hoping I have a chance to go there again one day!

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