Wednesday, July 29, 2009
6
Recently I took a trip to Salalah, I went there just to get some R&R and didn't go off exploring much. But here are some helpful bits of information for anyone who's thinking of making the dash to escape the heat for a few days:

  • Tip 1 - Oman Air fly Muscat-Salalah a lot every day, I think it might be 7 times a day. The cost of a ticket is RO 60, and the flight is about an hour and a quarter - and you are served a hot meal on the flight.
  • Tip 2 - You can take the bus down if you want, but it takes 12 hours
  • Tip 3 - Make sure you get a map of Salalah before you get out of the airport - Be warned though - Turtles book shop in Muscat Airport sells maps for RO 3.000, but the same map is distributed for free by the Ministry of Tourism desk down in Salalah airport. It's the best map of the area I've found in my limited searching.
  • Tip 4 - Check out this website for some information on what to do and see in Salalah and the local area
  • Tip 5 - There are two main hotels in Salalah, The Hilton, and The Crowne Plaza. Both have bars, but you will pay RO 3.000 for a pint (selection - Tiger, Fosters or Heineken) or RO 2.200 for a bottle. Most Thursdays during the season the hotels will run some sort of disco night.
  • Tip 6 - The weather is mostly misty, and visibility regularly gets down to 100m or less. The sea is stormy and there is a ban on swimming in the sea during the summer months - you will only be able to swim in swimming pools or inland natural pools.
  • Tip 7 - If you plan to visit the caves / waterfalls / mountains - book a 4x4 at the airport. You'll pay a bit more but its worth it for the reduced hassle. A small car rental, as a guide line on prices, is about RO 50 (including insurance) for a 2 day rental. By small car I mean a Yaris. So it's not cheap to rent a car down there, but unfortunately essential if you want to go off the beaten track, or for that fact, anywhere.
  • Tip 8 - Taxi's in Salalah are horrendously expensive if you're a "Western" ex pat - I got gouged RO 5 for a 5 minute ride. I also paid RO 5.000 to go from the airport to the Crowne Plaza hotel (I wasn't staying at the hotel, but I believe there are free buses going to the hotel from the airport at scheduled times for guests).
  • Tip 9 - Bring mosquito spray - tis the season for them down there.
  • Tip 10 - It's not cold there, it's about 25'C and it's very, very humid (near constant drizzle). Walking in jeans is a very sweaty affair after half an hour or so!

If you haven't been, it's worth a look-in - if only as a weekend getaway to break up the summer heat for a bit. If you have any extra tips... please be sure to leave a comment... :)

6 comments:

sabihkhan said...

Nicely done... I'll be posting about my trip to Salalah last month, including pictures. I've only been to a couple of places but it was good...

Angry In Oman said...

wow what a rip off taxi trip! That's total BS!

Good to know, I was planning to go there soon. Thanks for the tips!

Anonymous said...

I can only say that you made a big mistake by not renting a 4x4 and exploring the mountains. Hopefully this will be rectified next time round :)

-Omani in US

Angry In Oman said...

Sythe, I went this weekend. My tip is to ditch your glasses and wear contacts if you can. My glasses kept getting all misty and I couldn't use them.

Sythe said...

OIUS - I will be sure to get a 4x4 next time!
AIO - great tip!

Nadia said...

Tip 11: Bring your camera!
Tip 12: Don't come if you hate traffic. Tourists make life really difficult for us in Salalah, traffic-wise.
Tip 13: Do as much outdoor stuff as possible
Tip 14: Salalah Tourist Festival (July 15-Aug30) is a perfect opportunity to catch some traditional dancing.
Tip 15: Don't get annoyed by the small things. Salalah can be annoying.

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