"KHASAB - MUSANDAM PENINSULA" Khasab by lynnehamman
Khasab Travel Guide: 29 reviews and 94 photos
Our visit to Khasab, in the Musandam Peninsula of Oman, was the highlight of out vist to Oman.
Geographically separated from the rest of Oman by part of the UAE, Musandam, with Khasab as its main town, juts into the Straits of Hormuz, across from which lays Iran (see the map). Distance between two countries is 55kms.
We flew to Khasab from Muscat, a two hour flight, and from the air, as we approached Khasab, the fissured landscape and topography was dramatic.
Inlets with sparkling blue water cut into the Hajar mountains, and I understood immediately why this part of Oman is called 'Norway of Arabia'. The gorges and mountains , clearly showing their geological stratification, have cliff-hugging roads that offer magnificent views of the cliffs, plunging into the turqouise sea , and the inlets and fjords that give the peninsula its very distinctive footprint.
Just a boat ride form Khasab is a small village called Kumzar. Interestingly, it has its own particular dialect, formed centuries ago and influenced by foreign maritime contacts. A mish-mash of many languages and quite unique. The Kumzari are mainly fisher-folk.
Khasab town itself is small. The houses are fortunately still quite traditional, but town centre had a square, a souq, and a beautiful mosque. Shops there are a few of, and there are a couple of banks. The drive from the small airport took just a few minutes. The main roads are paved, but many are still just dusty strips. Real modernity has yet to reach Khasab. I hope not too soon. It has a quaint charm and peaceful atmosphere that would be spoiled if much changes here.
Most of the local people wear traditional dress, women in black and men in white (dishdasha)
The busy little port was interesting- it bustles with activity. The colourful dhows that cruise out amongst the fjords (khors) leave from here, as do the fishing boats.
Smuggling is rampant- high speed modern boats, with fierce looking modern day pirates aboard, carry imported cigarettes and alchohol to Iran across the Straits of Hormuz, and return to Khasab loaded with Irani goats. Piracy has been traditional between these two countries for centuries, and brings revenue into Oman. Authorities 'look the other way' in Khasab. What happens in Iran is anyones guess.
The coastline around Khasab, which is 650kms long, passes through many small rural villages, the houses made of stone- and is worth exploration.
At nearby towns like Bukha and Tawi, there are ancient ruins with pre-historic rock carvings- and 16th century forts still standing proudly.
Khasab is not very easy to visit- unless one lives in UAE. Even then there are a number of border posts to negotiate. On weekends the nearby resort Golden Tulip is packed with visitors from UAE & expats, seeking some respite from the chaos of Dubai.
From Muscat- it can be reached by air, sea or road. It is, however, about a seven hour drive.
Other than cruising around the fjords and snorkeling, visiting the remote fishing islands, and driving in the mountains not much else seemed to be happening here. That was fine by us. We saw exactly what we came to see, and were happy with that.
- Pros:Difficult to get to this city
- Cons:Worth the trouble-
- In a nutshell:Hope that it stays just as it is.
We decided to hire a car in Khasab- the area deifinitely needed exploring. Of course, the experience of driving on the... more travel advice
There are numerous ways to reach Khasab- either from Muscat or Dubai. BY AIR We arrived there by air (Oman Air) from... more travel advice
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