Mutrah is a small fishing town bordering Muscat where cruise ships may stop.
There is some construction going on at the moment which could be a hotel or
an extension to the fish port. Hotels are reasonably priced. Marina hotel near
the fish roundabout is okay.There is a night club that plays music well into
the night and beware the neighboring hotels seem to have a prostitution problem.
This isn't exactly the best thing for attracting tourists to Oman. I had a
good laugh at the fish restaurant which was named, "fishers grilled".
The Omanis have a lot of signs in English that are full of mistakes.I wonder if they
still have a "fartilizer store" in Sohar, Oman.
One of my favorite places in Oman is Mutrah Souq. It is a fairly large souq
located in Muscat,Oman. You can buy a lot of souveniers there like Indian
style handbags, pashminas and Omani incense. They also have fabric
stores,dresses, and silver.My favorite places in the souq are the juice bar
and the old silver stores. They are both located halfway through the soug on
the right. The juice bar has fresh juices like mango, strawberry and guava. I
got the works with icecream and they added sultanas and pine nuts. The silver
stores are usually quite pricey, you can find better deals in the smaller
towns but the variety is amazing. A lot of the silver is replicas of old coins
or jewelry. The silver stores are expertly decorated and it is so fun to walk
inside. It is like a treasure chest.
Omani incense is usually cheap. It is very distinct in its smell compared to
neighboring gulf countries which often stick to oud (agarwood) and perfume
oil. Omani incense is usually a combination of francincense,myrrh, sandalwood
and shells. I find only francincense to be quite strong on its own. It is a
pale yellow color and I have heard the green kind is of a better
quality.Some people also chew on it like gum as it is anti-bacterial.
Incense is an integral part of life in the Gulf and nearly
every house burns it. I guess people used it frequently in the past to get rid of the smell of food in tents or perhaps to get rid of bad smells due to lack of water. The
most prized smell is "oud" which is usually harvested in Cambodia, Indonesia and
India.It is a tree that has been infected with a fungus.
The smell is unique and can be very offputting to westerners. Even Dolce and Gabbana have a special perfume targeted to the Bedouin with an "oud" infusion.