Sunday, March 23, 2014

Muscat, Oman : Old Muttrah Souq & Camel Mandi Oman

for mr. khairul’s birthday on march 8th, he celebrated it by taking all of us – his wife and kiddos, his mom and aunt and sis to muscat in oman! this was my 3rd time in oman since living in the UAE (united arab emirates). to me, oman is a beautiful country with its own natural characteristic like the rocky mountainous range which you can see all over the country. 

click here to read about the time we spent 2012 hari raya haji in muscat. and this othe posting is when mr. khairul’s whole family (his mak and bapak, his bapak’s sis maklong, his siblings tina, asrar and sofia) went for a musandam dhow ride to see the dolphins, way back in 2010. read about it here.



here’s me and sis-in-law tina at the UAE-oman border. we were immediately greeted by this amazing sight – the beautiful black rocky mountains. this is oman!


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our designated tour guide was this cool couple abg yuzly and kak anis. they just moved to oman from kuwait. I must say they are one of the most friendliest strangers I’ve met in a long time. tak pernah jumpa, tak pernah kenal tapi terus ngam macam dah lama kenal. both husband and wife exude warmth and sincerety. we were in good hands while in muscat!



abang yuzly suggested this yummy thai place for lunch. it’s ‘sabai dee thai foods’. nothing feels better than enjoying good ‘ol asian food while away in a middle eastern country! haha.



we had the unforgettable tom yam seafood, soft juicy steamed fish, crispy ikan 3-flavoured & squid somtam (thai salad). semua sedap. everything tasted good, especially the tomyam and ikan 3-rasa. crispy on the outside, and juicy fishy flesh on the inside. satisfying!



highly recommended by mr. khairul after recommendation from bro yuzly. I think it’s green tea with milk. it’s served like this, and then you stir and end up with a pale green drink. I don’t really fancy plain green tea on its own, but this bitter-sweet drink was really satisfying! I totally love it. it’s new and refreshing. glad I gave it a try!


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the one place to go to shop for antiques is muttrah souq – the oldest market in oman, perhaps in the whole arab world – probably about 200 years! it has got lots of nook and corners that somehow leads you to more and more little shops. you’d think that it’s just a small souq, but its long and winding narrow lanes might get you confused!

me? I love it – it’s like travelling back in time!


mom-in-law, maklang & sis-in-law tina with kak anis our awesome tour guide plus driver plus hostess (hot tea and karipap panas! yum!). she had just moved to oman from kuwait and was such a good sport driving us in, out and all about muttrah souq. thanks so much!




top right picture : mom-in-law and aunt-in-law maklang choosing their favorite arabic perfume. they’re sold in small bottles like minyak attar in mekah but these ones in oman don’t smell that strong – just sweet, and some are fruity macam bau perfume ralph lauren! top left picture : my eldest boy khaleef wearing the distinct recognizable omani cap (kopiah) and here they’re called ‘kumma’. it’s so easy to spot an omani in dubai – just for this one characteristic.


oh, what myriads of sights, sounds and smells when you walk in muttrah souq!

  • sights : colors of pashmina, cloth, jubah of all designs and pattern, and bling blings on bags and jewelery
  • sounds : the crowd; people bargaining for a price, haggling, calling out a wandering child (kahfi!!! not too far!!! kazim, come back! khaleef hold your brother!) hihi
  • smell : the frankincense of course (kemenyan wangi) – for which oman is most famous for since forever, and distinct smell of arabic perfumes



love this shot! especially since I had to quickly take a snap! I’m not too comfortable taking pictures while the owner stared and expecting me to buy something from his shop. sorry dude! I just want a picture of your beautiful shop!



look at all the colors!



enjoying my stroll inside the muttrah souq while mom-in-law, aunt-in-law maklang and sis-in-law tina shop shop shop!


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before we leave muscat, oman, our designated tour guides bro yuzly and kak anis had one more yumminess to offer – a lunch date at a mandi restaurant in oman, specializing in – camel meat! yeap. ONLY camel meat.



no chicken, no lamb meat. JUST camels at this restaurant. the top one in this picture is grilled camel meat, and the bottom one is fried camel meat. each one with its own unique taste that I love. it’s well-marinated as I can taste the spices, and the texture is also very soft and tender – not liat at all. I can eat them all! sedap sangat!



the plate of rice that we shared among 12-13 of us! that’s A LOT of rice, I tell ya! the white one is like our nasi minyak, while the other one is like nasi tomato but not quite. lebih kurang. I prefer the ‘nasi minyak’ because it’s more milder than the orange one.



how big is the plate of oman mandi rice and camel meat? see lah. hihi.


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old muttraq soup, thai food in oman and oman camel mandi. we shop, we eat, we happy – owh, what a holiday!

it was a happy weekend for us, and the day that my mr. khairul turned 35. however, speaking of march 8th, I can’t help mentioning MH370, that went missing on that very date. at the time of writing, the plane is still missing and reportedly ended its flight path in the vast indian ocean. my thoughts and doa go the the perished souls on board, and the grieving family. may Allah continue to give them strength. Allah knows best.

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