Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Muscat Oman - Day 2: Mutrah Souk

The Souk at Mutrah (Arabic pronunciation closer to "Matrah", and sometimes spelt "Muttrah") is one of the best places to visit in Oman. It is located on the Corniche (curved waterside road). The souk consists of many small stalls selling all kinds of goods (jewelery, clothes, spices). I'm always pleased to see that the souk is frequented by far more locals than tourists, as it sells basic staples as well as the tourist staples of frankinsense and dishdashas. Many local families seem to go there for a nice walk and browse after dark when the temperatures are not so hot. The afternoon is usually too hot for doing much, which is why the souk closes from 1pm to 4pm.

The ornate entrance to the Souk is shown below. If you're walking down the corniche, you can't miss it. Also, all taxi drivers know exactly where it is.

Entrance to Mutrah Souk, Oman

The souk itself consists of a warren of covered indoor streets, with stalls at either side, as you can see in the next two photographs.

Mutrah Souk, Muscat, Oman


There are stalls on the outside of the souk buildings, and in the background you can see one of the many old Portuguese forts in the area, and on the left a mosque:



Haggling in the souk is expected, and you can expect to take at least 30% off the offered price but still have the feeling that you may have overpaid. Still, it's a great experience and definitely one of the highpoint of any trip to Oman.

If you want to see more of Mutrah Souk, and Oman in general, then I highly recommend Ahmed Al-Shukaili's photographs.

Other posts about Muscat:

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