Monday, December 06, 2021 | Jumada al-ula 1, 1443 H
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Balm for the soul

A GERMAN travel bug aims to cover 100 countries by travelling and to speak 5 languages before she turns 30.

It is a challenge for Hong Trinh, a Vietnamese volunteer and worker, crazy about travelling, hiking and adventure.

Travelling for her is not only a pleasure, but a lifestyle which enriches her body and soul.

The Sultanate for Hong was one of her greatest experiences in five years of odyssey as the country is peaceful, well-known for its hospitality and friendliness.

“The country is fascinating, full of legends and a fairytale of 1,001 nights.”

“Oman is breathtaking in every single way. This almost unknown country is like balm for my soul after crazy and noisy Egypt from where I travelled. I fell in love with Oman the moment I arrived and was really sad to depart.”

She elaborates that the calmness is so incredible to such a level that one would never expect.

“The Omanis are more than friendly and very much at peace with themselves. I seriously felt it with every Omani whom I during my visit.”

At a Frankfurt clinic in 2017 to get herself vaccinated, she noticed a photograph of Rimal Al Sharqiya. This inspired her to take up the call to explore the Sultanate on an impulse.

She and her friend Sven flew to Oman in May for 8 days.

They visited the old Muttrah souq in the historical part of Muttrah, Sultan Qaboos Mosque, Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) and Bait al Zubair Museum.

She was impressed by the architecture and impressive monument of Grand Mosque in Bausher, built of tonnes of Indian sandstone.

What impressed her was the high-quality tourism which the Sultanate had to offer.

Muttrah was her favourite spot walking along the sea road and watching the locals relaxing which she enjoyed tasting the delicious Arab cuisines like hummus and lamb dishes.

She went around visiting forts at Al Rustaq, Jabreen and Nizwa, Bahla renting a 4x4 car and drove around without any hitch.

“The roads are in perfect condition and Omanis are very calm drivers. The best part is that the country is sparsely populated and often you can have the roads all for yourself,” she admits.

Jabreen Castle was the favourite spot during her visit.

“The castle gives a beautiful insight of ancient life in Oman and has been beautifully restored with an audio guide at its entrance,” she recalls.

Panoramic villages in Al Hamra and Al Misfat provide every visitor greater insights into the past life of Omanis when they used to live in loam houses.

Experiencing ethereal moments travelling to Jabal Shams, the third highest in the Arabian Peninsula, Hong spent relaxing time at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdhar Resort, the best resort she has ever stayed in her life.

Rimal al Sharqiya was another personal highlight for her.

“I love the mountains, oceans and deserts. This was my fourth time in a desert and I was totally in love with the sands. Sand-boarding is definitely my favourite activity. Nothing really beats a camel ride in the sunset over dunes that are five stories high or even dune bashing with the 4×4.”

Spending a beautiful day among tiny villages and rocky mountain at Wadi Bani Khalid, she enjoyed strolling on the bridges and seating areas which does not detract its beauty.

“There are several pools and some with full of fishes that gives you a soothing foot massage. I was already used to it having had similar experience in Thailand. For bird lovers, you might find yourself surrounded by many different species of birds.”

“The hospitality of Omanis is beyond my imagination,” she admits and visiting Oman was definitely one of the best travel decisions which she made.

“You really need to visit the country again in order to understand my enthusiasm for it. I can’t wait to come back and immerse myself in the Omani culture and its incredible hospitality. There you will find hope for humanity again,” she concludes.

After Oman, Hong travelled to Jordan, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Monaco, Thailand and Taiwan.

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