Two Months in Middle East
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Dec 15, 2012 1:55 PM Last Post By: Ben2World
Dec 11, 2012 4:51 PM
Two Months in Middle EastI am thinking of traveling to ME for two months -- March and April 2013 -- more specifically the Gulf States and Iran. I'm just in the very beginning of planning -- so I would really appreciate any and all insights! I hold a Hong Kong SAR passport. So,
HK flight to Jeddah (is it possible to get a transit visa so I can walk around Jeddah a bit?)
Flight to Aden, Yemen.
Felix Air to Sayun, Yemen
long bus ride to Salalah, Oman
flight to Shiraz, Iran (and then 3-4 weeks in Iran)
Flight back to HK.
Haven't heard much about Yemen lately (no news is good news) -- is it pretty safe now going to the places in Yemen that I mentioned above?
I am primarily interested in culture, history, architecture -- so mostly cities and towns and historic ruins -- although I would like to take a bit of Nature as well. I likely will NOT head out into the wilds of Yemen -- esp. if doing so is still unsafe.
Is 4-5 weeks around the Gulf plus 3-4 weeks in Iran reasonable?
Dec 11, 2012 5:50 PM
1Have you done research on the Gulf states? they are expensive and most won't be hugely interesting given your interests. I'd advise looking into what you can see in Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait before going there. Personally I wouldn't bother with Kuwait and I doubt if Bahrain or Qatar have much more to offer.
Oman is great, wonderful scenery and historic things to see but not easy to get around unless you hire a car. The UAE also has interesting places and if you like modern architecture then Dubai is well worth seeing and it also has an old, historic area.
I've not been to Yemen but Iran is one of my favourite countries and you'll find plenty to keep you busy for 3-4 weeks as well as the most hospitable people you can imagine.
Dec 11, 2012 7:22 PM
What you wrote echos what I have been hearing over the years. I still want to visit the Gulf States, but perhaps it will make more sense to shorten that portion -- and devote more time to Iran. Thanks for your insights!
Dec 11, 2012 9:27 PM
3The visa to Yemen will be difficult. Firstly, you will need to use a tour agency as visas for independent travellers are virtually non-existant. Furthermore, Aden is not the safest place in the country. With a combination of separatist and proximity to Lahic and Abyan Governates, you could easily find yourself in trouble.
Dec 13, 2012 7:18 AM
4The northern part of Oman is, in terms of scenery, some of the best travelling in the Middle East, and Iran is amongst the best for culture and people, so devote as much time as possible to those two. Kuwait, Bahrain & Qatar...well, if you're keen to tick off countries, cheap flights connect all those places and Dubai.. Bahrain has slightly more to see than the others, but that's not saying much, and they all expensive. Cant speak at all for Saudi Arabia, I'd say it isn't worth the visa trouble at all, ditto for Yemen.
So, a good plan would be...see whichever of the 3 smaller countries you want to see, cheap flight to Dubai, a couple of days there, bus to Muscat in Oman and hire a car there for at least a week and cruise around the north seeing the various wadis, castles, turtle nesting site, etc. Then, take a cheap Air Arabia flight Sharjah to Shiraz and travel from Shiraz north to Tehran, from where you could find flights back towards Hong Kong. Also dont forget Jordan has plenty to offer in terms of culture/history, so think about including it in lieu of SA/Yemen.
Dec 13, 2012 2:11 PM
Dec 13, 2012 3:19 PM
6OK. Scratch Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Sigh...
As for traveling to all the rest -- which is the better hub to fly in and out of -- meaning which is better for cheap / convenient regional flights -- Dubai or Bahrain -- or are both equal? In my case, I must fly out of whichever airport that I fly in. Thanks.
Dec 13, 2012 4:41 PM
7Dubai is best as Air Arabia budget airline flies out of nearby Sharjah airport and Fly Dubai flies out of Dubai airport.
Dec 15, 2012 7:50 AM
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