Oman Road Trip | Travel Photography by Sebastian Motsch (2015)

Oman | Al Bustan Palace, Shangri-La, Bimmah Sinkhole, Wadi Shab

Oman FlagAfter getting up early we left Al Wadi Al Kabir and drove over the mountain to see the famous Al Bustan Palace. The roundabout is amazing, with a pool in the middle sporting a full-size Dhow. The water fountains are arranged cleverly in a way to resemble the bow wave of the ship. The driveway to the Al Bustan Palace Hotel is lined with trees and makes you forget that you are in a barren landscape. We didn’t manage to get into the (supposedly awesome) seaside garden of the hotel, but made up for that at the Shangri-La Resort, a couple of kilometers away.

Yin and yang are never far apart. First we found the most amazing driving road (Yiti Street to Ruwi) with plenty of tight corners, elevation changes, blind crests and sudden drop-offs, that put a huge smile to our faces and the Camry well near its’ limits… and then we drove on one of the most dull motorways until reaching the Bimmah Sinkhole. This place is amazing and we really enjoyed a mid-day swim in the clear, salty(!) water. The hole is connected to the sea, some 500 meters away.

Being refreshed, we took the small coastal road to the entrance of Wadi Ash Shab, left our car and hiked deep into the valley, which is flanked by steep rock formations and extremely narrow in some places. The pools at the end of the Wadi looked inviting, but we had to turn around eventually. It would have been too dangerous to hike back without daylight.

PS: Try to spot the people in the pictures of the Wadi. They are a good reference for the sheer size of the canyon.