One of the most frustrating things I find about traveling is navigating unfamiliar streets. A lot of the times it is fun getting lost and finding sights that you otherwise wouldn’t see. However, when you are trying navigate to that obscure, yet tasty, pad thai noodle house in Bangkok you found on a local food blogger’s website, it can get a bit frustrating to say the least when it’s not where you though it was. My friend Sarah and I had many nights like this on our epic two month long backpack trip through Asia.
Dating back to the bronze age, the Jaylah Tower Tombs are not what you’d expect in such a desolate place like Salmah Plateau. “Discovered” in the early 90’s by archeologist Paul Alan Yule after seeing arial photographs in the book A Day Above Oman, by John Nowell, Dr. Yule teamed up with Gerd Weisgerber to document, map, excavate, and restore at least one of the tombs with the help of the German Omani Association in 1995.
The Salmah Plateau is located in the Eastern Hajar mountains, and if you have been to the Western Hajar mountains you will notice a striking difference. Here the hills form a gentler landscape that is mostly devoid of vegetation, giving the Salmah Plateau and the surrounding mountains a desolate feel.
Sand driving isn’t as difficult as it looks or sounds. My top 13 tips below will set you up for a fun day out in the Wahiba dunes or elsewhere in Oman. As long as you follow the rules and safety precautions for off-road driving in Oman you’ll be guaranteed a good time in the beautiful dunes of Oman.
The Delorme inReach SE is a tool I use to stay safe while exploring the backroads of Oman that are beyond the route. The sultanate is so sparsely populated that off-road destinations have limited or no cell phone coverage, making a simple breakdown a possible dangerous situation in the high heat. I purchased the inReach SE a few months ago, and I have been pleasantly surprised by this little device. I’d like to share with you this gadget; explain to you what it does, what I like and dislike about it, and how it might benefit you on your travels.
The Rub’ al Khali (الربع الخالي) literally means Empty Quarter in Arabic, and is the world’s largest contiguous sand desert covering about 650,000 square km of land. To put that into perspective, the Rub’ al Khali covers most of the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula with potions existing in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and of course, Oman.