Bahrain, being an open and nearer to Saudi Arabia as compared with UAE, is an almost first choice destination for the expatriates working in Saudi Arabia. I being one of the expatriates working in Saudi Arabia had a chance to visit Bahrain and relax and enjoy my holidays. Let me can share my experience with you people. It was November last year when I and two friends of mine got the opportunity to visit Bahrain and see the long heard beauty with our own eyes and to have the joy. We planned a stay for two nights and three days in Bahrain. It was my first chance to be in Bahrain that is why I was much eager and anxious to reach Bahrain. We chose to travel by bus so reached the SAPTCO terminal at Al-Khobar. The bus was to depart at 7 pm so we all purchased tickets and got our luggage placed in the cabins. Many of the travelers were expatriates like us who wanted to enjoy the holiday in the fun-filled land of Bahrain.[irp]
We reached the King Fahd Causeway in almost 45 minutes. Passengers need to go through the customs and immigration procedures and it took 2 hours to go through these procedures. The King Fahd Causeway is itself a place, one of its kind and worth seeing. It is a series of bridges that connects the two countries. It is 25 KM long having several lanes for vehicles to travel on. It took 5 years to complete the construction. Bahrain Flags and billboards with posters of the king welcomed us in Bahrain. Our destination was Bahrain Plaza Hotel. We reached and settled our luggage and stepped out for dinner. This choice was made because the hotel was a nice one located in the city’s center and other malls and restaurants were accessible. Bahrain is the destination of people from different cultures and countries so every type of food is available here. We chose Hot Pot Filipino restaurant for having the first dinner in Bahrain. The dinner was delicious having the real taste of traditional Filipino dishes. Cutting short the details as to what did we eat and drink, let me share the facts that will be of great use for the readers. Let me share the interesting facts about Bahrain and not about me and my friends.
National Museum of Bahrain: This museum is situated in Manama near King Faisal Highway and it is one of the oldest ones in Bahrain. It was opened for public in the month of December 1988. This museum having an approximate worth of 30 million US Dollars, covers 6000 years of the history of Bahrain. Three large halls show different aspects of Bahrain’s history. The ancient civilization of Dilmun, The Natural History and Old Quranic manuscripts and other historical documents are placed here. Most interesting is the Burial Mound that was imported in its actual condition from the desert to the museum. In short, it is a place that may not be fully covered in a whole day and is so marvelous that it can be talked about with friends for long, long times.
Tree of Life: I was getting curious the more I heard about the “tree of life” so I decided to pay a visit. It is an absolute mystery. It is approximately 400 Years old tree, located at 2 km from Dukhan Mountain. This tree is seen by approx. 50,000 tourists in a year. It is situated in the middle of the desert and its source of water is a great mystery till date because if there would have been something like an underground spring there would have been some other plant as well. Despite all this, flowers and green leaves appear on the tree two times in a year. I will suggest you get mystified by this creature when you have a chance to visit Bahrain.
Bahrain Fort: The fort was once the center of power in the whole region, the construction date goes back to 16th Century AD. It was built by Muslims then it had been under control of Portuguese also. This site has been given the status of UNESCO World Heritage. It also has a museum that reflects different civilizations that have been in control of the fort at different times. Al-Arad fort that was built in the 15th century and is a masterpiece of Arab architecture and Al-Riffa fort built in 1812 has a beautiful view through Hunainya Valley, both forts are also worth seeing places.[irp]
Al-Areen Wildlife Park: This unique park covers an area of 8 Square KMs and is in a semi-desert area at 20 km from Manama. Animals here are not placed in cages rather they are kept in individual fences covering a larger area. The tourists are supposed to move around the park in the special bus of the park and not allowed to step out. Animals of rare and dying out species, naturally habitats of Arabian Peninsula are contained in this park. Springbok, Impala, Persian Gazelle, the extinct Arabian Oryx, Ostriches, and Camels are here in this park.
Traditional Houses of Muharraq: Muharraq has been the capital of the Kingdom and hub of major developments. It is known for its great contributions to enrich the cultural heritage. The traditional houses are restored and each of them shows a unique pearl of the Kingdom’s cultural legacy. Sheikh Isa bin Ali house is a great example of marvelous Islamic Architecture of Gulf. Four courtyards, wonderfully engraved wooden doors and perforated gypsum panels add to the beauty of this house. Many other houses exhibit different pearls of the cultural inheritance, Kurar House, Bin Matar House, Nukhida House, Bu Zaboon and Muhammad bin Faris house are a marvelous example in this regard.
Sheikh Ibrahim bin Muhammad Al-Khalifa research center: The research center founded in the name of Sheikh Ibrahim bin Muhammad Al-Khalifa is meant to be a forum for research and dialogue about literature, philosophy, arts and the culture. This center is providing a beautiful and expert insight into different interesting aspects of Bahrain’s enriched heritage. Being an employee of a multinational in KSA we had to return as the holidays were finished but I must say that three days are not at all enough for total exploration of Bahrain’s fascinating beauty and fun. I could not visit many other places like Al Dar Island, Boats Trips to Bu Maher Fort, Aali burial mounds, and Pottery workshops, Bait al-Quran, Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park, Barbar Temples and National Theatre of Bahrain and many other historical places. State of the art restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels also need much time to be spent at.
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