We’re starting to melt here in the Gulf. At dawn, the cool morning breezes greet you but as the sun rises, the heat imprisons you. Air-conditioned homes, cars, and stores are your refuge, especially during peak heat. Enjoying the outdoors in the middle of the day is beyond unbearable; it’s unbelievable and there are only three escape routes: leave the region, retreat to the mountains, or head to Salalah.
If you can’t leave the region, Salalah is a favorable summer destination. While the rest of the Gulf sizzles, Salalah drizzles. The khareef or monsoon season makes for misty mornings and dewy days. The rolling green hills and fertile fields temporarily transport you from desert dryness to Caribbean tropics. Fresh coconut water stands and banana plantations may whisk you towards the Caribbean Sea but the scent of smoldering frankincense brings you right back to Arabia.
Beyond the waterfalls and flowing rivers, the land of frankincense hosts the annual Khareef Festival, drawing both regional and global visitors who pack the city to maximum capacity. For more history than entertainment, archaeological finds of ancient cities, traditional souq markets, and the reported grave of Prophet Job are frequented sites worth visiting.
If you find yourself in Arabia, bypass the skyscrapers and shopping malls and head straight to Southern Oman for a break from the heat and a memorable experience of culture, nature, and tradition.
This post originally appeared on Barrel Hopping.