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Holiday Ideas for Eid

Eid is just around the corner and for many residents in Dubai this will mean a few days off work and for families this may also be the time the children have their half-term breaks.

Holidays at this time of year are a great excuse not to go back to your home country but to use the time to explore countries you may have never thought of going to or that were just too far away from your home country.

The team at Expat Echo Dubai have come up with a few suggestions to help you with all that choice.

Vietnam

You can now fly direct from Dubai to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in just under 7 hours.  Ho Chi Minh City is located in the south of the country.  It is not the capital but is the biggest city of Vietnam.  Like many of it’s neighbouring Asian cities it is hot, busy, chaotic and noisy so you maybe only want to spend a couple of days here but make sure you visit The Cu Chi Tunnels and The War Remnants Museum.

Hoi An
This ancient Town lies at the mouth of the Thu Bon River. Having escaped the destruction of all the successive wars in Vietnam, the old town of Hoi An was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO (in 1999)  and is a well-preserved example of an ancient South-east Asian trade port. Many visit Hoi An for its numerous art and craft shops and tailors, who manufacture made-to-measure clothes for a fraction of the Western price

Halong Bay
(literally: Bay of Descending Dragons;) A UNESCO World Heritage site  with some of the most beautiful natural sceneries worldwide. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes. The Ha Long bay, dotted with some 2000 limestone islets rising from emerald waters, is the best known natural wonder of Vietnam.

Hanoi
This has to one of my favourite cities.  It is the capital of Vietnam with a historical Old Town,  colonial French Quarter, ancient temples of more than thousand years of age and various scenic lakes and landmarks all make up one of the most fascinating cities of South-east Asia, with a mix of Chinese and French influences enriching the vibrant Vietnamese culture. It is very easy to walk about or even more enjoyable exploring the city in one of the many cyclos.  The shopping is great and the artwork beautiful.

Travelling between Ho Chi Minh/Hoi An/Hanoi can be done by internal flights and Halong Bay/Hanoi can be done by road.

Jordan

Stretching from the Gulf of Aqaba to the deserts of Iraq and Syria, Jordan is just a 3 hour flight from Dubai. After a night in the capital Amman, visit the ancient city of Jerash one of the best preserved Roman Provincial towns in the world. Not far from Amman is Mount Nebo over looking the Holy Land and is believed to be the burial place of Moses. A visit to Petra is a must and I urge visitors to stay at least 2 nights. Petra is a UNESCOworld heritage site and is truly enchanting. Enter Petra by day or by candle light at night.

Walk through the long chasm with 200 meter high walls towering above you and at the end of this you will be rewarded with the spectacular site of the Treasury. Ahead are various walks, climbs and hundreds of buildings, tombs and museums. It is truly breathtaking for the adult and full of excitement and adventure for the children (think of Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade!). After your stay in Petra head south to Wadi Rum the desert infamous with Lawrence of Arabia. This vast pinkish desert is beautiful by day but even more stunning at sunset so I recommend to camp there overnight.

After a memorable stay in the desert head northwards towards the airport spending a night at the Dead Sea relaxing in the gentle lapping waters where it is impossible to sink. Treat yourself to a soothing massage from the mud of the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is only 45 minutes from the airport.

Oman

If you don’t like the thought of flying and airports you could always jump in your car and head down to neighbouring Oman.  The capital, Muscat is a short 4.5 hour drive away from Dubai.  Situated between the Hajjar Mountains and the sea it is a city full of history and tradition.  The city is divided into suburbs but most visitors head for the historic area of Old Muscat and Muttrah.  This area is home to the historic souk and much photographed corniche which if you visit early in the morning you can catch the fish market in full swing.  Drive home via the inland route through the town of Nizwa  the gateway to the historic sites of Bahla and Jabrin, and for excursions up Jebel Akhdar and Jebel Shams.

For visa information check with each of the countries embassies

 

 



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