Ladies and gentlemen, welcome, to my first trip to the Middle East, in Kuwait!
To be honest, I was quite nervous on what to expect, but let me bring you through my experience as a total newbie to the Middle Eastern culture.
First thing’s first. Kuwait is a hella rich country. Their houses are pretty much palaces. And the cars they drive are massive! It was like a monster car competition out there. A jarring difference from KL, where cars are more compact, the better to needle through traffic with and squeeze in tight parking spots. Also, Kuwait’s currency is the world’s strongest. Pretty amazing for a country the size of Kelantan. You could visit the whole of Kuwait in 2 days. That’s how small it was.
Being caught up with all the wealth and luxury in this affluent country, it’s easy to forget that Kuwait came from humble beginnings. Before their black gold was discovered and they became this prosperous nation, Kuwait’s main revenue came from fishing. So of course I had to visit these monuments commemorating their modest history.
This is the Al-Hashemi-II. One of the largest hand crafted wooden ships in the world today. An imposing landmark in the heart of Kuwait.
The Al-Hashemi-II had one the most beautiful interiors I’ve seen in a ship. Made me imagine myself as one of the elite passengers aboard the Titanic. Only thing missing were people waltzing along to pretty music.
What to do in Kuwait
Go on a cruise.
There was no shortage of boats in Kuwait. All parked by the port. Cruises were available to observe the impressive skyline of Kuwait City.
Visit the Kuwait Aquarium
Yes, it is ironic, given that we were in the middle of a dessert. But the Kuwait aquarium was a well maintained and educational tourist site. You could also opt to watch an engaging 3D movie whilst exploring the aquarium.
Quaint local Cafes
It is fascinating to see what you will find when you walk into one. We had a pleasant time in one of the French themed local coffee shops.
Try the local food.
Food is the most vital part of travel! To me at least. So of course I insisted trying all the local cuisine. And they were absolutely DELICIOUS! It was during this trip that I fell in love with middle-eastern cooking, and naturally, I gained a bunch of weight.
Explore the local shops
We walked around exploring some stores and found this local bookstore in its hidey hole. Full of great books by distinguished authors, we happily lingered for long hours reading and engaging with the local customers there, making friends along the way.
Visit TWOFORTYEIGHTAM for all Kuwait activities.
Through this site, we found local groups and participated in activities we would not have imagined existed.
Lending a helping hand at a local gardening group.
Bumped into Tom Hardy‘s middle eastern doppelganger at a local outdoor bazaar!
Kuwait Dessert Expedition
This was my most amazing experience in Kuwait. Being out in the dessert, in the middle of the night, with the closest form of civilization being a hundred kilometers away. It was so dark that when the car lights were turned off, I could not see my own hands in front of me. It was terrifying. We were alone in the middle of the pitch black dessert. If someone were to murder us right there and then, I have very little doubt that out bodies would ever be found. Morbid, I know, but that was how isolated we were and how deserted the desert was.
But when we gazed up at the sky, it was magnificent. Stars. Just stars. Everywhere. We forgot the darkness, we forgot the fact that this was the perfect location for a homicide, we even forgot the cold. Nahh, just kidding, we were very aware of the cold. It was brutal. We spent an hour shivering in the wind, nursing our hot tea (the only thing enabling us to stay put), just to lay down, and stare at the stars. Absolutely perfect.
Tips for travel in Kuwait
- Go to Kuwait in the winter! Unless you’re a fan of melting in the unforgiving Kuwaiti sun.
- If you do go in winter, bring your heavy coats because dessert wind is no joke. And lotion! And lip balm! Just moisturize as much as possible.
- If you go to the dessert at night, bring a vacuum flask of hot tea. You can thank me later 😉
- Dress more conservatively. If you’re like me and you hate jeans and constricting clothing, just brave it for a few days, making friends will be much easier J