Category Archives: Bahrain

500 Camels in Bahrain

Photo tour: Royal Camel Farm in Bahrain

I’d seen camels before, but never this many, and never like this.

Business tourists visit Bahrain ask, are there camels in Bahrain? There’s lots of of camels in Bahrain, but the reason might surprise you. Here’s the quick story he shared:

My guide told me that the King of Bahrain (actually Sheikh Mohammed) wanted camels, and thus 500 camels were brought to what became the Royal Camel Farm in Bahrain. He decided to open up this Royal Camel Farm to the public. I’d never seen so many camels!

Camels in Bahrain at sunset

Bahrain consists of mostly desert, making it the ideal habitat for camels.

Feeding a camel at the Royal Camel Farm in Bahrain
Feeding a camel in Bahrain

Despite being called a camel farm, the camels here are not for eating. Sheikh Mohammed set up the farm to preserve the presence of the camel in Bahrain which, before the advent of the motor vehicle was the Bahraini’s foremost mode of transport. Indeed, the Arabian Peninsula has a huge cultural connection with the camel, and for the Bedouins of the past, the camel was revered as a sacred symbol of life amid the inhospitable desert. –Time Out Bahrain

How does Jordan fit into a SE Asia trip?

Wonder no longer!  I’ve been asked about it dozens of times already, so this is the story of how Jordan and Bahrain, two countries in the Middle East, made it into my southeast Asia itinerary. I might have the strangest itinerary and route of anyone I’ve met in my travels.

While I was enjoying Bali and Java, Indonesia, Fan was working on a business trip in Tel Aviv, Israel, and suggested we meet up. They’re not even remotely close, but just for fun I did a quick search, and was to surprised to find an incredible deal! For $181 USD rountrip I could fly from KL (Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia) to AMM (Amman, the capital of Jordan), with a layover in Bahrain via Gulf Air.  That’s about the same price as the short trip to the next country in the area that I was about to book before seeing this. It must have been an error in the system, or perhaps a generous promotion, but either way, after checking that Gulf Air was a reputable airline, I pounced!  Changing dates or revising the plan so I could route through Israel or Egypt would have made it cost prohibitive, but at this rate I could certainly swing it.  An hour later it was almost twice the price. Later that night the price had nearly quadrupled.

Got out of Bahrain just in time!

Just a few short weeks after leaving Jordan and Bahrain, the Middle East fell apart. Egypt has been all over the news, but there’s been quite a bit going on in Bahrain and Jordan (where I traveled) as well. I’m now out safely – I’ll post more of Jordan today but wanted to let you know that I’m out safely.  The New York Times just posted this story with an update on what’s going on in Bahrain:

Clashes Erupt in Bahrain as Tumult Ripples Across Mideast

Bahrain - tear gas and rubber bullets used to disperse protesters in Diraz in2011
Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters in Diraz, Bahrain

This small nation in the Persian Gulf, with only about one million residents, half of them foreign workers, has long been among the most politically volatile in the region. The principal tension is between the royal family under King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and the ruling elites, who are mostly Sunnis, on one side, and the approximately 70 percent of the local population that is Shiite on the other. Occupying mostly run-down villages with cinder block buildings and little else, many Shiites say they face systemic discrimination in employment, housing, education and government.

Flight from Bahrain to Jordan on Gulf Air

After the craziness on my first flight on Gulf Air, they redeemed themselves with this wonderfully comfortable and uneventful flight.

This plane was modern and the seat design seemed very innovative – there was plenty of leg room because the area for the tray table and magazines was set higher than most airplane seats. Why doesn’t every airline do it this way?

The next post will be from Jordan – so excited for Petra!

Driving Towards Saudi Arabia

We took a drive down the  King Fahd Causeway in Bahrain, headed  towards the Saudi Arabia border.

a rainbow of colors in the sky for the drive

Where is Bahrain?

The Kingdom of Bahrain (Arabic: مملكة البحرين‎, Mamlakat al-Baḥrayn, literally: “Kingdom of the Two Seas”), is a small island country of approximately 800,000 people.

It’s a tiny country – while Bahrain is an archipelago of thirty-three islands, the largest (Bahrain Island) is 34 miles long by 11 miles wide. [wikipedia]

Location: it’s just east of Saudi Arabia, connected via the King Fahd Causeway, and north of Qatar(World Cup 2022) across the Gulf of Bahrain. It’s southwest of Iran, and northwest of the UAE (directly west of Dubai).

Map

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