Daily Archives: January 25, 2009

So, about that Musandam thing….

Posted by on January 25, 2009

There are certain assumption you make when you travel. They are usually pretty mundane things like “there is an airport in the capital city”, or “a major city will have hotels”. You usually don’t have to worry about the things you assume because they are always true.

Having read numerous articles about the ferry to Musandam I figured it would be as easy as taking a bus or a plane. All I needed to do was find out the schedule, get in a taxi and go to the ferry terminal at the right time.

It hasn’t quite worked out that way.

It seems that everyone I’ve talked to in Oman has heard of the ferry, but no one actually knows anything about it. I’ve spoken to five travel agents near my hotel. None of them offer ferry tickets nor know where to go to get tickets. No one in my hotel knows anything. None of the cab drivers know anything or where to take me to get a ticket. There is no website for the ferry company. All the searches you do bring up articles about the ferry, but no actual information on how to get tickets nor can I find links to a website from the articles. I have been told by one taxi driver you get tickets in Ruwi, but he didn’t know where that was. One Omani told me that they are only for government officials (which I have no idea if that is true).

This huge investment the government made in high speed, world class ferries is pretty much useless as no one knows how to take it, even if they wanted to. I can’t even verify that the ferry is currently operating. This is sort of another version of what I experienced in Nizwa. They have something great, but don’t bother to make any signs pointing to it.

I think I’ve reached the point where I have to cut my losses and take the bus back to Dubai. It sucks that I wont get to Musandam, but that’s life. So tomorrow, its back on the bus and a few days in Dubai before heading to Qatar.

Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca

Posted by on January 25, 2009

World Heritage Site #43: Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca

Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca: My 43rd UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca:

Melaka and George Town, Malaysia, are remarkable examples of historic colonial towns on the Straits of Malacca that demonstrate a succession of historical and cultural influences arising from their former function as trading ports linking East and West. These are the most complete surviving historic city centres on the Straits of Malacca with a multi-cultural living heritage originating from the trade routes from Great Britain and Europe through the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and the Malay Archipelago to China. Both towns bear testimony to a living multi-cultural heritage and tradition of Asia, where the many religions and cultures met and coexisted. They reflect the coming together of cultural elements from the Malay Archipelago, India and China with those of Europe, to create a unique architecture, culture and townscape.

Melaka and George Town represent exceptional examples of multi-cultural trading towns in East and Southeast Asia, forged from the mercantile and exchanges of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures and three successive European colonial powers for almost 500 years, each with its imprints on the architecture and urban form, technology and monumental art. Both towns show different stages of development and the successive changes over a long span of time and are thus complementary.

George Town was designated a World Heritage site just a month before I arrived. There were still banners and signs all over the congratulating themselves on the accomplishment.

George Town was a former British trading city in Malaysia along with Melaka and Singapore. Many people have told me that George Town is what Singapore would look like today if it hadn’t become independent of Malaysia.

In addition to the European architecture, there is also a strong Chinese influence in the city, the remnant of Chinese traders who settled there.


View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malaysia.

View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.

Last updated: Mar 10, 2017 @ 1:22 am