Bahrain

Bahrain is small. Really small. Driving from one side to other takes about 1.5 hours.

Bahrain is also not a tourist spot. We cannot apply for visas, someone within the country needs to invite us.

After leaving Dubai (more posts on Dubai coming soon) we landed at the Bahrain airport and it was boxy. Its the best word to describe, because after the a la grand ambience in Dubai.. I just found it small and lack lustre. It is ok though considering that the gov is not promoting it as a tourist spot! It also provided us a transit before landing in Mumbai which would have been a strong culture shock after Dubai!

From the airport we all loaded ourselves into cars and drove off to the area we were staying in… we passed through the capital city Manama. Manama has a beautiful skyline too.

Urban Ambience

Overall the urban area of Bahrain is a real mix. Some areas just feel like I am back in India. The lanes are small, cars are parked here n there without any order, there is random graphiti on the walls. Certain areas a lot of obnoxious messages for the governments have been written but are painted over by authorities. Its all clean though.. no big heaps of garbage like we find here!

Other areas of Bahrain are very posh! The grand mosque, certain highways and malls are all very international standard posh.

Public Transport

It is very poor. Apparently no buses, trains or any such facilities to commute. Again highlights the fact that it is not a place for tourism. Everyone needs to have their own private vehicles. It is possible to hire taxis or rent car with drivers but that is expensive and needs pre-booking! So for me from India I found it suffocating. I guess there is an innate freedom we Indians have of just being able to find decent public transport where ever we may be – metro cities or smaller villages! Kudos to Indian gov on that!

Currency

This is funny. One of those countries with a fractional currency… basically you get stuff for 0.8 Dirhams or 0.15 Dirhams. 1 Dirham is about 150 INR or around 3 Dollars. Too confusing… since I went with family didn’t have to figure too much of the currency stuff out. Apart from the numericals.. the cost of stuff is normal like we find here in India. In fact some of their markets like LuLu Hypermarket provide some real cheap deals.

Indian Expats

Happening Indian expat population here. There are women from India who have started food business. They provide totally authentic Indian food stuffs for reasonable money! So quite unbelievably I was having traditional Indian food there which I don’t even have here in Mumbai! Such is expat community! 🙂

Places to See

Quite a few places to see here, we couldn’t see all of it due to time constraints, but will be putting up a few blogs later…

Bahrain-Saudi Border, Mesquite- Tree of Life, Man-made islands, Al Fateh – Grand mosque are some of the places to visit.

Pretty sea.. on our way to Saudi border. Would be good to lounge, if they had a beach! Not sure whether they do! 🙂