Kuwait – a desert adventure
Kuwait – a desert adventure
Welcome to Kuwait; in the country of the most powerful currency in the world, which is over 2,5 times more expensive than the British pound. It’s a shock! Kuwait is also the country with the highest temperatures in the world, reaching over 50ºC in summer. One summer it was so hot that flying birds fell dead on the desert. However, Kuwait has nice beaches, palm trees, good restaurants, hotels, an attractive Arabian bazaar and interesting Kuwait City. To travel around Kuwait however you should be well prepared due to the climate and prices!
Kuwait was the last country on my desert trip. After a long and exhausting expedition around Saudi Arabia and after an intense trip around Bahrain I felt that I wanted to return to the ‘Kingdom of Political Correctness’ from another country. I planned to go to Qatar but because of the football world cup it turned out to be impossible, so I came back from Kuwait. I knew that Kuwait didn’t have as much to offer travellers as other Gulf countries but from my experience I know that no country should be judged too early.
Map of Kuwait
After almost two months of traveling around the Arabian Peninsula I knew what to expect but Kuwait was still a good experience. I crossed yet another Arabian desert country which in an adventurous way was the culmination of my hard journey. In Kuwait I was clearly very tired and that’s why despite many adventures I was glad that it was the last country before returning home.
I also had an accident in Kuwait and ended up in the hospital for a short time, but I managed. Arabs took good care of me for what I am grateful. Surely they felt they were saving a good man? Earlier, in Saudi Arabia, Arabs had also put me back on my feet. It would be much less stressful and less tiring if it was cheaper. Overall, it’s a tough destination.
Briefly about the places I saw in Kuwait
I entered Kuwait by land from Saudi Arabia and then I hitchhiked a couple of times through the flat hot desert. Along the way, among other things I saw oil fields that testify to the economic power of Kuwait. My first stop was the small town of Fahaheel but I didn’t stay there long. I saw a nice harbour with elegant yachts being part of a shopping center and then a local bazaar. After crossing the desert Fahaheel was my first impression of Kuwait.
The next places were Salmiya and Kuwait City, between which I often moved. Kuwait City is the heart and soul of Kuwait while Salmiya is more quiet. Both cities have interesting places to see and I have no doubt that anyone who visits Kuwait would spend most of their time there. Salmiya and Kuwait City are about 10 km away.
In Salmiya I spent most of my time on the Marina beach, which is well prepared for people who want to relax. The beach is long and wide and it is fine to swim. There are also a few palm trees on the beach and an interesting wooden object in the form of a shipwreck. Kuwait City and the famous Kuwait Towers are visible from Marina Beach. One can walk there for hours just to enjoy presence in a new country. Near the Marina beach there is also a shopping centre next to the port called Marina Mall. There is nothing interesting in the shopping cenre itself, but everyone who is on the neighbouring beach will definitely go there to freshen up and see elegant yachts.
Not far from the Marina beach there is Aquarium which I consider a must-see during a visit to Kuwait. Someone could say that he might skip because he has already been to London and aquariums are of average interest to him. I warn that this is a big mistake. There are many beautiful animals inside, from seahorses, through moray eels to great sharks. Besides, there are also some mammals and birds. Behind the aquarium there is a lovely coastline, an elegant area for walking and palm trees of course.
Many immigrants from India, Iran, the Philippines and many other countries live in Salmiya. There one can find cheaper hotels and restaurants, but I have to warn that this is Kuwait and that’s why no one should expect that the prices would be similar to those in Vietnam or Nepal. Kuwait is simply expensive.
Kuwait City has a lot more to offer than Salmiya and that’s why I stayed there longer. Out of all the places I saw I will mention three, although I think that the very impression of the city is important too. I liked the coast of Kuwait City which was always full of Arab families in the evenings after the heat cooled down. I was also impressed by the buildings decorated with paintings referring to the Arab culture of Kuwait, usually depicting old Arab boats and Arabs helping themselves to Arabic coffee from traditional jugs. I believe this is the right way!
It seems that in Europe anti-European governments have declared war on Europeans as their policies seek to annihilate European culture, ethnicity and even the right to protect their children from degeneracy. By comparison, in all Muslim countries that I’ve been to governments always promote local culture and moral standards.
When in Kuwait City I think that first of all one should see the symbol of Kuwait, which are the two Kuwait Towers. I was there twice and once I took the elevator to the observation deck to see Kuwait City from above and the sunset over the city. Then I reminded myself of Saudi Arabia because when I was in Riyadh I went to the top of the symbol of Saudia, the famous skyscraper Kingdom Tower. However returning to Kuwait, there is also a beach near the towers where Arabs come for picnics, there is a pier crowded with fishermen and beautiful palm trees.
I think that the Mubarakiya Market is a must-see when visiting Kuwait’s capitaland I think that place should be visited because of the people. I spent a merry time with the Arabs in the teahouse, I chatted with vendors from many countries of the Muslim world, and I also tried to make contact with beauties dressed in stylish black sheets. Mubarakiya is a great place to chat, buy souvenirs and eat well. From the bazaar it is easy to reach the coast and also downtown of Kuwait City where there is more to see.
I also really enjoyed the fish market which is located in an attractive desert-coloured building close to the harbour. There is a wonderful view of the bay full of yachts and skyscrapers in the distance. At the market people reacted in many ways to the sight of the camera. Some posed for photos with fish and others chased me away. Anyway, I saw a lot of exotic fish species of many sizes and colours. I reminded myself of Saudi Arabia again. When I was in Jeddah I also went to the fish market: Bangala.
After a few days I returned to Salmiya from where I went on a day trip to Failaka Island. It’s a nice place for a day. There is a nice beach and sea but I think that the most valuable points of that island are the Greek fortress built in the times of Alexander the Great and the archaeological site also left by the Greeks. I think that it’s worth going to Failaka to take a break from the city.
Things I didn’t like about Kuwait
I think public transport could be better. Fortunately taxis are fairly priced and hitchhiking is also possible.
I was in Kuwait in December and it was still very warm, that’s why I can’t imagine how a white man can survive there in the summer when it’s +55ºC. Well, I’m not stopping anyone.
Prices are very stressful due to the power of Kuwaiti dinars. Kuwait is expensive but hotel prices are shocking. I finally got around to it but it was still expensive. Kuwait is not a budget destination.
Kuwait is a very interesting addition to my travels but purely because of the prices visitors should ask themselves if it’s worth it, because for the same money one could stay much longer in a different Arab country. Of course Kuwait has its charm and I recommend it but should carefully prepare his travel budget. (Well, I haven’t been to Qatar or Oman yet). Perhaps I would be more optimistic but in Kuwait I was already exhausted after a two-month crossing through the desert and I had an accident.
I believe that Kuwait can be seen in a few days, although it is impossible to get to feel the character of this country during a short plane transfer. If you plan your budget, time and transport well, you can see a lot in 5 days. There is less to see in Kuwait than in little Bahrain.