At first glance the shops and stalls can be mistaken as only selling consumer ‘trash’ such as holdalls, fake designer watches or clothing and electrical equipment. Those a little more persistent and adventurous will soon discover the traditional stalls of the souk. There are plenty of merchants selling fruit, vegetables, spices and traditional hand made goods. These provide a splash of colour and the air can become fragrant with the mixed scent of some stong but often subtle spices.
More unusually it is possible to find stallholders drying tobacco for sale or making and repairing footwear by hand on tiny metal anvils in a space little larger than the average wardrobe.
The ‘corniche’ runs along the length of the towns coast and there are a string of small fishing boats located at regular points along the beach. If they are not actually out fishing there are often fisherman sat reparing their nets or preparing their longlines. They use even smaller boats for catching sardines which are then used as bait for larger fish.
There are some street food stalls, plenty of coffee shops and other places selling tasty and great value meals such as cuttle fish kebabs and mussel byriani. A stop for a small snack for lunch can often turn out to be a very large meal at an equally reasonable price.
Talking with a family and taking a few pictures can provide an opportunity to meet genuinely hospitable people who may even invite you to join them for dinner.
There are a number of attractive mosques and the ‘call to prayer’ can be heard several times a day.
Making the a day excursion from Muscat is worth the effort and most travellers will enjoy a visit to Seeb.
More from Oman – Postcard from a Wonderful Wadi