Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Haql - A Gem at the Gulf of Aqaba

My husband loves travelling and he has made me to love it too and because of it while living in Saudi Arabia, in last two and a half years, we have travelled to 13 out of 14 provinces of it and have witnessed some of the amazing sights and sceneries. Contrary to the general views, Saudi Arabia has a lot to offer to travelers in addition to many other things.

In October 2014, we visited Haql, an uncommonly known name to most of locals even. It’s a small town at the Jordanian border. While at its coast, one can see the coastal areas of Aqaba (Jordan), Eilat (Israel) and Taba (Egypt).

While approaching Haql, the sight and color of the sea amazed us and we paused for the view. Even from distance we could see the water of sea as blue as it could be. And as we reached near the beach, I could see how clear the water was and how beautifully the sun made it shine, like glitters being sprinkled all over the gulf.

There were many chalets (a small living unit) and almost all of them included a private pool and small private beach area. The beach area was guarded by walls on both sides to ensure privacy and was enough for a family. We rented a chalet there with one bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom, a sitting area and terrace overlooking the beach.

The pool, though not big in size, offered the view of sea and high mountains, while floating/swimming in it. We spent the whole afternoon and evening in the pool enjoying the serenity and beauty. At the time of sunset one could also see the beautiful sight of sun setting behind the mountains and the red hues spread on the sea for a short while.

At night time we went to buy the dinner. After roaming and searching a bit we found out that there were not any common food chains available there. All we could see were local food take away restaurants called “muta’am” locally. We bought meal from one of the local fast food restaurant and decided to sit on pebbles beside the beach and enjoy our dinner with the music of waves. While sitting there we could see the lights of Taba (Egypt) across the gulf.

Next early morning we woke up besides the sound of waves and the smell of sea. Then we drove in the town to look for some hill, where we could drive to or even climb to have a wider view of the place, sea and mountains and luckily we found one. It was some under construction site, seemed to be the future museum building of Haql. Like we wanted, this high spot gave us the view with gradients.

Afterwards we had breakfast, again beside the beach in a grassy area. After returning to chalet I took a cup of tea while sitting at the terrace, enjoying the sight of sun and water. By then we had planned to leave in a couple of hours, so my husband suggested me to plunge in the pool again while he reviewed our schedule for the following day. I spent an hour in the pool and also in the beach area. And after this I took another cup of tea just to enjoy the surroundings. By then we decided to stay another 3 hours and delay our check-out from chalet as we wanted to take in more of that place.

To sum up, Haql, a small town is worth a visit if you are interested in travelling and living in KSA. It is surrounded by mountains and offers a wide and non-saturating views of the Gulf of Aqaba.

The availability of chalets makes it even more possible to make maximum of your holiday. Although the water in the pool is pumped in from the sea, so it’s not fresh and is salty but it gives the flavor of swimming in the sea.

In all my travels in Saudi Arabia, that stretches to 13 out of 14 provinces of Kingdom and 2.5 years, Haql is definitely one of most beautiful and cherished destinations. I will definitely love to visit it again.


From: Amnah Anwar

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