Adventure Time

Bid Bid Castle

May 20, 2015

I’ve always loved the town name ‘Bid Bid’. I’m not sure why, It just sounds like a funny thing to call a town. Frequently passing by on the highway to places like Nizwa and Jebel Shams I hadn’t had a chance to stop before. When I heard that Bid Bid had it’s own castle I made the effort to check it out for myself.

Some tourism sites call this a fort, some call it a castle. For arguments sake I’m going to go with castle because it sounds grander and who doesn’t love a castle?!

First and foremost, this is not an easy place to find. It’s a bit of a pain. After the main sign from the highway stating “Bid Bid Castle 3km” there are no other signs. I drove round and round the town not seeing any sign of a castle before taking a lucky turn towards ‘Al Husn’ and I ended up down a hill, outside a farm and right outside the castle. I wasn’t even sure that I was at the main entrance, there was no signs to say that I had arrived.

001 BB castle 2

This is what The Rough Guide to Oman says about Bidbid Fort:
β€œThis is one of the prettiest small castles in the country: a rustic little structure, built with mudbrick walls on a stone base, with windows and rifle-slits cut lopsidedly out of the adobe, half-hearted little rounded battlements above and a large watchtower perched on a small rock outcrop beside. Unusually, the walls have been left unplastered following restoration, so you can see the pebbles and bits of straw mixed in to strengthen the mudbrick, adding to its rather homespun charm. A swiftly flowing falaj, in which villagers are wont to do their washing, runs around one side of the fort.”

It sounds inviting doesn’t it? Well sadly it wasn’t something that I would rave about. The castle itself is aesthetically beautiful but I found it really hard to take nice photographs to show it off without showing the trash, litter and dumping ground that surrounded it.

The doors are chained shut and you cannot get inside the castle or into the watch tower, the only thing to really do is climb up to see the canon. That was a positive but not really worth driving all the way to Bid Bid for.

001 BB canon close

001 BB canon far

As I couldn’t go inside I took a walk around the perimeter wall, turning a corner I stumbled into a woman doing her washing in the stream outside. A lovely rustic touch but I don’t know who was more surprised to see each other, this maybe isn’t a huge tourist spot. Sorry for scaring you nice lady πŸ™‚

001 BB castle view

I just can’t see past the litter and the hassle it was to find this place to tell you many positives. If Oman really wants to be taken seriously to attract tourism they need a serious shake up. It could be so much better, it could be wonderful. As a tourist I should be dazzled and inspired, not wonder how I’m going to edit my photos to block out the litter.

On the plus side I saw some nice farm animals..

001 BB cow

01 BB cow 2

So Bid Bid castle was not my favourite spot to visit but another one ticked off the list.

Do you have any suggestions where I should go next?

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  • Reply Aishelaqtta May 21, 2015 at 8:10 AM

    Rustaq and al-Hazm Forts if you havent already been

    • Reply Heather May 23, 2015 at 10:43 PM

      I haven’t been to either but I will be sure to try them, thank you! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Ayshe May 21, 2015 at 9:01 AM

    I really want to visit Bait Na’aman, which is a restored house that is meant to be well decorated inside to show how life was. We tried to visit one weekend, but the information I found about opening times obviously wasn’t right and the doors were chained so we didn’t get to go inside. It is not too far out from Muscat, maybe a 30-45 min drive. You might have more luck visiting during the week?

    Btw, I think I have been told before that Al Husn means castle in Arabic πŸ™‚

    • Reply Heather May 23, 2015 at 10:43 PM

      That sounds great, I will look it up thank you.

  • Reply Anon May 21, 2015 at 11:55 AM

    Wakan village is worth visit. Different kind of terrain; am sure you will enjoy

    • Reply Heather May 23, 2015 at 10:42 PM

      Thank you, I will look Wakan village up and hope to visit πŸ™‚

  • Reply Rakesh May 24, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    Have you been to A nakhar? It is on the way to Jebel shams Try it if haven’t been there.Its a 4×4 thing

    • Reply Heather May 24, 2015 at 10:29 AM

      Hey Rakesh! No I haven’t been there before, I haven’t even heard of it. Thank you for the suggestion, I will add it to my next trip to Jebel Shams πŸ™‚

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