Bahrain might be exceptionally small, just 710 square kilometers spread out over 33 islands, going to show you that wonderful things come in small packages. Its population is small too, just over 700,000 people.
What isn't small is Bahrain's 50-story twin towers of its World Trade Centre. Other than that, this is a tropical paradise with a history that spans back some 7,000 years.
What's remarkable about Bahrain's history are its 170,000 burial mounds, found at the Tombs of Sar & A'Ali.
Also part of that history is when the Portuguese came back in the 1500s, and the Brits had their influence throughout the 19th century; which is why English is widely spoken, although Arabic is the official language.
Arabic, by the way, because Bahrain is a Muslim country. They're quite the tolerant society, but a few social graces will go a long way. If offered a cup of Arabic Coffee, be sure to take two cups; and keep knees and shoulders covered.
This doesn't apply, of course, if you're swimming out in the Hawar Islands with the dolphins, or if you're going pearl diving. A fun way of getting from island to island is via motorboat or ferry.
Bahrain, by the way, was once known for its pearl trade. Today it's oil, which is detailed at its Il Museum.
Getting around to many of Bahrain's sites can be relatively easy, as many roads are well maintained. One famous road is the King Fahd Causeway, linking the country with Saudi Arabia. The Tower Restaurant in the middle of it all is a great way to see into the countryside.
There is talk of linking another roadway with Qatar--you'll have to wait and see.
Another great sight is the Formula 1 track, whose winners are showered with rose water instead of champagne. Fitting since alcohol is only allowed if you're not Muslim.
Shopping is always a good idea, and luxury is the name of the game in Bahrain. Luxury goods like gold are found all over, especially in Gold City; an area in the capital of Manama that's full of gold shops.
As if bargain hunting isn't wild enough, the actual wildlife in Bahrain is extraordinary. Come see the Arabian oryx at the Al-Areen Wildlife Park & Reserve, or the Tree of Life--a stand alone tree in the middle of nowhere.
When's the best time to see Bahrain? Depends on how you like the weather, as it gets pretty hot & humid from June to October. It rains some in the winter, where it can get a bit cooler.
No matter what the mercury says, eating is a must. Try some Baba ghanoush, an eggplant dish with garlic and yoghurt; or some Machbous, rice served with either meat or fish.
No worries about food safety, mostly everything is safe to eat or drink. Just try to make sure your meat or fish is well-cooked during the hot summer months.
You'll need to keep your strength up if you're going to tackle the 16th century Bahrain Fortress, or to relax in Bahrain's water springs. And since the country's not all that populated--you'll feel like you've got the whole place to yourself.
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