It’s roughly six in the morning and in front of me is nothing less than a mini paradise, an expanse of burnt orange sand with chocolate-brown layers of cliffs. Welcome to Yiti Bay or Khor Yiti (to use its Arabic name), a picturesque spot on the way to Sifah. My partner in crime, Y’s photographic intern Shamsa, once again accompanied me on the adventure, for what would be her last outing with us. We started out about 5am from Muttrah and reached Khor Yiti an hour later, although we did get lost a couple of times on our way, until finally finding the right route.
Nestled between two steep valley sides, Yiti is a small fishing village that ends in a wide bay. Although I did notice the spot a few times before, I never had the time or inclination to go down and check it out. I was glad we finally did – Khor Yiti is one of the most beautiful sights I have seen in Oman. Wherever you look, there is something to capture your eye and imagination. It’s also very serene, allowing your mind’s troubles to slip away and, for a moment at least, be forgotten. This is why I can recommend Khor Yiti to anyone who needs a break from the city or some personal space to unwind.
One piece of advice, though. You’ll obviously need a car to drive to the khor but as you get close, be on the lookout for a signboard warning that vehicles should not go beyond that point. I guess some highly adventurous drivers may want to take their four-wheel cars beyond this point, but it’s not safe. You can’t predict the level of water in the khor, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The first and most obvious thing we noticed when we arrived were the crabs. Not only were they scuttling all over the beach, but they were also very colourful; some were orange and white, others were white and brown and a couple of them had a bright blue shell with vivid red claws. While I was taking a short video of the crustaceans, Shamsa just came in and stamped her foot really hard on the sand which scared all the crabs away, sending them rushing into numerous crab holes spread all over the sand. Within seconds, they were all gone.
While I was busy observing the crabs, Shamsa went off to explore further. When she got back she told me of other creatures she had encountered, apparently there were birds wading in mud, herons and flying fish in some parts of the bay.
The mountains surrounding the turquoise waters looked very distinct and were mostly layered, as if washed out due to the rise and fall in the water level. I am not sure if they would be suitable for trekking. The sparkling blue waters of the khor also offered a strong contrast to the dark mountains and brown shacks on the shore (probably used by fishermen). We noticed some fishermen setting up their nets for the day’s start, but despite their presence, the place was absolutely calm and we could even hear the birds chirping. Another interesting thing I noticed was an old dhow stranded in the sand. Its bottom was covered in algae, there were holes in the hull and the motor below the deck looked rusty. I wondered to whom it belonged.
Although it was really humid all the time we were there, we were still able to enjoy the trip. I would recommend a visit during the early morning, especially if you are looking to chill out when it’s still peaceful, because I can imagine it gets busier as the day goes on.
The magic of Khor Yiti certainly worked on me. I can definitely say this was my favourite destination out of the many others I have ventured to over the past nine months. I will almost certainly go back and maybe do another photo shoot there.
From Muscat, pass through Hamriya and take Yiti Street, exiting right at the first rounadabout you come to. Turn right 4.7km further on and this road will bring you directly to the khor (on the left).
GPS Location: N23° 31’ 2.371″ E58° 42’ 18.209″