Bahrain Journals

Bahrain Expat Assignment

A May 2005 trip to Bahrain by globalroamer

Grand Mosque Photo, Bahrain, Middle East More Photos
Quote: An American expat in Bahrain, on a 1 year assignment. Opened my eyes to the diversity of the Arabian Gulf.

Bahrain Expat Assignment

Overview

Grand Mosque Photo, Bahrain, Middle East
Quote:
Bahrain is a collection of islands in the Arabian Gulf. It is the home of the Bahrain Formula 1 races in March or April. The best time of year to come is October through April, while the weather is nice. December and January can be chilly, so bring a jacket. July and August are hot and humid, and are the months that locals go on vacation to escape the heat. Bahrain has an ancient history, with ruins that date back to 3000 B.C. One of the most liberal Arab countries, it is a good place to start exploring the Arabian peninsula, and nearly everyone speaks some English. Women have more freedoms here than in most other Middle Eastern countries. Women work, drive, own pro...Read More
Moevenpick Hotel Bahrain Photo, Manama, Bahrain
Quote:
Really nice hotel. Their website has lots of information and their e-mail address. The rooms are clean and very comfortable, well air conditioned. Nice marble tile in the bathrooms. Full-size tubs with shower/hose for stand-up showers. The staff is very nice and helpful. It is almost directly opposite the airport. If you let the hotel know what time you are arriving, they will have someone come pick you up. It also has a bar in the lobby. They have a big party by the pool outside on Thursday nights (the weekend is Friday/Saturday here). Several good Indian dishes at the restaurant and ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 26, 2005

Moevenpick Hotel Bahrain
143 Road 2403
Al Manama, Bahrain
+973 17 460000

Trader Vic's

Restaurant

Quote:
The food is Polynesian but sufficiently varied that you'll find something good. The curries are my favorite.

The bar is a good place to have a drink and some snacks if you're travelling alone, and it has live entertainment. They have a very long list of specialty drinks. You don't need a reservation to go to the bar.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 13, 2005

Trader Vic's
Next To The Ritz Carlton, Seef Area
Al Manama, Bahrain
(973) 586-555

Quote:
Upstairs, Downstairs looks like an exclusive British club, with dark green walls, club chairs, and white tablecloths. There is a bar area downstairs and a nice dining room upstairs. Also downstairs, there is a patio area that is actually indoors but feels outdoors with a big skylight and outdoor-style furnishings. Sort of like the Paris Las Vegas hotel or The Venetian hotel if you've been to Las Vegas. The food was excellent, with a lot of seafood choices--I recommend the mixed seafood with rice (sort of like paella), and they do have several pork dishes, which is unusual. So far, this is my favorite restaurant in the city. They are also open for breakfast, serving traditional English...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 23, 2005

Lanterns

Restaurant

Quote:
This place serves nicely done Indian food. The decor is on the kitschy side and very casual. The tables are long, and there are some chairs and some benches.

There is live entertainment.

We ordered all our dishes spicy, and they were perfectly spiced, but in Dallas, I'm a Mexican food junkie, so I like pretty hot food.

The restaurant is just north of the flyover and shares the parking lot with a burger place that has a huge neon sign (which looks out of place). I don't remember the name of the burger place, but you can't miss it.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 24, 2005

Lanterns
Budlaiya Road
Al Manama, Bahrain
(17) 590-591

Senor Paco's

Restaurant

Senor Paco's Photo, Manama, Bahrain
Quote:
It has authentic Mexican decor and cuisine (not pseudo Mexican, where it looks Mexican but tastes Indian). The smoked beef burrito especial was excellent, as was the margarita. If you're looking for local Bahraini flavor, this would not be your restaurant of choice. It’s a big expat destination - I've never seen so many Americans at one time since I've been here. I could easily have been in Texas, except the staff was all Indian instead of Mexican. The restaurant faces Adilya Avenue, but you have to access it from the side road in back. Senor Pacos is on the same side of the street as the Berlitz office. They have a nice patio for when the weather is cooler. You really only need a ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 3, 2005

Senor Paco's
Adliya Avenue
Al Manama, Bahrain
973 17 725 873

Monsoon

Restaurant

Quote:
Monsoon specializes in Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese food. The dining room is like the inside of a Buddhist temple, and the dining area is surrounded by a moat. There is a nice patio for when the weather is nice. They have excellent local cocktails (I like the lychee cooler - lychee plus vodka). If you're not sure what to order, stick with the house specialties. I've sampled a number of them, and they are all excellent.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 22, 2005

Monsoon
Adliya, Near Vins And Updstairs Downstairs
Al Manama, Bahrain
17-749222

Quote:
Curry Country has curries from all over Asia: Indian, Sri Lankan, Thai, Indonesian, Korean, etc. You select one curry, one starch (rice, noodles, or bread), and one side sauce from the place mat/menu you write on. I've tried most of the curries on the menu and liked them all. Check out the option to get two smaller curries so you can try more kinds. The restaurant is very casual, a good place to stop for lunch, though it's not fast food. They don't make it until you order it. If you don't like curries, they have some other choices on the menu as well. This is one of my favorite everyday restaurants in Bahrain.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 7, 2006

Curry Country
Shabab Avenue near Navy Base
Juffair, Bahrain
973 17 537555

BMMI and Gulf Cellars Liquor Stores

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
There are liquor stores in Manama. The signs say they will only sell to non-Muslims, so it's best to get some Anglo or Indian friends. I'm sure there are additional outlets; these are the ones I know about first hand. BMMI and Gulf Cellars are just south of the Pearl roundabout. These were hard to find if you don't know exactly where you're going. As you go around the roundabout, you'll see a car wash with a big sign, "Modern Car Wash". The stores are directly behind the car wash. Exit the roundabout after you pass the car wash sign, in front of the Marina Mall. Make the first right, into a parking lot between a petrol station and a market. Go through the market...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 22, 2005

Seef Mall

Attraction

Quote:
Seef Mall is located in the Seef district near the Ritz Carlton and is marked on every map I've seen. Any taxi driver will know where it is. If you are looking for the same things you are used to back in the U.K., head to the Seef Mall. You'll find Debinham's, Marks & Spencer, Next, and other High Street shops that are familiar. There is also a small bookstore in the Seef Mall with a wide selection of English-language books and tons of magazines. There are also two cineplexes in the mall, at each end. At the east end of the mall, there is a huge arcade with all sorts of games - a great place to entertain kids on a hot summer weekend. When I compared price...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 22, 2005

Seef Mall

Al Manama, Bahrain

Clubbing

Attraction

Quote:
Manama has tons of nightclubs, usually in hotels because of the way the liquor laws are set up. Saudis cross the causeway by the hundreds to spend the weekends (Thursday/Friday/Saturday) in Bahrain.

The hot spot of the moment moves around. Check out daily newspapers like Gulf Daily News or www.GulfWeeklyWorldwide.com to see what's going on at which hotels and where you can find music that suits your taste.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 23, 2005

A'Ali Burial Mounds

Attraction

A'Ali Burial Mounds Photo, Manama, Bahrain
Quote:
A'Ali is one of the best spots to check out Bahrain's Burial Mounds. More than 100,000 burial mounds dot the island and date back more than 3,000 years.

Driving by, you may not realize what they are. They are easily mistaken for piles of dirt left over from construction. There were new villas going up all around the burial mounds at A'Ali. The bigger mounds are the burial spots of important figures. A'Ali is marked on most maps of Bahrain and is only 15 to 20 minutes from Manama.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 23, 2005

A'Ali Burial Mounds

Al Manama, Bahrain

Al Aali Shopping Complex

Attraction | "Al Ali Mall"

Quote:
Al Ali Mall is next to Seef Mall, and has a couple of stores that are worth the extra stop. There is one section of the mall that is designed like an old souq. In this section, Bateel sells all sorts of dates and date products - date cookies, chocolates, date honey and jam. They also do excellent presentation for gifts. There is also an art gallery in the same part of the mall. A local Bahraini artist - Koheji - who does really nice landscapes has his works available for sale there. The rest of the mall is mostly regular jewelry and clothing stores - not so interesting to me, though The One has cool home furni...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 22, 2005

Al Aali Shopping Complex
Road No 2819 Near Seef Mall
Manama, Bahrain

Bahrain Fort, Riffa Fort and Arad Fort Photo, Bahrain, Middle East
Quote:
There are three forts in Bahrain that are interesting to visit. The Bahrain Fort near Seef is also known as the Portuguese Fort. You can follow the brown tourist signs to the fort. It's not too hard to find. Bring a guidebook, because the local signs don't have much information on it. The fort has been largely restored, and offers some nice views of the sea and the city on clear days. The Riffa Fort is my next favorite and functioned as a home until sometime in the 20th century. It has great views of the desert valley and the brown (sand) golf course. The Arad Fort is in Arad on the island of Muharraq (where th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 22, 2005

Bahrain Fort, Riffa Fort and Arad Fort
Seef, Riffa and Arad
Seef, Bahrain

Tree of Life

Attraction

Photo of Bahrain, Middle East
Quote:
The Tree of Life is a 400-year-old tree (I've been told it's a Mesquite, don't know if that's true) that has no apparent source of water.

On the drive south to the Tree of Life, you will probably miss it the first time, because the sign faces the wrong direction. When you get to the air force base, you've gone too far. Then turn around and head back north and you'll see the sign. I've been down there three times and I still miss it and have to turn around and come back.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 22, 2005