Scenic Sharjah

Trip Start Nov 22, 2010
Trip End Dec 01, 2010

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Saturday, November 27, 2010

After cancelling our trip to Abu Dhabi, we opted to visit Sharjah. We did not have any real excitement or high hopes about the trip. Just to see whats there. To our surprise, Sharjah is a bustling place. (Talk about underestimation. Yep as foreign travelers, we make assumptions and form expectations, some were right-on , others way-off. ) Sharjah beats our initial expectation.

Many locals stayed here and worked in Dubai. Although Sharjah is not as sophisticated as Dubai, my first reaction : "Its a charming city" except for peak hours traffic jam. Theres many elegant mosques, grand sheikh mansions, nice buildings, clean modern city with no booze n pubs (its prohibited in Sharjah). Hmmmm maybe that's why the air is different although its just 30 minutes away from Dubai. Not sure.....

Sharjah is 3rd largest city after Dubai and Abu Dhabi in UAE. Everything seems cheaper here compared to Dubai. Pistachio nuts sell for AED100 p/kg in Dubai Mall (of course you can get AED50 at theCreek), here its only AED40 or even lesser. We bought 2 kilos :). The hotel and food here are much cheaper. One can practically stay in a good hotel in Sharjah and tour Dubai to save on lodging cost.

Back to our adventure. Mohamed (taxi driver) drove us around and kept telling us about Sharjah and the surrounding attractions. Somehow I think Mohamed knows less about Sharjah then Dubai eventhough he lives in Sharjah.  Our first stop was at Al Khan Lagoon just for pics taking near the waterways. Then we proceeded to Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization. Its a beautiful 2 wings museum, located near Sharjah Creek and well worth our visit. It was here that we realized what Sharjah has to offer. There are about 16-17 other interesting places to visit and that excluding public and amusement parks such as  Al Jazeera Park etc. It also has a respectable aquarium, I was told . But we skipped that as we had too much aqua in this trip. Man if only I knew about this earlier, I could have planned better. After visiting the museum, we decided to visit Sharjah Desert Park which was some 28kms away from the city centre. Along the way we could see the desert lanscape of Sharjah, passed by University City and Sharjah Discovery Centre. We wanted to go to the Discovery Centre but it was closed.

Sharjah Desert Park consist of several attractions. 1) Arabian Wild Life Centre, 2) the Children Farm, 3) Sharjah Natural History and Botanical museum. We went to the 1st & 3rd but skipped the Children Farm as we wanted to get back to Dubai before 4pm. Plus our stomachs were grouchy for food. Luckily we brought with us some drinks and kit-kat bars for kids' munchies. 

I personnaly would recommend anyone who wish to visit Sharjah to visit the park. The Wild life centre is practically an air-conditioned zoo. There is an open section in the zoo where birds and rabbits roam free while you walked around the segment in an aircond encloser. There is a night section also for the night animals. Unfortunately, they dont allow any photography inside the building. So no pic momentos here. We even had to surrender our cameras at the entrance. :(

We then proceeded to the Natural History Museum, but oppss , the dinosaur area was closed. I felt so sorry to my kid especially my second son who was really eager to see the Dinosaur bones. Well maybe next time. We did have fun nonetheless at the other wing that houses the Botanical museum. Thats where for the very first time, i tried out how skunk really smells like. Man it was horrible...dont want to try that again. Theres always a first and a last. ;)

We then left Sharjah for Dubai but did not proceed directly back to our Arabian Dream hotel. We stopped at Lamcy Plaza, another smaller scale shopping Mall in Dubai located near Karama. I had a great Mongolian dish there at the food court. Luv it....

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