Upon arrival in Kuwait, I went straight to my hotel. I was coming from Muscat in Oman, where it was extremely hot. But the heat Kuwait was simply unbearable, even at 11pm!

My hotel was near the corniche, and the following day the first thing I decided to do was going for a stroll along the beach, 5 minutes away. I grew up in a hot place and thought it would be a breeze. Big mistake! Walking those five minutes was like a walk in hell!… The temperature was 41 degrees Celsius (106 Fahrenheit) with very high humidity.

The emerald sea water was very inviting, but the heat totally put me off and I went bite at a Chili’s a few minutes away. After lunch, I stopped to take a few pictures of the Kuwait Towers, the country’s most famous landmark. They have a restaurant and café up there, but unfortunately they were closed for visitors due to renovation.

From there I went to the main avenue along the Corniche and took a taxi to the city centre. Aziz, my taxi driver, was Syrian and father to eight children. On the way to the souk (Arab style market) he told me what life was like in his home country and also told me how relieved he was for finally taking his family to live with him in Kuwait.

What to see in Kuwait City

With Kuwaiti comedian Adnan

We arrived at the souk around 1pm and many of the shops were closed. I then went to a pedestrian street nearby, from where I have privileged views of the Liberation Tower, and soon a middle aged man approached me. Adnan is Kuwaiti and the fact I was making a video called his attention. He’s a local comedian and told me about some of his shows. Oh, I’m with a Kuwaiti celebrity? I couldn’t let him go without posing for a photo with me!

Shortly after I said goodbye to Adnan, another person came to speak to me. This time it was Hisham, also attracted by my camera. He’s Egyptian from Asiut on the Nile, married with two kids and has been in Kuwait for six years. His wife and children are still in Egypt and his eyes shone when he spoke of his young boys. He got very excited when I told him of my trips to his country and the conversation was so fluent that I totally lost track of time. We said our goodbyes and I went back to the souk.

Visiting Kuwait City

Hisham, the Egyptian

This time, now late afternoon, with lower temperatures, all shops were open and the atmosphere was very different from earlier on. The place was full of life. Now there were families shopping, old ladies with their Filipino or Indian servants pushing their shopping trolleys, children running around and vendors with a smile on their face. Kuwait City souk is very large and divided in many different areas. It’s much less touristy than their counterparts in Dubai, Marrakech or Istanbul. Here you can see locals buying clothes and food, rather than tourists buying souvenirs.

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Visiting Kuwait City

Then I saw typical Arabian tea house. It was far from fancy, and I was there, ecstatic for finally finding one of the spaces that most attract me in the Arab world. Normally you’ll only see males drinking tea and smoking shisha, but this one had a separate area for couples and families. Whilst waiting for my shisha, I greeted an old man sitting on the sofa next to me. When he heard me speaking English with the waiter, he told him he’d be paying for my shisha and coffee. I obviously felt a slightly embarrassed, but declining his kindness would be very rude.

Visiting Kuwait City

When I finished my shisha I went around the souk and asked a vendor to take a picture of me next to a stall. We then stroke a conversation. They were Ahmed, also Egyptian, and two Yemenis, who offered dates, a symbol of hospitality in the Arab world, and Arabian coffee, which is very different from the one we are used to.

Visiting Kuwait City

About one hour later I returned to comfort of my air-conditioned room. After all, even in the evening the temperature was close to 40 degrees. Now I had to rest and prepare myself for another typical day in this desert city… hot, hot, hot…

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3 Responses

  1. Zara @ Backpack ME

    Hi Pedro!<br /><br />I&#39;ve been browsing your blog and I really like that you travel and share stories from rather unusual destinations. <br /><br />Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • Pedro @ Travel with Pedro

      Hi Zara, thanks for the encouragement! I really like the Middle East and I&#39;m now exploring a the Caucasus, so stay tuned for more stories and some tips!<br /><br />Thanks for the visit! 😀

      Reply

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