“Not all those who wander are lost.”― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
We left for India on the 8th of June. It was a very exciting journey. Through a few connecting flights and a 24-hour layover in Doha, we reached Nagpur. A small city in India. This post is part of a series that will talk about my journey to India.
On our way to India, we stopped in Doha for a day. We landed in Doha around 5 pm local time. It took approximately an hour or so to get our bags. The first thing you realize when you step out of the airport is the heat and the dry climate. The heat is overwhelming, given that you are in a desert. Be prepared for the hot and dry weather of Doha if you are traveling through that part of the world. We had 24 hours in Doha so we made the most of it.
To start off, the Hamad International Airport is an engineering marvel. It is truly one of the most beautiful airports you will ever see. It has many restaurants, shops, lounges, and many other activities which can you can do at the airport. I didn’t have a chance to enjoy much of the airport’s amenities because we were heading out into the city.
The ride from the airport to the city was my first glimpse of the rich architecture that Doha had in store. On the way, I could see numerous posters for the upcoming FIFA world cup which will be held in Doha in 2022. In Doha, we stayed in a Hilton DoubleTree hotel. Our hotel was not too far from the airport, approximately a 15-minute drive, and it was a beautiful hotel. After we freshened up, we decided to explore the city. We visited the Museum of Islamic Arts, which was closed at the time. Just next to the entrance, there were golf carts taking people around the museum. We got into one of them and we were dropped right next to the beach where we could the iconic Doha skyline. It was amazing. We sat there gazing at the skyline for almost half an hour.
Here are a few night photography tips I wish I knew before going to Doha
- Use a tripod
- Use a manual mode on your camera
- Try to use low ISO (1600)
- Take a bunch of shots with different settings (Exposure)
- Shoot raw so you can edit later
Museum of Islamic Arts
After seeing the skyline we went to have dinner at a famous Indian restaurant. I had some papadi chaat which is a classic Indian dish which I recommend you taste.
Even at night, Doha was very hot. We came back to the hotel after dinner to get some rest so we are ready for the next day. We would be getting up early the next morning to explore Doha some more.
The next day we headed out to do some shopping. The first thing we did was get our currency exchanged from Dollar to Qatari Rial. It is always advisable to shop in local currency instead of using foreign currency.
One of the best things to do, when in a new place, is to ask advice from hotel staff because they usually have a good understanding of local shops and the best places to visit.
One of the things which Doha is best known for is their gold. They have a lot of it. It’s in their airports, food, museums, streets, shops, basically everywhere.
Shopping is a must if you ever go to Doha. Be sure to bargain for the best price because some street vendors may have unreasonable prices. We saw a lot of gold shops, locally handcrafted souvenirs, and a lot of spice and sweet shops.
One of the coolest things that I did in Doha was to visit the local market. Souq Waqif is one of the biggest local markets in Doha. It looks like something right out of a movie. It dates back at least a hundred years and it is enormous. You can buy anything, from spices to expensive garments. It is the number 1 place to go if you visit Doha. We brought a few souvenirs to take along with us.
They even had parrots…
Additionally, even throughout the market, you could see merchandise advertising the upcoming FIFA world cup in 2022.
After Souq Waqif, we explored more of Doha. The heat was a little overwhelming but we got to experience stunning architecture. It is a must to wear a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and drink plenty of water when roaming around.
Towards the end of the day, we visited the Museum of Islamic Arts. It is such an extraordinary museum. It is absolutely jaw-dropping.
The Museum of Islamic Arts is located on an artificial peninsula where you get a clear view of the Doha skyline. The Museum of Islamic Art represents Islamic art from three continents dating back to 1,400 years. It contains jewelry, literature, textiles, and ceramics. The interior of the museum has an elaborate design. The museum was designed by IM Pei, the architect of the Louvre pyramid in Paris. The entrance is grand and exotic, lined with palm trees and a fountain. The museum consists of 3 floors of varying artifacts. If you are visiting Doha, make sure you take time to visit the Museum of Islamic Arts. It is definitely an experience not worth missing out on.
After the Museum of Islamic Arts, we had to go to the airport to board our next flight to Nagpur. In the next post, I will tell you about how amazing an Indian wedding truly is.