Friday, February 24, 2012

Ain Heet Cave, Kharj


24 February 2012


Another exploration we have plan quite some time already.  Alhamdulillah, after a long break of exploration due to hectic days of hubby’s work, now we are able to continue our family activity. 

We have plan to explore Ain Heet cave maybe two years back but keep on delaying it.  As this time around we want to find a place nearby, we decided to go ahead with cave exploration.  At about 2 pm, we moved from home.  It takes about an hour for us to reach the destination.  Actually, this is the second attempt our family went to the place.  Last week we were already near the place but as we went out quite late from home, it was nearly dark when we want to find the cave.  So, we decided to move out earlier this time.

Getting to the destination wasn’t that hard actually.  The area is easily accessible except the rocky and uneven desert makes the journey quite bumpy when you go offroad.  Still, the landscape never bored our eyes though the numerous time we’ve been to deserts.  The cave wasn’t far from where we last stop last week.  We only need to go up further of a few hundred metres. 

We try to park our car as near as possible to the cave.  There was a destructed block of one unit ‘house’ as a landmark which we can see from afar.  Not sure why it was there and left unattended.  We can see another car reached a few minutes earlier than us.  Once we park our car, another taxi arrived with 5 Pakistani guys. 


Getting nearer to the cave


In front of the cave.  The locals said that the hole caused by lightning and  the water tunnel that runs over 300 km to Al Ahsa!

We were astonished to see the hole!  We never imagined it would be that deep to climb down and very big hole as well.  The rocks atop of it was wide and high!  How great is His creation!  Looking around up to the top already makes us spinning!  We never thought that it would be this challenging to climb down the cave.  From pictures that we’ve seen from others who have been there posted over the internet, it doesn’t seem that challenging.  However, looking it in real much more different than pictures.  The name Ain Heet gets from the shape of the opening of the cave which looks like an eye.  ‘Ain’ means eye in Arabic.


Going down not even quarter to reach mouth of the cave.


The cave is called Ain due to the shape of an eye..’Ain’ is eye in Arabic.


Challenging steps to climb down and up back on entering the cave..


Look at the layer of the sedimentary learn from  kid grade 4 science book Smile.

Everyone was eager to go down especially thinking about having water down the cave.  Possible that we could play with the water.  The kids had fun listening to the echo of their voice.  However, when we were 1/3 down, we though of bringing the smaller kids back up.  It is quite risky for them to continue down as there were many uneven rocks and its a 45 degree down which the kids might take a wrong step and fell.  Hubby and the bigger kids continue going down.

Going up with the smaller kids and a baby was a challenging as well.  Afiq did manage to go on his own though many times he had to crawl.  Don’t mention the dirt on their pants!  We sure need to get fitter as we easily went short of breath.  I can’t see hubby or any voices anymore.  There sure must be further down. 

About 20 or 30 minutes later, hubby and the bigger kids were up back.  They didn’t continue their way in.  It’s goes deeper and deeper inside and they were tired already.  Moreover, they didn’t bring a flashlight. 

Once everyone was up, there were another car came with the locals.  They were happy to know that we are Malaysians.  It was a good coincidence to meet them as the Saudis must know much better of their place.

What astonished us is the facts that they shared with us.  They told us that the cave exist due to a lightning that struck the place many many years back.  The cave even create an underground lake, sink hole with water tunnel that goes 300 km to another province in Saudi which is Al Ahsa!  Wow..just imagine a water tunnel that goes for 300 km. 

These wonders has fascinated cave divers for their exploration.  Just read the articles from this link…  Just looking at the pictures, you can already imagine what it is like down there.  Wish we could also swim under the water like themWinking smile!

Still,  we had pleasure looking at another beauty of the deserts wonders and hope to explore more.  Thanks to the Saudi’s that willing to share their knowledge with us as well.  We were fortunate to meet friendly people where you get the opposite feedbacks most of the time when mentioning about Saudis. 


Kids exploring the beauty of Wadi Al Sulayl in this Heet Village..


Last but not least….picnic!!

After we fill in our stomach, we head home with another memory to be treasure. – &tw

Friday, February 10, 2012

Jeddah–Working Holiday




It has been a very long time since we able to explore places in the kingdom.  As the school holiday started already, we hope to be able to go somewhere to fill in the kids time.  However, this year round hubby was very busy with his work.  He has been on and off to Jeddah since last Ramadhan till now.  We can even say he spend more time in Jeddah rather than home!

Sunday,15th Jan hubby call me telling if he able to get flight that day, then we’ll be off to Jeddah on Tuesday.  In the evening, he message me with bad flights available, today or tomorrow.  His flight actually schedule for tomorrow night but if he wanted to drive us to Jeddah, he need to get home today as on Wednesday he need to be back in Jeddah.  If he unable to get home today, then he will be extending his stay and we’ll be far apart longer than expected! 

I gave up hope then for us to spend the school holiday together.  I felt bad for the kids having to spend their school holiday at home in the house for nearly two weeks!  Alhamdulillah near to the end of the day, got a message from hubby with a good news..he able to get a flight home at 11 pm!

Excited, i started packing clothes and stuff for our 8 days holiday in Jeddah.  Though we knew it won’t be much of a holiday since he has to work but at least  we’re together.

On Tuesday evening at around 5 pm, we move from home to Jeddah.  Despite the shorter distance, savouring the view was a great pleasure.  We didn’t stop much along the way, just for prayer and when hubbby’s eye got too heavy to drive.  We used Al Hada ring road as this has become our favourite route.  At around 3 am, we reach Jeddah, staying in an apartment very near to hubbys’ office. 

What’s in Jeddah???

Actually there are numbers of interesting places to explore in Jeddah but as this is a working vacation trip, we do not have the leisure to explore much of it.  So..we just enjoy those we can.



Great view of the corniche


Love the color of the blue sea…

Actually this is the second time the family visited Jeddah though it is near to Mecca.  The first time was with our parents when we brought them for a day trip visit.  We hope this time we able to explore more of the place.  We though of going to the floating mosque but as we didn’t have our lunch yet, we decided to have a picnic at the corniche.  Luckily, we have gotten the chance visiting the place during our first trip to Jeddah with our parents.  So, it didn’t frustrated us muh. 

The Jeddah Corniche is the coast along the Red Sea.  It has 3 parts of manmade terraces, and stretches of almost 100 km. What makes the driving enjoyable along the corniche was its wide collection of sculptures.  It is like looking into an open art gallery of sculptures…a great art.  It really is an added attraction.  With our hungry stomach and the sea breeze wiping our face, our pack of KFC tasted better than usual Winking smile.

Alhamdulillah, we get to spend a good quality time together.


What is Saudi without its mall.  Well, not much things to do as hubby still need to work during the weekend.  We decided to visit the mall where Ericsson's office attached to it.  The place was crowded with people.  Hubby even told me that when he was working and taking a night snack with his friend at midnight, the food court was crowded!  Something he hasn’t expected.  Well, seems that people here in Jeddah likes a night out.

Jeddah Fountain

jeddah fountain


We hardly went out at night to city centre even when we are in Riyadh.  Preferred to stay at home rather than going into heavy traffic.  Judging from the traffic herein Jeddah, maybe it can be worse than in Riyadh!  Even it was already 9 pm, the traffic was still heavy.  Wondering where all this people are going even it is a working day. 

Since hubby only able to bring us out at night, we took the chance to witness Jeddah fountain which is the tallest fountain in the world!

  Here as some facts which are really interesting about the fountain :

King Fahd's Fountain, also known as the Jeddah Fountain, is the tallest of its type of fountain in the world.[1] Located in the coast of Jeddah, west coast of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The fountain jets water 853 feet (260 m) above the Red Sea.[1] It was donated to the city of Jeddah by King Fahd, hence its name. The fountain is visible throughout the entire vicinity of Jeddah. The water it ejects can reach a speed of 375 kilometres (233 mi) per hour and its airborne mass can exceed 18 tons. It was constructed between 1980 and 1983 and began operating in 1985. The fountain uses saltwater taken from the Red Sea instead of freshwater. It uses over 500 spotlights to illuminate the fountain at night. (Source : wikipedia)”

The water fountain consists of a single massive plume of water shooting vertically into the air at a speed of 233 miles per hour. On a calm day the water reaches a height of one thousand and twenty-four feet, higher than Paris’ Eiffel Tower (excluding the antenna). At any given moment, the water hanging in the air weighs in excess of eighteen tons (thirty-six thousand pounds)! -


We drive  along the corniche to find the best spot for viewing the fountain.  The fountain is located inside private property. So, you can’t get that closed for viewing.  After driving around to take some view of the surroundings along the corniche at night, we head out to the coordinates hubby’s friend gave for the fountain viewing. 

When we reach there, the parking was nearly full along the beach.  Maybe, now it is school holiday that brings these people to relax at the corniche.  There were even these group of guys that brought a sattelite dish not to miss a football match, we guess!  There were also many kids

We can see the complete view of the fountain from here..still it was quite far.   Wonder if there is other viewing area which is closer to the fountain.  Hence, it was a great pleasure spending time with the family, seeing new things to share for our great family memories.



Going for Thai food..yummy!

We do not have that leisure time to test out food around Jeddah.  Moreover, we are not the food hunter kind of family.  One thing, we really enjoy was the barbeque chicken near the apartment we stay.  We can say that now it’s the number one kapsa for our family in Saudi!  The rice and the chicken were great. 

We also got the chance to try Thai food here at Asian restaurant. The tom yam was good, the seafood was fresher.  Overall, it’s quite expensive compare to the amount of dish in the plate compared to the price.  We prefer to dine at Seafa Seafood in Riyadh.  Still, we had a full stomach when we went back to ourapratment for the night.  Thanks hubby for bringing us out despite your busyness and the usual heavy traffic around town at night. 

Al Balad


The gate welcoming visitors to Al Balad


The town which is said to exist since 5000 years ago…


Building with wooden panels..nice!


Shopping paradise as well…very colourful.

Before heading home on Thursday, we decided to stop by at an old town called Al Balad. 

Balad means town.  It is an old town in Jeddah said to exist since 5000 years ago.  It took us nearly an hour to reach there from our apartment.  We really felt going into an old town different from Jeddah that we have seen. The city wall has long since been torn down, but the old gates still mark where it once stood.

Reaching there, we were like in the Aladdin story.  We drove in between the buildings to get a close look of the town as well as trying to find a parking space if we able to get one.  Within you'll find a warren of ancient buildings and traditional souqs.  The houses were white-walled apartment four or five stories high, of coral rag tied with square beams and decorated by wide bow-windows running from ground to roof in grey wooden panels.  The combination of wooden panels and the white wall give a unique look to the city. 

Unfortunately, finding a car park was really challenging.  Hence, we decided to head of to Taif.  Insyaallah, we hope to visit the city once again and get the chance to do some shopping there as well.

We reach home at around 10 am.  Well..tomorrow will be a busy school days as usual.  Life will be back to normal and hubby will head back to Jeddah continue with his work Sad smile.  Hope we’ll still be able to continue our exploration soon…&tw.


view of mecca residential area on our way back..wonder how it feels to be in the crowd…


sweetness brought back from Taif..just love the fruits on top there..