Situated in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain is a small island nation  known for its black-and-white treasures: oil and pearls. That there are rich minerals and gems to be found here is not particularly surprising since archeologists have uncovered evidence of settlements that date back 10,000 years. Most intriguing are the 85,000 burial mounds that dot the Bahrain landscape. For a full explanation of Bahrain’s unique natural setting and of the history of the people who have lived there, set some time aside for the National Museum of Bahrain in Manama.

If archeology is not your thing, consider some after-hour exploration of the capital, Manama. The word means “Sleeping Place,” but this is where to find the jet-set of Arabia in the pulsing nightclubs and bars and even late-night shopping.

And if your travels have not taken you to any mosques, Bahrain may be just the place. Options include the contemporary Al-Fateh Mosque, with its gleaming golden dome, built to accommodate up to 7,000 worshippers. For a little more perspective, the Khamis Mosque is believed to be oldest in Bahrain, with a foundation that dates as far back as 692.


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