Bahrain is a typical gulf story. For centuries, it was a piece of desert, and then suddenly, they struck oil and a rich modern state shot up in only a few decades.



Manama is the capital and most populous city. Unlike other Gulf countries, when I took a taxi into the city, I was quite surprised to be driven by a local Bahraini. Manama was a ghost town during the afternoons, but everything comes alive in the cool evenings when all the shops are open and the streets are full of people. There's also a bridge connecting Saudi Arabia to Manama. Every weekend, thousands of Saudis drive into Bahrain for debauchery, taking advantage of Bahrain's laxer laws on alcohol.