Alexis Carey has traveled to 58 countries, but this mysterious country she has never imagined would travel.

Australian journalist Alexis Carey is a travel enthusiast. But before, she had never thought of going to Saudi Arabia in her life until last month, when the country first issued tourist visas.

Before that, she didn’t have too much impression of this place. The information she received is often not as positive as this is not a paradise for gay people, strict regulations for women such as: driving ban, male guardian must be worn, and must be worn. abaya (cloak covering the body) when going out. This is a difficult thing for Alexis when the weather is often hot to 40 degrees C or higher.

Alexis has positive changes after a trip to Saudi Arabia. She said the country still has a long way to go, including tourism development. 

 

When the opportunity came here, Alexis was fascinated but a bit afraid. During her days in Saudi Arabia, she realized that she should remove the stereotype about this place. Women are allowed to travel freely and tourists are not required to wear abaya. Locals are friendly, whether in any class.

“Everywhere we go, I am treated with respect. This is not only those who work in the tourism industry, but also the common people,” she said. Saudi Arabia has young, intelligent, educated and confident women working in museums, hotels, and travel hotspots across the country. English is widely spoken.

The sea water in Saudi Arabia is very clear and clean. This is one of the things that interest Alexis.

 

Trips to Middle Eastern countries have taught Alexis many things, especially about protecting yourself from possible harassment on the road. But in Saudi Arabia, Alexis fully enjoys, even feeling safer than many places in Sydney when no one has solicited her to buy any souvenirs.

“The truth is, I love every moment of this land,” Alexis said. She can hardly find the drawback to “hate”, except for not drinking alcohol and the weather is quite hot. “It is clear that the country still has a long way to go when it comes to human rights, although it has recently made modern strides such as lifting the ban on recreational activities or women driving, limiting power. of religious police and the latest is the policy to promote tourism, “she said.

On the last day here, Alexis spent most of his time wandering around the historic old town of Jeddah, with a female colleague.

 

This rich country has many attractions, such as diving in the pristine Red Sea, inspiring archaeological site Mada’in Saleh … In addition, the government is also investing a large amount of money for projects. Tourism projects, luxury resorts. That means that in the coming years, visitors coming here will have more choices about travel services. “Saudi Arabia is a country that is undergoing a major change, and hopefully it will get better and better,” Alexis said.

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