The King Fahd Garden, with a total area of 175,000m sq, is the largest garden in Taif. It is designed for the recreation and enjoyment of the citizens. Facilities include children's playgrounds, sheltered seating areas, fountains and a Mosque. A lake, 7,200m sq in area, which features a waterfall running down from the hills, is spanned by a bridge.
From August every year in Taif a series of camel races are run each weekend, culminating in the finals in mid-September.
We went up in mid-August, and watched an afternoon's worth.
The races are 5km wide on a track which people drive along beside.
It was noisy, dusty, hot, but really an awesome experience.
See my travelogue which has a full account of the day and more pics.
On the very outskirts of Taif, there are baboons in the mountains.
People stop and feed them and take photos.
We were down at the local souk and came across a small shop selling shwarma and melon juice.
The atmosphere was friendly and the service was good. Of course, we couldn't sit down as there was no family section.
Favorite Dish: The shwarmas had yummy tomato chilli sauce and lots of tender chicken and fresh salad.
The melon juice was thick and fresh, no added sugar needed.
We paid 5SR for juice and a shwarma each.
Shopping is excellent in Taif. The shops range from small general shops (souqs) to well-established boutiques and a department store.
The best buys are electronic equipment, French perfume and gold jewellery. Shopkeepers are honest and in the "souq" bargaining is an artful skill. The traditional Bedouin Taif souqs are among the most famous in the Kingdom especially for collectors of Bedouin jewellery, carpets, etc.
The grocery stores are unique. There are many small grocery stores and three large supermarkets. The fruit and vegetable shop has beautiful, fresh products; again, bargaining is proper. Food prices are for fresh meats and vegetables are reasonable. They do carry a good range of canned frozen and meats and vegetables are reasonable. They do carry good range of imported canned frozen and packaged foods but prices are high on these items. Good bakeries are located throughout the city. Locally made bread is inexpensive and delicious.
What to buy: The souq is considered the most authentic in the Hejaz. In many alleyways lined with shops, you can find carpets, tents, traditional embroidered dresses, hand-crafted jewelry, spices, and Bedouin handicrafts.
If you visit Al Taif and you are driving a car with four cylinders ,be careful as sometimes when it rains,it is very difficult to ascend particularly if you have loaded more on the back of your car.As it rains the steep rocks get slippery and if you don't have a powerful engine supporting you it is risky as your car slips back and you can have a crash.