"Yemen" Top 5 Page for this destination Yemen by JohnniOmani

Yemen Travel Guide: 1,093 reviews and 4,021 photos

The Ultimate Arabian Adventure

Terrorists, militants, civil war, drugs and kidnappings. The media describes Yemen as one of the most dangerous countries on earth and so it naturally caught my attention due to these reports. Everytime the media blasts a country with negative reports it should make people think twice and research for themselves or in my case occasionally backpack the place :)

It is place where time travel is possible and you can truely see and experience a country not influenced or corrupted by commercialism or globalization. Yemen also has a reputation for being a lawless land full of insane tribesmen who prowl the countryside looking for innocent foreigners to kidnap in broad daylight. Once again the Western Governments advised all travel to Yemen unless it was essential but I decided to backpack the place regardless of the oversensitive goverments travel advisories as I felt comfortable enough with the Middle Eastern culture and with my Arabic abilities to travel independantly. Yemen exceeded all my expecations and it was one of the most eye openings places Ive ever seen in my life. The daily life of souqs, qat and animals in the streets was wonderful. The streets in Sana'a etc have to be seen to be believed and there is always something to look at or do. Overall, Yemen lived up to its reputation as an off the beaten track destination and there were times in the North of the country when I thought I was the only traveller to have ever set foot in some of the villages (Shaharah). Yemen has amazing local people who are more than willing to lend a helping hand making this country one of my favorite destinations on the planet.

Traditional Way of Life

One of my absolute favorite things about Yemen was the lack of modern amentities and influence of the West. Most countries have traditional areas but not too many on the planet have traditional capital cities which is a UNESCO protected area. No matter where you go in Yemen you will see men wearing their traditional khanjar daggers as well as the typical dishdashas and coats. Life in the big cities differ slightly from tribal areas with women carrying everything on their heads through the souqs while men drive donkeys pulling carts of tomatoes and other types of fruit and products around town. People dont speak English and a knowledge of Arabic will go a long long way not only to get around but to meet some fascinating people. Yemen is a country stuck in time and the best time to visit this wondeful country is now.

Stunning Architecture

Yemen has absolutely amazing architecture. It has countless palaces and desert castles and although Sana'a and Shibam grab the postcards and tourist brochures there are hundreds of fascinating places to see in this country. Some of the architecture is in the mountains while other buildings and structures are in valleys and deserts making this country in a league of its own. One of the best examples of traditional Yemeni architecture is in its own capital. The ground and first floors are usually built of stone, and the upper levels of mud brick. Mud is an effective insulator, it keeps interiors cool during warm days and warm during cool nights. Outside the fa├žade is whitewashed with lime (which protects the mud from rainwater) and decorated with beautiful geometrical patterned lines. The stone foundations of some houses are thought to date back a thousand years, and the tradition of rebuilding and restoring continues. Sana'a is spectacular. It is difficult to describe Yemens architecture because it is so unique so you must go to believe it. Yemen is worth the effort :)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Landscapes, architecture, barely influenced by the west
  • Cons:tribal tensions,violence and home to militants
  • In a nutshell:Astonishing
  • Last visit to Yemen: Jul 2006
  • Intro Updated Oct 17, 2009
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Reviews (28)

Comments (11)

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    great page!

  • iris2002's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2008 at 8:00 AM

    Amazing pages - Yemen is for a very long time on my to do list - right up there with Eritrea and Tajikistan and the South Pole haha... gee I need 48 hours in a day, next expedition is waiting already - Atlas Mountain traverse yeii!!!

  • Luchonda's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2008 at 1:20 PM

    Excellent page/ info

  • travelinxs's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2007 at 3:21 AM

    Excellent pages mate! Cant wait to get there even if I cant speak Arabic and will be alone! Maybe I can get a crash course in Sana to get me going. Cheers!

  • flynboxes's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2007 at 10:50 PM

    Yes, I got off my butt and went. It felt like a living museum which I am sure you can probably relate to. If the world was a bit smaller I would go back.

  • grets's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2007 at 6:14 AM

    Excellent information about Yemen. I can't wait to go in December.

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2007 at 12:25 PM

    update on the qat situation: the government has issued a draft for a law aiming at getting rid of the qat plantations.

  • norain's Profile Photo
    Jan 28, 2007 at 2:49 AM

    nice yemen page :)

  • Ekahau's Profile Photo
    Dec 29, 2006 at 12:00 PM

    Very nice page very interesting place Yemen. I love the photos of the Kids do you notice how many have blue eyes -- want to know why??

  • starstudio's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2006 at 4:47 AM

    thanks for the info... have a lot of luck!

JohnniOmani

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