Por si hay por ahí alguien interesado en ir a Yemen, aquí tenéis información de utilidad. Lo he escrito en inglés porque se lo quería enviar a los profesores de mi escuela en Dubai…
On Eid vacation I went to Yemen with a friend. Just listening to the media, there is no way that you want to go there. 8 Spanish tourists were killed last July by a car-bomb, the different embassies recommend not to travel there, there are supposed to be Al-Qaeda training centers is some remotes areas… so listening to that, you need to be crazy to even thinking in going there.
Well, there is the other part. I did some research on the country, and reading more and more I started feeling in love with Yemen. I talked to several people who had been there, including three of our colleagues: Dan Summers and Christine Molaro, who had lived there, and Tom Horton who went on vacation last August. All of them told me to forget about the bad image that the country has, because it is truly amazing and it is not true everything we read. All of them remarked the nice the Yemenis are.
I went, and it really is amazing. It has been a while, traveling, that I feel really excited about a new country. Traveling to Oman, for instance: it is nice, another place, but it is not that you are like “Wow, what a country, it really impressed me”. At least in my case. With Yemen I could say that.
That is why I am writing this, because I would like more people to discover this treasure. I have been just 4 days, and the feeling that I have is that the country is absolutely safe, the sights spectacular and the people super-nice. Women don’t have to go covered like in Iran, and if a couple of girls decide to go there by yourselves, it shouldn’t be a problem.
This is what we did in four days:
Day 1 – Arrive to Sana’a, and we dedicated the day to explore the city.
Day 2 – Sana’a, Wadi Dhar (Rock Palace), Thula, Hababa, Shibam, Kawkaban, Manakha.
Day 3 – Trekking around Manakha, visiting Hajjara, Hutaib, and Hudieda. Return to Sana’a.
Day 4 – Back to Dubai.
The more time you have the better. You could go to the coast, spend more time in other places, …
I contacted a couple of travel agencies. With some of them I had problems –very late responding the e-mails and they didn’t look very serious-. But this one organized a great trip for us. I told them what I wanted to visit, and they prepared everything for you. I wanted to visit another place not listed, Sharaha, but they informed me that it was closed for security reasons. Now it is open, and you may want to go there.
Arabia International Tourism Industries
The company arranged the car and the driver to go out of the city. Toyota Land Cruiser, pretty new, with a driver who speaks good English. His name is Hameed-Sukhim, and he was absolutely perfect. He was continuously talking about the culture of the country, stories about the places we were visiting, food that we were eating, local customs, on and on. We learned a lot being with him, and if you go there I highly recommend you to contact him directly to organize the trip for you (hotels, meals, car, …). His e-mail is email@example.com. His cell phone in Yemen is 777223366. After we finished the tour with him, he came to our hotel in Sana’a just to hang out with us, we became good friends. Don’t hesitate in contacting him, he is the man! He will pick you up at the airport, and take you back there.
In Sana’a we stayed in this hotel, because I liked it in the Web, so I told the travel agency to place us there…
Beautiful, in the middle of Old Sana’a.
If you are of the ones who like something fancier, you can try this one. More expensive, but high quality in the old part of the city…
And you can always tell your friends that you slept at the Burj.
In Manakha, we stayed in a house run by the Al-Agel family. Perfect place to chew qat and enjoy the traditional dances that they perform in the afternoon.
We flew with Emirates, but I think that Air Arabia flies there too, from Sharjah.
If you are interested, come and see me –Room 39, HS-. I have a lot of info that you could check.
Have a nice one!
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