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Yemen

Things to see

Things to see

Sana'a: Babel Yemen (old city), Wadi Dhar (Dar al-Hadschar Palace - also known as the rock house). Sana'a is over 2,200 metres (7,200 feet) in elevation. The old city is a mystical and amazing place and also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The streets are alive and bustling around gingerbead-like houses several storeys high, one of the oldest cities in the world.

Socotra: Off the south coast of Yemen - an idyllic island untouched by modern man and home to many rare species and plants. The seas are turquoise blue and the sands white and unspoiled. One of the most valuable islands on the planet, often described as the most alien-looking place on Earth. Its beaches resemble those of the Caribbean and its mountains and Yemeni mountains covered in 300 species only found in Socotra. A must-see.

Kawkaban: An old fortress-city northwest of Sana'a 3,000 m (10,000 feet) high, with elegant old buildings an artefacts from the old Himyar civilization 2,000 years ago. Himyaric inscriptions can be seen and so can old Stars of David from the old Jewish roots of Himyar. Below the mountain is a magnificent view of a plain dotted by old towns made of mud-brick.

Sa'dah: The northernmost major town in Yemen, with its old city made entirely out of strong mud that keeps internal temperature warm during the bitter winter. Its surroundings are known for its delicious grapes, raisins, date palms, and other fruits.

Al Mahweet: A northwest town from Sana'a, Al Mahweet is a beautiful and magnificent town atop a mountain where the green scenery and outstanding architectural example of Yemen are at its best. It is part of the western highlands, an area where rain can be extensive and clouds can always be seen below the mountains during the summer.

Bura': A protected area in Yemen in Al Hudaydah governate, this place is a 2,200 m (7,200 foot) mountain covered by a natural forests resembling one of the rainforests of Africa. There are many flora and fauna varieties in Bura' located only in Yemen and its historic boundaries (Najran, Jizan, Asir, Dhofar, & ar Rub' al Khali). It is one of the most beautiful places in Yemen.

Manakhah: A large old town on a peak 2,700 m (9,000 feet) high known for its daring location and beautiful scenery. This town is a good example of life in medieval Yemen.

Ma'rib: The capital of the Sabaean Kingdom, built about 3,000 years ago, with its famous Ma'rib dam, one of the engineering wonders of the world. It was said that thousands of years ago the magnificent dam helped create some of the greenest areas in the world, a notion also supported by historical texts like the Qur'an. The Queen of Sheba is known to have had her kingdom here and artifacts and temples from her reign are still preserved and present.

Ibb: The green heartland of Yemen, with annual rainfall at about 1200 mm per year. It is located about some 10,000+ foot high mountains. The city of Ibb, however, is in the valley, but waterfalls are known to be present and beautiful. The historic town of Jiblah is located near Ibb city. And with the freshest climate on the whole peninsula, there is no wonder why it is referred to as the Green Heart of Yemen.

Al Khawkhah: At one of the hottest places on earth, you need a beach, and at Al Khawkhah, it has one of the best beaches in Yemen. The shore is long and back by fields of plam trees and a small pleasant town. The Red Sea is relatively calm and cool, great for an are where summer temperatures are commonly over 48°C.

Ta'izz: The cultural capital of Yemen, which is the most liberal and the friendlist city in the country. It has been the capital of Yemen when the last Imam was in power and is a medieval city. Towering above Ta'izz is the 3,000 m (10,000 foot) Jabal Sabir, which is known all around Yemen for its dazzling ascent and view from the top. This mountain is very fertile and is home to tens of thousands of people living on and around the mountain.

Shibam: Commonly referred to as the Manhattan of the Desert, this town located in Wadi Hadhramaut has the first skyscrapers of the world. Hundreds of adobe homes ranging from 5-11 storeys high are boxed into a walled area that is simply marvellous. The tops are painted with gypsum, a mineral commonly found in Yemen. Some of the buildings are over 700 years old.

Tarim and Say'un: These nearby towns are made almost entirely of adobe. The towns are well organized and elegant, with famous palaces and mosques in each city.

Al Mukalla: Perhaps the most developed-looking city in Yemen, Al Mukalla is the jewel of the Arabian Sea. Around it around beautiful beaches, however, the best in Yemen is known to be at Bir Ali, which is a lengthy 100 km drive, though well worth it.

Hauf National Park: The only natural forest in the Arabian Peninsula because it is affected by the seasonal monsoon rains that also affects India. Mountains and Hills are layered with a cap of green for mile with wild life similar to one of a rain forests, this forest also extends to the Omani side of the border, from Qishn, Yemen to Salalah, Oman.

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Yemen - Travel guide

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