Full of breath taking sights, extraordinary wildlife, rich historical character and the distinctly unique cuisine is what makes Yemen one of the most unique travel destination. Its many cities and towns provide tourists with a highly exciting and adventurous trip. Nowhere else on the planet will you find the natural beauty that Yemen is blessed to possess. You can drive through the mountains and cities and see the wonderful historical sights left behind by the Sumerians and ancient Egyptians and at the same time enjoy the deliciously unique cuisine that Yemen has to offer. The highlight of its cuisine is a lovely local dish called ‘Salta’ which is a mouth-watering meat-based stew spiced with fenugreek and is generally served at the end of the main course. Tourists can also find some interesting souvenirs to bring back home in the form of the curved dagger that Yemeni men wear around their necks, and you can also buy some exotic necklaces and jewellery for a cheap price. Located on the southern tip of Saudi Arabia, Yemen can be accessed by air or by sea with ease. An important fact to remember is that knowing a little bit of Arabic can come in handy as not all the locals may be able to converse in English.
The City of Sana’a
Though it is the capital city of Yemen, its laid back atmosphere and ancient landmarks give it a richness that no other capital city can boast of having. This mystical city comes alive with its many winding streets and its pretty houses lined up together. Sana’a is also one of the oldest continuously occupied cities of the world and boasts of having many World Heritage sites in its possession. A wonderful place to visit would be the Bab al-Yemen which is the Old City protected by its ancient walls. The National Museum located in a former palace educates the tourists about the rich and splendid history and culture of Yemen with its many popular exhibits. For nature lovers, the Wadi Dhahr which is a valley near Sana’a boasts of magnificent green fields, tiny villages, and the face Rock Palace of an Imam of Yemen. One of the oldest mosques in the world called the Great Mosque of Sana’a should most definitely be visited by tourists.
The Socotra Island
Off the south coast of Yemen lies this majestic piece of land, the largest of the Sheba Lands but forgotten by time itself. This lovely island is inhabited by native people who have their own distinct culture, language and occupations. The Socotra Island offers such flabbergasting scenery that it is often called as the most alien looking island on Earth. This makes it insanely precious for its mountains contain three hundred unique species of trees that are endemic only to the Socotra Island. Hence this place is something one should most definitely see at least once in their lifetime.
The City of Kawkaban
This ancient fortress city with its imposingly high and elegant buildings is one of the best places to visit in Yemen. It possesses artifacts of the Himyar Civilization from over two thousand years ago and also gives an excellent view from its location on top of a high mountain. The old gate, the old market, the old mosques, they all add to this wonderful feel of the town. Along with its breath-taking view, it also attracts tourists with its exotic and delicious good quality traditional food and its traditional drink the “Qahwa Qisher” which is a sort of local coffee. One can also enjoy the sites of the city by simply walking around and enjoying the sun, the music and the scenery
The City of Ta’izz
With its dramatic setting at the foothills of the tall Sabir Mountains, Ta’izz is also one of the safest and most metropolitan city of Yemen. Despite this metropolitan atmosphere, the people are said to be extremely relaxed and laid back. Ta’izz offers many good places to visit such as the National Museum where one can learn more about the culture and history of this region. The Al-Qahira Castle sitting elegantly atop the mountain is also an excellent place to visit! A quaint 6th century Turkish mosque was recently restored and is now visited by a large number of tourists every year. Another impressive and historic feature of this town is Bab al-Kabir, an incredible gateway to the souqs of Taiz’s old town.
The City of Shibam
This unique city features the world’s first and oldest mud-built high rise apartment buildings. This is one of the main reasons why Shibam is constituted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The mud built high rises were built in the middle ages maingly to protect its people from the Bedouin raids. It’s fascinating and unique “skyline” has led to it being recognized as the “Manhattan of the Desert.” Dating back to 2nd Century AD this ancient wonder is something tourists must see with their own eyes. The stores in the city sell some very interesting souvenirs not found anywhere else in Yemen such as antique window frames and furniture. Also, the infamous wooden Shibam locks and keys can be bought right here in this exquisite mud town.