Recent trip to Yemen
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jan 18, 2013 6:36 PM Last Post By: hauteboy0
Dec 7, 2012 5:13 AM
Recent trip to YemenI have recently came back from a 10 day trip to Yemen. We could not get a visa through the embassy so used the yemeni travel agent I met in sanaa and then travelled with 2 years ago. Although many told me Prior to my trip that i was crazy to travel there, I felt very safe in Yemen. Most places we went people were pleasantly surprised to see tourists, after 3-6 months of seeing any! They have some hotel-like facilities here and there as there were tourists in the 90's, so it is relatively easy to travel around, all you need is a 4w car and a driver - or a local guide for the mountain hikes. Sana'a is safe and fun to discover on your own. Yemenis are very welcoming. We spent a few days in sana'a, then had 3x 1 day trips to kahkaban/ shibam/ thula / rock palace and one to Manama/ al hajarrah/ hutaib and one to ibb. Then we went to a 4 day trip including al thawila / al Kawka at the Red Sea/ al faqih ( Friday market) / Zabeed and trekking in jebel bora. All these places were safe and the tour guide took care of all travel permissions and checkpoint controls. Btw we were two women. Trekking is also nice in jebel bokur. We did not go to aden, however we heard that is now also available to tourist, if you fly from sanaa. In sanaa we have stayed in Dawood hotel, 30 usd a night per person with Yemeni breakfast , can highly recommend. Other campsites and hotels were arranged by the tour guide, along with visas, drivers, etc. I can very highly recommend them: Radfan Tours Agency www.visityementours.weebly.com. We had Abdulaziz for the short trips and Kais for the 4 day trip, both recommended. They will show you interesting things and they know what is safe and what is not.
Dec 7, 2012 12:11 PM
1Thanks for the report, it's nice to know people are still traveling in Yemen. You had a car and driver, but would it have been possible to travel from city to city on your own using public transportation?
Dec 7, 2012 12:32 PM
2Thanks for the report. Yemen has been on my list but with issues there its been deferred. Perhaps I'll bump it up higher now. What about self drive? I would also love to get to Socotro Island, sorry that is spelled wrong and I'm too lazy to look it up but close enough :)
The Yemenis sounds as warm and welcoming as we found the Omanis. I really loved Oman.
Dec 7, 2012 10:17 PM
3Yemenis are very nice and very welcoming.
Sana'a is perfectly safe and you can get around on your own.
To travel elsewhere, it is just much easier with car+ driver. You can still go wherever you want and spend as much time as you want, but no hassle with finding your way or getting held long at checkpoints. I would say it is possible to drive yourself, but definitely less safe. Additionally, a few speaks English only and the local guide is priceless in those situations.
Socotra is also very safe.
When you travel to Yemen please also consider that currently they have no tourism and the job opportunities are very few. Poverty is extreme high. It made me feel good that I could contribute to the living to a few who helped me, possibly their main income for months.
Dec 10, 2012 2:20 AM
4Looks like a awesome trip.
Roughly how much did it cost all up? I live closeby (Dubai) and would be an interesting place to visit.
Dec 14, 2012 2:49 AM
5For more info on public transport in Yemen, see my post here: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2282409
Dec 15, 2012 4:49 PM
6Ak, many many thanks great info, yes sounds like hiring car w/driver is the way to go not a problem. We do that in Africa, you have to, nothing is marked, border crossings are totally corrupt, etc. Its not cheap but convenient. We are used to witnessing the poverty, the Africa trips, you can only do what you can do. I do donate to int'l orgs, and I do give at times to people on the streets in areas I go, it depends. You want to help them all but can't, its so frustrating.
Jan 18, 2013 6:36 PM
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