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Getting there & away

The national carrier Yemenia(402550; fax 404388) flies to San’a for US$80.

A good highway connects Sayun to San’a (via Ma’rib). General Land Transport Companyruns buses to San’a (YR1400, around 14 hours, one daily). Foreigners are often not allowed to travel this route by bus.

Shared taxis run to Al-Mukalla (YR1500, five hours, six daily), San’a (YR2300, eight to 10 hours, one daily), Shibam (YR70, 20 minutes, 30 daily) and Tarim (YR100, 30 to 40 minutes, around 20 daily). As with the buses, foreigners are often not allowed to travel to San’a via Ma’rib by taxi.

New roads have also been constructed heading eastward to Oman and it’s now perfectly possible to travel overland to/from Sayun and Salalah in Oman. Al-Khaleej Transportation Company (402188; opposite the Yemenia office) sends buses trundling to Salalah (YR5000, 16 hours) every Saturday and Tuesday morning. Book in advance and prepare for a very long day. The buses use the inland border crossing at Makinat Shihan, where Omani tourist visas can be obtained with little fuss for most Western nationalities for US$21. It’s also possible to travel to Oman from Sayun via Al-Ghayda and the coast using local buses and taxis.