On the outskirts of Abha, visit the hanging village of Habbalah. This village was built in the side of a steep cliff during the Ottoman occupation. Today, it is accesible by cable car providing breath taking views of mountains and desert landscapes.
The highest peak in Saudi Arabia,it is located near Abha on the mountains of Aseer,
it is 10.000Ft high.....some people believe that it is called Souda(which means black)because of the drak trees and cloudy skies!
Pronounced AL SOODAH in the Abha accent.
It's in my nature to pull someone else's leg, with people - it's pretty normal, either they laugh with you or get ready to see some constellations when you get a big hit right on your eye! But teasing the baboons... duh!... are you out of your mind?
We went up the mountain park or jungle park in Al-Baha, some 400kms on the way to Abha where we spent a night. We were so exhausted for the past 5 hours drive so we have to get some sleep. It's a part of our itinerary anyways. The following morning, we drove up the mountain park to have some picnic, on the way up we passed by some local families having a picnic too on those designated area with shaded construction and BBQ places. We went further up and we have set our big blanket on the grassy floor near a cliff with lots of misty bushes looking out the town below. After the picnic, we drove further up, no-ones around except us when suddenly among the bushes and the foggy pathways we heard some rattling noise, we went out of the car to see around and came a big group of Hamadrayas baboons! It was scary at first because there are a lot of them, big and small and babies on the back of their moms. I remember the movie "Outbreak". Everyone of us ran back to the car as an initial reaction, we noticed they don't really get near us and looks like we are some kind of a saviour out there to deliver some relief goods. Fortunately enough for them, we have some bananas with us which we generously feed to them, turns out that they are more fearful of humans than the other way round, I even have to really tease them to have those bananas snapped directly from my hands, both exciting and scary(?) .... but never tease the baboons, they are untamed and wild, you'll never know.
This village is the lowest area of Mintaqat Aseer. It's 1:30 hour away from Abha. There're two ways to reach this tiny village, by car or cable car.
Cable car takes 25-min from top to bottom. Be prepared you're moving down from the coolest area-Sooda town, to the hottest area-Rijaal Almaa Village. So have a heavey jacket, and wear sleeveless shirt.
Rijaal Alma people practice circumcision for boys at late age, particularly at 18. There would be a ceremony where a boy is being circumcised before many men of his tribe, proving one's manhood of bearing pain. If he shows any sign of 'ouch', he'd lose his face and might never get married.
- Cable Car ticket: SR40 per adult
This place gathers all heritage and history of Mintaqat Aseer. You got to see an old palace, small restuarants, antique seats, and even traditional toilets.
Bin Hamssan, the owner of this village is a friendly guy. He welcomed our group in a very traditional way. They shoot in the air, representing their happiness of receiving guests.
You can contact Mr. Hamssan himself for special tour program at his village. See tel.
For more pictures, plz see my travelogue.
al-Habala Mountain or Hanged Village narrates a histroy of its people. This mountain is as hard as stones, so people. They used to bury their deads under stones and rocks. You can climb mountains and see corpuses still there. It's not allowed anymore to bury under rocks. Newest body is back to 30 years ago.
Go by car or by telefreek and visit the Green Mountain Museum and Restaurant- great food and breath taking views.
Hmmm...Dont miss this Chance to try this exhilirating experience....From the Top of the Highest Point in Saudi..you will be literally dropped down in the midst of greenery down...Simply the Best !!!
This is what a typical house in Abha would look like,although many people live in modern houses these days but these remain the old traditional house!
Picture taken from Google images.