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Landscapes_harmony of Hajjarah
Favorite thing: The mountain range of the southern Arabian Peninsula runs through the Yemen, with its highest peak, Hadur Shu'ayb at 3,760 metres.
Hajjah itself is a citadel, situated on the central hill of Hajjah, famous for underground prison cells used by the Imams.
Topographical variations in this region give rise to a wide range of climatic conditions, and its fertile highland plateaus are ideal for growing a wide variety of both tropical and temperate zone crops. These highland regions are interspersed with wadis -- river valleys which are dry in the summer months.
While the cities of Yemen are modern, many of Yemen's mountain villages are unchanged and remain much as they were in antiquity. Stone houses, ornate architecture and a rich life, devoid of technology, provide a refreshing view of life as it once was lived.
Fondest memory: Highlands
When most people think of Yemen and the Arabian penninsula, sand dunes and hot desert lands come to mind.
While Yemen does have this type of climate in the extreme East, a large part of the country is sub-tropical and full of lush vegetation.
In fact, Yemen has some of the highest mountains in the region with beautiful vistas and hundreds of small friendly villages devoted to farming and agriculture.
Favorite thing: The business hours vary. Outside the central highlands, where the climate is roasting hot, there is often an extended midday break but some businesses open earlier and close later). Some businesses close around 1pm regardless for the qat sessions and reopen around 6pm. Banks open at 8am and close at noon Saturday to Thursday but opens only to 11am on Thursday. Government offices are open to 3pm while restaurants usually close around 9 or 10pm. Yemenia opens from 8am to 1pm or 5pm to 8pm Saturday to Wednesday.
Favorite thing: Yemens visa regulations changed on a monthly basis a few years ago but now the visa is straight forward. You get the visa on arrival at the international airport and the visa takes about 5 minutes. You must pay in foreign currency ie US dollars or Euros but it is an easy process. The visa cost $50 US and takes up a full page in your passport. Good to see that the country is beginning to relax and open up to tourists. Be warned that the passport officials will check your passport several times meaning if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport your Yemen holiday will be a short one. They will immediately turn you back to your original departure destination.
The Muezzin calls ..
Favorite thing: Five times a day, the muezzin calls the muslim believers for prayers, beginning with 5 a.m. in the morning. This can mean a rude awakening if your accomodation is near a mosque, but believe me, you will get used to it.
Favorite thing: People are some of the most attractive photo motives in Yemen. Some basic rules:
In Yemen, almost all women are veiled. They do not like to be photographed, so don`t do it unless you`re absolutely sure they will not notice. It might cause trouble.
It is no problem to take photographs of children. Often they will ask you to take a photo ("ßura"). Usually they are happy if you show them their picture on a digital camera display. If you want to make sure that they don`t expect money for the picture, ask "ßura bas - mafisch?" (meaning: only photo - nothing else?).
In the rural areas, adults sometimes approach you to take their picture. They don`t want money, but it would be polite to show the photo on your digital camera and comment "tammam" or "mumtass" meaning "very good".
If you want to ask somebody if it is OK to take his picture, ask "mumkin ßura" meaning "Can I take a picture?". If the response is "aiwa", its OK, if its "la" (=no"), you should respect this.
Favorite thing: A issue when travelling to a place like Yemen is what type of money to bring with you. Most people prefer US dollars but they can be a problem in Yemen as most exchange offices in Yemen consider pre 1990 US bills as potential fakes so make sure either you bring post 90 bills or take Euros as Euros are exchanged everywhere in the major centres. Also, credit cards are virtually useless so bring lots of cash in various forms.
Favorite thing: Before you go to Yemen you should really watch the film An English Sheikh and a Yemeni Gentlemen as it gives great insight to what life was like years back plus it shows you what the landscape looks like which may influence you to make the move and get out there!Related to:
- Theater Travel
Favorite thing: The children, as in any other place, are genuinely happy. There are many children and old people in Yemen who beg and are always asking for money or pity, especially from foreigners.
Notwithstanding all this honesty prevails and crime is very low.
Favorite thing: Many people will try to start a conversation with you in shops, souqs or public transport. They even ask you some delicate or personal questions about your life, politics or religion. I was truthful and even asked back.
Fondest memory: Learn some basic Arabic before you go. I do not mean just greeting phrases but also numbers and how to say the name of your country in Arabic. You'll be asked your age and marital status on a casual everyday basis so be prepared with an answer. I recommend the truth though single people older than 25 are frowned upon.
BUDGET/QUANTO SI SPENDE?
Favorite thing: BUDGET: the rial is the money of Yemen, on the market or on the bank the same exchange. You can also change to the black market. You can also change on a travel agency or to your driver but just inform first to the rates. You can have more if you change paper money of 50 or 100$. On the shops you can have better price if you pay on $ or euro.
An average of 15/30$/day/person is needed according the hotels you will choose, more if you rent a jeep (around 100$/day all including)
BUDGET: le rial, monaie officielle, n'a pas de taux officiel, la plupart des banques et bureaux de change s'alignent sur le cours du souk. Le marché noir existe toujours. Vous pouvez changer aussi après des agences de location ou de votre chauffeur à condition de s'être bien renseigné sur les cours! N'hésitez pas a négocier sachant que vous obtiendrez un meilleur taux avec des dollars et des coupures de 50 ou 100 USD. Chez les commerçants vous pourrez mieux marchander si vous payer en devises.
Compter un budget moyen de 15/30 USD/jour/persone selon la catégorie d'hotel choisie, plus si vous louer une jeep (environ 100USD/jour/jeep tout compris).
Fondest memory: BUDGET: il rial, moneta ufficiale, non ha un tasso di cambio ufficiale; la maggior parte delle banche e uffici cambi praticano il tasso in vigore nel suq. Il mercato nero esiste sempre. Possibilità di cambiare nelle agenzie di noleggio jeep, dal vostro autista ma prima informarsi sul cambio! Non esitate a mercanteggiare sapendo che è preferibile portare dollari e che i tagli da 50 o 100 USD ottengono un miglior cambio rispetto ai piccoli tagli. Generalmente dai commercianti pagando in moneta straniera si riesce a mercanteggiare meglio.
Contare un budget medio di 15/30 USD/al giorno/persona a seconda della scelta alberghiera; di più se si affitta una jeep: media 100USD/giorno/jeep tutto inclusoRelated to:
- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: WEATHER: near the seaside you can find volcanic areas and the weather is hot and really wet especially in the Tihama area and so really difficult to visit this area on July or August. As Yemen is an highland where the rain falls regular in different areas that explain why some towns as Aden were build up the mountain where people can live of agriculture.
If all the year it's possible to visit Yemen the best is from April to October, during winter you need some warm clothes.
CLIMAT: les côtes au relief accidenté et volcanique sont basses, chaudes et humides comme la Tihama (80-100% d'humidité à Hoddeida) ou le climat est difficilement supportable en juillet et août. Grâce à son altitude le Yemen bénéficie d'une pluviométrie exceptionnelle par endroits et inhabituelle dans la péninsule. Ce qui explique pourquoi les grandes villes, hormis Aden, se sont implantées en montagne et sur les hauts plateaux du centre et de l'ouest où les nombreuses plaines avoisinantes, se prêtent à la culture de céréales, de légumes, de fruits et du qât.
Les hauts plateaux du nord et le désert du Rub Al-Khali à l'est jouissent d'un climat chaud et sec, nous sommes dans la partie désertique du pays.
Si on peut séjourner agréablement dans le pays durant toute l'année les meilleurs mois vont d'avril à octobre. Durant les mois d'hiver il est conseillé de porter quelques vêtements chauds.
Fondest memory: CLIMA le coste con rilievo accidentato e vulcanico sono basse calde e umide come la Tihama (80-100% di umidità a Hodeida) difficile da sopportare in luglio e agosto. Lo Yemen beneficia , grazie alla sua altitudine, di una pluviometria eccezionale in certe zone e inconsueto per la penisola araba. Questo spiega perché le grande città, salvo Aden, si sono sviluppate nelle montagne e negli altipiani del centro e dell'ovest dove cereali, frutta, verdura, qât e caffè possono crescere nelle grande pianure vicine.
Gli altipiani al nord e il deserto del Rub Al Khali all'est godono di un clima caldo, ci troviamo nelle parti desertiche del paese salvo per le oasi e zone irrigate.
La stagione migliore per visitare lo Yemen si situa tra aprile e ottobre, ma è possibile visitare il paese tutto l'anno. Consigliato qualche indumenti pesanti per i mesi invernali.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
DON'T MISS...NE PAS MANQUER...DA NON PERDERE
Favorite thing: IN YEMEN, you must see all as all is magical
AU YEMEN, il faut tout voir car tout est magique
NELLO YEMEN, si deve vedere tutto perche tutto è magico
Fondest memory: WE MISS the friendly and the arab hospitaliy
NOUS PENSONS souvent aux yéménites si hospitaliers
RICORDIAMO sempre l'ospitalità di quella genteRelated to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Favorite thing: Getting a visa to Yemen is not difficult but can involve a bit of hassle. For kiwis, we need a letter from our embassy stating they have no objection to us visiting Yemen. I got a lecture from the consul on the dangers as Yemen is listed as very dangerous in our travel warnings. (See my comment on Travel Warnings on my homepage).
After approaching the Yemen embassy in Dubai with my embassy's letter, it was a simple process and cost just 60 AED's (USD18) and took about 2 hours.
NB. I also checked the price in Oman, Bahrain and Qatar and these embassies charged five times this amount for the same Yemen visa.
Yemeni Visas for British Passport holders
Favorite thing: For British Travellers:
Tourist Single entry visa is given up to two months validity from date of issue.
1- Letter from travel/tourism company who is organising the trip.
2- A confirmed return airline ticket.
3- For groups, the tour should be through a national travel/tourism company in the Republic of Yemen.
Visa Fees: 40 GBP
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Government's Visa Policy
Favorite thing: The Government of the Republic of Yemen refuses entry and transit facilities to holders of Israeli passports, or holders of passports containing visas valid or expired for Israel or any indication, such as entry or exit stamps, that the holder has visited Israel.
Original Passport valid for at least 6 months after date of departure required by all.
Visas are required by all except:
(a) Nationals of Iraq, Jordan and Syria;
(b) Transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft provided they hold valid onward or return documentation and are not leaving the airport.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
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