Trekking around Harraz Mountain is a must do day trip while staying in Manakhan. I paid YR2,000 (May 2008) despite the guide firstly asked for YR5,000 for a 5 hour trekking trip around Harraz Mountain. I visited Lakamat al-Qadi, Kahel, Al-Hoteib. It worths the trek but be sure you bargain for the price. I think my price was high and YR1,000 should...more
Manakha makes a useful base from which to trek to surrounding villages. You can either just follow the recently paved roads connecting these villages or you can find a local guide in order to follow some less frequented routes and enjoy more unspoilt scenery!!It is well worth staying there a full day or more and explore this magnificent area!more
A good option to do a short walk to see some other fortified villages is taking the path wchich starts in Hutaib, near the Isamil sanctuary of Hatim bin Ibrahim al-Hamdi. From there, you can visit other villages, some of them far from the main roads and less touristic than Al Hajjarah or Manakhah.I specially liked the one of the picture, that was...more
There are many paths to trek in the Haraz Mountains Some can take only one day and other a week. Anyway, i recommend specially to do one of the treks to get a better knowledge of all the region. Landscape all along the way is wonderful, fortified villages builded up high peaks, and to west side, mountains descending to the red sea. Fields are...more
Many villages like Al Hajjarah were strongholds to the families lived in the region. As wars between tribes were usual ( today wars between tribes last in north , Sadah Region or in the desert) , people lived inside these frotified villages in oprder to defend from their enemies. As the villages were builded on hills or high peaks, it was difficult...more
Dinner and breakfast are included in the price of accommodation.
Meals are served in the spacious mafraz. You eat sitting on the floor. Menu is typical Yemeni and tea is served at the end. Beverages are not included in the price (beware again non alcohol beer is rather expensive by Yemeni standars 300YR=1.5$)
During your dinner or even lunch live music and songs and special "jambiya" dance are performed by a group of locals ( I got the impression that they actually stay inside the funduq). Depending on the group size and your dancing skills, the "party" can go on until midnight... Interesting experience (though touristy) as you can't experience folk dances anywhere else.
Go the extra mile, in this case from Manakha to Al-Hajjarah - definitely worth it. There is one bad stretch of road when leaving Manakha, but the rest is nicely asphalted, compliments of the European Commission.
Manakha is the main region of the Ismail chii religion , one of the muslim groups.Although nearly all yemenian are Sunni , in some parts like this region there are still some chii groups. Ismail chii branch of the Islam appeared in X century , in Egipt under the Fatimi dinasty.This branch of Islam was established in Yemen in 1061 , when the Sulayda state was founded in Jibla.
In Lakamat al-Ghadi you can visit one of the most important chii sanctuaries in Yemen, Hatim bin Ibrahim al-Hamdi tomb´s. He was a wise man and an important chii religious in XVI century. Since his death, chii people from all over the world have come to visit the tomb, specially in their way of pilgrimage to Meca. When i visitted the tomb a brand-new sanctuary was being builded by chii people from Pakistan. They afforded this consctruction, made of white marble.
Nights at the Funduq were great! The family who owned this guesthouse were really firnedly, and organized events the two nights we spent there.They also showed us some nice games like this, based on a yemenian tradition: it is said when the cheiks ruled Yemen, they practised this dangerous game. A man had to, being on foot, lay on the floor and...more
Evening was cloudy and then, while we were walking around this wonderful village, heavy rain started. As we had no place to refuge, we hide inside the gate of the wall. Some other people, specially children of the village, did the same. Problem was, when people try to pass across the crowded gate with their animals: it was really funny. We had to...more