On the coast road from Mukalla to Aden you will pass Yemen's most important ancient port, where the Frankincense was shipped from in Sabaean times. In ancient times it was called Qana. The Sabaeans traded with Oman, Persia and India but Qana was destroyed in the 2nd century AD and now it is a small village called Bir Ali.
Also along the route is a small fishing village called Birm.
The coast here has sandy beaches and lava rocks and it is nice to take a break from the otherwise long and tiresome drive and have a walk on the beach
You can see the sunrise over the Arabian Sea from the Holiday Inn Mukalla.
Normally I don't see this time of day by choice, but the wonderful light woke me up and I had to get a photograph.
It's a pity nobody who knows me believes me that it is sunrise!
After your meal of fresh fish or whatever you choose to eat in town take a walk along the Corniche and into the white washed old town. Everything is packed close together similar to Shibam...you could almost call in Shibam by the Sea.
The Hadhramout hotel has it's own dive center where you can arrange a dive trip out to the local reefs/wrecks or rent a mask and fins for $5 USD per hour and swim in front of the hotel which was teaming with big parrot fish and countless others swimming amongst the coral.
If the dive center is closed just ask for the manager as I did and he can roust the dive shop keeper and at least rent you snorkling gear
Reaching or leaving Al Mukalla on the new (impressively wide and decorated with flowers on the way) airport road, you won't miss this 19th centrury fortress perched on a cliff top. I can't tell if it is open for a visit as we made a short stop for photos and to fix our damaged car tyre.
Just in front of Al-Mukalla you can see some sunken ships.
Al- Muakalla is an important harbour in Yemen, specially from the last years while Aden, where many battles were fought during the war of 1994,has lost its traditional importance.
In the evening, most of Mukallah´s activity occurs in the seafront, where the old harbour was placed.There you can yemenian people having a nice time, children usually jump to the sea in a competition. As they saw us, they tried to jump higher and farther to get a picture. They were really nice!
You have to wake up early to visit the fish market of Mukalla: fishers boats come back to the modern harbour after fishing all the night and then they have to sell fish quickly, because of the hot.
Mukalla fish market is well known, perhaps the only one more important in Yemen is Al- Hudeyda market.
The market is a unique and "hard" experience. The smell of fish, hot, the blood,... Some people cannot overcome this.
Sharks are usually sold in this market, in a great number of them. So, be careful when swiming in Mukalla´s beach.
Husn Al Guwayzi is a small fortress, builded in 1884 by a rich merchant family of the city, used in the past as a custom house and guards house.
It is wonderful how it was builded up on this rock, near to the cliff. It seems it should fall in any moment!
Yemen being on the coast of the Arabian Sea is a seafood town. The tuna here would make any Japanese person salivate.
Husn al-Ghuwayzi is a tiny fort, located on the main road in Mukalla. It was built in the 19th century by a wealthy local family.
We didn't go inside.
This was just one of many forts you will see in Yemen. This one is visable just off the road.
No sure if you can go in or not and I did not ask or try.