An important stronghold during the Turkish occupation of lower regions of the Yemen, Kawkaban served to protect the town of Shibam below. It is built at the summit of a 350-metre cliff and the town's inhabitants were often evacuated there during times of crisis. Kawkaban is about an hour's walk from Shiban, by means of a paved footway, starting...more
Here's the drill. Any guide you hire will take you up to the town/mesa. You walk around and take your photos but don't buy anything from the local yo yo's selling trinkets since you can get it cheaper in Sanaa anyway. When you are done clicking the camera and shooting the sh.. with the locals if you can speak arabic..you hike down the trail that...more
Unfortunately despite its dramatic setting, Kawkaban is depressively abandoned and ruined. After a lovely ride over the cliffs of the mountain with excellent views, by the time you approach the village your first impressions are great. The exterior wall follows the steep cliff perimetrically forming two towers at the village entrance. From there...more
Several Yemeni men chew qat while looking down the cliffs of Kawkaban. This naturally gives them a double high. The vehicle in the picture is less than a metre away from the edge while the men have their legs hanging over it. But that is no problem because as long as they are chewing qat they can do anything - and nothing bad can happen to them.more
Don´t be confuse about the name of this town: In Yemen there are four towns with this name, one of them is the famous Shibam in Hadramawt region. This one is called northern Shibam or Shibam-Kawkaban. The name of the city is mentioned in documents from the II century . There still remains some buildings of the old city, builded in 829 A.D. under...more
Once you are done hiking down the cliff it is time to eat in the town below..Shibam. My yank butt go to dine solo since I was by myself but the food was hot and plentiful. for $5-7 it was enough food to feed 3-4 people. There was a honey cake that was a tasty treat to snack on. When they cook a chicken here and elsewhere in Yemen they chop it up...more
We stopped here for lunch which was excellent with really nice quality food – chicken, lovely rice, potatoes and a welcome change from bananas in the form of a “bint” (daughter) cake made with honey, which most of our party had 2 helpings of. The staff here were really friendly and the chef came out after the meal to ask us if we enjoyed it. One of...more
This funduq (located in Shibam and not Kawkaban), is certainly popular among groups, as everybody we had met, ended up here to have lunch. The entrance to it caused me a lump in my throat, but the dining room was spacious, nicely painted with large windows and quite well kept.Meal was typical Yemeni and fixed...so don't ask for the menu card to...more
Getting to Kawkaban is easy and cheap. First you will need a valid travel permit from the tourist police. Then go to the taxi stand in Sana' for Sayun and wait. The taxi will leave when full and shouldn't cost more than 150 Y.R.'s.
note that USD1.00= 184.5 Y.R
!We were followed around Kawkabam by 3 sellers displaying their wares in wheel barrows. They were persistent to the point of becoming annoying, but we had built up a certain amount of immunity by this stage.
The most interesting goods were brass scissors with long blades and curved handles – very unusual and attractive and they actually work. We were told they are made locally.
I can’t remember the exact price but they were not much more than a couple of dollars.
Though Al-Mahwit is of little interest to the traveller, its setting among hilltop villages and fertile land is well worth the drive.The old part of it is perched on a hilltop and is very beautiful to take photos at dusk. Unluckily we arrived there a bit late (and we departed early morning) so there was no time to explore the town on foot.Besides...more
48kms northwest of Sana'a, at the foot of Jebel Kawkaban, 2300m above sea level, Shibam village (not to be confused with famous Shibam in Hadramawt) is another stop in the village circuit around Sana'a. Despite its historical significance (dates back to 2nd century AD) , the village is not worth to walk around. There is the grand mosque, one of the...more
Thula lying more than 15kms from Kawkaban, was certainly the architectural highlight of the villages (Shibam-Kawkaban) around Sana'a. Its high-rise stone houses match perfectly with the mountain behind it (see additional photo). You can enter the village by car through the gate Bab Al-Fardha to the main square (where a hotel , restaurant and some...more