The more you cover up your body the better especially women. Short sleeves are OK on male visitors but I would have preferred I took more long sleeves with me. A light jacket was also very handy because the evenings were often cool. I'd also recommend umbrella and/or raincoat plus a spare pair of shoes. Streets are often flooded after the rain.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: I needed antibiotics. Hygiene is often lacking in restaurants and getting some form of infection is common. Lip balm is also important for people like me who are not used to the dry mountain air.
Miscellaneous: Torch, lighter, matches, candles because the electricity in Yemen goes out every day for a few hours. These may be at night and just before you reach your front door.
Luggage and bags:
Travelling light would be my advice for any trip, but the more so in a country that's hot in most places most of the year.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Clothes of natural fibres obviously. Sturdy shoes (local replacement of them would prove to be sub-standard). Sweater (in the Highlands anytime outside summer, in the low-lying areas only in winter). Otherwise, everything is available locally at low prices and at a low but acceptable standard. This includes women's clothing and underwear. (Someone suggested that women's apparel might be a problem to obtain as nearly 100% of women wear the black cloak called abaya. Of course they are not naked underneath and judging from what's on display in shop windows there's no limit to what Yemeni women can wear.)
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Mosquito repellent might be a good idea, even though in most places most of the year you won't encounter many. Malaria profylaxis (and/or long sleeves, net and repellent) might also be a good idea it travelling extensively in the Tihama and some other coastal areas. Lip balm (hot and dry air air). Stuff like aspirin is readily available under various names but with the same ingredients. (When in doubt, go for the brand name you know - it may be more expensive, but still cheap.) Toiletries (L'Oreal, Dove, Nivea etc.) are readily available in super markets and are surprisingly cheap (compared to their countries of origin). Stomach relief (or whatever it's called) only if you are very prone to upset stomach (in Yemen I hear very seldom anout people getting sick, unlike some other countries like in South-Asia).
Photo Equipment: Don't have your films developed in Yemen.
Miscellaneous: Your own pillow case may be a comforting thought for some, although 'bed bugs' don't seem to be a real problem.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Great shoes are a must in yemen as most places are either cobblestone or dirt making this place not the ideal area to bring cheap flip flop sandals and despite how easy the locals make travelling around in shower sandals look I wouldnt recommend it as my feet were damaged after just two days (learned the hard way and converted to my hikers). Also, bring earplugs as Sana'a and other places have countless and I mean countless mosques making this country one of the loudest places in Arabia but if you want a good nights sleep I advise you bring quality plugs.
Luggage and bags: Most cheap hostels or funduqs in Yemen do not change their bedding often so a sleeping bag of some sort would be wise to avoid any potential problems ie beg bites etc. It is a common sense item but always overlooked and a great way to avoid the minor hassles of bites during your trip.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: This is an absolute essential if you are going to travel to Yemen. The local pharmacies only handle after care which is no good if you are trying to stop the flies at night and depending on your hostel they can be persistant buggers! They are brutal and I heard they are extremely bad near the coast. Even the mid range hotel have beasties so be prepared with either repellent or mosquito net. If you do not have either then ask the local staff where you can find 'Pif Paf' which is known throughout the Gulf for being absolutely lethal to flies and insects. This stuff is so potent it can kill an insect in mid flight so spray your room and go for a walk and you should be ok. Overall, dont go without it!
Miscellaneous: Money belts may be the way to go in Yemen because of the size of Yemeni bills. They are very bulky and take up alot of space making a moneybelt extra handy in this part of the world and if you carry a wallet leave it in the hotel or you may end up like the George Castanza character on Seinfeld carrying around a huge wallet until you get a sore back.
Photo Equipment: You should probably take about 3 times the amount of film that you would usually take on a regular trip because A. film is not available everywhere in Yemen and B. if it is available it is expensive. C. It is not accessible in remote areas. You can easily pick up most regular forms of film in Sana'a but if you are going on adventures ie Shaharah and beyond you must expect the unexpected.
Miscellaneous: Credit Cards - with few exceptions - are not accepted. Traveller Cheques are unknown or uncommon either. So basically your only option is to change your currency into Yemeni Rial and to rely exclusively on paper money. As violent crime, theft or robbery are practically unknown, you should not be overly concerned.
Miscellaneous: Some may argue against guide books - I have at times - but not for Yemen. Its a bit complicated getting around with permits etc and you need to plan ahead to give the police a schedule. Ive managed to borrow one - after a month of trying to find one out here - bring one with you!
- some warm clothing (even in the desert it can get very cold)
- real walking shoes (no trainers) if you go hiking are a must!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: - sunscreen; the sun is extremely intense in the mountains and the deserts
- toilet paper (if you stay in a "funduk")
Miscellaneous: - there are virtually no book shops in Yemen, so bring enough reading stuff
Luggage and bags:
yes, bring some.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Ladies, bring something that covers your head- including your hair- such as a scarf and pick up a veil as soon as you can. It will make the differnce in you being stared at and glared at.
SLEEVES ON EVERY THING.
Modesty is EVERYTHING.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Baby wipes. Baby wipes. Baby wipes.
your own tampons.
little packets of tissue.
a whole first aid-kit- including instant ice packs for bruises- there are few freezers in the deserts.
Photo Equipment: sand WILL get into everything. protect your equitment accordingly.
proper adaptors for Middle Eastern power plugs
batteries- yes, you can get them there; no , they're not that good- especially for digital.
Luggage and bags:
Do you want your own clothes? 5% of ALL bags get lost or delayed by airlines. Mostly because they do not have a luggage tag! Put the details of your hotel. They can find you!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A good pair of shoes/boots and light coloured clothes, preferably a tan colour. You will get dusty and dark clothes show it more.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sterile wipes for sure and your own soap. Many toilet facilities do not have any sort of soap. Diarrhoea tablets. They can be hard to find and only a few Pharmacies actually sell them. Aspirin. Very expensive in most of the developing world. Bandages for those blisters. Tissue for toilets that do not have any.
Photo Equipment: A lot of film or a large memory card. You will take a lot of pictures. The whole country is one big photo opportunity.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Sunscreen. The sun is strong most of the year. You need an electric torch and/or a candle. The power does go out. Water. Water can de disrupted as well so always have some for your accommodation.
Miscellaneous: US Dollars or a strong currency like Euros or British Pounds. The local currency is not convertible. Exchange before you leave for the airport! A good Guide Book and some reading books would be handy. ** Also: Alcohol. It is legal here; you just have to be discreet.
Het Gelukkige Arabië
Most students of Yemen's history are aware of the famous Danish expedition sent to Egypt and Yemen in 1761 and popularly described in Thorkild Hansen's Arabia Felix (1962). The man we usually associate with this ill-fated expedition is Carsten Niebuhr, since he had the good fortune to be the only survivor of the expedition
Climate varies greatly Yemen as it ranges from sea level to 2800 metres high.
The coastal areas are very hot and humid, especially along the Red Sea so you will need cool cotton and linen clothes and plenty of sun protection.
Hadramaut is a desert climate mostly dry and hot, very hot in summer but not as hot as the coast.
The mountain areas are warom in summer and cold in winter. Here you will need very warm clothes for winter and a sweater for the evenings most of the year.
The highlands also get quite a bit of rain March-April and July-August.
This weather chart, courtesy of Universal Travel and Tourism, shows average temperatures and rainfall *If you click on it you can view the full chart.
Luggage and bags:
JohnnyOmani said it and I will second it. Cash is king in Yemen and most wallets will not stretch enough to carry all the bills you will end up with.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You can get most of what you might need in Sanaa and the other major towns or souqs but if you are partial to something it is probably a good idea to take it with you.
Photo Equipment: I think digital cameras are the way to go since charging them is not much of an issue if you've got an adaptor. Make sure you bring a good lense or have super zoom so you can get some good shots of those far away villages that you will pass by.
Miscellaneous: Needles if you are going to be there for some time. Why take a chance with the local Dr.
While I did not run into any mosquitos while I was there in late Feb/early March I did bring spray and took the anti-malarials to be safe. Better to be safe than sorry since being sick when you are on the road sucks.
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