Tourism is a word that is under constraction to Yemen.
They just now take the meaning of tourists.
As for traps, is not a word in to the local vocabulary.
Unique Suggestions: You maybe find people hwo try to sell alchool, 4 euros a beer.
Also plastic, for acbar-kehribari-helectron.
Thats all. For now.
In the next 5 or 10 years, all the things will be diferent.
an exeption is the beggars and the possers for the tourist photo's like this young boy.
What can you do? give them what you think they worth.
May demant more, but... dont bend your heart.
Alcohol is illegal in Yemen
However several places in Sana'a offer alcohol. One is the Russian club wherever that is in Sanaa. What I know is that it is quite expensive and offers other things apart from alcohol. I never went there because I wanted to live Yemen not to get pissed.
Unique Suggestions: Think for yourself and use your intelligence. You do not have to get drunk to live through the Yemeni experience. There are other ways and means to pass the time. Women should be more careful before they allow themselves to get drunk. It might be dangerous.
Fun Alternatives: Try to live Yemen as it is not as you want it to be. Yemenis might need tourism for the better of their economy but they certainly do not need them for better of their culture.
Not many places
Yemen is off the beaten track so there is no 'real' tourist traps in the country. Old Sana'a and Shibam etc get a high volume of visitors but nothing in comparison to Dubai or Egypt. You will hear occasional 'see or look' comments from shop owners but most people even in Sana'a cant speak English so you will be rarely harrassed if at all. You can pretty much wander around the sites and shop at leisure and Yemeni folks are pleasant because they are not used to tourists in mass numbers like Jordan or Morroco. Take your time and really enjoy Yemen because there are not many places left on Earth where tourist can shop at a relaxed pace. Lovely.
Unique Suggestions: If you end up getting all your souvenirs in Sana'a then make sure you can speak some Arabic , otherwise you will not be able to communicate with the shop keepers. Some speak English but your chances of finding a bargain will diminish quickly when he realizes you only know a few words in Arabic. At least learn the basic like how much, how many, cheaper or expensive. Have fun!
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THE FALCON MAN AT WADI DHAR
Any good Travel Guide who take you to see Wadi Dhar will first take you to a high cliff overlooking the Palace. This is where the Falcon Man will find you. He will insist on putting his hunting bird on your shoulder, even offer to take your picture.
You know what is coming next.....
Unique Suggestions: You really can’t escape him, so be prepared with some small coins. He will ask for lots of money, but you already have the picture. So you can give him what you want. He will ask for more, but only once. He is a nice guy actually.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
Getting cash can be a headache
The current guidebooks are a little out of date when they claim that there are no ATM's in Yemen. But it is worth doing some research before you go so that you know where they are as they are still very limited.
Check out www.atmlocator.info/
These machines would only spit out USD when using a foreign card, but you can easily exchange to local dosh at one of the many exchange offices.
Fun Alternatives: Take USD cash for emergencies. This can be changed almost anywhere.
Surprisingly though, in some places they offer a slightly better rate for higher denomination notes. This is not ideal for travellers as it is best to take smaller notes so you don't have to change too much at once.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Not exactly a tourist trap,...
Not exactly a tourist trap, but Al-Mokha is certainly a let down. It is the original coffee port, although there is precious little evidence of it nowadays, and what little does remain is difficult to photograph because of the military presence (might have something to do with the Eritrean refugees in the area). The remains of a minaret bizarrely sticking out of the sand is about all that is left of the once-prosperous port, but on my visit that was soon shrouded in a cloud of sand. The colourful fishing boats on the beach would have made a great photo, if I hadn't have been apprehended by soldiers as soon as I set foot on the beach. It hadn't been a good day anyway...leaving Al-Khowkha by motorbike taxi to Hays, waiting three hours in midday heat by the roadside for a bus heading to the junction for Al-Mokha (Mafraq al-Mokha). At the junction, there was a garage of sorts, and a cafe full of 'dodgy types' trying to sell me alcohol smuggled in from Eritrea. They all told me that no buses go to Al-Mokha from there, and wanted to take me by 'taxi' for an extortionate sum, but I stuck it out, and eventually some more potential passengers arrived. They were from Djibouti, and travelled this route regularly...there definately was a bus! After three hours, there was quite a crowd of us waiting for the bus (me the trendsetter, as ever!!), and eventually along came the most beaten-up clapped-out old truck you ever did see. It was already full to the brim, but room was found for us all on the back...three of us had to stand, hanging on to the rail at the back, which was fairly uncomfortable, to say the least, especially with chickens pecking my fingers and the constant risk of losing my grip! After all that, Mokha was one hell of a let-down. The sand-storm rolled in, making anything difficult, so just 10 minutes after arriving, I caught the next taxi out of there!
Buying a Djambia which is very...
Buying a Djambia which is very old and trying to take it with you when you leave the country is not a good idea. The Djambia is the pride of every man. You will scarcely see a man without one. It is stricktly forbidden to take such a piece of antiquity with you. Moreover, old and some new Djambias are made of the horn of a rhino. Even when you get it out of Yemen, you will have many difficulties trying to bring it in your own country. The modern Djambias may be not as beautiful as the old ones, still they are a nice souvenir of your visit to Yemen.
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