Burra Mountains, Yemen

Why I Traveled To Yemen For My Vacation

Derek Yemen 147 Comments

Travel to Yemen - Burra Mountains, Yemen

A few weeks ago, I decided that I needed to take a vacation. I just needed to get offline for a while and take a short break from the blog. I don’t take such breaks often but a little time away every now and then sure seems like a wise idea in order to keep me fresh and motivated as much as possible.

So, I began brainstorming potential vacation destinations, thinking long and hard about where I should go…

Perhaps a simple hut on a white sand beach or a quiet mountain retreat? Maybe some picturesque European town or Melbourne, Australia, where many of my friends live?

Nope.

After talking with my good friend Anil from FoxNomad.com and discovering that he was also up for a blog vacation and a unique adventure, I remembered a particular destination that we had both been interested in traveling to for quite some time. And that was all it took. In an istant we settled on what, at least to us, seemed like quite an ideal place to visit.

Off we went…

On April 20th, at 2.30am, our flight from Istanbul landed at Sana’a International Airport. I obtained my tourist visa sticker from the visa counter, passed through the immigration inspection and collected my backpack. I then took a deep breath before stepping outside into the dark unknown, with the simple words that the immigration officer had said to me while stamping my passport playing over and over again in my mind. All he had said, with a big smile on his face, was…

You have curly hair. Welcome to Yemen. Thank you for coming here.

Sanaa, Yemen

Travel To Yemen?

I know, it’s probably not the destination that most people would think of when they decide to take some time off from work. Not only that, but if you take a moment to look at the websites of almost every Western government, I’m quite certain that the various warnings you’d read would convince you never to step foot in this country…ever.

US Government: “The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities and civil unrest. The Department urges U.S. citizens not to travel to Yemen. U.S. citizens currently in Yemen should depart. The U.S. Embassy in Sana’a remains a restricted staffing post. As staff levels at the embassy are restricted, our ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency remains limited and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation. The security threat level in Yemen is extremely high.”

UK Government: “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Yemen and strongly urge British nationals to leave now. If you don’t leave the country now while commercial carriers are still flying it is extremely unlikely that the British government will be able to evacuate you or provide consular assistance. The situation in Yemen remains volatile with continuing unrest and violent clashes. The threat of an escalation of violence and disorder remains. There is a high threat from terrorism throughout Yemen. Terrorists continue to threaten further attacks. There is a high threat of kidnap from armed tribes, criminals and terrorists.”

The question then becomes, “Why would I travel to Yemen? Why would I spend 9 days in a country that appears to be so dangerous?

The answer is easy. This is my drug, it is my ‘high’. Traveling to these kind of destinations, destinations that few people know anything about and that fewer people seem to visit, regardless of whether or not they seem safe, brings me the most satisfaction. It also provides me with the most interesting and eye-opening of experiences by placing me far out of my comfort zone, something that is difficult to reach these days after 13 years on the road.

As most of you know, I want to see the world with my own eyes in order to gain a better understanding about the cultures and people that call this planet home. And with the blog, I am then able to share my experiences in an attempt to break down the collection of inaccuracies, assumptions and misunderstandings that we all have about parts of the world we are really not so familiar with. This is why I travel.

And as simple as that may sound, that’s exactly why I went to Yemen.

My Guides in Yemen

This is also why I have traveled to Lebanon, Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan. It is why I like to spend so much time in India and Mexico and why I lived in Romania, traveled around Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia and so on.

Do I now claim to be an expert on Yemen just because I just spent 9 days there? Absolutely not. But what I do claim is to have seen a decent amount of the country, to have spoken with a good amount of local people and to have gained a much better understanding about this part of the world. And I also have a much better idea as to whether or not this country is a good destination for travelers, something that I will discuss in more detail in the coming weeks.

(I do want to mention that our trip was organized by the wonderful people at Eternal Yemen, a local tour operator based in Sana’a. The reason we used a tour operator is because it is much harder to obtain a tourist visa without going through one and in addition, given the limited tourism infrastructure, you can’t travel independently to many destinations. The only option is to have a driver and guide take you around and you need to obtain travel permits as well. We chose Eternal Yemen simply because of the positive reviews we found online and their impressive service during our email interactions with them. And after meeting the owners and their staff, I would definitely recommend them to anyone thinking about visiting Yemen as well.)

What Is There To See In Yemen?

I must admit that before I traveled to Yemen, I knew almost nothing about what I would find there…turns out I could have stayed for 9 months and probably still not seen it all. In the end, I had to skip many places that I wanted to see and believe me, the list of worthy destinations to visit is remarkably long for a country that sees not even a trickle of tourists passing through these days.

From the mesmerizing old city of Sana’a, to towns and villages such as Shibam, Kawkaban, Manakh, Mahweet, Al-Hajarah, Tawila and more, many of which are perched in the most improbable of locations and appear to have changed little in hundreds of years. There were the colorful canyons, the lush green valleys stretching as far as one can see and the Burra and Haraz mountain ranges, all of which offer landscapes that literally seem out-of-this-world.

Al-Hajarah, Yemen

And I haven’t even mentioned Socotra Island, a truly isolated and alien-esque Yemeni island located in the Indian Ocean, where we spent 3 days, an island that can only be described as a place you MUST see with your own eyes in order to believe it. (Just wait until I write more about this place…for now, here’s two photos to give you a small taste!)

Socotra Island, Yemen

Dragon's Blood Tree, Socotra Island, Yemen

The above destinations, combined with dozens of cups of tea per day, afternoon qat sessions with the locals (chewing a mildly intoxicating leaf for hours on end), military checkpoints, armed escorts, food ranging from superb to bizarre, the most beautiful beaches on Earth, laid-back people, wedding celebrations, two strange flights, barely existent roads, hiking and camping, kaleshnikov guns, talking with students and teachers in remote schools, conspiracy theories, maze-like markets, traditional music and dancing and so much more, turned this trip into one of my favorite trips I have ever been on in all of my travels.


Sure, some things abut Yemen confused me, some things made no sense to me, some things certainly were frustrating or did not align with what I believe is right in this world. But as a travel destination, especially one that manages to truly open the eyes of visitors to a land, culture and people that few of us are at all familiar with, Yemen could not have been better.

Burra Mountain villages, Yemen

Why Did I Keep Yemen A Secret?

To be honest, I was a bit scared. Since I was not fully aware of what the actual safety situation would be for a foreigner, and after reading the government warnings I listed above and hearing such mixed reports about current security issues, I thought it best to keep my whereabouts unknown in order to be as safe as possible.

Was it safe in the end? Well, I’ll dedicate an entire post to that topic soon. Right now, all I’ll say is that I am extremely happy I traveled to Yemen and I never really felt as if I was in any real danger at any time during my trip. In fact, I wish I could have stayed for a much longer period of time.

This is probably why, as I sit here on the rooftop terrace of my guesthouse in Istanbul right now, where I flew to from Sana’a yesterday morning, I often find myself lost in thought, quietly repeating the word “Yemen” dozens of times in a row. Yemen. Yemen. Yemen. I honestly cannot believe that I was just there, that all of the experiences and interactions of the past 9 days actually occurred.

It will take some time for me to process everything that happened but I do know that I have so much I want to share about this trip and I can’t wait to tell you about it all!


What do you think of when you think of Yemen? Do you know much about the country? Any questions?

Since 1999 I've been traveling and living around the world nonstop. Sign up below for personal stories, real advice and useful updates from my adventures. Only good stuff, no nonsense.

Are you ready to earn money and travel?

How to Work on a Cruise Ship and Travel eBooksClick above and get started!

Comments 147

  1. Eduardo

    Since it seems you love dangerous destinations, Venezuela would be a really good destination for you, Caracas, its capital has been called “the murder capital of the world”. It also has really beautiful scenarios, including jungles, snowy mountains, Caribbean beaches, plains, big cities, the largest slum in latin america, the tallest waterfall in the world, the ice cream shop with the most kinds of ice cream flavors flavors (even shredded meat), etc etc… I think you would really enjoy it! and the people and food are nice too!

  2. Pingback: Yemen - Safer Than You Think | Traveling Forever

  3. ikinga

    I agree, I am am a Romanian, I moved to Italy and I travelled everywhere in Europe. For my first travel outside Europe I went for… Yemen. I did not experience any threat in Sana’a, I felt safe. As for Socotra, is a paradise, I cannot think about a place that could be better. Endless amazing beaches, like nothing I have ever seen before. And the mountains with the strange trees are incredible, with natural pools where you can swim.
    Thanks to our guide I’ve managed to take a picture in front of Yemen Gate where few people ever had access, you can check it out on my flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/12273918@N04/14771273142/
    As you can see… it’s an amazing place!

  4. ART

    Very interesting and informative post. Yemen seems like a very fascinating place to travel, I hope I can make it there some day. Its amazing how the places that get such little attention and that no one really knows about, can actually turn out to be some of the most fascinating, beautiful places to visit.

  5. jehan

    hi Earl
    i can’t say how interesting your post is. i have to admit that you are so brave person that you ignored all the warning statements and visited Yemen. thanks for sharing your experience, thanks for all the positive words about Yemen, and thanks for visiting our country. i wish to read about your next visit to Yemen in better conditions.
    Jehan
    Sana’a

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Jehan – Thank you for that comment and I also hope to visit Yemen again in better conditions. It really is an amazing country with so much to offer!

  6. Josh

    Yemen, as a result of Western media’s focus on terrorism-related topics, is now one of the most misunderstood countries (I’d even go so far as to say civilisations) in the world.

    Visually it is unbeliveably impressive. Just take a drive through the mountains of Al-Heyma, Hajja, Al-Mahwit and you will see terraces etched into the mountains which have been cultivated by generation after generation for hundreds of years. Houses perched on the edge of mountain tops.

    The people are very warm, delightful, charming, and hospitable. I have been fortunate enough to travel to several parts of the world, and no where have I met a people so friendly and open as Yemenis. They are truely so excited and happy when they see a foreigner speaking their language, tasting their food, visiting their sites, appreciating their heritage, and perhaps even chewing gat!

    I don’t want to appear too idealistic in my view of the country, because it obviously faces extreme hardship and many of the people really suffer, especially now. But I really feel that people should learn more about this place, much like the author of this article has done. The experience of going there, if you can, will really change you.

  7. SALEH

    Thanks for all participants in this post . Definitely , Yemen is very nice country with remarkable places . I am a Yemeni guy from Sana’a , I willing to help , guide ,provide information for anyone interesting in Yemen . just contact me .
    Wishes ……

  8. Signe-Hilde

    Hello! Sorry for jumping in on the conversation, but I’m planning to go to San’a this summer as well, so I’m interested in tips and advice on going there. Harriet: Let me know if you want to travel together (since I’m a lone girl as well) !

  9. Harriet

    Just one more question: I am looking at eternal Yemen.com right now and apparently there are lots of positive comments towards this travel agency. I would like to join the tours offered there so that i can see a bit more other than Saan. I won’t be dealing with the driver and the guide alone, right? Tina, the operator, will put me with other tourists and travel together right? THat would be awesome if i can travel alone with others tbh. Thanks.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Harriet – Actually, you would probably be on your own simply because there aren’t that many tourists going to Yemen. The chances of others being there at the same time and wanting to do the same itinerary is a bit slim unfortunately. If you want to send me an email, I can give you another option that you might like 🙂

  10. Harriet

    I am thinking of my three-week vacation in the summer and I was first attracted to San’a last year. After years of travelling to middle east, I think I am ready for Yemen. I have read the replies below about solo woman traveller. I admit I have a second thought here. But i am wondering, after a year, is the situation for solo woman traveller has slightly improved? It will be Ramadan when I travel. Is it true that no tourist companies will be opened for business then? According to a traveller’s sharing below, women has to cover up the hair as a rule for muslim, like in Iran, otherwise they will be shot at. True?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Harriet – You definitely won’t be shot at for not covering you hair. I know foreign females who live in Sanaa and they don’t generally cover their hair, although sometimes they do put a scarf over their hair in certain areas. That’s about it.

      As for the situation, it really doesn’t have to do with being a female traveler. The situation can be tricky for all travelers. You just need to do some research and in the end, you would want to pretty much stay inside of the old city of Sanaa and not really leave that area.

  11. Ahmed Malik

    Hey,

    I plan on traveling to Yemen (within the next 12 months); please let me know who took you around the country or what travel agency in Yemen you used for the tour? I would like to use them for my trip as well.

    Many Thanks,

    Ahmed

  12. Ghamdan

    Perma , I am from Yemen. I live in Sana’a –the capital of Yemen. It is nice to come here. I totally agree what Mr. Wandering Earl mentioned. The regions you can go is limited, because of some security problems .Also public transportation is not allowed for foreigners and is not good option to move across places. The public transportation system services is not good. For hotels, you can find cheap ones between $30 – $100 per night. I advise you not to come here these days. It is not safe for foreigners .We have security problems even around Sanaa ,but you can go to Socotra Island directly .It is safe .If you decide to come other places in Yemen contact me , I will help and advise you.

    Ghamdan

  13. prema

    Yemen has been on my wish list since I was wee but nobody and I mean nobody has wanted to go there with me…I’ve been called all kinds of names for wanting to visit this country. I am fascinated by the architecture.
    This July/August, I might have just convinced my husband to go along with me.
    Is 4 weeks too long? How much should I budget for? We usually use public transport to get around and look for reasonably priced hotels, clean and comfortable. About $40 – $60 per night.
    Look forward to your reply.
    Prema

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Prema – Four weeks would be a long time in Yemen, especially since foreigners are not allowed to visit too many places. You have to pass through many checkpoints and you are only allowed in certain regions that are deemed safe for foreigners. Also, you are generally not allowed to use public transportation. The guards will not let you through the checkpoints if you are on a bus. You need to have a licensed driver who can obtain the necessary permits for you to travel to parts of the country so this is not the kind of country where you can simply travel around by bus unfortunately.

    2. Kay

      Hey Perma,

      I am from Yemen and will be visiting the country in July/August for the first time in almost 15 years and I am only staying for 3 weeks, 4 weeks will be too long for you as the places to visited are limited now. I was told a lotttt has changed. I contacted a travel agent in the country and he was hesitant to take me to areas demed “unsafe” for forginers even though I am tacnacly a Yemeni by birth.
      Keep in mind Ramndan this year will start jun 29th and end around July 29th. It will be followed by the Eid holiday. This means it might be hard to find a travel agency that will work during Ramadan and during te Eid holiday. Check on that before you buy your tickets. Also, if you wish to visit Socatra island you will have to avoid visiting during the monsoon season (early jun to late October), I am so bummed about not being able to visit the island and can’t change my travel dates for family reasons.

      In regards to hotels, if you are looking for the local experience I was told there are couple of hotels in the old city that are used a lot by tourist that will cost between $25 to $30 a night, breakfast included. I did read some mix reviewed about them, so keep that in mind when booking and don’t take too many valuable items with you, and if you did try to keep them on you.

      Yemenis are such a friendly people, they will welcome you to their homes even if they don’t know you, they love having visitors ( at least that what I remember, I hope that is one of the things that has not changed over the past 15 years!)

      Have fun.

  14. Robert

    Yes, right now play it safe and wear an Abaya. Yesterday we had 2 Russian women shot in Aden for not wearing one. The situation here at the moment is that we have about 5000 crazies giving 24 million seriously excellent people a bad name.

  15. Pingback: Socotra Island, Yemen: Incredible world of Avatar | middle east revised

  16. Abdul

    Hey Earl!
    I am so glad you decided to go to Yemen for your vacation. I was born in Yemen, and left to california at a vary young age. Now i go to see the country at least once every two years. I’m here now and it’s been a wonderful experience. It’s so sad to see the way this country is viewed in the western cultures. They talk about it being so dangerous, but in reality it is not as bad as they make it look. I’ve met some of the most kind people of my life here, although it is in great poverty, these peoples hearts and intentions are very clean. I am here in yemen now, I reside in my home in Sanaa, I hope more people decide to come see this breathtaking country, as it never ceases to amaze me. If anyone decides on planning to come i would be glad to show you around, as i have been here many times. My E-mail is abdulawn101@gmail.com
    -Thank you Earl for your blog has indeed brought peoples attention to see this unknown land.

  17. Pingback: Best March Travel Experiences

  18. heba

    I’ll be going on a business trip to yemen next week and im a female… I’d like to know what do the females wear in yemen is it like jeddah that we have to wear abaya? And the weather there how is it?

  19. Jerry

    I went to Yemen in 2007 and 2008 for the biz trip and I have a great memory of Yemen. This place is a jewel in the Peninsular for sure. Hope your Scotra trip is going well.

  20. mo

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I’m going there this summer 3 months from now. I was born there and raised in Canada. I haven’t been there for almost 9 years and I’m looking forward on sharing My experience back with your when I get back :-D. Any ways thanks for sharing and wish me luck!

  21. Isa

    Hi Earl,

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I plan to go there in February for 3 months to improve my Arabic and learn more about Yemenite culture (I spent 3 months in Palestine this summer).

    How was Sanaa?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Isa – Sanaa is absolutely beautiful although, at the moment, it is a bit unstable. I’m not sure I would recommend going for 3 months right now.

  22. adam mofat

    so how much did it cost you the 9 days trip lodging airticket.
    how much will it cost me if go cheapo I just want to visit hospitals and apply for jobs at hospitals and just see sanaa and the mountains

  23. Ozmil

    Thanks for writing such an interesting account of your time in Yemen. My parents are from there and we are recently considering travelling there once again. How safe would it be for a person to travel to Aden. I have limited to no Arabic speaking skills, is this a problem, do the people treat you differently. Is there “al-Qaeda” floating about that might kidnap me?

  24. Anna Bailey

    You’re absolutely crazy suggesting to this woman it’s ok solo in Yemen. This is a very strict Muslim country. Any western women traveling solo are regarded as only one type of woman. This is simply a society who are not exposed to the liberal values and lifestyle in the west. I have travelled extensively in non ‘western’ countries the past 22-years and have made many solo voyages throughout India amongst other destinations. Yemen IS NOT for solo females IF your actual goal is to have a relatively relaxed & carefree visit to this extraordinary corner of the globe

    1. Anna Bailey

      I recently travelled extensively in Yemen spending a total of 21-days then another 5 on socotra
      It’s a truly extraordinary destination and unlike ANY other I’ve visited
      In saying this as a solo woman the voyage would be complicated & I found it necessary to wear a full headscarf & most days the robe. These people see very few westerners & even fewer women. You are generally regarded as a loose woman & consequently travel is not only difficult but dangerous
      One destination I felt necessary a good companion (my husband) and a solid wedding ring

    2. Wandering Earl

      Hey Anna – That’s not necessarily true. I know of several solo females that have traveled here without any issues. Most of them had local guides or at least a local driver and despite being a conservative country, they were treated very warmly and with respect. According to their stories, which reminded me of the female travelers I met while traveling in Pakistan, they were treated like ‘honorary men’, simply meaning that they were allowed to do what a male traveler would be able to do and were treated with the same respect. It might not be everyone’s experience but so far that’s what I’ve heard from the females I’ve been in touch with who did travel there recently.

  25. Ashgan

    Hi im from yemen and go every 2 years i <3 my country and proud!!going in 2 weeks sooo.excited to be there again and meet some of my cousins and aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandads and lnog lost families love yemen soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!! 🙂 😀

  26. Mufaddal

    It’s my first time to come across your blog and it has definitely caught my eye!! i have been to yemen twice, the first time was on my wedding which took place on the mountains of haraz in a magical village called Hutayb. i stayed for a month with my in-laws before i returned back to Kenya(my hometown) with my wife, i was there last year again, for 2 weeks, my in-laws live in old sanaa, near the Great Mosque. You just cant get enough of Yemen, wish you all the best in your journeys and i’ll be checking out your blog 🙂

  27. sara

    I have never blogged about being in yemen. I went twice in 2001 as I was ‘going out with’ a yemeni man. I was almost 21. First time I went out for 3 weeks. We started in Sana’a and wound our way to Aden, where we would live. We visited shibam, khokoban, manacka, kocha, ibb, taiz and aden, as well as my boyfriend’s village in the mountains called Yafai. What an amazing experience and I just LOVE that I got to visit such an amazing, friendly, fascinating place. The second time I went out for 2 weeks and lived in aden as I would when I moved there. I sorted a teaching job, learned to drive on their roads. His mother also came, to show me how to be a good yemeni wife. Well, that’s where I hit a wall. Cooking, cleaning, catering for the men, shopping for the best gat and getting totally lost in local dialect, as well as having no social life, at the age of 21, saw me return to the uk and never look back. I’m still so glad I did it. And glad my parents let me come to that decision on my own! I’ve seen things so few travellers outside of yemen have seen and I’m so pleased I have! Your blog has reminded me of this wonderful country, so thank you! I look forward to the rest of the series!

  28. Nathan DePetris

    Travel to Yemen has long been a dream of mine. The architectural originality and intelligent use of native materials has always intrigued me. Maybe someday soon. Thanks for haring this great story.

  29. Jacqueline

    I thought about choosing Mexico for my first real solo trip before I embark on a RTW trip. Now, I’m wondering if I should consider the Middle East first. I’m very fond of the culture but with the (unfortunate) political situation going on, it seems that it might be wise to go sooner than later. Yemen looks stunningly beautiful in those pictures.

  30. Irene

    Hi Earl, sound exciting… I will travel on a budget (as every traveller 🙂 How much money do I need to make it with a guide? Thanks a lot

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Irene – It all depends on how long you will stay and if you want a driver and guide or just a driver. But for just a driver, you could plan on something like $500 USD for a week, maybe including some meals and accommodation.

  31. Pingback: Is Yemen Safe For Travelers? - Wandering Earl

  32. Bama

    Yemen has always been high on my list due to its medieval houses and rugged terrains. Even, the world’s first skyscrapers were built in Yemen out of mud, or so they claimed. Anyway, there are only a few bloggers out there who have traveled to Yemen and I’m glad now I have one more source about the country to read. Looking forward to more of your stories!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Bama – Those skyscrapers, or at least the tall mud buildings, are certainly impressive. I have not seen anything at all similar to the structures that I saw in this country.

  33. ces

    A friend of mine once work in Yemen as a nurse. She said it’s a dangerous place but then, she was able to stay there for two years. There must be something in Yemen that made her stay that long despite the threats to her safety. Your post confirmed it.

  34. Pingback: Chewing Qat (aka "Getting High") In Yemen - Wandering Earl

  35. Yousef Hassan

    I’m from Yemen, but it’s been along while since I was there. The best thing about Yemen is that the people thereare so kind and sweet. I personally as a yemeni certify on the beauty of Yemen, definitely worth at least a visit, or a longer stay, to get to know its fascinating traditions, its kind-hearted & generous people and its breathtaking scenery. If you ever visit Yemen, don’t ever forget to to pass by a city called IBB. It’s a very beautiful place to go to.
    I just wish that more people knew the positive things about Yemen. 

    I’m looking forward to your upcoming posts

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Yousef – I do agree…the people of Yemen were extremely hospitable and kind. Almost everyone I met invited me for a meal or to stay at their house and their generosity was never ending.

  36. Traveling Ted

    This post reminded me of why I visited Guyana in South America late last year. I decided I wanted to go somewhere unusual. When I started researching the country, at first all I found was travel warnings. It was amazing though and glad I went. And Yah man, Look forward to hearing more about your experience in Yemen.

  37. Missy H

    In your opinion, can I go to Yemen? Single 50 something woman, I’ve traveled all over the world, speak multiple (Western) languages. I’d be happy to use ‘Eternal Yemen’ to guide me around, but otherwise I’ll be on my own…
    Like Maria Alexandra I’m wanting to know your thoughts on travel to Yemen for the solo female traveler…

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Missy – You can definitely visit Yemen and I’ll be writing more about the safety aspect in the next week or so. But there are plenty of solo females visiting the country these days.

  38. Pingback: Chai Digest: Forged Visa, Blogger Press Trips, and more - Rapid Travel Chai

  39. Sam

    How exciting! I remember you talking about wanting to go to Yemen when we were in Syria. I’m really looking forward to hearing about your experience there. One of the main reasons I like reading your blog is because you aren’t afraid to question assumptions so many people have about what is and isn’t dangerous.

  40. Andy

    Incredible pics, Earl! Looking forward to your stories on Yemen…
    I think it’s a good idea to take a reputable tour guide with you in countries like that.

    However, I guess Yemen’s troubles are still tame compared to places like southern Somalia or the deep Congo.

  41. Maria Alexandra @LatinAbroad

    Gahhh, I want to go there so badly! It’s been on my list for the longest longest time.

    I wonder though… Would it be safe for a SOLO FEMALE to travel there? Given that it is easier to get a visa with a tour operator, I’m hoping not so much?

    But since you’re only with the driver and a guide… I wonder whether women can walk around without a chaperone of sorts? As you can tell, I haven’t done my due diligence 😉

    I have an even better idea: what about a wandering girl tour of Yemen?! I would so sign-up! 😀

    -Maria Alexandra

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Maria – That’s not a bad idea and I just may offer that tour 🙂

      But you would be fine as a solo female. You can walk around no problem without a chaperone. Females are allowed to walk around on their own. I’ll be writing a post on the safety issue in the next week as well.

  42. Sarah Somewhere

    Wow! You certainly sound rejuvenated! How exciting! I must admit hearing something like this is about the only time I wish I was a guy, to be able to travel through some of these Middle Eastern destinations a little less conspicuously, but I guess your curly hair was conspicuous enough!! Look forward to hearing more about a country I know next to nothing about.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Sarah – Actually, from what my guide and driver said, there are just as many females traveling to Yemen as males. It’s no problem at all to go there as a female.

  43. Nathan

    I loved the mystery posts. Kept things exciting! I agree that the added excitement of going to a slightly dangerous and very unknown place is a huge draw regardless of the area. Have you ever thought about the guided tours of North Korea? Obviously now would be a bad now but, when tensions cool, would you consider visiting North Korea or possibly Myanmar?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Nathan – I’ve already been to Myanmar but North Korea doesn’t really appeal to me, simply because I don’t think it’s worth the money to go on a tour that is fully dictated by the government and doesn’t allow you to really see the country.

  44. Tiphanya

    The only reason why I haven’t been to Yemen now, is because the friend who invited me ther (married to a yemen girl), did it while I was pregnant. My daughter is only 17months old now, so I have to wait. But I lova sanaa architecture and you let me feel that I really have to get there and enjoy the whole country.

  45. Wendy

    I love sitting here at my desk eating my lunch reading your blogs. They take me away to a happy place while I’m getting through my 9 to 5 work day. Thank you!!
    I am really looking forward to to all the details of your trip to Yemen! Gald you enjoyed it so much!

  46. Greg

    Yemen has always been high on my listof places to go, especially Socotra. Looking forward to the rest of your posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *