{{ message }}

Yemen

{{ message }}

Dawood Hotel
Dawood Hotel - dream vacation

Talha Street, Sana'a Old City, Sana\'a

Moevenpick Aden
Moevenpick Aden - dream vacation

Khor Maksar, Po Box 6111, Aden

Pousada Cavaleiro dos Pireneus Say'un
Pousada Cavaleiro dos Pireneus Say'un - dream vacation

Estrada Bonsucesso, KM 1,5 Zona Rural, Say\'un

Movenpick Hotel Sana'a
Movenpick Hotel Sana'a - dream vacation

Berlin Str P.O Box 5111 Sana'a Yemen, Sana\'a

Sheba Hotel
Sheba Hotel - dream vacation

P.O.Box 773, Ali Abdolmoghni Street, Sana\'a

Yemen is on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, and sharing borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman. Yemen has had a troubled recent history with civil wars and tribal conflicts predominating.

Regions

Cities

  • Sana'a — capital
  • Aden — seaside former capital of South Yemen.
  • Al Hudayda — a relatively large city on the Red Sea with beautiful beaches
  • Al Mukalla — East Yemen's biggest city and bustling port, the gateway to the historical Hadhramaut region
  • Dhamar
  • Ibb
  • Kawkaban
  • Mokha — birthplace of one of the greatest things known to man: mocha coffee.
  • Shibam/Seiyun/Tarim — the three famous historical towns of Hadhramaut, perhaps Yemen's most fascinating and exotic destination
  • Ta'izz

Other destinations

  • HodyDah
  • Yafia'
  • Juban
  • Ibb
  • Abyan
  • Lahaj
  • Al-Bayda
  • Al-Mahweet
  • Haraz Mountains
  • Hutaib — the most important center of pilgrimage for Yemen's Ismaili population

Understand

Yemen is a difficult country to get around, but the rewards for the persistent visitor are an unforgettable experience, with very friendly and open hosts. Despite being adjacent to Saudi Arabia and on the same peninsula as the United Arab Emirates, Yemen is definitely a place apart.

Yemen is also one of the least developed and poorest countries in the Middle East.

History

Yemen has long existed at the crossroads of cultures, linked to some of the oldest centres of civilization in the Near East by virtue of its location in South Arabia. Between the 12th century BCE and the 6th century, it was part of the Minaean, Sabaean, Hadhramaut, Qataban, Ausan and Himyarite kingdoms, which controlled the lucrative spice trade, and later came under Ethiopian and Persian rule. In the 6th century, the Himyarite king Abu-Karib Assad converted to Judaism. In the 7th century, Islamic caliphs began to exert control over the area. After this caliphate broke up, South Arabia came under the control of many dynasties who ruled part, or often all of South Arabia. Imams of Persian origin ruled Yemen intermittently for 160 years, establishing a theocratic political structure that survived until modern times.

Egyptian Sunni caliphs occupied much of Yemen throughout the 11th century. By the 16th century and again in the 19th century, Yemen was part of the Ottoman Empire, and in some periods Imams exerted control over all of Yemen.

The modern history of south Arabia and Yemen began in 1918 when Yemen gained independence from the Ottoman Empire. Between 1918 and 1962, Yemen was a monarchy ruled by the Hamidaddin family. North Yemen then became a republic in 1962, but it was not until 1967 that the British Empire, which had set up a protective area around the South Arabia port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew from what became South Yemen. In 1970, the southern government adopted a nominally Communist governmental system. The two countries were formally united as the Republic of Yemen on 22 May 1990.

Unfortunately, things eventually took a turn for the worse for the unified country. The USS Cole, a visiting U.S. Navy ship, was attacked by Al Qaeda in 2000 while on a fuel stop in Aden. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has since grown stronger in the country, and the U.S. has responded by striking targets in Yemen repeatedly with drone-fired missiles. The government of longtime dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, fell amid dramatic protests associated with the Arab Spring in 2012, but his successor, former Vice President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, hardly rushed to institute the reforms demanded by the demonstrators and was overthrown by the militia of the Shi'a Houthis, who took over the government outright in February 2015. Sunni Arab governments, especially that of Saudi Arabia, were close to Saleh and Hadi and oppose Shi'a rule in this Arabian country. They have supported a coalition of Sunni Islamists called Al-Islah in a civil war against the Houthi forces, and have led a brutal bombing campaign that has damaged the country's infrastructure to the extent that the December 14, 2014 U.S. State Department travel warning states that:

"The military conflict has significantly destroyed infrastructure, limiting the availability of electricity, clean water, and medical care, and causing travel by internal roads to be dangerous. This instability often hampers the ability of humanitarian organizations to deliver critically needed food, medicine, and water."

Climate

Mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east. The weather can be chilly in areas where the elevation is high. Sana'a for example is at an elevation of over 2,195m (7,200 ft). During the winter months, the temperatures can fall to freezing point during the night.

Landscape

Narrow coastal plain backed by flat-topped hills and rugged mountains; dissected upland desert plains in the centre slope into the desert interior of the Arabian Peninsula. The interior of Yemen is a highland dissected by valleys. Yemen can be divided into five regions:

Coastal Plain: The Tihamah coastal plain is a low-lying flat plain that has areas with very fertile soil from the streams from the mountains emptying into it. Some of the hottest places on Earth are in Tihamah. Most of its towns are coastal because the salty sea air can lessen the effect of the heat.

Western Highlands: The coastal plain ends abruptly at the western mountains, where monsoon rains coming from Africa gain strength across the Red Sea and the clouds coming in get tangled by the jagged peaks of the Western mountains and precipitate all of whatever the clouds hold. Some areas in the western highlands, notably Ibb and Ta'izz, get rainfall similar to rainforests, supporting fertile land great for coffee, qat, wheat and sorghum. Mountains here are known to have lengthy ascents; most mountains pop out of land 600 m (2,000 ft) above sea level to 2,135-3,050 m (7,000-10,000 ft) peaks. Notable peaks include Jabal Sumarah, Jabal Ba'dan, Jabal Sabir, and Jabal Ad Dukayik, all about 3,000 m (10,000 ft) high.

Central Highlands: This is more of a plateau with rolling hills atop it, for the mountains are less jagged and get less precipitation because most of it is released onto the Western Highlands. Some of the highest mountains of the Arabian Peninsula can be found here, including the legendary Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb near the capital Sana'a, at about 3,660 m (12,000 ft) above sea level. Some areas in the central highlands have extremely fertile soil, like in Dhamar, and temperature in the central highlands are extreme also. Diurnal temperatures are the highest in the world, with daytime highs of around 80°F while during the night they can dip to below freezing. Most of the central highlands, other than the mountains, is above 2,000-2,440 m (7,000-8,000 ft) high.

Central Plateau: As a gradual descent from the central highlands begins, it eventually levels off at a 915-1,525 m (3,000-5,000 ft) plateau that is bisected by valleys and wadis, or streams. This terrain is not as rough as the central or western highlands, but vegetation is only possible in the valleys or near wadis, for they provide a lot of irrigation water from precipitation that only occurs in the remote areas. Flash floods are very common. This extends from Shabwah though Hadhramaut and Al Mahra, continuing into Dhofar in Oman, which also revered by many Yemenis as part of Greater Yemen, not to mention also Najran, Jizan, and Asir in Saudi Arabia.

Desert: Rub Al-Khali, aka the Empty Quarter, the most treacherous desert in the world, and also the largest expanse of sand in the world, is in northestern Yemen, southeastern Saudi Arabia, and northwestern Oman. It receives no rain at all for periods of years, and little to no vegetation exists. Temperature can reach 61°C (142°F)

People

You might think that Yemen is one of the more ethnically homogeneous countries in the Middle East, if all you knew was that nearly 100% of the population identify themselves as Arab. However, many Yemenis have strong regional, sectarian and tribal identities, and political differences also run deep, giving rise to an often contentious and sometimes violent diversity.

Get in

Visa regulations change quite regularly, and an embassy should be contacted to make certain that the relevant documentation is obtained (it is recommended also to ask one of the licensed tour opeartors in Sana'a). As of January 2010, visas on arrival are no longer available, and citizens of most countries (with the possible exception of Gulf Co-operation Council members) need advance visas. Most visas are valid for 30 days from the date of issue (3 months for European Union, but sometimes it depends on the mood of the official dealing with you). Another way of getting visa is via one of the licensed tour operators, as they are allowed to prepare pre-visa paper in the Ministry of Foreign affairs for their clients. Such pre-visa paper is valid for 30 days from the day of issue and upon this a real visa is issued at the Sana'a airport. As of Jan 21, 2010 Yemeni authority suspended all visa on arrival at all Yemeni ports. this action was taken to minimize the threat of terrorism in Yemen.

By plane

Emirates Airlines flies from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to Sana'a daily. The flight takes slightly more than 2 hours, and Yemen is one hour behind UAE time. Budget airline Air Arabia also flies from Sharjah (near Dubai) to Sana'a on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The national carrier, Yemenia, flies to Sana'a from many mid-Eastern and several European capitals, including a daily non-stop from Cairo. Lufthansa flies from Frankfurt 3 times weekly with a stop in Cairo. Flight time to Sana'a from Cairo is about 3 hours, plus a 1-hour time change. Turkish Airlines flies from Istanbul to Sana'a 4 times a week. Qatar Air flies to and from Doha daily. Royal Jordanian also flies twice weekly from Amman to Sana'a and to Aden. Syrian air lines also flies to Sana'a . Since 15 January 2010, flights to London have been suspended until further notice due to the terrorist threat in Yemen.

By train

There are no trains to or within Yemen.

By car

It is possible to cross the Omani-Yemeni border in a car, although the border posts are often difficult to negotiate. Crossing from Saudi Arabia in a car is substantially more difficult, as regulations for getting a car into Saudi are very intricate.

By bus

Some buses operating throughout the Arabian peninsula connect to Yemen. The buses are mostly air-conditioned and comfortable, although the fleet, sometimes contains old buses which may not be very comfortable to be on for several hour trips. Arriving from Oman can be difficult, especially if you're trying to get to Sana'a. There are buses from Salalah to Sayu'n in Wadi Hadramawt and Mukallah on the Indian Ocean, but at the moment, tourists (especially from non-Arab countries) are not allowed to use public transport on roads linking the East and the West of Yemen: Mukallah - Aden and Say'un - Sana'a. The tourist have to take a plane in order to come from the west to the eastern part of the country.

By boat

There are passenger ferries from Djibouti. They're cheap but not so comfortable.

Get around

Yemen is not an easy country to get around, since foreign nationals need travel permits and, in some regions, independent travel is not possible. There is a lack of road infrastructure in the eastern Mahra region, while all other Yemeni regions have hundreds of kilometres of newly built roads. If you are an intrepid traveller, the local transport (taxis, buses, aircraft) is perfect to get around on the cheap. More expensive, but more efficient travel is to book your tour via one of the registered tour operators, that are found on the (http://www.yementourism.com/services/travelagency/index.php Yemen Ministry of Tourism webpage). Be aware that there are many non-registered tour operators in Yemen offering lower quality services, providing non-relevant information and many times tourists do not get all the paid services. In case of any problem, the Ministry of tourism will not be able to help you if you choose to travel with a non-registered tour operator or services provider.

For trips outside the capital, many travellers prefer a car (preferably 4WD) and may choose to hire a driver through a local travel agency. More intrepid travellers should certainly take advantage of the local intracity bus service, which is cheap, comfortable, and a wonderful way to see the country. The buses usually take a pit stop every hour or so, making this a slow(er) but much more interesting way to travel for those who are up for an adventure and some friendly conversation. The biggest company in Yemen is Yemitco, their offices can be found in major cities.

Additionally, all travel outside the capital will require a travel permit (tasriih) from the tourist police; their station is 30m up the canal from the Arabian Felix Hotel. You need your passport, list of destinations and how long you are going to stay outside the capital. No photos required, however bring a photocopy of your visa and the picture page in your passport, as the photocopier there often doesn't work. This takes about 15 minutes. Office is closed from noon to (let's say) 14:00. Then you take many photocopies of the tasriih which you hand over at military checkpoints along the way. This may seem inconvenient, however it is designed to prevent travellers unwittingly venturing into areas of tribal unrest - and vice versa. Some areas of the country are off-limits to travel without military escorts, and still other areas are totally off-limits to travel. While the concept of staying informed about local conditions in your intended destinations is an overused one, in Yemen it is essential, as failure to do so may result in kidnappings or worse. No tasriih is checked if you fly to main cities in Yemen, like Aden, Al-hudaida etc.

The usual Middle Eastern shared taxi system exists in Yemen. In every city and often in towns there is at least one shared taxi (bijou, from Peugeot) station, from where cars go to different destinations. Just ask anyone for your destination and they will point you to a car going there. The driver will not depart until all seats are completely full, which means 2 people in the passenger's seat, four in the middle and three in the back in a standard Peugeot almost invariably used for this purpose. If you want to travel in more comfort, you can pay for two seats or for the whole row. If you're a woman travelling alone you might be offered two seats in front for the price of one, but often you'll be asked to pay for both.

Talk

Arabic is the official language. While many locals will at least attempt to communicate with non-Arabic speakers in other languages, any visitor will almost certainly need at least some Arabic, particularly if traveling to locations outside the capital. Even within Sana'a, the bilingual signs common throughout most of the Middle East are commonly absent, with Arabic script and numbers predominating. This said, Yemenis are very open for communication, and hand-waving, making noises and smiling can get you very far, even if not always where you wanted to get (usually to a qat-chewing session).

Yemenis have a myriad of different accents, due to the historical inaccessibility of parts of the country. It is not unusual for a visitor to be told that his or her laborious attempts at speaking Arabic are in fact "Arabic" and not "Yemeni" or "Yemeni enough". The more vocal village children will almost certainly enjoy hearing a visitor's attempts at their language, and will show this appreciation either with peals of laughter or by asking questions about the visitor's homeland.

See

Sana'a: Babel Yemen (old city), Wadi Dhar (Dar al-Hadschar Palace - also known as the rock house). Sana'a is over 2,200 metres (7,200 feet) in elevation. The old city is a mystical and amazing place and also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The streets are alive and bustling around gingerbead-like houses several storeys high, one of the oldest cities in the world.

Socotra: Off the south coast of Yemen - an idyllic island untouched by modern man and home to many rare species and plants. The seas are turquoise blue and the sands white and unspoiled. One of the most valuable islands on the planet, often described as the most alien-looking place on Earth. Its beaches resemble those of the Caribbean and its mountains and Yemeni mountains covered in 300 species only found in Socotra. A must-see.

Kawkaban: An old fortress-city northwest of Sana'a 3,000 m (10,000 feet) high, with elegant old buildings an artefacts from the old Himyar civilization 2,000 years ago. Himyaric inscriptions can be seen and so can old Stars of David from the old Jewish roots of Himyar. Below the mountain is a magnificent view of a plain dotted by old towns made of mud-brick.

Sa'dah: The northernmost major town in Yemen, with its old city made entirely out of strong mud that keeps internal temperature warm during the bitter winter. Its surroundings are known for its delicious grapes, raisins, date palms, and other fruits.

Al Mahweet: A northwest town from Sana'a, Al Mahweet is a beautiful and magnificent town atop a mountain where the green scenery and outstanding architectural example of Yemen are at its best. It is part of the western highlands, an area where rain can be extensive and clouds can always be seen below the mountains during the summer.

Bura': A protected area in Yemen in Al Hudaydah governate, this place is a 2,200 m (7,200 foot) mountain covered by a natural forests resembling one of the rainforests of Africa. There are many flora and fauna varieties in Bura' located only in Yemen and its historic boundaries (Najran, Jizan, Asir, Dhofar, & ar Rub' al Khali). It is one of the most beautiful places in Yemen.

Manakhah: A large old town on a peak 2,700 m (9,000 feet) high known for its daring location and beautiful scenery. This town is a good example of life in medieval Yemen.

Ma'rib: The capital of the Sabaean Kingdom, built about 3,000 years ago, with its famous Ma'rib dam, one of the engineering wonders of the world. It was said that thousands of years ago the magnificent dam helped create some of the greenest areas in the world, a notion also supported by historical texts like the Qur'an. The Queen of Sheba is known to have had her kingdom here and artifacts and temples from her reign are still preserved and present.

Ibb: The green heartland of Yemen, with annual rainfall at about 1200 mm per year. It is located about some 10,000+ foot high mountains. The city of Ibb, however, is in the valley, but waterfalls are known to be present and beautiful. The historic town of Jiblah is located near Ibb city. And with the freshest climate on the whole peninsula, there is no wonder why it is referred to as the Green Heart of Yemen.

Al Khawkhah: At one of the hottest places on earth, you need a beach, and at Al Khawkhah, it has one of the best beaches in Yemen. The shore is long and back by fields of plam trees and a small pleasant town. The Red Sea is relatively calm and cool, great for an are where summer temperatures are commonly over 48°C.

Ta'izz: The cultural capital of Yemen, which is the most liberal and the friendlist city in the country. It has been the capital of Yemen when the last Imam was in power and is a medieval city. Towering above Ta'izz is the 3,000 m (10,000 foot) Jabal Sabir, which is known all around Yemen for its dazzling ascent and view from the top. This mountain is very fertile and is home to tens of thousands of people living on and around the mountain.

Shibam: Commonly referred to as the Manhattan of the Desert, this town located in Wadi Hadhramaut has the first skyscrapers of the world. Hundreds of adobe homes ranging from 5-11 storeys high are boxed into a walled area that is simply marvellous. The tops are painted with gypsum, a mineral commonly found in Yemen. Some of the buildings are over 700 years old.

Tarim and Say'un: These nearby towns are made almost entirely of adobe. The towns are well organized and elegant, with famous palaces and mosques in each city.

Al Mukalla: Perhaps the most developed-looking city in Yemen, Al Mukalla is the jewel of the Arabian Sea. Around it around beautiful beaches, however, the best in Yemen is known to be at Bir Ali, which is a lengthy 100 km drive, though well worth it.

Hauf National Park: The only natural forest in the Arabian Peninsula because it is affected by the seasonal monsoon rains that also affects India. Mountains and Hills are layered with a cap of green for mile with wild life similar to one of a rain forests, this forest also extends to the Omani side of the border, from Qishn, Yemen to Salalah, Oman.

Do

It is a tourist's country, where although the accommodation might not be the best, but the country itself holds so many treasures that appeal to any open-minded visitor. The sights are amazing, the people are friendly, their culture is unique, and their food is tasty. Take trips with a personal driver through the mountains to see natural beauty located nowhere else on the planet. See the historical role Yemen played as it survived even during the times of the Sumerians and the Ancient Egyptians, and how no one was able to completely conquer Yemen. And enjoy what the country provides, like gemstones literally littered throughout the mountains, precious beaches, and historical artifacts from this multi-faced nation.

Buy

Money

The currency of the country is the Yemeni rial (YER or ?). Banknotes circulate in denominations of YER50, YER100, YER200, YER250, YER500 and YER1000, and you are also likely to come across YER10 and YER20 coins.

The rial is freely convertible and subject to frequent fluctuations.

Shopping

Almost everywhere you look, you will have the chance to buy the curved dagger (jambiya) worn by local men. This purchase can be simply of the dagger and its accompanying sheath, howveer handmade belts and silver pouches are also for sale. When purchasing a jambiya, remember that it classed as a weapon for customs purposes. Traditionally, handles were made of animal horn or even ivory. While it is doubtful that the handles sold today as being made from either of these products are the real thing, a wooden or amber handle may be a better option. Cheaper options are pendants and brooches commonly available in the shape of the knife and its sheath.

Necklaces and jewellery are also common souvenirs, and many of these are made of the semi-precious stones the souvenir sellers claim. Nevertheless, a healthy grain of salt taken a necklace is made of lapis lazuli or other precious stone.

Bargaining, even with village children, is expected and worthwhile. If you are with local guides, a common approach is to have them ask for the "Yemeni price", however any bargaining on the part of the tourist will result in discounts.

In tourist sites, there will be souvenir-sellers everywhere you look. In some mountain villages, such as Kawkaban, their technique involves almost trapping the tourists with wheelbarrows full of souvenirs. There is an art form to firmly turning down the goods on offer, even when the seller is a young boy or girl in desperately poor circumstances.

The rial is subject to high inflation. As a result, many prices, particularly those quoted to light-skinned visitors, will be given in euros or US dollars. Any of these three currencies will be accepted by the seller, so ask for the cost in whichever currency you are carrying at the time. Discounts for paying in one currency or the other are not high enough to warrant only paying in local money, but you may be lucky.

Eat

Yemeni cuisine differs markedly from the rest of the Arabian Peninsula, and is a real highlight of any trip to the country - particularly if shared by locals (which is an invitation most visitors will receive more often than they might expect).

The signature dish is salta, a meat-based stew spiced with fenugreek and generally served at the end of the main course. The taste may take newcomers by surprise, but it is a taste well worth acquiring.

Yemeni honey is particularly famous throughout the region, and most desserts will feature a liberal serving of it. Bint al-sahn is a sort of flat dough dish which is drenched in honey. Other sweet foods well worth the trying are Yemeni raisins.

While not a "food" per se, something else to put in one's mouth is the qat leaf. This is the Yemeni social drug and is chewed by almost all of the population from after lunch until roughly dinnertime. The plant is cultivated all over the country, and most Yemenis are more than happy to offer visitors a branch or two. Actually chewing qat is something of an art, but the general idea is to chew the small, soft leaves, the soft branches (but not hard ones) and to build up a large ball of the stuff in a cheek. The ability to chew ever-increasing balls of qat is something of a mark of pride among Yemenis, and the sight of men and boys walking down the street in the afternoon with bulging cheeks is one the visitor will soon get used to. The actual effects of qat are unclear, although it generally acts as a mild stimulant. It also has something of an appetite-suppressant function, which may explain why there are so few overweight Yemenis in spite of the nature of their cuisine. Insomnia is another side effect.

Drink

Yemen is officially a dry country; however, non-Muslims are entitled to bring up to two bottles of any alcoholic beverage into the country. These may be drunk only on private property, and venturing outside while under the influence is not a wise decision.

Many juices and soft drinks are readily available, but you should avoid more scruffy-looking juice shops as they might be using tap water as base. Many Yemenis will drink tea (shay) or coffee (qahwa or bun) with their meals. Yemeni coffee is considerably weaker than the strong Turkish coffee found elsewhere in peninsular Arabia.

Tap water should be avoided. This is comparatively easy to do, as bottled water - both chilled and at room temperature - is readily available everywhere.

Sleep

Outside of the capital and the major centres (Sana'a, Aden and al-Mukalla), accommodation tends to be rather basic and generally of the mattress-on-the-floor variety, generally with shared shower rooms and WCs. Most larger villages will have at least one funduq, which will provide this sort of accommodation. The places tend to be named the [Name of Village] Tourist Hotel. Be aware that electricity supplies tend to be a little erratic, so hot water cannot always be counted on.

Funduq accommodation is not rated on the star scale used in other countries, but rather on the Yemeni "sheet" scale, with "no-sheet" being the most basic and "two-sheet" the top of the line. Some other hotels, mostly in Sana'a, go by the star scale, most notably the Movenpick, Sheraton, and the Hilton. This does not mean that in a "no-sheet" funduq one will not receive a sheet, although in some places it may be worthwhile to bring one! Most funduqs will offer some food, almost invariably local cuisine, and the better ones will serve it in a diwan-style room, where one can eat while reclining on cushions. In some funduqs, dinner will be followed by a "party", featuring performances of traditional music and jambiya dances - sometimes with audience participation.

Learn

Particularly in Sana'a, there are institutes offering instruction in Arabic. The advantages of learning the language in Yemen are that the dialect spoken is often quite close to Classical Arabic, and also that languages other than Arabic are much less commonly spoken than they are in nearby countries. However, the one important exception to this rule is the Old Sana'a dialect, which is difficult to understand even for Arabs from other countries, and becoming completely incomprehensible when combined with a big ball of qat in the speaker's cheek.

Work

Work in Yemen is difficult to obtain as a foreigner. The collections of young men waiting in public areas and by the roadside looking for work does not reflect a lack of jobs. Rather, it reflects that many Yemenis do not have enough education to work in non-manual jobs. As a result, immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa are often seen in service industries (with a popular joke among expats being that "something typically Yemeni" is in fact an Ethiopian maid). Educated westerners do not, however, have it easy as there are many bureaucratic hurdles to working in Yemen. Most westerners who find jobs there tend to be working as expat staff for a western company with interests in the country.

The only exception is that if you're an English native speaker, a lot of places in big cities, ranging from schools through universities to governmental organisations and companies are desperate for English teachers, and usually don't require any qualifications. Sometimes it is even possible to get a teaching job if English is not your first language.

Also in Sana'a the local English-language magazines often need proofreaders.

Stay safe

Yemen is at war, under international attack, and is heavily damaged; see the warning at the top of this page. In addition, there have been problems with terrorism and kidnappings of people including foreigners.

Once it is possible to visit Yemen again, the following will again become relevant:

The public consumption of alcohol is punishable under Islamic law in Yemen. Homosexual acts are also prohibited and may be punishable by death.

Driving is on the right. While Yemeni drivers have something of a reputation for bad driving, the reality is slightly more nuanced. Risks are taken, particularly in Sana'a, which would not normally be taken in other places, but the locals expect this to happen and compensate accordingly.

For trips outside Sana'a, however, a 4-wheel-drive is almost mandatory as most roads away from the routes connecting main cities are not paved. Travellers should also give serious consideration to hiring a local driver/guide, as maps tend not to be as useful as they can be in other countries. A city limits border pass is required as only the cities are well protected by the military. It is also worth noting that Yemen has one of the largest populations of armed civilians outside of Texas so be polite.

Stay healthy

Tap water should be avoided. To stay safe, it is recommended to stick to the bottled variety.

Additionally, be aware that the country is exceptionally dusty. Travelers with breathing difficulties (such as asthma) may encounter problems in more remote destinations.

The dry air (especially from September 'til April) can be bothersome, causing cracked lips and sometimes nosebleeds. Always carry a Vaseline stick with you, available in most pharmacies in Yemen, and a packet of tissues.

Particularly when hiking, remember that much of the country is at altitude. Therefore, as well as taking the usual steps of drinking plenty of water and protection from the sun (which can be very harsh in Yemen), be aware of any dizziness you may be experiencing due to rapid ascents. Many of the more popular hiking routes are covered in loose stones, so be careful of your footing. Some peak ascents can be at a near 70-80 degree angle, so any fall will be devastating. Be prepared with bandages and/or anti-bacterial creams just in case you get a cut, which is normal during hiking.

Polio and malaria are common to Yemen. Polio is present in some Red Sea coastal towns and malaria is also present in low-lying areas along the Red Sea.

Respect

The following rules should always be followed in exploring Yemen:

1. This is a Muslim country. As such, be sensitive about where you point your camera. There are many great photo opportunities around every corner (the question is usually what to leave out of each image), but when photographing people, always ask first. The Arabic phrase "mumkin akhud sura minak?" is very useful indeed. Don't ever, ever try to take pictures of women, even if you're a woman yourself. This is considered a great offense and can even result in more than a few harsh words. Also don't try to take pictures of anything that looks as if it could be of any strategic importance (i.e. has at least one soldier or policeman guarding it). However, if you ask with good manners and the guards are in a good mood, you might be allowed and take a souvenir photo with a military man holding a machine-gun!

2. Despite being close to the richer oil-producing countries, Yemen is one of the poorest states on earth. Living conditions for many locals are very tough. As a tourist, expect local merchants to demand higher prices from you. While being mindful of the poverty level in Yemen, tourists should resist sympathetic urges to pay the merchant's first price. Bargaining is a way of life in much of the world and is expected of all buyers.

3. If an area is off-limits, it is that way for a very good reason. Tempting as it may be to play the intrepid explorer, there is no reason to increase your risk of being kidnapped or worse unless you absolutely have to.

In addition, be prepared to be asked for pens (qalam, galam) for the local schools, and also sweets (bonbon). In the former case, if you have one to spare you may wish to consider it. In the latter, resist the urge to give a handout as it will create an expectation for the next foreigner to arrive. It should go without saying that you shouldn't give money ("fulus!" "bizniz!") to children. Donate to local charities instead.

Connect

The Amateur Traveler talks to Chris Rosenkrans from Pennsylvania about his trip to the country of Yemen. Chris started in the capital city of Sana’a which he thinks is one of the beautiful cities he has ever seen. Chris then recommends a trip to the Haraz mountains to see Shibam Hadhramaut (a shibam is a city built into the cliffs) and north to Kawkaban. In addition wander around Sana’a to some of the community gardens in the area. Chris did not make it to Socotra island where many of the scents like Frankincense come from. Yemen also does sport gun markets and khat markets to this has to qualify as adventure travel.

Hear about travel to the Island of Socotra and Yemen as the Amateur Traveler talks to Earl from WanderingEarl.com about a visit to this isolated island best known for its production of frankincense. The island is quite isolated and a third of its plant life is found nowhere else on the planet. With trees like the umbrella-shaped dragon’s blood tree it has been described as the most alien-looking place on Earth.

Photo by Lorie Shaull

The problem

This past Friday, Jan. 27th, President Trump signed an executive order banning all people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States for at least 90 days — even if they had a visa, a Green Card or were actually in the air, returning home to the States as the order was signed. The order also bans all refugees from entering the U.S. for at least 120 days and bans all Syrian refugees indefinitely. Even permanent legal residents of the United States were detained at airports over the weekend, some for more than 30 hours.

This is the “Muslim Ban” Donald Trump ran his campaign on — bundled up in a neat package that is supposed to make us feel safer. Even though, according to a recent report by the Cato Institute, not one single foreign national from any of the above-listed countries killed any American on U.S. soil between the years of 1975 and 2015. Trump is claiming that this ban is only temporary, they’re just working on tightening up the U.S. immigration vetting procedures. In reality, our vetting procedures are some of the strongest in the world and they do not need to be tightened up.

The good news is that the American Civil Liberties Union is on it, they’ve filed a class action lawsuit. And a federal judge successfully blocked part of the order — temporarily — ruling that any traveler with a valid visa who has successfully landed in the U.S., shouldn’t be sent home or be detained at an airport for hours on end just because nobody knows what to do with them. (As of Sunday evening, though, four people were still detained at JFK airport.) In addition to all that, protests and rallies broke out across the country. JFK and LAX airports were among those filled with allies holding pro-Immigrant signs, standing in solidarity with the people who have been detained or turned away, purely because of their nationality and/or religion.

A photo posted by @chivexp on Jan 29, 2017 at 6:55pm PST

Here’s what you can do.

Show up to your nearest airport. Or join a rally or protest near you.

Many protests occurred over the weekend. Think Progress published a schedule for many of them here. To keep up-to-date with others that may be occurring in your community, follow your local ACLU branch.

Remember that you don’t need to attend a scheduled rally or march to protest Trump’s Muslim Ban. All you need to do is show up with some friends and family at the arrivals section of your nearest airport to stand in solidarity with those being discriminated against.

Call your senators and congress people.

Call 202-225-3121 in D.C. and tell the operator who you’d like to be connected to. If you’re unsure of how your representatives have reacted to the Muslim Ban, look into it. Vanity Fair has a round-up of Republican reactions here. Many Republicans have already come out opposing the ban, others (like my own Maine Congressman Bruce Poliquin) have claimed they just aren’t going to vote on it.

All you have to say is:

I do not support President Trump’s Muslim Ban. It is unconstitutional, un-American, and I expect you to take an immediate stand against it.

But if you want to add some points of your own, here are some other things you can say.

If your representative supports or has remained silent on the ban: Why are you agreeing with [or remaining silent on] the same measure that KKK Grand Wizard David Duke is currently praising?

Cite the Cato Institute reportTrump’s Muslim ban prohibits people from seven different Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. The Cato Institute looked into all of those countries, and between the years of 1975 and 2015, not one foreign national from either killed an American on U.S. soil. Why are these countries being targeted? 

It’s been proven that when a city or town accepts refugees, the local economy receives a boost. I am looking forward to welcoming refugees from other cultures into my community. Why has President Trump banned Syrian refugees indefinitely? 

Ask your representative to give you one reason why this Muslim Ban is not an example of discrimination based on nationality and religion. 

If you have a friend or family member who identifies as Muslim, tell your representative about them. Share a memory or story that illustrates how important this person is to you. Maybe that person has experienced some form of hate speech or discrimination. If you have their permission, share their story.

That’s all you have to do. Time estimate: less than 5 minutes.

If you completed this action, or have other thoughts, leave your comments below. Matador Network is committed to providing you with easy ways to speak out against the issues that impact us all. If you have an Action Alert suggestion from your community, state, or country, contact Emma at emma@matadornetwork.com.

More like this: Action alert: support a woman's right to choice

Follow Matador on Vimeo Follow Matador on YouTube

THIS PAST FRIDAY, Jan. 27th, President Trump signed an executive order banning all people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States for at least 90 days — even if they had a visa, a Green Card or were actually in the air, returning home to the States as the order was signed. The order also bans all refugees from entering the U.S. for at least 120 days and bans all Syrian refugees indefinitely. Even permanent legal residents of the United States were detained at airports over the weekend, some for more than 30 hours.

Click here to know what steps to take against Trump’s Muslim ban.

A minibus in El Alto, Bolivia. Image credit: Gwen Kash // CC BY-NC 2.0

Ask any group of women if they’ve ever felt unsafe on public transportation, and the stories will flow. In Mexico City, 64 percent of women reported having been groped or physically harassed while using public transit. As for New York’s subway system, 63 percent of women surveyed mentioned personal experiences of sexual harassment, while 10 percent reported sexual assault. There are disheartening statistics about women’s transportation safety around the world — it’s a borderless problem.

Unsafe transport not only causes women to change their modes of movement, it also reduces how many trips they make. This insecurity reduces household income, as inadequate transportation limits women from accessing their full educational and employment opportunities. Transit insecurity is damaging to the environment, too, as more privileged women who are afraid to walk, cycle, or take public transportation turn to polluting, private cars and taxis instead.

Of course, women can’t be treated as an undifferentiated group. Disability, class, race, age, sexuality, gender presentation, and other factors mean that not all women are equally vulnerable to crime or violence on public transportation. Men and boys can also be victimized, and it shouldn’t be assumed that every woman is a victim-in-waiting. But women around the world do share certain vulnerabilities as passengers that make it useful to analyze their needs as a group. As UCLA urban planning professor Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris has written, gender is the single most significant factor explaining transit-based fear and anxiety.

There are solutions, but many are controversial. A key concern when planning transportation safety improvements is making sure not to shift the burden onto vulnerable passengers. “Why should we put the onus on women?” Loukaitou-Sideris asks. Yet many well-intended safety measures do just that.

In the app world, there are private Uber-like services that allow women to choose female drivers. Safr, which is currently invite-only and Boston-based, pledges to pay its female drivers more than the industry standard. However, it faces legal challenges around the potentially discriminatory nature of only hiring women; such challenges have sunk similar apps.

There are also apps in India, Yemen, Lebanon, and other countries that crowdsource data on safe areas, including transport stations. These include Safecity, which collects and maps women’s reports of harassment and violence (its tagline is “Pin the Creeps”).

This problem isn’t just limited to apps. Notoriously, Mexico City has distributed rape whistles to female metro passengers. Overall, systems for reporting assault are time-consuming and onerous, particularly for low-income women who can’t afford to lose time and money visiting police stations.

Another commonly proposed but contentious solution is gender-segregated public transportation. Over a century ago, the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad experimented with women-only cars. Today, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, and Dubai are among the cities with women-only train compartments, buses, or taxis.

Port Moresby is another. The capital of Papua New Guinea has a high level of reported gender-based harassment and violence on its transportation services, ranging from verbal harassment to indecent exposure and robbery. “For women, getting on a bus in Port Moresby means an almost guaranteed experience of sexual harassment,” says Lizzette Soria, who manages the UN Women’s Safe Public Transport Programme for women and girls.

Soria adds of the three women-only buses in Port Moresby: “We know that this is just a short-term strategy, because of course our long-term [goal] is to make safer public transport for everyone. Some have suggested that women-only buses address the symptoms and not the problem, however, our first task is to make women and girls safe.” One advantage of Port Moresby’s gender-segregated buses has been their use as safe spaces to share information about women’s rights.

A women-only bus in Port Moresby. Image credit: UN Women/Marc Dozier

Measures that lead women to alter where and when they travel may be a means to an end, but they’re not nearly enough. It would be dangerous to reinforce the idea, spread by a culture of harassment, that public space isn’t fully women’s to occupy. Gwen Kash, a researcher based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who specializes in public transit reform in Bolivian and Colombian cities, points out that women-only transportation doesn’t address the needs of transgender or queer passengers who might be especially targeted but not welcomed onto gender-segregated vehicles.

The transportation safety measures that are most effective tend to be the ones favored by women themselves. You’d think this should be obvious, but in Kash’s work with transit planners she’s encountered skepticism that sexual assault on public transport is a problem, and the implication that women even enjoy the attention. Moving from acknowledging women’s experiences to actively soliciting their opinions is another big step.

Men and women often have different preferences for safety measures. One study from the U.K. Department of Transport showed that women preferred more staff on buses, while men favored CCTV. These findings have been replicated in other countries. In general, men tend toward technological solutions, while women feel more reassured by a human presence, in real time. One concern many women express about CCTV is that video-operated surveillance doesn’t help victims of crime at the time the incident is happening.

Along with more staff, women almost universally support one simple solution: lighting. The combination of better lighting and transit personnel, including officers riding on trains, is why leaders of women’s groups in Loukaitou-Sideris’ research gave the metro system in Washington, D.C., high marks for safety. Loukaitou-Sideris also praises Toronto and London for developing their transit policies with both men and women in mind.

Lighting around the Toronto coach terminal. Image credit: SimonP // CC BY-SA 3.0

In Canada in 1989, the Metropolitan Toronto Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC) pioneered women’s safety audits, where women walked with transportation planners to pinpoint areas where they felt unsafe. METRAC then pushed for legislative changes based on the findings. These kinds of safety audits have spread all over the world, strengthening relationships among communities, police, and urban planners. Safer Cities Dar es Salaam reported reduced crime levels following the auditing process, while the Safer Nairobi Initiative pointed to women’s increased use of public space.

These examples show, as Loukaitou-Sideris says, that “there needs to be the political will” to drive real change in transport safety. Yes, nonprofits and community movements like METRAC in Toronto, Jagori in Delhi, and Hollaback in London have helped to make women’s transportation needs a matter of public concern. But policymakers and planners must be onboard to make large-scale improvements to transit networks. Worldwide, the legislative, planning, and transport professions remain dominated by men, which can create an invisibility around gendered needs.

A tram conductor during World War II, Leeds, England. Image credit: Ministry of Information Photo Division

Adding to the issue, amassing broad-based political will is tough in cities whose transit systems are stratified. Take Los Angeles, a famously car-centric city. Loukaitou-Sideris notes of gendered harassment on L.A.’s buses: “You don’t see much pressure from the well-to-do areas of the city. This is affecting a subgroup of the city. Often they’re immigrant women … They don’t report it to the police,” she says. Without pressure from politically mobilized and powerful city residents, officials are less likely to take action.

Urban planning scholars like Loukaitou-Sideris promote measures with a firm foundation of environmental design, which looks at how infrastructure and physical factors affect behavior. Lighting that extends from bus stops to the surrounding streets, so people feel safe walking home once they’re off the bus, is an example of that. In Port Moresby, the Safe Public Transport Programme targeted gender-sensitive infrastructure in its campaigning, alongside regulation, planning, and behavior change.

Other campaigns aim at potential harassers, assaulters, and bystanders to avoid perpetuating the idea that women’s travel is the problem. A campaign called “Don’t Touch My Girlfriend” is one (somewhat poorly titled) case from Brussels. Soria says that physical measures are one thing, but “if we don’t change attitudes and beliefs, we will continue to have harassment.”

Then there are relationship-based initiatives, which involve local community groups and perhaps transport personnel. In Port Moresby, young people played key roles in developing and delivering messages around gender equality; also, bus drivers were trained in how to identify sexual harassment and how to address it onboard.

These kinds of driver-focused initiatives aren’t always helpful, especially when transportation is informal and poorly regulated. Kash says that in Bolivian cities, where informal minibuses are common and generally a low-paid livelihood, “it’s to the driver’s advantage not to intervene” in situations of harassment and assault. If they do, they risk lost income and often unwanted confrontation.

Rural women using public transport in Mozambique. Image credit: Ton Rulkens //CC BY-SA 2.0

In general, however, expanding the ranks of female transportation operators, security officers, and transport planners — and making it more convenient for passengers to report harassment and assault to them — helps to increase the gender sensitivity of transportation.

A key lesson from the Safe Public Transport Programme in Port Moresby has been the role of political leadership. “One of the success factors has been the critical relationship between UN Women and the government,” Soria says. She credits Port Moresby’s governor, who she says has been a strong advocate for combatting gender-based violence. His administration dedicated 2016 to making the city safer for women and girls, and the transport safety program built on that work, as well as an earlier UN Women’s program on safe markets.

Public transport suffers from limited funding. That’s one reason local officials give for embracing technological solutions like CCTV over expensive, more popular steps like increased staffing. Yet not all solutions that women favor need to be costly. Panic buttons on buses, trialed in New Delhi, are one example. Another is personal request stops, offered in Toronto and Montreal, where people are allowed to exit buses at places other than designated stops.

There are also ways to optimize the use of available funds. Loukaitou-Sideris’s research in L.A. has shown that a small proportion of bus stops are hotspots for gender-based crime. Focusing attention on these areas, she says, would be a cost-effective way of targeting resources.

Plus, the limited-funding argument has its weaknesses. The growth in security measures following high-profile cases of transportation-based terrorism shows that where the political will exists to prioritize safety, funds can be accessed. Yes, major terror incidents are dramatic and traumatic. But they’re also rare. Incidents of harassment and assault on transport are not.

“Safe transit for women is good for everybody,” Kash says. More frequent services reduce the overcrowding that facilitates groping; and less crowding, would be very popular among female and male users of the frequently packed buses in Bogotá, she adds. More information about bus and train times allows passengers to more efficiently plan their trips — and women report that reduced waiting times and greater certainty about transport options make them feel safer.

TransMilenio Bus Rapid Transit stations in Bogotá and Soacha, Colombia. Image credit: Gwen Kash // CC BY-NC 2.0

There’s no magic checklist for reducing gendered transit fear, but there are commonalities in the best solutions. Have a variety of women identify their own transportation safety needs and preferred solutions. Make sure groups such as disabled or older women aren’t inadvertently excluded. Get leaders onboard. Make transport professions more gender-balanced. Don’t default to cheaper solutions like CCTV. Respect the power of human presence. Avoid placing financial burdens on low-income women who may need to prioritize other basic needs over their own safety. Remember that buses remain crucial to poorer women, all around the world. Use technology thoughtfully in conjunction with other measures.

Ultimately, though, the most important thing a transport planner can do to improve safety for women is to listen to women and girls. Asking them about their transportation needs and preferences is surprisingly rare—Loukaitou-Sideris refers to this as the “gender gap in mobility.” This neglect can lead to implementing solutions that officials think women want, like attention to safety on buses, when conversations with female passengers might reveal more concern about safety while waiting for buses.

So, first, last, and always: Just talk to women. This isn’t earth-shattering advice. But for women to feel more self-sufficient, and freer to move around their own cities, it’s the only option.

This piece was originally published at How We Get To Next and is reposted here with permission.

Some rights reserved Licence Creative Commons

Photo: M01229

First, highlights from International Women’s Day

The four women who organized the historic Jan. 21st Women’s March on Washington were arrested in New York at a Day Without A Woman rally. Along with several other protesters, they were seized not far from Trump Hotel near Columbus Circle after sitting peacefully in the street and causing a disruption in traffic. The 13 women were released Wednesday night, claiming that they had spent their detainment singing gospel songs like “We Shall Overcome” through the halls of the NYPD’s 7th precinct. [TIME]

Some of us have been arrested #DayWithoutAWoman pic.twitter.com/WSYVdrQjxA

— Women's March (@womensmarch) March 8, 2017

Massive demonstrations happened around the world yesterday. The activists numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Besides the United States, rallies happened in Nigeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Macedonia and Pakistan. TIME put together a round-up video, which you can view here.

A congressman from Missouri is concerned that women are paying a tax on tanning. Rep. Jason Smith claimed that under Obamacare women are required to pay taxes on their tanning salon visits. He wondered aloud: why, on International Women’s Day especially, was he the only one bringing this up? A congresswoman from Washington, Rep. Suzan Delbene, suggested that it may be because healthcare is a more pressing issue for American women today. [Huffington Post]

Respecting our environment

There’s a ‘super bloom’ happening in California right now. Specifically in Southern California’s Anza-Borrego Desert State Park where desert lilies, poppies, dune primrose, sunflowers, desert dandelions and other wildflowers are all blooming in unison. California received a lot of rain this winter which should make the super bloom’s climax even more vibrant. [CNN]

A post shared by J and S, and Hudson Dog! (@we_lexplore) on Mar 9, 2017 at 8:01am PST

China is emerging as a leader in addressing climate change. China canceled 104 coal-fired plants back in 2014 and in 2016, experienced a 4.7 percent drop in coal consumption as a result. The country is energetically onboard with the Paris Agreement and has begun a $474 billion renewable energy program — a majority of the program’s budget will go into renewable fuel by 2020. [Futurism] Read more like this: The protests that changed us

I'm a humanitarian and entrepreneur. Here are a few stories about the immigrants who've changed my life

Photo: Nitish Meena

In December 2013, I moved to Utah to start a venture that worked with refugees who showed an enthusiasm for entrepreneurship. I helped ambitious newcomers from Somalia, Iran, Iraq and Yemen start small businesses. It was a powerful experience to help ease their transition out of poverty, and little did I know, but it would later change the principles by which I lived.

Along that journey, I forged strong relationships with many of these individuals, and I learned powerful lessons of acceptance, trust, and honesty. I remember helping a woman from Somalia named Ayan. She was starting a childcare business.

Every time I would go to her house she would greet me with “peace be upon you,” and serve me tea. I remember her telling me that she viewed me as her brother. I had only known her for two months. It spoke to her gratitude. She had a genuine interest in creating relationships with her new neighbors.

This desire permeated the Somali community of Utah. It wasn’t what I expected. My assumptions were wrong. This family treated me better than most of the Americans I know. It has made me realize the important role refugees play in bringing acceptance into our community.

Then there was Omar from Mosul, Iraq. Omar was forcibly displaced from his home when ISIS overran his village. He almost didn’t make it out alive. Omar was captured by ISIS and tortured for days. Luckily a US Special Forces team raided the village in which Omar was being held captive. He is life was saved and he had the opportunity to resettle in the United States.

Omar immediately started adding value to the entrepreneurship community in Utah. Still to this day, he invites me over for food and introduces me to the best Iraqi restaurants in town. Omar was grateful that I was able to help him acquire capital for his business. He expressed his gratitude by gifting me Iraqi sweets.

Omar made me feel home by always inviting me to social events and being there for me when I needed help. Who would have thought that a refugee from Iraq would make such a lasting impact on my life? I didn’t, but it happened. I am more open because of Omar. I am more comfortable with being vulnerable because of Omar. Omar changed my life and made me realize that boundaries only exist because we create them. He made me realize that I don’t need boundaries as I pursue relationships and goals in life.

And then there is me. Back in 2015 I took a leap of faith and decided to launch a humanitarian operation in Kathmandu, Nepal. A month after arriving, the 7.9 earthquake unfolded in front of my eyes. With my home damaged, I was forced to live out of a tent for weeks. I saw 3.3 million people become homeless overnight.

Never in my life have I felt and seen so much vulnerability. I was the outsider now. Yet I was embraced as a neighbor by hundreds of Nepalis who didn’t view country of origin as a prerequisite for receiving help. I was offered food, water, and shelter when I lacked it. Free motorcycle rides were given to me amid the supply crisis. I was provided hope amid hopeless circumstances. It was acceptance which made that possible.

I'm a humanitarian and entrepreneur. Here are a few stories about the immigrants who've changed my life

In Nepal at the time of the devastating 2015 earthquake. Photo by author.

The world needs to embrace openness. The world needs more people who aren’t afraid of being trusting and vulnerable. The world needs more people like Ayan from Somalia and Omar from Iraq. There is no greater time to embrace a “we are one” mentality. There is no greater time than now. More like this: What happens when a millennial becomes a refugee

TODAY IS THE UN International Day of Human Space Flight. It’s also the 56th anniversary of the first human going into space. On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin launched into space, becoming the first human to leave our atmosphere. Since then, hundreds of people have been in space, but it still remains mostly untouched by humans.

That seems to be on the brink of changing: next year, SpaceX will take paying tourists around the dark side of the moon, a place no one has been since Apollo 13. And there’s an okay chance that, in the not-too-far-off future, humans will land on Mars.

In honor of the day, we plunged into the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Flickr account. It is one of the coolest photo pages on the internet, so we’ve selected a handful to share in honor of space flight. With any luck, we’ll get to see these sights for ourselves someday. 1

Mergui Archipelago

In the southernmost reaches of Burma (Myanmar), along the border with Thailand, lies the Mergui Archipelago. The archipelago in the Andaman Sea is made up of more than 800 islands surrounded by extensive coral reefs. All photos and captions by The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

2

Hubble reveals heart of Lagoon Nebula

A spectacular new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image reveals the heart of the Lagoon Nebula. Seen as a massive cloud of glowing dust and gas, bombarded by the energetic radiation of new stars, this placid name hides a dramatic reality. The Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a dramatic view of gas and dust sculpted by intense radiation from hot young stars deep in the heart of the Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8). This spectacular object is named after the wide, lagoon-shaped dust lane that crosses the glowing gas of the nebula.

3

Fires on Madeira Island

Smoke from several large fires burning on Portugal's Madeira Island were seen blowing over the Atlantic Ocean on Aug. 10 when NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead. Madeira is an archipelago of four islands located off the northwest coast of Africa. They are an autonomous region of Portugal. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image at 8:25 a.m. EDT (12:05 UTC). Places where MODIS detected active fire are located in red.

Intermission

33 places to swim in the world’s clearest water

10 drink recipes you can light on fire

Photo guide to Ireland’s most incredible castles

Sponsored 4

Cyclones across the Pacific

This GOES-West satellite image shows four tropical cyclones in the North Western, Central and Eastern Pacific Ocean on September 1, 2015. In the Western Pacific (far left) is Typhoon Kilo. Moving east (to the right) into the Central Pacific is Hurricane Ignacio (just east of Hawaii), and Hurricane Jimena. The eastern-most storm is Tropical Depression 14E in the Eastern Pacific.

5

A cosmic megamaser

This galaxy has a far more exciting and futuristic classification than most — it hosts a megamaser. Megamasers are intensely bright, around 100 million times brighter than the masers found in galaxies like the Milky Way. The entire galaxy essentially acts as an astronomical laser that beams out microwave emission rather than visible light (hence the ‘m’ replacing the ‘l’).

6

Hurricane Joaquin

Major Hurricane Joaquin is shown at the far eastern periphery of the GOES West satellite's full disk extent, taken at 1200Z on October 1, 2015.

7

Seaweed

Though the above image may resemble a new age painting straight out of an art gallery in Venice Beach, California, it is in fact a satellite image of the sands and seaweed in the Bahamas. The image was taken by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) instrument aboard the Landsat 7 satellite. Tides and ocean currents in the Bahamas sculpted the sand and seaweed beds into these multicolored, fluted patterns in much the same way that winds sculpted the vast sand dunes in the Sahara Desert.

8

Sea Ice in Greenland

The MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Sea Ice off eastern Greenland on October 16, 2012.

9

The US covered in snow

NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided a look at the frigid eastern two-thirds of the U.S. on Jan. 7, 2015, that shows a blanket of northern snow, lake-effect snow from the Great Lakes and clouds behind the Arctic cold front.

Intermission

How to say ‘cheers’ in 50 languages

The 24 coolest towns in the USA – 2017

10 images that prove Iceland should be on your bucket list

10

Liege, Belgium

A nighttime view of Liege, Belgium is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 34 crew member on the International Space Station.

11

Jupiter up close

At about 89,000 miles in diameter, Jupiter could swallow 1,000 Earths. It is the largest planet in the solar system and perhaps the most majestic. Vibrant bands of clouds carried by winds that can exceed 400 mph continuously circle the planet's atmosphere. Such winds sustain spinning anticyclones like the Great Red Spot—a raging storm three and a half times the size of Earth located in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere. In January and February 1979, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft zoomed toward Jupiter, capturing hundreds of images during its approach. The observations revealed many unique features of the planet that are still being explored to this day.

12

Earthrise

View of the crescent Earth rising above the lunar horizon over the Ritz Crater. Image taken during the Apollo 17 mission on Revolution 66.

13

Bubble Nebula

“As Hubble makes its 26th revolution around our home star, the sun, we celebrate the event with a spectacular image of a dynamic and exciting interaction of a young star with its environment. The view of the Bubble Nebula, crafted from WFC-3 images, reminds us that Hubble gives us a front row seat to the awe inspiring universe we live in,” said John Grunsfeld, Hubble astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, in Washington, D.C. The Bubble Nebula is seven light-years across—about one-and-a-half times the distance from our sun to its nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri, and resides 7,100 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia.

14

Volcanic plumes over Mt. Etna

Twin volcanic plumes—one of ash, one of gas—rose from Sicily’ Mount Etna on the morning of October 26, 2013.

15

Canyonlands

The desert southwest US is a showcase of geology. Canyonlands National Park in SE Utah is one such example. In this image, the Colorado River in the upper left corner forms the border of an area of outcrops of Permian (~280 million years old) Cedar Mesa Sandstone. Nearest the river, a series of arcuate faults has created a landscape of extremely narrow valleys. Further east a tributary of the Colorado has eroded the landscape into intricate feather-like drainage patterns.

16

Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan approaching the Philippines

17

Greece

Earth observation views taken from the space shuttle orbiter Atlantis during STS-84 mission.

18

The Orion Nebula

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has helped astronomers find the final piece of a celestial puzzle by nabbing a third runaway star. As British royal families fought the War of the Roses in the 1400s for control of England's throne, a grouping of stars was waging its own contentious skirmish — a star war far away in the Orion Nebula. The stars were battling each other in a gravitational tussle, which ended with the system breaking apart and at least three stars being ejected in different directions. The speedy, wayward stars went unnoticed for hundreds of years until, over the past few decades, two of them were spotted in infrared and radio observations, which could penetrate the thick dust in the Orion Nebula.

19

Van Gogh from space

In the style of Van Gogh's painting "Starry Night," massive congregations of greenish phytoplankton swirl in the dark water around Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea. Phytoplankton are microscopic marine plants that form the first link in nearly all ocean food chains. Population explosions, or blooms, of phytoplankton, like the one shown here, occur when deep currents bring nutrients up to sunlit surface waters, fueling the growth and reproduction of these tiny plants.

20

Empty Quarter

White pinpricks of cloud cast ebony shadows on the Rub' al Khali, or Empty Quarter, near the border between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The lines of wind-sculpted sand are characteristic of immense sand deserts, or sand seas, and the Rub' al Khali is the largest desert of this type in the world. A highland ridge is just high enough to disturb the flow of the lines. In the center of that interruption lies the Saudi Arabian town of Sharurah.

21

The Mississippi

Small, blocky shapes of towns, fields, and pastures surround the graceful swirls and whorls of the Mississippi River. Countless oxbow lakes and cutoffs accompany the meandering river south of Memphis, Tennessee, on the border between Arkansas and Mississippi, USA. The "mighty Mississippi" is the largest river system in North America.

22

Cloud vortices

Cloud vortices off Heard Island, south Indian Ocean.

23

Hubble Sees Monstrous Cloud Boomerang Back to our Galaxy

Hubble Space Telescope astronomers are finding that the old adage “what goes up must come down” even applies to an immense cloud of hydrogen gas outside our Milky Way galaxy. The invisible cloud is plummeting toward our galaxy at nearly 700,000 miles per hour. Though hundreds of enormous, high-velocity gas clouds whiz around the outskirts of our galaxy, this so-called “Smith Cloud” is unique because its trajectory is well known. New Hubble observations suggest it was launched from the outer regions of the galactic disk, around 70 million years ago. The cloud was discovered in the early 1960s by doctoral astronomy student Gail Smith, who detected the radio waves emitted by its hydrogen. This composite image shows the size and location of the Smith Cloud on the sky. The cloud appears in false-color, radio wavelengths as observed by the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. The visible-light image of the background star field shows the cloud's location in the direction of the constellation Aquila.

You can follow the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for more pics on Facebook here or on Twitter here

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Travel and Tourism and Competitiveness Report was recently published. It shows the most expensive and cheapest places to travel in the world. The report covers the role travel and tourism plays in economies, an analysis of the industry’s sustained growth, work being done to preserve and protect local communities and the environment, and more. One of the most interesting sections of the report was the information on the top countries in the world for price competitiveness.

Here are the 20 cheapest places to travel to right now, according to the WEF Report.

Editor’s note: These spots are all taken directly from travelstoke®, a new app from Matador that connects you with fellow travelers and locals, and helps you build trip itineraries with spots that integrate seamlessly into Google Maps and Uber. Download the app to add any of the spots below directly to your future trips.

1. Iran

 Zoroastrian Towers of SilenceYazd, Iran#Zoroastrian #dakhma or Tower of Silence on the outskirts of #Yazd in #Iran. Believing a dead body was unclean and would pollute the soil, the Zoroastrians placed bodies at the top of this tower and exposed to the sun and vultures instead of being buried in the ground.

2. Egypt

 Cairo EgyptAl Fagalah, EgyptOne of Thé most unforgetable times having an hour long trip on camel at desert near Pyramids was excellent #history#ancienttimes

3. Malaysia

 Perdana Botanical GardensKuala Lumpur, MalaysiaPetrona Towers, impressive skyscraper.

4. Algeria

Sahara Desert, Tassili N

Photo: Dmitry Pichugin

5. Indonesia

 Dusun BambuCihanjuang Rahayu, IndonesiaWonderful nature

6. Bhutan

 Uma ParoParo, BhutanThey will take a little rice to clean their eating hand and put it on the ground . Then will proceed to eat . All ending eating at the same time . Great to watch . Ceremony like ! # lunch time # Bhutan # outdoors # travel photography

7. Yemen

Rock Palace de Csilla Zelko en 500px.com

Photo: Csilla Zelko

8. Kazakhstan

Big Almaty lake on december. Water, ice, mountains and snow. de Roman Barelko en 500px.com

Photo: Roman Barelko

9. Tunisia

Shades of White. Sidi Bou Saïd. de Bérenger Zyla en 500px.com

Photo: Berenger Zyla

10. India

 CHANDNI CHOWKGhaziabad, IndiaThis is my favorite #market . So life you can get all you need. This market design by Jahannara, princesses of mugal empire, daughter of shah Jahan . #clothes #souvenirs #bargins #cheap-eats #coffee

11. Russia

 Moscow MetroMoskva, RussiaCheck out some metro stations of 1930s – 1950s for the bronze statues, mosaics and marble colonnades.

12. Qatar

City Center de Jurics Caba en 500px.com

Photo: Jurics Caba

13. Botswana

Elephant Herd close-up on Chobe river de Vincent Andrews en 500px.com

Photo: Vincent Andrews

14. Laos

 Patuxay MonumentVientiane, LaosCool war monument dedicated to the people who fought for independence from France. You can go to the top and have a great view of the city. #history

15. Mongolia

the Camel Centipede de Coolbiere. A. en 500px.com

Photo: Coolbiere

16. Guatemala

 AntiguaAntigua Guatemala, GuatemalaStreet vendors on their way to set up at the Market

17. Saudi Arabia

Infinite de Kareem Alahdab en 500px.com

Photo: Kareem Alahdad

18. Thailand

 Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)Bangkok, ThailandThis #temple build by porselen. Beautiful and shine temple. Must visit

19. Nepal

 BouddhatanathKathmandu, Nepal#temple #buddhism

20. Sri Lanka

 Seema MalakaColombo, Sri Lanka

Yemen: Dancing on the Heads of Snakes

Victoria Clark

Yemen is the dark horse of the Middle East. Every so often it enters the headlines for one alarming reason or another—links with al-Qaeda, kidnapped Westerners, explosive population growth—then sinks into obscurity again. But, as Victoria Clark argues in this riveting book, we ignore Yemen at our peril. The poorest state in the Arab world, it is still dominated by its tribal makeup and has become a perfect breeding ground for insurgent and terrorist movements.

Clark returns to the country where she was born to discover a perilously fragile state that deserves more of our understanding and attention. On a series of visits to Yemen between 2004 and 2009, she meets politicians, influential tribesmen, oil workers and jihadists as well as ordinary Yemenis. Untangling Yemen’s history before examining the country’s role in both al-Qaeda and the wider jihadist movement today, Clark presents a lively, clear, and up-to-date account of a little-known state whose chronic instability is increasingly engaging the general reader.

Yemen: The Unknown Arabia

Tim Mackintosh-Smith

Arguably the most fascinating and least understood country in the Arab world, Yemen has a way of attracting comment that ranges from the superficial to the wildly fantastic.

A country long regarded by classical geographers as a fabulous land where flying serpents guarded sacred incense groves, while medieval Arab visitors told tales of disappearing islands and menstruating mountains. Our current ideas of this country at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula have been hijacked by images of the terrorist strongholds, drone attacks, and diplomatic tensions. But, as Mackintosh-Smith reminds us in this newly updated book, there is another Arabia. Yemen may be a part of Arabia, but it is like no place on earth.

Yemen, A Photographic Journey

Mahmoud Al-Shaibani

The staggering breadth and diversity of Yemen's landscapes and peoples is not something easily conveyed. Here, in this remarkable celebration of his homeland, Mahmoud Al-Shaibani presents a breathtaking panorama that sweeps in the mountains and valleys, the plains and seas, and the myriad of different communities that live in this ancient land.

His is a remarkable achievement, the fruit of tireless years traversing the country back and forth like no other. We are fortunate to be able to have this window into this rare corner of Arabia—a land of stark geographical contrasts inhabited by a people whose way of life has often scarcely changed since the dawn of settled civilization.

Mahmoud Al-Shaibani has twenty-six years of experience in the tourism field and is the general manager of Universal Touring Company. He has crisscrossed the country countless times over the years and here presents his remarkable collection for the first time.

Victor Henderson, CMG, served as British Ambassador in Yemen from 1997 to 2001.

Don't Be Afraid of the Bullets: An Accidental War Correspondent in Yemen

Laura Kasinof

Laura Kasinof studied Arabic in college and moved to Yemen a few years later—after a friend at a late-night party in Washington, DC, recommended the country as a good place to work as a freelance journalist. When she first moved to Sanaa in 2009, she was the only American reporter based in the country. She quickly fell in love with Yemen’s people and culture, in addition to finding herself the star of a local TV soap opera.When antigovernment protests broke out in Yemen, part of the revolts sweeping the Arab world at the time, she contacted the New York Times to see if she could cover the rapidly unfolding events for the newspaper. Laura never planned to be a war correspondent, but found herself in the middle of brutal government attacks on peaceful protesters. As foreign reporters were rounded up and shipped out of the country, Laura managed to elude the authorities but found herself increasingly isolated—and even more determined to report on what she saw.Don’t Be Afraid of the Bullets is a fascinating and important debut by a talented young journalist.

Yemen: Jewel of Arabia

Charles Aithie

Combining outstanding photographic skills with assiduous research, this book takes the reader on a fascinating journey through Yemen

"Absolutely gorgeous" --Sandi Toksvig, BBC Radio 4

The sophisticated traveler is fast awakening to the glories and treasures of Yemen, the land of the half-mythic Queen of Sheba and the "Arabia Felix" coveted by ancient Rome. Yet the "glories and treasures" of Yemen are as much contemporary as they are ancient and historic--in the spectacular architecture of its cities, which until lately have remained beyond the ken of the outside world, the dramatic landscape of highland and coastal Yemen, and in the panoply of its people.

Yemen: Jewel of Arabia's thorough coverage will prove indispensable to the visitor. This book, long in the making, is now the only photographic work generally available to the English-speaking visitor or armchair traveler.

Yemen Fb R (English, Spanish, French, Italian and German Edition)

fb

Explore Yemen with this Freytag&Berndt road map. The best way to plan your trip, prepare your itinerary, and to travel independently in this country of the Arabic Peninsula. This map contains a place name index and inset maps of Adan and San a. Touristic information: places of interest, airports, religious buildings, marinas, oasis, caves, sand deserts, salt lakes. The legend is in English, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Czech, Slovak, and Hungarian. Place names are indicated in Roman script only.

Oman & Yemen 1:1,400,000 Including inset of U.A.E, Salalah, Central Muscat, Sana'a, Taizz ITM travel map (International Travel Maps)

ITMB Canada

Oman is a stark and wild mountainous country. This map shows its physical features and road network exceptionally well.

Yemen is one of the most unusual countries in the world, but well worth a visit if you can get in. This map certainly shows the country to good advantage, especially its exotic terrain. Politically, this is a country one would have to define as challenging; touristically, as well. However, as a map, this one is exceptional.

AVOID ALL TRAVEL

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.

Terrorism

The security situation remains fragile and unpredictable. There is a constant and high terrorist threat throughout the Arabian Peninsula. From time to time, reports emerge that terrorists are planning to attack specific locations in one of these countries. Targets could include government buildings, public areas, tourist sites and Western interests. Heightened security measures are currently in place and may be reinforced on short notice. Maintain a high level of vigilance and personal security awareness at all times. Exercise caution, particularly in areas known to be frequented by foreigners (commercial, public, tourist areas), monitor local developments and follow the advice of local authorities. You are also advised to register and keep in contact with the Consulate of Canada in Sana’a, or the Embassy of Canada in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and to carefully follow messages issued through the Registration of Canadians Abroad service.

Clashes between government and tribal factions have increased since the beginning of May 2012. On May 21, 2012, a suicide bomber attack in Sana'a left more than 90 people dead and hundreds injured. Such incidents are likely to continue occurring, as over 30 tourists have been killed in the region since January 2008.

Kidnapping

There is a high risk of foreigners being kidnapped in Yemen. While most kidnappings are resolved peacefully, some hostages have been killed. Do not use the Aden-Taiz-Sana'a highway due to the high risk of kidnapping. Maintain a high level of vigilance at all times.

Demonstrations and civil unrest

Civil unrest and violent demonstrations have been occurring in many parts of Yemen since January 2011. A state of emergency, declared in March 2011, remains in effect. The security situation deteriorated significantly following a breakdown of negotiations between the president and the opposition in May 2011. Avoid all political gatherings, crowds and demonstrations, and stay away from areas where they could occur, as they might turn violent without warning.

Crime

Petty crime is rare, although weapons are easily available. Credit card scams may occur. Carjacking is a serious concern in Yemen. Do not show signs of affluence and ensure that personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Lock car doors and ensure that windows are closed.

Women’s safety

There have been reports of physical and verbal harassment toward women. Women should travel in groups and should not travel alone at night. Women should wear a headscarf, cover their arms and legs and avoid making eye contact with men in public.

Consult our publication entitled Her Own Way: A Woman’s Safe-Travel Guide for travel safety information specifically aimed at Canadian women.

Road travel

Driving habits differ markedly from those practised in Canada. Avoid driving after dark. Poorly maintained vehicles and roads and roaming animals pose hazards.

Call the police if you are involved in an accident. If the accident results in death or injuries, the driver may be jailed and/or fined. Compensation has to be paid to the family of the victims.

Undertake overland travel in a convoy of four-wheel-drive vehicles and with an experienced guide only. Leave a travel itinerary with a third party. Be well prepared and equipped with gasoline, water, food, and a cell phone.

Avoid renting a car and driving it yourself.

Avoid public transportation.

Use only officially marked taxis and negotiate fares in advance.

Sea travel

Pirate attacks occur in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau. 

Air travel

Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Landmines

Anti-personnel mines and unexploded munitions remain a danger in the southern and eastern areas of the country, particularly around Aden, and in the central highlands. They have mostly been marked and access clearly delimited. Exercise caution in these areas.

General safety information

Do not leave vehicles unattended. If a vehicle is left unattended, carefully inspect both the exterior and interior upon return to detect any attached devices or suspect packages nearby.

Treat mail and packages from unfamiliar sources with suspicion.

Contact your sponsor, employer or Yemeni police immediately if you suspect anything unusual.

Carry identification documents at all times. Leave your passport in a safe place and carry a photocopy for identification purposes.

Checkpoints may be set up without warning.

Power shortages often occur.

Emergency services

Dial 199 in case of emergencies.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Polio

There is a risk of polio in this country. Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up-to-date.

Rabies

Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from a rabid animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Western Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Cholera

There have been cases of cholera reported in this country in the last year. Cholera is a bacterial disease that typically causes diarrhea. In severe cases it can lead to dehydration and even death.

Most travellers are generally at low risk. Humanitarian workers and those visiting areas with limited access to safe food and water are at higher risk. Practise safe food and water precautions. Travellers at high risk should get vaccinated.

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is caused by blood flukes (tiny worms) spread to humans through contaminated water. The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in contaminated water. There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Western Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Dengue fever
  • Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.  
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue bite during the daytime. They breed in standing water and are often found in urban areas.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for dengue fever.

Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened, air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
  • Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities that are up to Western standards, such as the Yemen German Hospital in Sana’a, are only present in the cities of Sana'a and Aden. There are no adequate emergency ambulance services. Immediate cash payment is often required.

Health tips

Dehydration is a serious risk due to very high temperatures during the summer months. Protect yourself from the sun and drink plenty of water.

 

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

The work week is from Saturday to Wednesday.

An International Driving Permit is required.

Illegal or restricted activities

Religious proselytizing is not permitted.

Common-law relationships, homosexual relations, adultery and prostitution are illegal and are subject to severe punishment.

Avoid physical contact, such as holding hands, in public.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict.

Public intoxication is a criminal offence, no matter where the alcohol was consumed. Consumption of alcohol outside approved venues is illegal and could result in arrest and/or fines and imprisonment. There is a zero tolerance policy regarding drinking and driving.

It is forbidden to photograph military and police personnel and installations and government buildings. Military sites are not always clearly marked. Do not photograph people without their permission.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized, which may limit the ability of Canadian officials to provide consular services. You should travel using your Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times. Dual citizens may be subject to national obligations, such as military service and taxes. Consult our publication entitled Dual Citizenship: What You Need to Know for more information.

Family

Children or spouses may be prevented from leaving the country without prior authorization of the father/ husband, even if they are Canadians.

Child custody decisions are based on Islamic law. It is extremely difficult for a Canadian woman, even if she is a Muslim, to obtain custody of her children through Yemeni courts.

Dress and behaviour

The country's customs, laws and regulations adhere closely to Islamic practices and beliefs. Dress conservatively, behave discreetly, and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.

Money

The currency is the Yemeni rial (YER). The economy is primarily cash-based. Credit cards and traveller's cheques are accepted in some major hotels. Canadian currency and traveller's cheques are not accepted. Automated banking machines may only be available in major cities.

Climate

Yemen is located in a seismic and a volcanic zone.

The monsoon season extends from June to September. Flooding is common during this time.

In summer, sandstorms and dust storms also occur.