Travel to Yemen – Episode 228

categories: asia travel, middle east travel


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 so this has to qualify as adventure travel.

right click here to download (mp3)
right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)


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Show Notes

Yemen map
Khat (Qat) – amphetamine-like stimulant
Old Walled City of Shibam or Shibam Hadhramaut
Yemen National Museum
Kawkaban – hill top town

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

5 Responses to “Travel to Yemen – Episode 228”

Jonathan Mahoney


Haha, thanks for another great interview. I loved the blooper at the end. =D



I have traveled extensively in Yemen and just wanted to leave a few comments:

1) There are many very fine four and five star hotels (including western brands) in Sana’a, not just “one” as was mentioned in the interview. (i.e. Movenpick, Mercure, Sheraton).

2) US troops do not vacation in Yemen, in fact US government employees must obtain permission to go to Yemen, even on leisure trips due to safety concerns. Embassy staff are limited in their travel outside of Sana’a.

3) US/UK/Canadian citizens (and citizens of most other countries) now need a visa in advance to travel to Yemen. Until February of 2010, most were able to get a visa on arrival at the airport in Sana’a.

4) The US State Department, UK Foreign Office, and the equivalents for Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries suggest deferring all non essential travel to Yemen at this time. While these government warnings are usually overblown, they are important to mention. I am shocked that your guest did not even mention these warnings. They are important to read before thinking about a trip to Yemen. The security situation is deteriorating quickly across Yemen.

5) I was also surprised not to hear anything about the beautiful islands off the southern coast of Yemen! These islands are probably the safest part of Yemen and some of the most beautiful in the world.



John, thanks very much for the corrections



Ever considered putting the pictures from the enhanced version into a web-accessible gallery for each episode?

Kathy aka mytimetotravel


More reason for John’s warnings: Note that the article (about an American couple kidnapped outside Sana’a) says:

“Kidnappings of foreigners and Yemenis are common in the Arabian peninsula country, where hostages are often used by disgruntled tribesmen to press demands on authorities.”

I’m not exactly a timid traveler, but I’d think twice, or even three times, about visiting Yemen.

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