Is Yemen Safe For Travelers?

When I started researching how I could travel to Yemen, I must admit that I assumed it would not be possible at all. Given the strongly worded government travel warnings about this country, coupled with the fact that any positive news about Yemen seems to be in great shortage, I just figured that things such as obtaining a tourist visa and even finding good, safe accommodation options would be impossible, paving the way for only the craziest of the craziest travelers to dare venture here.

And while I’m open to doing some crazy things, I’m not sure if ‘craziest of the craziest’ was a category I wanted to be a part of.

But surprised was I when I started to learn that a few travelers are making their way to Yemen and that traveling in these parts is not nearly as difficult, or dangerous, as I had once thought.

Surrounded by Soldiers

And then, a few weeks later I was in the back of an old Toyota 4×4 with a local driver and guide, heading out of Sana’a into the Yemeni countryside. The road wound through some rocky hills, passing along the edges of valleys and eventually cruising across a massive 2000 meter high plateau. En route to our destination for the night, we stopped at the impressively situated rocktop Palace of the Imam (Dar Al-Hajar) and we wandered through the streets of Thula, an ancient, and very well-preserved, village with structures dating back some 3000 years.

Thula village

After a couple of more short stops, it was time to head towards the town of Shibam.

Before entering Shibam, somewhere on the outskirts of town, our driver had to stop at a military checkpoint where he handed over a copy of the travel permits that all foreigners wanting to enter this region of Yemen must obtain. The soldier glanced at the paperwork for a moment, asked our driver a couple of questions and then, with a flick of his hand, allowed us to pass.

A few minutes later, we entered Shibam, where we had a great lunch, wandered through the friendly town and made a quick visit to the village of Kawkaban, clinging to the edge of a mountain nearby. Upon returning to our hotel in the afternoon, just in time to chew some qat of course, I realized that, not for one moment, had I felt unsafe, at all.

Kawkaban, Yemen

As I began to nibble away on some qat leaves, I asked our driver and guide about the military checkpoints, but they both brushed them off as nothing to be worried about and told me that the areas we would visit were perfectly safe. It all seemed reasonable to me…

…until the next morning when I was eating breakfast with the driver and guide in the small restaurant of the hotel.

The guide started to explain that, during the night, sometime around 11:00pm, a group of six armed government soldiers had shown up at the hotel.

“Why?” I asked.
“To protect you,” he said.
“What? I thought it was safe.”
“It is safe. But whenever there is a US citizen visiting, the government sends soldiers just in case,” he stated with a big smile on his face.


Soldiers at Al-Zakati Fort

Soldiers Following Us Around

Soldiers at Bokur

And for the rest of the day, our jeep was followed by a pickup truck with six armed soldiers sitting in the back. Not only that, whenever we got out of the jeep to visit a place such as the Al-Zakati Fort or the rocky cliffs near Bokur or to walk around the town of Mahweet, the soldiers got out of their truck as well and followed us around, never wandering too far away.

Even more surprising was the fact that this was quite a well-coordinated effort. As we were driving along a lonesome mountain road at one point, the soldier-filled truck behind us suddenly stopped. But sure enough, another truck, with another group of six soldiers was waiting for us right around the corner. This happened three times, with each group ‘handing us over’ once we reached the edge of their territory.

Now, before you let this whole soldier-following-you-around thing worry you, consider this. The Yemeni government, in an attempt to remain good friends of the USA, really does provide this soldier-escort service only to US citizens. Apparently, no other nationality receives this service. So, this does make me believe that such an escort is not really needed at all and is just for show. If these parts were so dangerous, the government would either provide the escort for everyone or they would add the area to the list of regions that foreigners are not allowed to travel to.

And whenever we got out of the vehicle, with our soldiers in tow, nobody in any town treated us any differently. It was as if the soldiers weren’t there and the soldiers certainly didn’t investigate anything, except for one town where they seemed to become a little more serious about their protective duties for a few minutes.

View from Bokur, Yemen

So, Is Yemen Safe?

Yemen is the kind of country you wouldn’t visit at all if you listened to all of the travel warnings. But it’s the kind of country you would probably be ready to visit if you listened to any traveler who has recently spent time there.

The thing is, Yemen has its fair share of issues. With a branch of Al-Qaeda operating in certain corners of the country, a south that wants to separate from the north and some tensions among tribal groups, it might seem as if any trip to this country would be doomed from the start.

However, if you travel wisely, which doesn’t really take too much effort, the chances of anything negative happening to you are extremely slim. Yemen, for smart travelers, is as safe as most places. Anil from wrote more about the safety situation in Yemen: Is It Safe To Travel To Yemen?

I personally didn’t feel as if I was in danger at any time, nor did I ever have a moment when I thought “Uh-oh, this could be trouble.” The parts of Yemen that I visited, and keep in mind that the Government of Yemen will not allow foreigners to travel to parts of the country that they deem unsafe, left me with nothing but a positive impression.

But again, I didn’t wander into the areas of Sana’a where the staff at our trusty hotel suggested we didn’t wander. I didn’t try to sneak into regions of the countryside where foreigners are not allowed to go. And I did my very best to respect and adhere to local customs wherever I went.

The Result?

All of the people I met were extremely hospitable and welcoming (and many wouldn’t let us leave without taking their photos, something you can see from Anil’s “Faces of Yemen” post) in every single town in the country. I heard not one negative reaction when I said I was from the USA, only extended hands and smiles. The number of invitations I received for meals, or even to spend the night at a local’s home, from people I only met thirty seconds before, were too many to count. Again, friendliness, not danger, was what I felt the most during my stay.

Jambiya seller, Old Sanaa

Man from Manakh, Yemen

And this was the case whether I was in the once-touristy town of Manakh or having lunch at a restaurant in some dusty crossroads community where everyone around us seemed as if they had never seen a foreigner before. It was the same when I was high up in the mountains, stumbling upon tiny villages only accessible by foot, and when I was walking through the nearly hidden back lanes of the main market in the historic Old City of Sana’a.

Boys wearing Jambiyas in Kawkaban

Bab al-Yemen Gate, Sanaa

Of course, for some travelers, the sight of soldiers and tanks, dozens upon dozens of checkpoints (there are at least ten checkpoints between the Sana’a Airport and the center of the city) and the odd kaleshnikov-carrying man walking down the street might scare you away. And while those are all present for a reason, the chance of a traveler encountering anything but a smile or nod of the head from the soldiers or any gun-carrying individual, is not very high at all in my opinion.

Is Yemen Safe for Female Travelers?

Indeed it is. Speaking with my guide on the Yemeni mainland, it seemed as if he had just as many stories about female travelers he had recently shown around the country than about male travelers. And many of the females came either on their own or in a group of a few women. Of course, I am not a female but, based on the conversations I had throughout my stay, I learned that a foreign female would have no problems traveling throughout this country. For more specific information about traveling here as a female, be sure to read: Solo Female Travel to Yemen – Your Questions Answered

Yemenis do understand that foreigners have a different way of life and as a result, they welcome foreign females to join in any of the activities that males would partake in, even if it is something that a local woman is not allowed to, or doesn’t normally, do. You will be treated as a traveler, and as a result, those you meet will want to show you the best of their country.

And, as a female, you would have a chance to do something that a male traveler has little chance of doing. You could speak with and interact with females, giving you a much different perspective on life in Yemen and an entirely different set of rewarding experiences. During my stay, I must admit that I only spoke with three local females the entire time. One was a schoolgirl who wanted her photo taken, one was a 20-year old divorcee in a small village and one was a 17-year old trying to sell me some jewelry. That was it unfortunately.

Also, I did meet two foreign female travelers in Yemen during my stay and they were both having an incredible time. I heard not one complaint of trouble, harassment or any other difficulty and instead, they each told me that Yemen was one of the most welcoming countries they had been to and much easier to travel around, as a foreign female, than they had ever imagined.

Socotra Island

I have something different planned for my upcoming post on incredible Socotra Island, the Yemeni island located in the Indian Ocean that I also visited on this trip. But for now, in terms of safety, I can tell you that the island is completely safe. They basically have a zero crime rate simply because it’s an isolated island. If you commit a crime, there’s absolutely nowhere to run to and everyone on the island knows each other. You can’t really find a safer destination to visit!

Socotra Island landscape

Travel Wisely

In conclusion, the risk of encountering any major problems in Yemen as a traveler is quite small if you travel wisely. This means staying away from spontaneous demonstrations (none of which we came across during our trip), learning which parts of the capital city to avoid, dressing appropriately, getting the necessary travel permits and most importantly perhaps, traveling with a licensed driver and guide through a reputable local company.

Traveling on your own in Yemen is not easy these days and you will find it to be quite a hassle to move around the country on public transportation and to pass through the dozens of checkpoints on every road. According to some reports, travelers are often turned away at checkpoints if they don’t have a local driver with them and just communicating with the soldiers in general (no English spoken) would be difficult. A local driver will also provide a bridge between you and the local communities, making it much easier for you to have rewarding travel experiences.

And besides, trying to organize the travel permits on your own would probably take up half your trip and conducting research in order to find reliable information on how to travel from one destination to another, where to get off the bus to visit a particular sight, how to reach the sights that are only accessible by 4×4 jeep along a non-existent road, which hotels are still in operation (many are closed now due to the lack of tourists), etc. would take up the other half.

Using a tour company to organize the visa, permits, driver and guide will ensure that you are able to see far more than you could ever see on your own, while enjoying a personally-tailored itinerary, for a price that suits your budget. And again, I’m going to recommend the tour company I used, Eternal Yemen, because they are as reliable as it gets and their team of kind, dedicated staff is what helped make my trip so memorable. (If you do use Eternal Yemen, make sure you request to have “Ali” as your driver…you won’t be disappointed!)

*Keep in mind that the above is simply my opinion and before traveling to Yemen, you should conduct additional research in order to decide if it’s the right destination for you to visit.

Aston Villa dan Klub-klub Terburuk di Premier League

m88 Malam tadi Aston Villa akhirnya berpisah dengan Remi Garde. Baru mengumpulkan 16 poin setelah menjalani 31 pertandingan, The Villans jadi salah satu klub dengan performa terburuk di Premier League.

Garde menjadi pelatih kedua Villa di musim ini. Pada November 2015 lalu manajemen klub memberhentikan Tim Sherwood, setelah juga dianggap gagal mengangkat performa klub.
Aston Villa dan Klub-klub Terburuk di Premier League

Belum diketahui siapa yang nantinya akan diangkat sebagai manajer baru klub berjuluk The Villans itu, meski saat ini Eric Black sudah diangkap sebagai pelatih interim. Yang jelas dia akan punya tantangan berat menyelamatkan klub dari degradasi dengan hanya ada tujuh pertandingan tersisa.

Sampai saat ini, 16 poin dari 31 pertandingan, Villa menjadi salah satu klub dengan performa terburuk sejak Premier League pertama digagas pada tahun 1992 silam.

Berikut daftar klub dengan performa terburuk di Premier League, sebagaimana dikutip dari berbagai sumber:

Find the Best Hotel in Medan with Affordable Price

If you are looking for a nice place to spend your holiday, you can go to North Sumatra. Moreover, when you think Java and Bali Island have been common place to spend holiday in, Medan is good for you. Medan has lots of tourism attractions that you can actually see. It provides you with cultural sites that you can actually see. You can find out about Batak culture as well as enjoying your time in Lake Toba as the iconic site. In addition, you can also taste the special culinary of Medan that will indulge you so much during your holiday.

Well, it is not an impressive holiday when you can’t have good experience to stay too. Having a good hotel to stay will enhance your holiday so much. It is good for you to go with the hotel that can give you the best service and it is not difficult to have it anyway. You can actually go to to book the hotel. One thing which makes it different from others is you can find cheap hotel in Medan with the best facility. It seems to be impossible tough, but you can actually prove it and book it from now on.

It is easy to find the hotel in affordable price since the price available here is very competitive. You can actually go specify the name of the area that you are going to visit and also take the ability to have something to do. In addition, you can just set the date for check in and check out. Then, in seconds the hotel will come out on the screen. If you want to find the affordable one, you can actually make it in order from the lowest to the highest one. It is better for you to go with it.

Furthermore, you can see whether it has good facility or not by seeing at the information given by the hotel. Each of hotels is attached by the information about the facilities, type of rooms and the pictures. To

A 10-Point Plan for Agencies (Without Being Overwhelmed)

An SEO Expert Can Help to Increase Traffic To Your Business Website

A web based business enjoys major advantages. The net has unlimited ability to connect with people anywhere and anytime. It’s accessible in PCs and and mobile gadgets such as smartphones, laptops, and many others. Another major advantage of the web is it’s very affordable. If you own a business or considering putting up one, you can just create a business site for advertising and selling your products.

Your web site needs to attract a lot of visitors. Having more visitors provides you greater chances of getting more customers. Specially if you’re selling a household product, expect to deal with stiff competition from numerous companies also marketing their products through the net. This means you’ll have to develop an efficient search engine optimization (seo) strategy.

Seo has been used for a long a time now, and surely you have some ideas about it. Seo, basically, is planned activities that you have to carry out to ensure favorable ranking of your site in the net’s main search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, Google and others. A seo scheme is intended to drive internet browsers to your website.

Seo work won’t be easy for you particularly if you do not have IT and online marketing background. Seo is comprised of several sequential activities which starts with creating a website. How the website is developed and presented is one of seo’s major projects. The site should have quick downloading time, the pages layout must be agreeable to the eyes and must have features facilitating easy navigation of homepage and internal pages.

Site content and inbound and outward linkages are equally important. The most popular search engines consider content and linkage quality when ranking online sites in result pages. Expertise in the using keywords, the words people use when searching for products and services online, is even more important.

Seo strategy main goal is increase visitor traffic to your site where you can motivate them to consider your products. This will require, in addition to the various tasks already cited, a potent linkage building plan. You’ll need to establish relevant presence in social media sites such as twitter, Facebook, You Tube which are visited by hundreds of millions of people every day and connect them to your site. This is a job that only a seo and internet marketing can do.

There are several providing seo services to Auckland companies and you can assess their services through their websites.

Source: seo

Businesses – Getting Started & Next Steps

What You Need to Know About Rental Cars in New Zealand

So if you are planning on going on a vacation in New Zealand then you may want to think about getting yourself a good rental car. New Zealand is just a small island but even though it is small there is a ton of different kinds of geographic diversity that will no doubt blow your mind. You can experience a ton of different kinds of things when you are driving around New Zealand such volcanic mountains with ski resorts, sub tropical beaches, golf courses, beautiful rivers, ancient forests, mud pools that are boiling and that is all just from driving three or four hours from New Zealand’s biggest city.

Rental cars in New Zealand are important if you want to explore this gorgeous country and see that amazing secrets that it has hidden for you.

There is a lot of different kinds of aspects that you will need to keep in mind when it comes down to actually driving around New Zealand

One of the best kinds of driving that you will be able to experience is in New Zealand this is due to the fact that there is little to no traffic allowing you to drive and just enjoy the open road. The number of people living in New Zealand number to around four million people which is a very small number compared to other countries and that is why you can enjoy the open road without having to get bogged down in traffic.

However, when it comes down to rental cars in New Zealand it is important to know that there is not much freeways or motorways for you to traverse on. Unlike other countries that have giant freeways the roads in New Zealand are usually only two lanes and this is because of the geographical diversity which makes it very difficult to have a traditional freeway. People drive on the left side of the road in New Zealand so just keep that into mind when it comes down to getting a rental car in New Zealand. Most nations around the world drive on the right side of the road so it can be a challenge to be able to drive on the left side which can cause some apprehension with some people. And that is the ins and outs regarding rental cars in New Zealand and what you will have to think about when you get one.

Source: car rental

What You Need to Understand About Driving a Motor Vehicle in Europe

Quite a few consider driving holidays in Europe as the perfect escape. When you belong to this particular class, you’ll discover there are numerous places that you may discover, all within close proximity to your residence. Before you begin organising a vacation of this type, however, you must know about driving safely in Europe. You’ll want to keep your tank full all of the time, as fueling stations are generally less common once you progress to more non-urban regions. You should make certain you can find fuel when it is needed most, particularly if you decide to go to a region where you have only a restricted understanding of their language. Remember, while in Europe, you have to take advantage of seat belts at all times, in the front and back seat of the vehicle and learn the driving legal guidelines of the country you are touring. In some nations, like Great Britain and also Ireland, you drive a car over the left part of your highway. In the Netherlands and France, you have to yield to traffic coming from the right side. Cellular phone usage is prohibited when you are behind the wheel, however some places provide for the utilization of hands free devices and you will find particular countries where any kind of alcoholic drink in your system while driving a car is forbidden. Make sure to study the legal guidelines before you arrange your getaway. Doing this will help to avert a number of problems throughout your holiday.

Products: 10 Mistakes that Most People Make

The 3 Important Supplements Bodybuilders Must Take

In this article, the three most important supplements that are available for bodybuilders will be discussed. Knowing the basic supplements for body and muscle building will be helpful to you should you decide to take your bodybuilding to a higher level and when you have larger budgets to try out few other supplements. The following are some examples of the basic and necessary supplements in body and muscle building: diet pills, amino acids, ecdysterone, creatine, andro, fat melting, fat burners, kre alkalyn, legal anabolics, HGH releasers, pumped extreme and many others. So, what exactly are the basic important supplements when it comes to bodybuilding?

Protein is the first one in our list.

One should get enough protein for him or her to build muscles for this one is the one absolute requirement for it. To those who are planning to build their muscles and body, the perfect, easy and quick way is to take protein powders formulated for shakes. Concentrated and some isolated why proteins mostly make up these protein shakes that we often call as weight gainers. The reason, why these protein shakes are considered to be very effective for people who want to put on or gain some weight and want to bulk up, is because these shakes give good calories instead of loading people up with some bad carbs and fatty proteins. So it simply means that if you want to gain weight and build your muscles up, protein is essential in your diet.

Creatine is the next one on our list.

Next to protein as being the most important supplement in bodybuilding is creatine for it helps you pack on faster. And for good reason, you can say that the creatine is the bodybuilder’s ultimate supplement. It is said so because as fast as two weeks, significant increase of lean muscle mass can be observed all thanks to creatine. Because creatine has the ability to give muscle strength and energy, it gives the bodybuilder the chance to gain more muscle mass. Creatine can also speed muscle repair up as well as easing soreness and muscle pain thus helping those who are involved in sports and in bodybuilding activities to recover quickly.

Glutamine is next to creatine on our list.

When you experience a fast recovery from your workout program is all thanks to glutamine. Glutamine is an amino acid that has to do with the healing time after surgery, injury, wounds and other scratches. Glutamine is also said to prevent catabolism or the breakdown of muscle energy.

You can choose which of the three things discussed above you want to concentrate on now that you already have the idea on the important supplements bodybuilders need in order to achieve their bodybuilding goal.

Source: read this

Will Sending Texts Dirty Aid Your Romance?

An essential factor when trying to turn him on by texting is usually your attitude, and just how you’re sensation when you’re texting your gentleman. If you’re turned about, you cannot go inappropriate. However, in case you’re attempting to commence a hot text meaning conversation, an individual might sense a very little bit difficult about that. And honestly, that is ok! Is considered hard to be able to get the particular ball running, especially while you do not know just what kind involving mood he has in. Nevertheless keep in mind – if you are feeling converted on, that is 90% associated with the fight right generally there. Aww, those grubby words… That they are strong and provocative in typically the bedroom along with many regarding us utilize them regarding expression and also effect. Last night my buddy asked me personally if we know exactly how to chat dirty. Thus today we arew going to share along with you a number of dirty discuss tips as well as examples in which will assist you number out exactly how to technique the mischievous fun

Try establishing things down mysterious – you do not want in order to say “Let’s have sex right this moment”, an individual desire to point out something that will … applies a attractive idea inside his scalp. Like… a thing that helps make him feel of an individual without just about any clothes upon. Drawing some sort of blank upon how one can do in which? Here are generally a few hot texts in order to get an individual started.

I’m underneath so numerous blankets and also I’m continue to cold… Maybe I ought to wear a number of clothes… Their reply is just one of the many signs he’s into you. Guess precisely what I’m putting on right right now? I have a thing I get to disclose – I have personally been contemplating about you all moment long…

I’m weary and I’m resting on the bed. Want to perform with me? Tell us what an individual want to be able to do together with me soon after our day tonight. This can show a person signals he’s interested in you. Imagine we are alone throughout the master bedroom together – then explain to me just what you’re contemplating.

I had the very mischievous dream previous night : you were being definitely there… I’m so weary I’m examining out sexual toys online… I can’t sleeping – almost all I could think regarding is precisely what we would certainly be performing if anyone were in this article with me…

I can’t quit thinking concerning some really unclean things… can a person help us? If we were being together, exactly what will a person want us to accomplish to a person? This new undergarments seems so good on my skin… I’m typing this particular with a single hand simply because my additional hand will be busy… I can’t avoid slurping on lollypops today regarding some reason… I have any secret | I’m enjoying a extremely dirty online video online correct now… Any alternative sexy text messages may an individual think of?

Diving Tours in Yemen

Reliable Antwerpen Escorts Agency

If you are taking a tour or vacation to Belgium, you should not let the chance to find out the most beautiful girls in Antwerpen go away. The city of Antwerpen as known as Antwerp or Anvers is the largest municipality in Belgium which has a pretty good development in economy sector nowadays. As the industry grows up and develop the city into such larger one, the entertainment industry such as escorts business follow to grow up in this city. Antwerpen escort agency has become popular and seemed to be promising industry in the future.

When you are taking a tour in Belgium, you will find Antwerpen call girls in some quite remote corners of the country. Actually, it is considered to be the best place where the best escort girls are born and reared. The coming of escort girls in the city certainly drives out the boring life in the city which sometimes felt by the visitors. Many adorable and stunning girls are providing their best service for any kind of visitor with any kind of desire. Once you walk along the street in the city and you find it boring, the adorable girls of Antwerp will not be able to resist.

Well, there is one perfect site which you should visit when you are looking for Antwerpen escort girls. It was Sky Models that we are talking about. On Sky Models, you can find any kind of Anwerpen escort girls which may attract your interest. You can find out the cutest, the most beautiful or any other girls you have ever dreamed off. You can ask the girls to escort you everywhere either for your public or private business. They are certainly reliable and you will not get disappointed when you use the girls provided by Sky Models.