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Sana'a. Photo: Soqotra (Yemen)

Overview

Sana’a, the Yemeni capital, is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, and was declared a UN World Heritage City in 1986. You can browse the products in the Salt Market, wander the ancient clay city walls, and scope out one of the oldest mosques in the Islamic World.

You can hike, ski, and climb in the mountains, and surf some of the best breaks in the world off Socotra Island. If this sounds too much like hard work, many Yemenis while away the afternoons chewing qat, a commonly cultivated plant that acts as a mild stimulant when chewed.

Check out our articles to find out how to get to the almost-mythical Socotra Island, home to dragons’ blood, frankincense, and myrrh (as well as great water sports), and for what it’s like to learn Arabic in the ancient and welcoming city of Sana’a.

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