Uncharted Backpacker

Category - The Middle East

The Frankincense Trail, Salalah, Oman

Salalah Oman

Oman’s Dhofar Region is famed for its stunning landscapes and Frankincense. Exploring the region, you will come across hints of the Frankincense trail’s once lively past; From ancient castles, caravan trails, and Frankincense farms that have been here for centuries. This is Oman’s wild frontier and has ample room for the curious traveler to wander. Whether its hiking in the groves of Frankincense trees in the mountains, camping on a remote beach, or haggling for heavenly scented Frankincense in one of Salalah’s Souq’s, this region of Oman will keep even the most jaded traveler excited. Come discover the Frankincense trail in Dhofar, Oman!  Read More

Hiking in Manakha and the Haraz Mountains, Yemen

Manakha, Yemen

The media shows the civil war raging on in several regions of Yemen, but what it fails to show is the absolute blissful peace high up in the mountain top settlements of Haraz. Miles of terraced fields cut their way up the mountain side all the way to the gates of the gravity-defying, medieval Yemeni villages.  The trails twist and turn through the farmlands and descend into Arabia’s wilderness, while the fresh mountain air makes for clear, scenic views over the Arabian plateau. The war is nowhere in sight and the residents of Haraz go about life as they have for centuries. Hiking from one village to another, traversing the mountain valleys along the way, gives you a deep understanding of one of Yemen’s oldest and most traditional cultures. Most exciting of all, it takes you to a remote corner of the world once thought to be lost. Read More

Exploring Nizwa and the Hajar Mountains, Oman

Nizwa, Oman

Leaving Oman’s glitzy capital, Muscat, into the Hajar mountains things change. Life is slower paced out here. It’s decisively more conservative as well. The small communities that call the Hajar Mountains home are more traditional and are deeply connected to Omani culture. If you are looking for an Arabia that has been lost in neighbouring countries, than this is the place to come. This region is also famed for being one of the most gorgeous regions in all of Arabia, deep gorges cut through jagged black mountains while villages made of stone defy gravity by clinging to the Cliff side. Nizwa and the Hajar are impossibly beautiful.  Read More

Shibam and the Hadhramaut Valley – Yemen

Shibam, Yemen

As the hours begin to lead up to it all, my mind starts to race. Traveling to Yemen is something I’ve always wanted to do, but because of Yemen’s war and political strife, it seemed an impossible task. Now, as I sit in a haze of hookah smoke in a Salalah cafe with a shady permission form from one of the governments in Yemen, I am finally going. After all the months of research and bureaucracy that I had to fight through to plan this adventure, the time to cross from Oman to Yemen has finally arrived. Just then, a beat-up van pulls up and a dodgy looking Yemeni driver peers out the window and says with a crazy look in his eyes “ready to go to Yemen!?” Read More

Oman Travel on a Budget Guide

Oman, Middle East

Mention Oman and the mind of a traveler will conjure up images of Arabian Palaces, impenetrable forts, stunning mountains, lush oasis’ and hospitality that is deeply rooted in Omani culture. One thing that the average traveler won’t think of is cheap Oman travel. Alas, it is now possible! After spending three weeks in the country in search of cheap hotels, food, and sights I can tell you this. Oman is definitely possible to travel on a strict budget. However, it is a country that takes precise planning ahead to be able to do so. Follow this guide, as Arabia is waiting! Read More

10 Tips for Female Travellers in the Middle East

Tips for Female Travelers, Middle East 

The longer I journeyed through this area of the world the more I felt a sense of deep respect, protection and curiosity from the locals. The landscape and climate is pure perfection, mountains, beaches, vast dessert planes and plenty of sunshine. But as I walked through the narrow streets in my hijab and a loose fitting, floor length cloak I became enthralled with the wonders of the middle east. You see, the colourful fabrics strewn in front of the shops mixed with the purifying smells of Frankincense and the distant sound of the call to prayer ringing across the entire city, made it easy to fall in love. Entering foreign territory always seems a little unsettling at first, but, as a female, travelling to this corner of the world is a completely unique experience with plenty of hidden gems.  Read More

A Traveler in Sana’a, Yemen – Sana’a Guide

Sana’a, Yemen

Nowhere has ever captured old Arabia like Sana’a. The smell of spices and meat cooking over charcoal in the old city souq, the enchanting melody of the call to prayer encompasses you as it rings out in every direction, locals prefer to wear turbans and the abiyah compared to western fashion. Sana’a will with no doubt take you to that Lawrence of Arabia dream you fantasize about. A city with such deep historical significance retains all its character despite the current circumstances. Now it’s not uncommon to hear airstrikes alongside the call to prayer, locals swapping their traditional outfits for military gear, and the entire city cut off from electricity and water; but politics and war aside, Sana’a still retains its charming self, a true authentic traveler’s paradise. Read More

Journey through Yemen – Yemen’s War and Travel

Sanaa Yemen
What brings a traveler to places like this? Is it the desire to be so far from other travelers and achieve an authentic experience, or is it the thrill of stepping into the forbidden and unknown corners of the world?

When it comes to Yemen, I found my attraction drawn from its plethora of historical sights and its splendid natural beauty. But if I am to be one hundred percent honest with you the tremendous lure in coming to conflict areas like Yemen are the people. Yemen’s people are unlike anywhere I have ever been. Their hospitality is contagious, they smile even when there are airstrikes happening blocks away and no matter who you are, or what you believe in, they will be your lifelong friend.

This is what makes all the pain, all the danger, and all of the after effects worthwhile in venturing into finding the truth for yourself. This is Yemen, true Arabia.
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