Uncharted Backpacker

Tag - The Middle East

Yemen Travel Video

Yemen Travel Video 

Yemen Travel Video

This year the team at Uncharted Backpacker visited the war torn nation of Yemen to promote future tourism and hope for this absolutely stunning nation. Despite the war raging between the different political states and foreign influences, Yemen’s people prevail and are optimistic that when the war is over, tourism will return. Contrary to what the media says we first hand witnessed that Yemen’s Historical and UNESCO sights have not been destroyed, in fact they sit frozen in time awaiting for the war to end just like the nations people do. This video is dedicated to the preservation of Yemen’s cultural and historical sights, but most of all to bring awareness to the struggles countless innocent people are facing amidst the war.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmBCg34ubPQ

The Cave Cities of Cappadocia – Turkey

Cappadocia, Turkey

Such an odd and wonderful place this is. A place where people sleep in caves, cities are constructed underground and the landscapes reminisce a fairy tale. Located right in the middle of Turkey, Cappadocia made a perfect stop to break up the dusty overland Silk Road journey. Arriving in the early hours of the morning I wandered the empty streets. Every so often a light would turn on through the window of a cave house. In the distance, the colorful rocks gleamed in the early morning light. An amazing first sight of Cappadocia! Read More

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

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

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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Detour through Iraq: Kurdistan, Iraq

Iraqi, Kurdistan

For almost my entire life Iraq has meant war. From the so-called threat of weapons of mass destruction to the media constantly reporting about Bush senior’s gulf war grudge against Saddam. What the media and all those with preconceived notions of the country tend to leave out is the history, Iraq’s incredibly diverse people, some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Middle East. As I looked down a snow capped mountain valley from a medieval castle, it’s hard to believe everything I have heard and seen about this stunning nation. This is Iraq!

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Jerusalem and the West Bank – Israel and Palestine

Jerusalem and West Bank, Israel/Palestine 

High above, the church bells begin ring from the Holy Sepulcher. “Allahu Akbar,” blares from the hundreds of loudspeakers throughout the Muslim quarter. Jewish Rabbis glide in-between alley ways, on their way to the Wailing Wall, singing hymns from the Tora. The air fills quickly with the scent of the thick perfume of frankincense.

 I stand in the middle of all this, not a Jew, Christian or Muslim. Just a traveler, an observer of culture and life. The energy buzzes though the air like a summer wildfire. This place is special. There is no place like it anywhere else in the world. The dream comes to an abrupt end when you see the heavily armed military police, standing on every street corner, watching the people, watching you. This is Jerusalem. It can only be described with one word: Intense.

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Iran – Breaking Stereotypes, Tehran and Esfahan

iran

Tehran, Esfahan – Iran 

Mention to anyone back home that you are venturing into Iran and you will receive negative responses. “Why would you go there? It’s dangerous,” or “Iran is full of bad people,” were some of the comments I received from others when I decided to visit Iran. Iran is a nation of many things, but bad people and dangers are not among them. Traveling to Iran has been a dream of mine for many years. Now, finally, I had received my visa in Istanbul and crossed Turkey to the Iranian border, in Dogubayazit, to visit the nation so many people in the west fear. Read More