Hodeidah (pop 130,000) is a Red Sea port city. The surrounding area looks very African, complete with straw and mud huts, scrub bush and sand. The city itself isn't worth a special visit, but it's a good place to stay while seeing the area. In town, visit the fish market, spend time in a teahouse, watch the boatbuilders, take a day trip to Bayt Al Faqih (especially if it's Friday—and observe a very different type of people and culture than that found anywhere else in the country. There's a wide blend of nationalities: Ethiopians, Yemenis, Somalis, Sudanese and others. On the way to Hodeidah from Sana'a, overnight in Manakha and take a day trip to Hajjarah. 95 mi/150 km west of Sana'a.

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