A desert town near the Saudi border, Sa'da is surrounded by a 1,000-year-old clay wall. Walking on the wall affords an unforgettable view. Sa'da has unique four- and five-story adobe buildings with narrow slits for windows. Be sure to visit the Al Hadi mosque (non-Muslims can't enter) and walk the streets if you feel comfortable doing so (we must admit we were a bit nervous—it seems that half the residents tote machine guns). Though Sa'da is a bit far from Sana'a, most visitors do see it on a day trip from the capital. As a side trip on the way to Sa'da, visit the town of Shaharah, a major archaeological site. The town sits atop a high mountain accessible by crossing a locally famous mountain bridge. Built more than 300 years ago and made completely of stone, this bridge crosses the 1,000-ft-/300-m-deep crevice between Jabal al Amir and Jabal al Feesh. If at all possible, be sure to visit the souk (market) at Talh, 12 mi/20 km north—it seems to have everything under the sun. 150 mi/240 km by road north of Sana'a.

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