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Continent : Asia
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Information about Yemen

The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen and the Yemen Arab Republic, the Republic of Yemen occupies the southwest tip of the Arabian Peninsula on the Red Sea opposite Ethiopia, and extends along the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula on the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. Saudi Arabia is to the north and Oman is to the east. The country is about the size of France. A 1,130-km narrow coastal plain in the south gives way to a mountainous region and then a plateau area.

The country is covered in ancient skyscrapers - eight-storey buildings made from stone and mud - where people live on top of their animals and the views are spectacular. You'll also see mind-blowing mosques, sultans' palaces and villages perched on top of remote mountains.

North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern secessionist movement in 1994 was quickly subdued. In 2000, Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to a delimitation of their border.

Yemen's climate varies with the terrain. Basically, it's best to visit September-April, when the weather is a little cooler and drier than at other times. Our absolute favorite months are March, April, September and October -- the spring and fall flowers are very colorful. During those months, snow falls in the higher elevations and a sweater is needed for nights, but in general, it's ideal weather for touring. Summers are very hot (often above 37 C during the day) and rainy (up to 89 cm of rain in the three-month period): If you're traveling then, stick to the mountains and highlands areas. The coastal area can have extremely high humidity during the summer.

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