10/07/2010 03:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Journey To The Secret Kingdom Of Socotra (VIDEO)

Located 250 miles off the coast of Yemen, the tiny island of Socotra is usually overlooked by even the most adventurous of tourist hordes. But as NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Richard Engel discovers, the Arabian island's remote location has made it a capsule of antiquity with time-honored traditions not found elsewhere on the planet.

In the first installment of the Today Show's Journey To Secret Kingdoms series, Engel traveled to Socotra and found miles of sun-drenched beaches and soaring canyons where the famed 'Dragon's Blood' trees -- the sap of which was once used by Cleopatra as a sort of primitive lipstick -- still grow. As for its population, Engel notes that the island has about 50,000 inhabitants, most of which are Muslim fishermen who speak their own language and maintain other unique customs.

Watch Engel's full report on Socotra here: