Lebanon

Is it crazy for an American to go to Lebanon these days? Staying in Beirut, specifically Hamra (obviously). Anybody know what the security situation is there?

Thinking of going to Baalbeck, Tyre and Tripoli as well. Probably next March.

Also just general Lebanon thread.

  1. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    aren't they all literally starving rn?

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      Just a wheat shortage like everywhere else on earth.

  2. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    i thought beirut was pretty nice when i went there for work a few years ago
    but can people even go there since that massive explosion a couple of years ago?

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      It only really permanently affected the port area from what I understand.

  3. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    can i coom?

  4. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Beirut is very safe and easy. I went there a few months ago, if you have any questions just ask

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      https://i.imgur.com/gLgzTrZ.jpg

      Spent a night in Beirut on my way to Syria. Also got to visit Baalbek/Beqaa Valley.

      Didn’t really spend enough time in Beirut to get to know it properly, but I stayed in Hamra and I’d say it’s reasonably safe so long as you keep your wits about you (e.g. no Gucci bags), There are lots of beggars tho, presumably from Syria.

      Baalbek is probably the safest place as long as you don’t meddle with things you don’t understand. ICYMI it’s Hezbollah country; there are posters of Nasrallah and flags everywhere, although the soldiers themselves aren’t nearly as visible as in Iraq or Syria. They won’t bother you if you don’t give them any reason to. Pretty kino all in all if you like that kind of thing.

      Make sure you visit the tomb of Sayyida Khawla in Baalbek, one of the great granddaughters of the prophet Mohammed and probably the best known local saint. You can even buy Hezbollah memorabilia at her shrine, although I wouldn’t recommend bringing it back to the states with you. Pic related is from inside.

      https://i.imgur.com/3p08X2U.jpg

      The shrine is a religious place though. I'm sure nobody will mind, but it's a place of worship, not for tourists to explore. If OP is against Israel and wants to see Hezbollah memorabilia, I would highly recommend Mleeta, it's a tourist landmark Hezbollah built on one of their former secret mountain bunkers. It's an amazing experience designed for tourists. If you're pro Israel, still go so you can see how Hezbollah defeated you twice. There's a beautiful installation where destroyed Israeli tanks and helicopters are displayed artistically

      [...]
      Based
      [...]
      Yeah I’ve heard of Mleeta and it’s definitely on my bucket list for next time along with jnoub as a whole. Only reason I didn’t mention it was because I only wanted to recommend places I’ve been to and can personally vouch for.

      It was totally safe when I went. Yes, taxi drivers will overcharge you like crazy if you don't use bolt or uber, and shopowners are desperate for sales, but I didn't have a single unsafe experience in the 3 weeks I spent there

      Thanks anons. Great recommendations.

      Any thoughts on Tyre, Sidon or Tripoli? Wondering if it's worth the trip to any of then security and effort wise. I've read the shared minivans that leave from Beirut are safe and lots of people use them to get to Baalbek.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        Also how possible is it to get by with only French in Beirut / Lebanon in general? My Arabic is nonexistent.

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          Possible but not as easy as it would be in Morocco for example. Less than half the pop report being French speakers and even then it's colonial pigeon French and not necessarily beyond an elementary level. English will be generally fine. Younger generation all seem to speak more English than French.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        Also how possible is it to get by with only French in Beirut / Lebanon in general? My Arabic is nonexistent.

        In Beirut, many people I met spoke English, and some French. Uber drivers also spoke english, but not taxi drivers usually. In Tripli, Sidon, and Tyre, I found very few people who spoke English, I imagine the same would be true for French. Yet I managed to survive on broken Arabic. And also it's very easy to travel to these cities by minivan. There's a gas station in Beirut where all of these minivans group together, I think it's Cola Station. The drivers will be shouting their location so just get on the right minivan or mention the city, and if they nod, get on. By the way, most cities have this kind of central area or gas station where all the taxis and minivans hang out, so if you need to get back to Beirut just find it.

        Also use the Arabic name of the city when talking to drivers, Saida is Sidon, Sour is Tyre, Trablus is Tripoli. I think the minivans for Tripoli gather at a different gas station, but for Tripoli I used the Connexion bus to get there, and a minivan to get back to Beirut. Connexion bus is pretty cheap so if you don't want the minivan experience you can use that, though the minivans are a fun experience in themselves. By the way, I really found Tripoli to be even more beautiful than Beirut.

        If you end up going to Mleeta, which I highly recommend, what I did was go to Sidon first, then I asked a taxi driver in Sidon if he would take me to Mleeta and then drive me back, snce it's on top of a mountain and there aren't minivans there. He turned out to be a Shi'a and we toured Mleeta together. The people are so friendly there.

        For some other hard to get places like Qadisha valley, I used a company called Lebanon Tours and Travels. The owner is a really nice guy, and for my second tour he gave me a better price for paying in cash, since visa takes a cut. If you message them on whatsapp instead of on the website he might do the same with you

  5. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Spent a night in Beirut on my way to Syria. Also got to visit Baalbek/Beqaa Valley.

    Didn’t really spend enough time in Beirut to get to know it properly, but I stayed in Hamra and I’d say it’s reasonably safe so long as you keep your wits about you (e.g. no Gucci bags), There are lots of beggars tho, presumably from Syria.

    Baalbek is probably the safest place as long as you don’t meddle with things you don’t understand. ICYMI it’s Hezbollah country; there are posters of Nasrallah and flags everywhere, although the soldiers themselves aren’t nearly as visible as in Iraq or Syria. They won’t bother you if you don’t give them any reason to. Pretty kino all in all if you like that kind of thing.

    Make sure you visit the tomb of Sayyida Khawla in Baalbek, one of the great granddaughters of the prophet Mohammed and probably the best known local saint. You can even buy Hezbollah memorabilia at her shrine, although I wouldn’t recommend bringing it back to the states with you. Pic related is from inside.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      The shrine is a religious place though. I'm sure nobody will mind, but it's a place of worship, not for tourists to explore. If OP is against Israel and wants to see Hezbollah memorabilia, I would highly recommend Mleeta, it's a tourist landmark Hezbollah built on one of their former secret mountain bunkers. It's an amazing experience designed for tourists. If you're pro Israel, still go so you can see how Hezbollah defeated you twice. There's a beautiful installation where destroyed Israeli tanks and helicopters are displayed artistically

  6. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    [...]

    Based

    https://i.imgur.com/3p08X2U.jpg

    The shrine is a religious place though. I'm sure nobody will mind, but it's a place of worship, not for tourists to explore. If OP is against Israel and wants to see Hezbollah memorabilia, I would highly recommend Mleeta, it's a tourist landmark Hezbollah built on one of their former secret mountain bunkers. It's an amazing experience designed for tourists. If you're pro Israel, still go so you can see how Hezbollah defeated you twice. There's a beautiful installation where destroyed Israeli tanks and helicopters are displayed artistically

    Yeah I’ve heard of Mleeta and it’s definitely on my bucket list for next time along with jnoub as a whole. Only reason I didn’t mention it was because I only wanted to recommend places I’ve been to and can personally vouch for.

  7. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Is it safer now? They had massive social unrest and economic collapse even before covid.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      It was totally safe when I went. Yes, taxi drivers will overcharge you like crazy if you don't use bolt or uber, and shopowners are desperate for sales, but I didn't have a single unsafe experience in the 3 weeks I spent there

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        How cheap is everything right now? Ridiculously cheap I would expect?

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Ridiculously cheap. When you ask for the price, everyone will say a dollar price, always ask for lira price. They will give you an inflated lira price too, but it doesn't matter because lira is so cheap anyway. Bargain anyway. For food and uber/bolt, prices are preset so you can live like a king for cheap.If you're staying longer than a week, don't exchange your money all at once, because exchange rates fluctuate day to day. Also make sure you're getting that day's exchange rate when you exchange your money, ie if usd to lira is 28000, depending on the store you shouldn't get a rate less than 27500, even that's kind of a ripoff

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Cool. So how much does a night in a 4 star hotel cost? How about a dinner in a fancy restaurant?

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              When I was looking into it when I made the thread a few days ago, four star hotels in Beirut were like $50-75 a night on Kayak and Booking.

  8. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Always thought Lebanon was the moderate country over there. Pretty sure you only have a microscopic chance of being decapitated in some place like Syria these days, in Lebanon I expect the odds of this are relatively non-existent.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      Probably more chance in downtown London.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        There is no such place as downtown London. You’re definitely not from here and you probably haven’t even been here.

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          ok ahmed

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Ok burger. Don't you have an escalator to stand on the wrong side of?

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Stay in Achrafieh, quieter at night if you appreciate a good rest. It is safe, but I wouldn't go in March as it is too cold still, April would be a safer bet to enjoy night out.

  10. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I never did the VISA on arrival thing and while searching the requirements for Lebanon I found this:
    >A valid phone number
    >A return-flight ticket (must be non-refundable)

    By valid phone number do they mean a Lebanese number or does any phone number work?
    Will they accept a flight ticket to Jordan as the "return-flight ticket"?

    I never had to ask for a VISA, so I'm hoping some of you can help me.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Nobody ever cares about phone number but I have been hassled for return tickets in Bolivia and Zambia, so that’s not outside the realm of possibility.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      It's to ensure you're not there to join up with terror groups

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