Sunday, September 09, 2012

Budget and Safety Travel Tips in Lebanon

3 days solo travel in lebanon
May 18-19, 2012 Friday to Sunday

Beirut Morning City Tour

Among the 13 countries I visited so far, Lebanon is the best under rated travel destination. Due to its mix history of arabic and european invasion, definitely an interesting place. The following are some pointers I observed during my entire 3-days journey.

jeita grotto, 14th spot in 7 new wonders of nature

temple of jupiter, UNESCO heritage site in baalbek

1. Visa-on-arrival - since I worked as an engineer in GCC affiliated country, I took advantage of it. Lebanon declared this idea for GCC expat professionals (engineers, managers, doctors) mid-year of 2011. Immigration officers who are very accommodating and courteous gave me 15-days maximum stay for only 30,000 lbp ($20.0). It is important to have a confirmed hotel/guesthouse reservation and residence ID.

2. Airport travel - go straight to the second floor of the airport and look for an ordinary van roaming around. Fare is only 1,000 lbp ($0.67) to downtown or central. If you want a taxi, negotiate only to a maximum fare of 30,000 lbp ($20.0). Most of this taxi drivers cannot speak or understand basic english so before the ride, make sure your driver knows exactly where you are going. Upon going to airport and if you do not have luggage, same fare also.

pension al nazih, near beirut central

dormitory type in a room with 5 beds, only 25,500 lbp ($17.0)

check-in counter in beirut international airport

immigration counter in beirut international airport

3. Bus hub - for roaming ordinary bus (1,500 lbp) or van (2,000 lbp), "daora" is the place in beirut if going upnorth (ie. tripoli, byblos, jeita) and "cola" for downsouth (ie. saida, tyre). Charles Helou bus terminal caters international destination like damascus and aircon express non-stop bus going to northern part of Lebanon. Make sure you have smaller bills as the range of fare for bus and van range only to a maximum of 3,500 lbp ($2.33).

4. "Service" cars - this are colorum cars (cab-type public vehicle, very safe and legal) that provide nearby destination service for only 2,000 - 3,000 lbp per passenger (regardless if the car is full or not). Please take note that you must know where will you going to or else they will charge you almost the same as cab. Also, negotiate first before going aboard. Usually they increase fare on night trip or on areas not on usual way. Of course, this are much cheaper than taxi.

5. cheap guesthouse - look for accommodation near the central district so that it is easy to stroll at night. found by google searching only. I availed there dorm-type fan-room for 25,500 lbp ($17.0) a night, 5 beds per room. 1300H check-in, 1200H check-out. Common bathroom and you have to provide your own personal needs like towel and soap. They have also private rooms.

taking-off sightseeing the urban beirut

snow still not melting above the mountain ranges of lebanon

7. feel the locals way of living - ride a public bus or van, stroll around especially at night and talk to them. Locals are indeed the best assistance I had on this successful trip.

visa-on-arrival stamps (voa) in beirut airport

souvenir items total price of 60,000 lbp ($40.0)

1 comment:

  1. Wow, it is so hard to find any updates info about Lebanon- thank you so much!


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