Lebanon 9 days trip itinerary
We’ve recently visited Lebanon and got many questions. Here are the most frequently asked ones
Can I hitchhike there?
Yes. Some mountain villages don’t have public transport links between them hence hitchhiking is a way to get around. The distances between villages are not huge so one might start walking along the road and wave cars down if any is approaching. The fewer cars pass the bigger chance is it that someone will stop. Hitchhiking concept is well understood among the people and locals are keen to pick up travellers even if they don’t speak any foreign languages. Wait times are low usually less than 10 minutes or if the traffic is low than the first few cars would pick you up. Contribution for the ride or any other payment is not expected, locals would not even take cash if you hand them in.
Do they have Uber?
Beirut has Uber which offers competitive prices and no hassle negotiating a price with taxi drivers. Both a passenger and a driver get a fair price. However, ordering Uber requires an internet connection and might be expensive to use international roaming. In this case, international chains like Starbucks or McDonalds provide free wifi around their shops so you could book Uber.
Is it safe?
There’s a confict in Syria so it’s a no-go zone. But most parts in Lebanon are safe but check security advices. Top tip, don’t go close to Syria’s border
Where did you go?
This is a map of visited places and also of highlights in Lebanon.
Is food any good there?
Yes, it’s very good
Last one was actually from Stansted airport just before the departure
What’re things to see there? Do you’ve photos from there?
One of the oldest settlements in the world
Recommended hike at Lebanon Mountain Trail. We did sections 6 to 9.
We’ve got unexpected snow in April which made an easy hike to a more challenging one. Only one way to follow the path was to trust what GPS says and hope we’re still on the path where people walked before. A silent voice in my head was a reminder about the travel warning I read that booby traps are present because of the war previously.
Balbek Roman temples
One of the biggest Roman temples
Palestinian refugee camp Shatila
We’ve stayed in Child and Youth Center guesthouse. It offers unique chance to stay in Shatila refugee camp and experience daily life of children there. Warning! You might break in tears if visiting the camp and seeing the life there.
Another video produced by Al Jazeera depicks a daily life in a refugee camp for seven days
Life is very different in a refugee camp in Beirut compared to its downtown Hambra. One doesn’t get clean running water but has to shower with salty sea water.
The security situation is questionable too. Foreign governments advise against travelling to these camps for a clear reason that they’re not safe. Lebanese military doesn’t go there hence local leaders took over control. We’ve seen a group of 5-6 guys with camouflage uniforms and M16s walking down the street with emblems on your shoulders reassembling map of Palestine. On the other corners, we saw a casually dressed person with t-shirts and jeans guarding with AK-47. Another time a middle-aged local passed with a pistol hanging under his belt. Well basically everyone has guns and nobody is in charge - a recipe for disaster.
I’ve started asking locals questions about whatever shops pay taxes there if the Lebanese government is not present, whatever they’ve elections and to whom they pay taxes. But got many I don’t know answer and was not sure whatever they didn’t know or didn’t want to say.
Hanging around with kids we found out that the main two ethnicities are Palestinian and Syrian. The former was here since the 1950s while latter since 2011. Also, while Syrian families are eligible for refugee program to move to Europe, Palestinians are basically stuck there.
One day staying in the refugee camp we heard automatic rifle shots being fired. A few seconds later it was fired again and again. This continued for 5 minutes but stopped. We’re wondering and worried about what happened. Later that evening guesthouse owner explained that local mosque imam died, therefore, people were moaning and fired rifles. The video below is from the event as someone posted on Facebook.
National Museum for Lebanon in Beirut
Ancient cultures used to bury relatives in coffins too but they look a bit different than a modern ones
Time to go home. I miss gym too
Best wishes Os