Safe Travel in Syria? Cryinmercy!
Every time I open a newspaper, I’m left wondering if there will be anything for adventure travelers left to see in the cradle of civilization. Then I catch myself and remember that it’s never as bad as they make it sound. Ok, almost never. Let’s just consider Baghdad off-limits for the purposes of this discussion. But what about nearby? Lebanon and Syria are both places that I wonder about a lot. Before the summer, we heard of a new rennaissance for Beirut, and Damascus is steeped in history and culture. As we know, Bootsnall members have eyes and ears on site around the globe, like Cryinmercy, who gave us the skinny on both countries not too long ago. Here’s what he has to say about Syria:
“Yes, it’s a hassle to get a visa ($100) into Syria if you’re an American. If you’re British you can get one at the border, though get there early because you’ll be there about 6 hours while they sort things out with Damascus. Once you’re in however, you’ll never be treated better. Despite the frustrations of getting local transportation, it’s so cheap amd with the people you’ll meet, it’s unmissable. If you’re coming from Turkey, your first stop will usually be Aleppo (Haleb) and once you’re there just ask anyone where such and such a hotel is. You will be helped. From Aleppo the choice is yours, but I would recommend Hama, Homs, Palmyra, Damascus, Latakia. From these places, you’ll be in close proximity to the sites and all of these place have very cheap accomodation (4-8 a night USD- this is very liberal and will probably be cheaper). Syrians are incredibly friendly, hospitable and helpful. THIS COUNTRY IS SAFE IN THESE AREAS… Learn a little Arabic and they’ll love you even more. There is so much to see and the culture is a lesson to live as far as hospitality goes. Compared to countries such as Egypt and Turkey, I’d go to Syria any day…”
To read what Cryinmercy has to say about travel in Lebanon and more, hit up this forum thread…