I’m not sure if my Anthony Bourdain post got CNN interested in my Instagram account, but they asked me to send a couple of pictures that I took in Beirut and they got featured on CNN’s iReport which is pretty cool.
I wish I could have sent more pictures to show them all the complex elements that make Beirut a beautiful city. The old streets and houses next to the skyscrapers, five star hotels and rooftops, the vibrant nightlife 10 minutes way from refugee camps and security zones, the residential streets packed with pubs, bars and plenty of street food, and other things that make Beirut so special and so difficult to live in.
I know Lebanon has a ton of issues now, we don’t have a president, over 2 million Syrian and Palestinian refugees, terrorists at the borders, armed groups inside the country, corrupt politicians and a bad economy but that doesn’t mean we cannot enjoy our everyday life and make the best out of it, and more importantly speak positively about our country.
I stumbled upon this amazing list of hidden beaches and waterfalls that you can visit in Lebanon and I thought I’d share it with you guys. Summer is here, even though it rained a bit today, and it’s the best time to go on road trips with your friends and family and discover these hidden gems instead of heading to the same old commercial beach resorts and sit by the pool all day. The best part about this list is that most of these places are for free.
Some of the places and activities mentioned include:
1- Kite surfing or renting a voilier at Eau Glacée
2- Snorkeling in Anfeh… with big turtles
3- Caving & Cliff- jumping in Amchit
4- Picnic & Jumping the falls of Sir Jbeil
5- Swimming or rowing your boat down the Chouwen river
6- Swimming in Mokhtara, berkit el 3arous
You can check out the full list with tons of awesome pictures [Here].
The video was shot by 961FastCam. The Jounieh bay is one of the most beautiful in Lebanon but it’s unfortunately ruined by the illegal beaches and the lack of decent beach resorts. This region has so much potential but no one is willing to fix things up.
We should be competing with Greece and Aiya Nappa instead of begging tourists (and locals) to visit Keserwan and the Jounieh bay.
Spending a perfect Sunday during summer in Lebanon:
1- Wake up in the mountains to a breathtaking view.
2- Pick up delicious Saj manakish from the old lady in the village.
3- Head to the beach in Batroun or Tyre, go crazy with your friends and have few drinks.
4- End the night with a beautiful dinner at La Creperie overlooking the Jounieh bay.
You can follow LiveLoveBeirut on Instagram on [Instagram]. I’m also on Instagram and you can follow me [Here] if you like.
I found this cool YouTube channel yesterday called HighCamFly which uploads the most awesome aerial videos from all over Lebanon. The latest one was during the Armenian Genocide March on April 24, and my favorite is the video below that shows beautiful Lebanese landscapes in different regions. The Dhour Choueir in the snow video is also worth watching.
Speaking of aerial filming, does anyone know if it’s legal to fly a drone anywhere in Lebanon or do you need a special permission to do so? I’ve been thinking about getting one for some time but if it’s a hassle it’s not worth it.
The number of passengers during the first four months of 2015 reached a record high of 1,969,222 passengers and showed an increase of almost 10% when compared to the same period last year. Similarly, Lebanon’s hotels (four and five stars) witnessed an increase in occupancy from 42% last year to almost 54% this year according to an Ernst & Young study. Doha, Madina, Abu Dhabi and Dubai all ranked higher with an occupancy rate of over 75%. As far as room rates are concerned, the average room rate in Beirut rose from $163 in 2014 to $173 this year, vs $303 in Dubai and $227 in Abu Dhabi. I wish they added a breakdown by nationalities to see if we are getting more Arab tourists this year or not.
In all cases, summer is looking good so let’s keep our fingers crossed that everything will stay calm inside Lebanon and on the borders.
I’m really happy that Byblos won the Arab Tourism Capital Title for 2016 but I am really confused about this award as I can’t find anything about it. There’s no doubt that Jbeil deserves to win such an award but who are we competing against and who’s coming up with these awards? What exactly is the Arab Council of Tourism?
I tried to look up the Arab Council of Tourism online and found a website called [arab-tourismorg.org] which didn’t help much. In fact, I realized Jbeil wasn’t the only winner as the Saudi city Abha also won the same award for the year 2016 and 2017. If this is true, then Jbeil won the award for two years not just one (yay?).
Jbeil was also chosen as the best Arab Tourist City by the World Tourism Organization in 2013 but I could barely find anything related to it as well. Don’t get me wrong as I am not trying to question the awards but if we are only hearing about them in Beirut then what’s the point?
I honestly think our primary focus should be on promoting tours and activities in Jbeil because these awards won’t help much if tourists don’t know how to get to Byblos. I just had a quick look at Livelovelebanon (where it’s still winter) and destinationlebanon where I found a very helpful pdf but not so user-friendly.
Otherwise, congrats to Jbeil which is one of my favorite cities in Lebanon and I’m going to dedicate a post very soon to Jbeil, how to get there, things to do, places to go, restaurants to visit etc …
If you are like old pictures and videos of Lebanon, then Kheireddine El-Ahdab is the man to follow. He always shares the most amazing old videos and pictures of Beirut and Lebanon and his latest is this amazing 5-minute high quality video shot in Beirut and Lebanon in the 1960s. The video is from the AP archives and was taken from the movie 24 hours to kill.
You can easily spot the old Beirut airport, Phoenicia hotel, Excelsior and St George hotel, the Casino du Liban and other landmarks. Check out the video [here].