Maybe Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon? - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Middle East See the Promised Land, the Red Sea, magnificient ruins and mosques, oil-rich metropoles. When you're done with that, go skiing and rock climbing !

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Old 10-19-2003, 01:44 PM   #1
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I have been to Europe 3 times, Arcoss Canada and the USA, Australia and Central America....I think I am going to start planning for my NEXT adventure...The Middle East...



More specifically, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon...


Why have i picked these places to travel to you might ask? Well, this region as you are very aware is on the start of every news cast and front page of every paper as western hating terrorist supporting countries...I refuse to be brain washed by what the media is telling me about these counties, I know too many people from these countries who are great and friendly and more than willing to help me out in a jam. I work with a company were everyday I am shoulder to should with people from over 150 countries around the world and every chance I get I ask questions about where people are from, and what it is like there.

The Middle East has interested me the most, the history in that region goes back to before the birth of Christ and the architecture is mind blowing, these specific countries are not over run by tourist so a "real" feeling of being with the people will be a nice change, I know some Arabic that was taught to me a few years back, even though its only a few words its better than nothing. The cost to travel with in these countries is very affordable, so there is one more good reason to go.

I found out something on my last trip over seas, I am not the "party" guy I once was, I can handle not being able to drink every night...No big deal....

So, my research starts, Look out Middle East, here comes Canadian Dude!!!
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Old 10-26-2003, 11:05 AM   #2
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Hey CD!

I highly recommend Jordan. I went there a few years back and enjoyed the heck out of it. I've been waiting for the right moment to go to Syria...but unfortunately, now doesn't seem to be it. What with Bushie rattling the saber against them every other week or so, the Israelis dropping a few bombs on their side of the border and the whole unsettled Iraq-Syria border question, I think it is best to wait on that one. But hey, don't let me discourage you -- everybody makes their own decisions.

And you are Canadian -- not American -- after all. Sl-lightly different ball of wax, politically speaking.

Good luck, and keep us posted on your plans!

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Old 10-26-2003, 03:03 PM   #3
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You got some cajones bro! That is one part of the world that just doesn't look tourist friendly these days, to me anyways. But who knows, maybe in a year, all could change...or in 5 yrs?

True, you are Canadian, but unless you parade around with a Canadian flag, you could easily be mistaken as a US citizen.

I'm sure, right now as we speak, there are lots of backpackers in those countries having a blast. So, go with your instincts bro. You of all people will find a way to make the most of your trip B)
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Old 10-26-2003, 03:35 PM   #4
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Interesting choice, CD! You know, when I took off on my last trip to continental EU, my folks were cautioning me against going cuz war with Iraq was imminent - or had in fact just started. Psshh...whatever. Americans are such panty-wetters!

Be careful tho - especially of "friendly fire" from Bush...lol!
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Old 10-28-2003, 05:10 PM   #5
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I think I have to go to these places, all the people I have met here that are from the Middle East are great!!, how can these people be so amazing and what CNN shows makes them look all like terrorists???? I gotta see for myself!! I just do.

I will wear my Canadian Flag very proud, as I always do!! :D

WWM any tipsyou can give..I would be very thankful...
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Old 10-29-2003, 06:56 AM   #6
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Well, depending on your budget, you can get some things really cheap in Jordan. Although it IS possible to drive yourself around over there, or to take public transport, you might want to check into how much hiring a car and driver would cost. If the difference is only a buck or two, well, then the freedom of having your own wheels will enable you to see much, much more.

Early on in my planning for Jordan, I was going to do public transport. It was a headache looking at it and trying to get everything to mesh up. So, when my travel companion suggested looking into a tour/car & driver, I did, and we found out how cheap it was. I know many people say you miss out on meeting the locals, but our driver WAS a local, and we spent five days with him, getting to know him, getting insights into his culture, his views on the political situation, etc. Mohammed (our driver/guide) was a friend, by the end of the trip, who I will always think of when I remember Jordan.

Anyway, everyone's budget is different, but one thing I would say to be leary of is renting a car and driving it yourself. Unless you read Arabic and speak, it seemed signs were few and far between. I have a pretty good sense of direction and know that there are more than a few times I'd have been lost. For example, more than once our highway came to a fork and there are no signs -- which way do you go? If you can't do the hire thing, I'd do public transport.

I did public transport in the UAE and had absolutely no problems. People were friendly and helpful. As a matter of fact, I could extend that to all Arabic countries I've been to. Their culture makes hospitality mandatory -- it would be like us turning our back on a close friend or family member for them NOT to be welcoming to a stranger. I have a lot of respect for the Arab people in general. When it comes to politics, I think they are extremely misguided and manipulated by their cynical, self-serving leaderships (with an almost complete blindness on the people's part to recognize or admit this).

Anyway, as a traveler, you should be quite safe and welcomed with open arms by the general populace. I would recommend keeping a low profile, though, as there are bad guys out there, and you don't necessarily want to catch their eye (kind of the equivalent of "opportunity crime"). Wear your maple leaf if you must, but personally, I would just do my best to blend in.

Good luck, and keep me posted. I think you will have a wonderful time. Hopefully, when the political situation clears a little, I'll be following your ass to Syria!

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Old 10-31-2003, 01:14 AM   #7
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Great idea about hiring a driver considering that it is so budget friendly to do so! I would never think to do such a thing, but it sounds pretty good

Thanks for the info WWM B) !
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