Difference between revisions of "South Lebanon"
Revision as of 11:56, 27 May 2007
Southern Lebanon is a historian and archaeologist’s delight, with a history dating back to the Assyrians over 6,000 years ago. The region’s rolling hills sloping down to sandy Mediterranean beaches are dotted with Biblical sites, Roman and Phoenician ruins, remnants of the crusades, and the major Phoenician trading centers of Sidon and Tyre. The ancient cities of the region are like one-stop-shops to explore the ancient civilizations and history of the Mediterranean, with remnants of Egyptian, Assyrian, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, and Ottoman civilizations.
The main coastal cities are Sidon and Tyre. Notable towns include Jezzine and Marjayoun. The countryside is peppered with small to medium sized towns.
Like the rest of Lebanon, Arabic is the main spoken language. English and French are sometimes spoken in cities and larger towns.
Regular intercity transport buses (dubbed "Pullmans") serve as the main public transport between Beirut and Sidon and Tyre. The fare is LL1,500 (US$1) for a one-way trip from Beirut to Sidon.
The easiest way to get around outside urban areas is with a private rental car. 'Service' taxis are present, but not as pervasive or reliable. Inside urban areas, Service taxis are inexpensive ways of getting from one area to another. One service fare is LL1,000 for each passenger. Longer distances will require more than one fare per person, but the driver will indicate so before you board.
There are a few Crusader castles in Southern Lebanon - in Tibnin lie the ruins of Chateau Tibnin and in Arnoun you can find the ruins of Chateau Beaufort. There are also some smaller ruins available, but they are close to the 'Blue Line' between Israel and Lebanon and located on areas previously used by Hezbollah in their fight against the Israelis and thus might not be safe places to go to - there is a risk of unexploded ordnance and mines the closer you get to the 'Blue Line'
Climbing up the slopes of Mt. Hermon on the Lebanese side, not far from the Cheba Farms area, you can find the holiest place in the Druze religion. Also in the small Christian and Druze populated villager you can find the footprint of the dragon that St. George killed and an ancien Roman temple.
Nothing special to do, the very few sights are seen in one day and otherwise the inner parts of Southern Lebanon do not offer much to do.
Always be careful not to draw too much attention to avoid being targeted by pickpockets. Following common sense, it is advisable to carry only the essentials during any excursions. The southern border area is patrolled and controlled by UNIFIL peacekeepers. It is generally considered wise to stay on well-travelled roads outside urban centres.
Avoid conversations about religion and politics for your own safety.