Lebanon Stories and Tips

Unsafe at any Speed

We’d heard from reliable sources that "you’ve decided to risk life and limb if you drive in Lebanon." With that advice in mind we decide to rent a car ($25 US/day).

There are few traffic lights in Lebanon. In fact the only lights we see are in Beirut: an apparent novelty to the locals. We draw curious stares from them when we observe a red light.

Speed limits are rarely posted and never observed. Speeds range from farm-tractor-slow to BMW-fast. Highway driving is a constant state of overtaking or being overtaken. On a two-lane highway, the actual number of lanes of traffic is in constant flux. A quick honk to the car in front and a flash of the lights to on-coming vehicles will cause the traffic to spread out to as many as four lanes.

The only thing that seems to keep the speeding and general chaos under control are the military checkpoints appearing every 10 -15 minutes; afterall you must slow down to smile and wave at the nice man with the large machine gun.

Travelling by car actually proved to be an efficient way to see the sites but only recommended for the most "flexible" of drivers.

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