Syria, Jordan, Lebanon

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Jun 4th, 2010, 07:36 AM
  #1
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Syria, Jordan, Lebanon

We recently returned from a great trip to Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. We chose to hire a driver in order to maximize our time and to customize our visits. It was so much better than traveling with a tour - I believe we saw at least twice what we could have done by coach and going at your own pace is wonderful.

Our driver was Abdul Ibrahim of Enjoying Driving Tourists Happy. He speaks perfect English, has a great 4 wheel drive vehicle, is an excellent safe driver and great company. He took care of us far in excess of what we expected from a driver. For instance, he made sure our hotels were satisfactory every night and either joined us for dinners or took us to recommended restaurants and made sure we were comfortable. He made many xcellent suggestions along the way of places to visit (not in the guide books), to shop and to eat. He helped us bargain in the Souks and took us to visit vendors of items we were interested in and even helped us haul our purchases around. He had so many insider tips that I couldn't list them all here; suffice to say that he is a jewel.

You can reach him at [email protected] or http://syriaroad.blogspot.com or feel free to ask me any further questions about him or our travels in the region.
foodsmarts is offline  
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Jun 4th, 2010, 08:16 AM
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Did you stay at any boutique hotels in Syria?
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Aug 29th, 2010, 07:13 AM
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I hope you come back onto the site to tell us more about your trip. I am a single (older) woman wanting to travel to Syria and would like to hear more about specific places you visited and where you stayed. What recommendations and advice you have for single women travellers. Thanks!
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Aug 29th, 2010, 08:19 AM
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I am a single woman going there next month and will post back.
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Sep 4th, 2010, 02:39 PM
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@foodsmarts:

Hi sir. I am planning to go to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon this December 2010 for 14 days. I am working here in Saudi Arabia, a Filipino and no problems with VISAs in those mentioned countries. you mentioned that it is better to have a private independent tour as compared to an organized tour. Any idea how much is it? Is it expensive than the organized tour..I really prefer a budget tour or a just a 3-star hotel..any advice for me..Thanks in advance.
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Sep 5th, 2010, 05:52 AM
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I came back from a visit in Syria and Jordan 3 weeks ago, and it was one of my greatest moments, we enjoyed a lot our stay in Damascus and Amman. We visited The Palmyra,
Hana , Aleppo , and The Petra , we took a dip in The dead Sea.
I do make most of my travels individually, but having my family with me this time, i prefared to take a friends suggestion and use a tour operator to organise my trip
We brought our air flight ticket from Berlin , and corresponded some tour operators in Damascus and Amman, we came trought some nice offers and a tour plan. and finally we decided to take the offer from a jordanian tour operators.
The staff there were so helpful and they provided us with dozens of choices and with a different price categories. and luckily we were so happy of their professional and friendly service and for sure their prices. and what make me happy of them was that we didn't paid any surprise amounts, they were 100% clear from the beginning. the tour agent email is [email protected] and the Agent name is Shiraz.
my only advice is that In Jordan the 3 stars hotels are clean and comfortable , but as they suggested to take 4 stars in Syria, i think the 3 stars there are not in the same condition.
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Sep 9th, 2010, 09:58 PM
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We are planning a 10 day trip to Syria and Jordan in May, would like to use a private driver. We have been quoted upwards of $10000 for the 2 of us. This seems high, what would you suggest for a budget. Basically same itineray as what has been listed above. Thanks for any help.
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Sep 28th, 2010, 04:40 PM
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A friend and I are planning this same itinerary in the spring .......wondering if you have suggestions for the best way to get there....from Boston or Providence RI to Jordan and Syria...or visa versa.......I see it is a very long trip and wonder if anyone checked out prices and airlines..any suggestions would be most welcome...
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Sep 28th, 2010, 06:37 PM
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I used miles so can't help you out with flts but I can highly recommend the small boutique hotels in Syria-old houses that have been restored and are now beautiful places to stay with central courtyards with fountains. I stayed in two in the Bab Touma area of Damascus and one in the old quarter of Aleppo.

Shahbandar Palace
Beit al Wali

Yasmeen d' Alep in Aleppo
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Sep 29th, 2010, 12:22 PM
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can you please give me the names of the boutique hotels you mentioned..we will be going to both Aleppo and Damascus...they sound just what we are looking for
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Sep 29th, 2010, 04:11 PM
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The names are listed...first two are in Damascus and the Yasmeen is in Aleppo.

Check out tripadvisor too.
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Sep 29th, 2010, 04:54 PM
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Those are perfect...just what I am looking for..remind me of some of the wonderful places I stayed in Morocco...thank you so much......any ideas around Petra?
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Sep 29th, 2010, 05:35 PM
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I stayed at the Crowne Plaza which is right at the entrance but the rooms are tiny and old(but clean and comfortable) and the views from the dining terrace are great-I was the only person out there eating since all the groups stayed inside. The hotel really needs renovation but it was fine and I was happy to be so close to the entrance since I did the Petra by Candlelight and then was there the next morning by 7.

If it fits into your budget, try for at least a junior suite at the small boutique hotels since I think some of the rooms are quite small.
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Sep 29th, 2010, 05:37 PM
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My friend stayed at the Sofitel Taybet Z. and also highly recommends it-lots more character than the CP but much farther from the entrance.
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Jan 15th, 2011, 08:29 AM
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Hi, 3 of us want to go to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon and I cant find the right tour then I saw your post. Can you tell me how it works with a private driver ie did you do the booking of all the hotels etc and the driver then fits into what you have booked? what was the cost of the driver?

Thanks
Sally
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