Baalbek is a great place to spend half a day and it is a lovely place except for the lurking sellers outside the temple. They are persistent and down right annoying and one guy harrassed me to buy something for 25 minutes after I told him in French and Arabic to get away. Your best bet is not walk along the parallel road with the temple where the street vendors are located but to walk directly up the steep hill across from the temple. There are no touts on the steep road and you wont be bothered at all. The last thing people want is to be harrassed after leaving a world heritage site so this option will leave you feeling like you walked away after a great experience not bothered by anyone.
- Budget Travel
Sellers outside Baalbek Ruins
As you come out of Baalbek there is usually a lot of people trying to sell you roman coins that have been found amongst the ruins.
Beware of this as many of them are fake, but if they are real it's actually illegal to take them out of the country anyways as they are considered a "national treasure"
Unique Suggestions: Saying all this though it's good to buy something from some of the sellers make sure you get a good price as well, but for many people living near baalbek this is how they make a living and with the recent goings on in lebanon there aren't as many tourists as usual so what may just be $5 to you, it's a lot of money to them
- Historical Travel
camel rides... where to?
OUtside the entrance of the acropolis you can see this lone camel... tied to the fence and ready to be ridden by tourist... where to remains a bit of a mistery, as camels are not allowed inside the temples complex.
Fun Alternatives: I'm afraid there's no alternative... nowhere you could ride the camel except around town... with cars and all. I really suggest you don't take that sad ride
Buying a cold drink - not so cold after all!
When visiting Baalbeck, keep in mind that the locals are used to tourists touring in and around their town. You will find several souvenir and drink shops, but be careful of high prices and rip-offs. We went to purchase a couple of sodas from a boy at a drink cart and he gave us the cans of warm soda. When we asked for ice, he asked for $0.50 per cup of ice and an extra $0.10 per straw. We said, "no thanks," and kept moving.
Unique Suggestions: It's best to pack in your own lunch and/or cold drinks if you are not planning to sit at any local restaurants.
Fun Alternatives: If you do want a local restaurant, prepare ahead of time and take a guide who can speak to the locals in Arabic and find out the best food in town and where to go. A guide may also be a good idea as Baalbeck can be tricky to get to from the coastal cities.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
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