Getting into Syria as a Tourist ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡พ (Part 1)

Published by Darron Toy on

I am very excited to share with you this first video out of four on my recent trip to Syria flights into Syria are very limited and international sanctions forbid flying on a Syrian carrier tourists therefore commonly fly into Lebanon and then cross into Syria by land but this trip begins in Singapore I took Ethiopian air from Singapore to Beirut Lebanon with a stopover in Addis Ababa I will make a separate video about my flights with Ethiopian when I arrived in Beirut I took an uber – Charles hello bus station where shared taxis depart for Damascus Syria I waited for 45 minutes until the taxi was full and we were on our way it is advisable to ask the driver to write the price on a piece of paper before departing I paid 23 US dollars for the ride from Beirut to the border the trip from Beirut to Damascus takes about two hours excluding time spent at the border crossing even though I had done extensive research on the safety of traveling to Syria part of me was still uneasy it almost felt surreal that I was now in a taxi traveling to a country that has recently suffered under a civil war and terrorism shortly before reaching the border we made a quick stop where people could exchange money at the time one US dollar was worth 515 Syrian pounds slightly better than the exchange rate in Syria when we reached the mass now border checkpoint we had to get out of the taxi and proceed to the Lebanese departure hall by foot this place was full of people and I was pointed to the queue for foreigners to my surprise the immigration officer did not ask any questions about why I was traveling to Syria he was very friendly and promptly stamped my passport with my exit stamp I walked back to the car and remember feeling surprised about the calm atmosphere at the border we then drove through a gate where the stamps of all passengers in the car were verified and then started making our way through the mostly empty mountainous buffer zone between Lebanon and Syria this ride took about ten minutes and my fellow passengers advised me not to take any pictures or videos having the proper paperwork to enter Syria is a topic on its own which I will discuss in a later video visas to Syria can be obtained at the border for EU citizens but you do need a travel clearance letter from the Syrian Ministry of Interior this can be a bit tricky to obtain luckily I have a friend in Syria who arranged this certificate for me despite having my paperwork the immigration officer was not able to find my travel clearance in the system the officer did not speak English and I don't know Arabic so I could only infer by gestures and tone what was going on the officer made many phone calls and my fellow car passengers were increasingly becoming annoyed with me holding up the taxi I remember a group of people started forming around me as they were curious about my situation the vast majority of people in the immigration hall were Arabs with a few Africans traveling on UN passports it was obvious that a Caucasian European was not common in this luckily there was a friendly Syrian Canadian who helped me through the whole process after about an hour my travel clearance was finally found in the system and I obtained my entry stamp into the Syrian Arab Republic I walked back to the taxi feeling both excited and in disbelief of where I now was back in the taxi we passed what felt like a dozen more checkpoints and at each one of them our stamps were verified finally I was in Syria I stayed in Syria for four days and what an amazing time I had I will share more about that in the next video