Go Back   > > >
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 7, 10, 12:20 am   #1
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: LAX
Programs: AA PLT / 2MM
Posts: 1,506
Amazing Driver for Syria, Lebanon & Jordan - Abdul Ibrahim

If you're going to Syria (and Lebanon or Jordan) and are considering the services of a driver, you should definitely hire Abdul Ibrahim. I've already recommended him to two sets of friends who are planning Middle East trips, so I felt that I might as well post a review on FT.

Abdul drove us around the 3 countries for 11 days -- picking up in Beirut, taking us into Syria, driving us all around Syria, driving us into and around Jordan, and finally dropping us off in Petra. He really made our Middle East experience excellent, and he is totally worth every penny.

You pay Abdul a flat daily rate (~USD 150/day, plus any border taxes if you go between countries) and he's at your service for whatever you want. We exchanged many emails with him before he left, and together we came up with a good itinerary for us to see what we wanted in a logical route. We like to maximize our time when traveling and see as much as we can, and he was totally enthusiastic about helping us getting the most out of our trip. On some days we'd do a full day of sightseeing before a long drive to the next city, which means he'd sometimes put in 12-14 hour days for us with no extra charge -- and more importantly, without ever complaining or trying to rush us along. Sometimes he was the one adding things to our itinerary so we could see something extra!

Abdul is a technically a "driver" because he isn't an officially licensed tour guide, but he's much more than someone who drives you from place to place. He lived in the US for ~10 years, so he not only speaks great English but also is good with English subtlety and nuance, gets American culture/jokes, knows how to make his American/foreign clients happy, etc. During our time with him, we were constantly engaged in interesting discussions about history, politics, culture, etc. and we learned so much from him. He'll also take you to places that only a local would know and that never be in any tour book -- a yummy local bakery on the outskirts of Aleppo, a hijab-wearing woman in the middle of nowhere who sells laffa bread that sticks to the side of the oven, etc. He did a great job making little things easy for us -- expediting things at the Syrian border (they love to hassle Americans), getting us into the most popular restaurant in Damascus when our hotel couldn't get us a reservation, driving us to the ATMs that reliably take foreign cards, etc. At the sites, he's happy to accompany you inside (he knows what a "licensed" guide would be expected to know) or wait for you while you explore yourself; however, some sites only let licensed guides inside and he offers to help you find a local guide if you're so inclined.

So, doing the Middle East with Abdul was a totally memorable experience for us. I could go on ad nauseum about all the different ways he'll make your trip better, but what I've written should give you a sense of how he goes above and beyond. He's just an all-around nice guy who enjoys what he does and knows how to please his clients.

PM me if you'd like more information about him (or about these countries generally). Abdul's email is abd@intertrama.com and his website is http://syriaroad.blogspot.com/
LAX_Esq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 10, 6:06 am   #2
  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,501
This is timely information for me as I will be in Lebanon next week and would like to visit Baalbeck and Tripoli. Does he live in Beirut?
Latitudes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 10, 2:41 pm   #3
  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: DL PM
Posts: 1,084
This is good to know as I would love to return to Syria sometime.

Love the quote Latitudes.
Jac747 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 10, 10:45 pm   #4
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: LAX
Programs: AA PLT / 2MM
Posts: 1,506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Latitudes View Post
This is timely information for me as I will be in Lebanon next week and would like to visit Baalbeck and Tripoli. Does he live in Beirut?
He's Syrian (based on Damascus). No idea if he'd come to Lebanon just for a one-day affair, but it couldn't hurt to ask. Baalbeck is great, by the way.
LAX_Esq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6, 11, 3:09 pm   #5
  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Programs: MP 1K to 2P - painful
Posts: 295
Thanks for posting your review of Abdul, it helped me make up my mind to contact him. We're just back from three weeks in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan and the time we spent with Abdul in Syria was fabulous. I highly recommend him too.

If anyone is interested I have further details of our trip on my blog at
http://somuchmoretosee.blogspot.com/
anthro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19, 11, 11:26 am   #6
  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: Gold, plat, diamond and more
Posts: 3,360
Quote:
Originally Posted by anthro View Post
Thanks for posting your review of Abdul, it helped me make up my mind to contact him. We're just back from three weeks in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan and the time we spent with Abdul in Syria was fabulous. I highly recommend him too.

If anyone is interested I have further details of our trip on my blog at
http://somuchmoretosee.blogspot.com/
Totally second all!

Thx to OP He is one of the best drivers available absolutely. Great english, good and safe driver, modern comfy car (chevrolet SUV style). Great service. Took us around Lebanon and Syria. Our Jordan plan was interrupted by closed borders, so we evacuated Damascus by Plane to Aqaba, via Aleppo and Amman.

EDIT: Abdul just confirmed by mail that he is still doing tours (possibly the only one in Syria), and that you still get visa at borders.

Mail him for any questions.

Last edited by travelkid; May 22, 11 at 5:19 am Reason: update
travelkid is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump
Contact Us - FlyerTalk - Archive - Top