If you look at my favorite destinations for partying, you’ll find the inevitable Las Vegas, Sydney, Krakow, Berlin and Tokyo. But actually I could’ve added Beirut as well. A few hundred kilometers north of that other middle eastern party town, Tel Aviv, Beirut caters to the needs of wealthier tourists that like good weather, private beaches, exclusive discotheques, expensive cars and delicious food. (Luckily all of my expenses were paid for by J&B)
The capital of Lebanon was one of Lonely Planet’s must-see cities for 2009, if I’m not mistaken. To me, that’s a bit exaggerated, but if you’re looking for ‘something crazy’ Beirut is the place to be. Writers with more inspiration have called Beirut the Paris of the Middle East before and that only seems half a truth. Literally! Half of the city has been restored to its former glory and the other half looks like it has been suffering from a recent war. Which is the case, by the way.
But why is Lebanon such a good place to party? That’s easy, it’s much more liberal than other countries in the area. And in summer time, the weather is much more tolerable than in Saoudi Arabia for example. Which means the rich and famous in the area head for Beirut in the hot months. And they don’t come unnoticed. In my life I’ve never seen so many Ferrari’s, Porsches, Lamborghini’s or Maserati’s in the same traffic jam (the traffic in Beirut is as crazy as the nightlife). But not only the cars are fancy, the women are too. In the discotheques I went to, it was hard to find girls that hadn’t been to a plastic surgeon. My God, those lips, those boobs!
If you don’t suffer from a major hangover, there is actually plenty to see, visit and shop in Beirut. And in Byblos, a small historical port town a few kilometers north of Beirut. Over there the atmosphere is more relaxed, with loads of great restaurants. Did I tell you Lebanese food is amazing? Well, now you know! And you’ll need plenty of good food, because no energy, no party…