Latakia remains highly westernised and open to the world thanks to its port, which is the busiest in Syria. All of the country's trade takes place here. This contact with the outside world and the high Christian presence thriving alongside a more moderate Islam, make Latakia one of the least conservative cities in the country. For instance, alcohol is not forbidden and women are dressed in a Western manner. As for relics, only a few pillars have been rebuilt and the city has lost much of its past splendour. Nevertheless, wandering around Latakia remains a pleasure and is also a good starting point for an excursion.