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HOME > Iran >Tips  


Iran travel tip

  1. INTRODUCTION

  2. PREPARATION
      Documents
      Health
      Money
      Equipment

  3. GENERAL TIPS
      -Islamic rules
      -Learn to count and some farsi words
      -Greet and exchange greetings
      -Bring some small gifts
      -Be moderate telling about western world freedom
      -Trust people!!

     -Watch out fake policemen.It happened to me that..

 


INTRODUCTION

Mine has been a low budget independent travel, without renting any kind of private mean of transport, but just using the public ones and without any support of tourist agencies. If you gonna do another kind of travel (medium/high budget travel by agency) you could have wholly different experiences, or my impression could sound you strange
Finally consider this travel took place in march of 2000; everything changes, things better or worsen, so check it out!

 

 

PREPARATION

Documents:
Italian citizens need a visa issued by the Iranian consulate in Milan. Get the visa is   tough and it  depends strongly on the country from which you apply for it. I contacted an agency in Teheran by internet and got the visa number that was comunicated to the consulate in Milan. I paid it $ 60  with one  night in a medium range hotel in Teheran included...good luck!

Health:
Frankly I didn't do anykind of vaccination. I don't think Iran has any serious health risks, at warse (or, for sure) some intestinal troubles.

Money:
The currency is the RIAL.
At the time of travelling (march 2000) there was no difference between the black change rate (in the streets) and the official one. What I perfectly remember is that, when I immediately changed $50, I got so many notes I didn't know where to place in my bag hence   they gave me a personal  note to be signed when used. It took two weeks to change it.

Equipment:
MOSQUITO: I did this travel in winter hence I had no problem with mosquito; I don't know about summer time, but in winter time, even if you sleep outdoor, as it happened to me, leave moquito-net and repellent at home.

HOT: in winter time no problem. Temperatures and humidity where OK even in the south (Bandar-e-Abbass)


-a good knife... to eat I mean ;-)
-in the north is rainy in the winter time: take an umbrella

 

GENERAL TIPS

-ISLAMIC RULES

Iran is a Shiite  islamic country, hence its religious rules are very severe and, it doesn't matter if you agree or not, you must observe them. It's also a matter of respect since you are a guest.

These rules are controlled by the Komitč (religious police) that is everywhere throughout the country. Some important Islamic rules that you must keep in mind are:

ü       You cannot seat near a woman in public places (in a public bench, on a bus, train) unless she is you mother, sister, daughter or a relative

ü       If you are a woman you must always covers your body, aside from face and hands

ü       If you are a man you cannot take off your shirt in public

ü       Hugging and kissing is no allowed in public

ü       A foreign man speaking with an Iranian woman can both have problems

 

-LEARN TO COUNT AND SOME FARSI WORDS

Learn to count is extremely important, particularly to know the Arabic numbers will facilitate your life, especially to bargain. The greeting are also fundamental, since exchange the greetings is, unlike in the western world, a duty.

In every country try to learn some short sentences in the local language (e.g. "how are you?", "how is your family?" "how much is?") it's a sign of respect and appreciation for their culture and it influences positively the attitude of locals towards you. Anyway it's easy and funny too, and it'll make you feel less stranger.
You can find a short vocabulary at the end of the Lonely Planet guide.
Strive a little bit!!

 

-GREET AND EXCHANGE THE GREETINGS

To greet and exchange the greeting is more than appreciated; sometimes it's almost a duty. Don't hesitate to do it, you'll see how locals will really smile and got helpful towards you. You can find the greeting at the end of the Lonely Planet guide

 

-BRING SOME SMALL GIFTS

Since it's probably to be hosted in Iranian house for free, some small gifts (as a pen of you country) could be a good sign before leaving

 

-BE MODERATE TELLING ABOUT WESTERN WORLD FREEDOM

Iranian social balance is delicate. It's important you avoid telling everybody about the freedom in your country (especially concerning the sex) without thinking if you are saying the right thing to the right person with the right tone. You can really create frustration and sadness uselessly. This doesn't mean you must shut up, but it's just a matter of common sense and respect.

 

-TRUST PEOPLE

I know to be trustful is always a risk, but it's extremely important if you want to relate with people. At the begging I was sceptical to accept the invitation of just met people, but I've always trusted and it worked. Of course it could happen to you to meet the wrong person, but anyway it'll be worth for all the other right ones (read what happened to me)

 

-WATCH OUT FROM PEOPLE PRETENDING TO BE POLICEMAN

In Hamadan on a taxi I met a man who pretended to be a policeman (showing me a badge) and wanted my passport and my money to check if they were fake.

Of course I said my passport was at the hotel and gave him the few money I had in the pocket. He started yelling, I took them back and I replayed yelling louder (very louder) to stop the car. The car stopped and I rushed out.

 

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