There are lots of misunderstood about Iran. Iran might remind you the people who shout “Death to America” or the nuclear deal of 2015 between 5+1 and Iran which is not accepted by neither side anymore; But what medias have never talked about is the “Iranian hospitality”, “the great dishes and of course the great history of the Persian people.
Here, I do my best to cover all the illusions surrounded Iran and justify that with good reason.
1. Iran is not safe…You are going to hell
Let’s ask Drew Binsky, an American traveler who have been in Iran recent years.
“I just completed a 14 day trip around Persia …, and much to my surprise, Iran is not (at all) what I thought it’d be like! Contrary to popular belief, Iran is extremely safe, with the most friendly people I’ve ever met who went out of their way to make sure I was safe and having a good time. I have no incentive to lie to you about this — it is just the 100% truth.”
Although Iran is located in Middle East, the terrorist zone but it’s been more than 40 years after Islamic revolutionaries that there has been no terrorist attack in Iran except in 2017 in front of parliament with the fatality rate of 12 (do your own research as well).
And about you corner for being arrested, firstly, nobody can deny the arrest of British-Australian blogger or Nazanin Zaghari, but you need to know about the sensation existed between Iran and some countries like US and UK. Citizens of these countries are always welcomed but because of the political conflict, they are always under control once they arrive in airport or travel across the country. But Drew mentioned on his blog, he has been in Iran for 14 days and there was nothing’s to worry about.
2. you can’t visit America after visiting Iran
Yes, it’s true. This sanction was imposed by the US authorities for countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan. But in return, president of Iran ordered to his Interior Minister to arrange to waive visa-stamping and not to mark passports of foreign nationals visiting the country. With entry and exit stamps not to be put on the passports of the visiting tourists, nothing’s will be affected your future travel to USA.
3. Dress code- females are supposed to hide all body shape.
Although you have to wear Hijab form the time of on-boarding international flights, but the Hijab rules are more casual than you might expect. What you need to respect is covering the hairs-however you can have a little of your hair showing with no problems- and body. Appropriate hats & caps can do this function as well as scarves. Legs should be covered down to ankles and for the upper body, as long as you cover your upper arm and your cleavage, it is okay.
Note 1: In some holy shrines, you need to wear Chador (A full-body cloak worn by Muslim women).
Note 2: Skinny tight jeans or trendy ripped clothes are fine.
Below, you’ll find a video recorded by @wildfrontiers for getting more informed about Iranian dress code.
4. Iran has a long visa procedure
Thanks to E-visa, citizens of all countries except UK, USA and Canada can get their visa easily online at https://e_visa.mfa.ir/en/; the whole process takes at least 2 days. Travelers of these countries can acquire their visa at Iranian International Airports including Tehran, Shiraz, Esfahan, Qeshm & Kish Island, Mashhad, and Tabriz.
Note 1: Israeli passport holders can’t get Iran visa at all.
Note 2: Citizens of Republic of Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Georgia, Armenia, Venezuela, Egypt, Malaysia and China are exempt from applying for a visa to enter Iran.
Note 3: If you enter via Kish Island, all nationalities who are eligible for a VOA, can get a 14-day free Iran tourist visa if they remain in Kish.
For visa fee, look at https://www.amazing-iran.com/download/Iran-Visa-Fee.pdf
5. You’ll be embraced with locals
Fortunately what you might have heard about Iranian hospitality is NOT a lie. Don’t believe in me? Ok, open up your couchsurfing app and write down there that you are going to travel to Iran in future; you’ll be surprised by the amount of messages you would receive.
Iranians are the most welcomed people of the world especially for citizens of European countries, UK, US (surprising) and Australia.
But however everything’s is not always perfect. As a foreign person, people always stare at you and are always eager to approach and say “Hi” in a ridiculous manner that might be annoying anyway. In brief, if you do love to spend your time with locals, Iran should be on your priority.
Note: you need to know about Tarouf. Roughly summed up, it is the concept of politely but repeatedly refusing almost anything that one is offered. While not dissimilar to the traditional middle-class British notion of initially refusing a proffered invitation to tea, tarouf is generally more adamant and repeated.
After reading all these stories, if you are in doubt about anything related to Iran, don’t hesitate to contact me.
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