Once upon a time in Iran ایران . In our eyes, Iran seems like a dangerous place due to the news about fighting violence and wars in the Middle East. Because of these reasons, many people ask: Why go to Iran? Where to visit there? Isn’t it scary? Today, let’s discover Iran and the Persian civilization! ^_^
...My friends suggested going to Iran because we used to talk about going there before. Then suddenly, Air Asia opened a direct flight route to Tehran, the capital of Iran. Because of the new route, special promotions are available during the day. So we bought a ticket for 5,600 baht (round-trip ticket) during the long holiday at the end of the year. But things weren’t easy. Air Asia announced that they are canceling the direct flight route to Tehran! It was such a disappointment since we bought the ticket for a very cheap price. There isn’t much time until the day we planned to leave Thailand, so the direct flight was changed to a connecting flight which means we have to stop at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Since the show must go on, we decided to take this flight.
We would like to call this our simple plan and leave the rest to the future
Things to know before traveling to Iran
For Thais visiting Iran, you need a visa. You can get one in Thailand before leaving, or you can get a visa on arrival (VOA) at the airport in Iran. We chose the VOA as it is more convenient- we only had to prepare the documents of our flight booking, hotel reservation, photos and our travel plan in case the officers wanted to see them. As for the travel insurance, you can also choose between buying it in Thailand or in the airport in Iran and present them to get your visa as well. Some of us bought it in Thailand and it worked fine. If you buy your travel insurance in Iran, it costs around 14-16 USD (depends on which currency you want to pay). The visa fee costs 75 USD.
You need to prepare enough cash in USD or EUR as credit cards can’t be used in the ATM. The currency of Iran is IRR. Iranians use both the IRR and Toman currency (10,000 IRR = 1,000 Toman = 10 baht). It is recommended that you exchange IRR at the airport as you will get a better rate. If you need more during your trip, you can exchange for more in banks. Another tip! : banks in Iran are closed on Fridays!
Remember 0-9 in Persian ۰۱۲۳۴۵۶۷۸۹ or keep a photo of them as Arabic numerals aren't widely used.
Wi-fi and Internet in SIM cards purchased in Iran can’t be used to enter some websites or use some applications so you need to download the VPN program from Thailand first. Also, buying an AIS or TRUE Data Roaming package from Thailand is also convenient.
: Dress code
I almost forget to tell you something very important: in Iran, you always have to put on a hijab. So prepare plenty of them to use during your trip. You also have to dress modestly. If you wear leggings, wear a long dress to cover up as well. For tight clothes, you have to wear a robe on top. DO NOT dress sexily! This is very serious as dressing modestly is an important rule of this Islamic country.
Also, don’t forget to check the weather before traveling so you can prepare the right kind and amount of clothing, items and food.
Now that we’re ready, let’s go to Iran! :)
Tehran is the capital city of Iran and the largest city in the Middle East. It is also Iran’s industry center. Commuting is very convenient as there is the underground train. When we arrived, we spent quite a lot of time getting our visa because there were a lot of people. Then, we took a taxi into the city (you can negotiate the fare). Some people had to spend 800,000 IRR and some people like us got a deal of 40 USD depending on the fare negotiation. ^_^
Artwork in an underground station
Walking in a bazaar
First meal in Iran - Starting with some kebab!
On our first day, we weren't very used to walking around with a hijab yet.
Azadi Tower is a peace monument located in the Azadi Square. It was built in 1971 to commemorate the 2,500 year anniversary of the Persian Empire. You can get here by train but I forgot the name of station haha.
You can choose many ways to travel from Tehran to Shiraz – domestic flight or a long bus ride. We chose the bus option. It took around 14 hours so we got plenty of sleep. The bus has a very VIP look and we reserved it through our hotel in Tehran. It costs 25 USD/person.
Karim Khani Citadel
The clear blue sky was stunning!
We found this mosque in Shiraz
Nasir al Molk Mosque หรือ Pink Mosque
It is a beautiful mosque with it's own identity. Parts of the mosque are decorated with pink tiles. When the morning light shines in, you can see lovely rainbows.
Waiting for the mosque's opening at 7.30 AM
Rainbow lights can be seen every morning
If you come early, it won't be too crowded
The exterior is equally stunning
Persepolis was the capital of the ancient Persian Empire and a world heritage site. It shows the prosperity and greatness of the Persian Empire. UNESCO announced Persepolis as a world heritage site in 1979. It is 60 kilometers away from Shiraz.
The clear sky comes with hot sunny rays
Amir Chakhmaq Complex
I can't remember the name but it is located in a very ancient garden in Yazd - our driver took us there :)
Kharanaq Village is a 4,000 year old deserted village. The houses are built of bricks made of dirt. It is 70 kilometers away from Yazd.
A water pipe bridge on the other side of the village
Now we’re halfway through this trip! What do you guys think? Now, can you see how charming and nice Iran is? It isn’t scary as many think. Iranians are nice and friendly too. Let’s have a new and wider look on the world. Follow us and discover the Persian culture in our next blog!
Finally, for those who want to purchase a ticket in the best price, we recommend Jetradar. It is easy to use and to reserve. You can download it here:
For IOS http://goo.gl/C7Is8f
For Android http://goo.gl/KeSUuJ
Website link http://goo.gl/Km5MLh
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