Axis of evil, here I come!
April 5, 2009 12:33 PM Subscribe
I'm going to Iran in a couple of weeks and I need some help with my planning.
posted by number9dream to travel & transportation (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm going for an academic conference/summer school in Tehran for 12 days. After that I have a further 10 days to explore on my own. I am going to go to Esfahan and Shiraz at least after leaving Tehran. I would like to go to Masuleh in the north if I have time, but that's in the opposition direction as Esfahan and Shiraz, so I'll see how it goes when I'm there.
Relevant personal data: I am a white male, Canadian citizen, late twenties, traveling alone. I don't speak Farsi but I am learning a few phrases of introduction, how to ask directions, find the bathroom, ask for a glass of water, etc. I am not religious at all.
I like seeing historical stuff like ancient ruins, old mosques and other architecture, etc. I like museums, but I have limited patience for them. I really enjoy wandering the streets of cities, just seeing what life is like there, people-watching, and just generally trying to immerse myself in the culture.
I have a few specific questions:
1) How much money should I bring (per day)? I'd like to keep costs relatively low, but since it's very difficult to get more cash when in Iran, I don't want to underbudget and then get in trouble. I'll be staying in budget hotels but I don't want anything really grotty, and I won't be eating in fancy restaurants.
2) What sort of dress is appropriate? Obviously I am going to attract some attention anyway, but I'd rather not stick out too much based on my attire.
3) Any recommendations for places to go/things to see in or around Tehran, Esfahan, or Shiraz? Or some other places that you think I should go instead?
4) Any cultural or legal quirks I should be aware of? I know the basics, eg be respectful of Islamic values, don't photograph prisons/police/military sites, don't hit on Iranian women.
5) Anything else?