Highlights in Iran


A week ago, I just came back from an Iran tour leading trip. It was my first time to do both tour leading and going to Iran. And although, there was a lot of work needed to be done, I still managed to listen to stories about the palaces, mosques, its culture, history and their daily lives from our very knowledgeable tour guide. I must admit, that after 10 days in Iran, I learned to love it.

We landed in Shiraz and from there, our route went to Yazd, drove all the way to Esfahan and ending our trip in Tehran.  From Hong Kong I took Qatar Airways via Doha, and from Tehran back to Hong Kong, I took Emirates via Dubai. It was a great experience and maybe I can share with you "some" of the highlights of the trip - apparently, I will need more time to give a full detailed report.

Welcome to Persepolis - the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, where the earliest remains date back 515 BC.

The ruins were fascinating and it must be in everyone's list when traveling to Iran. There's so much history in here, and whenever I touch the stones, I felt like I was being brought back to the past. It reminded me of our Mythology lesson back in high school, every time I see the big horse, I remember the Trojan Horse which the Greeks used to enter the city of Troy. I was in absolute awe. I was tempted to put my forefinger in my mouth (expression of awe in Iran), if only my finger was not dirty that time, haha!

Another highlight was seeing the Carpet Museum in Tehran and shopping for carpet in Esfahan. I didn't brought anything of course, they are very expensive - and the sad truth was those carpets have the right to be expensive. There are two kinds of carpets, the Nomads Carpet and the City Carpet. Nomads made carpets based on their daily experiences and feelings at that time, they don't have a ready-made design drawn in the paper. City carpets are otherwise - one design could be reproduced many times. I like nomad carpets more, they are unique. :)

Imam Square is a fascinating sight! It isa UNESCO site in Esfahan where you can find the Ali Qapu Palace, Shah Mosque and Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, also surrounding the said area you can also find endless bazaars where you can buy all Iranian stuff from sweets, housewares, spices, miniatures and many more! Unfortunately, I do not have any good photos of the square.

Okay, I'll stop here for now. Spending 10 days in Iran can't be summarized in 1 blog post, that will be unfair and very much of an understatement. By the way, I must highlight as well that Iranians were very friendly and nice too! They love taking photos with us, and of course we love having them in our cameras - they have such beautiful faces!

The world has a wrong perception about Iran, it is very safe to travel here. Although, yes the Iranians may not be ready for tourism yet, for example most of the hotels are not in par with the international standard yet, and most of the roads can only be traveled by a private car - public transportation is only available in the cities, I still do hope that one day they will be able to cope up and be more open to the world. My dear friends, Iran has so much to offer! :)

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