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A month in the Middle East...

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East A month in the Middle East...

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11. Posted by Mancunion (Full Member 128 posts) 9y

Oh Bex, now that is a shame!! i'll have to think of something then... ;)

Maria, thanks for the details, appreciate it. Your itinerary sounds good... i'll give it some thought! Like I said earlier, I realise now that there is no real point in rushing it as you will not do justice to the countries that you visit...

BTW, as a side point, do you think it would be safe to visit countries like IRan and Lebanon? is it a case of dont believe the HYPE, as regards to the 'violence/instability' as they are countries that I would like to vist!

Thanks again

12. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Quoting Mancunion

BTW, as a side point, do you think it would be safe to visit countries like IRan and Lebanon? is it a case of dont believe the HYPE, as regards to the 'violence/instability' as they are countries that I would like to vist!

Yes, Iran is safe, as long as u avoid sex, drugs, rock n roll and wear long trousers, while u are there.
Also, stay away, from the borders of Afganistan, Iraq and Turkey.

The Lebanon, I am not sure about, so check the dangerpedia, on the following site.
www.comebackalive.com

Mel;)

13. Posted by Mancunion (Full Member 128 posts) 9y

Thanks Mel...

So then, if I avoid sex, drugs, rock n roll and wear long trousers and stay away from the borders of Afganistan, Iraq and Turkey, will there be much else to see or do??

I suppose I could camp outside the British Embassay...Hang on a minute, was that not stoned just a couple of weeks ago, not too safe then afterall!! ;)

On a serious note, I have heard that it is a real nice place to visit, Shiraz and Isfahan being the highlights and apparently the people are friendly too... Lets see then...:)

Post 14 was removed by a moderator
15. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

Second try to update, my editing time was up:

Iran is great, I absolutely love it. I also think it is quite safe, despite the latest incident with the British soldiers. The Iranian government actively encourages tourists to come to Iran, because tourists bring much needed valuta and when they go home they usually have positive reports about a country that has a notoriously bad reputation.

But: I do not think it is a good country if you want to get a feel for what the Middle East is generally like.
Iran is unsual in so far that it is non-Arab. The three words that are to me the essence of travelling in the area (ma fee mushkeela, bukra, inshallah) cannot be heard in Iran, because (unlike in Egypt or Syria) everything is clearly organised, efficient and fast. The whole Middle Eastern madness that is so typical for the Arab countries and that makes you either love or hate the ME is absent (except maybe in politics, but that doesn't really tangent you as a traveller).

For me, going to Iran to see the ME is like an US-American tourist who has heard so much about Europe and now he wants to see it for himself. His friends have been to France an Italy and have raved about the arts, the architecture, the ancient Roman history, the wine, the food. Now faced with a choice where to go in Europe, he picks Scotland. Not that there is anything wrong with that choice, but it is not the same as Italy, if you get my drift. He will have a different experience. Travelling will be easier - for him because of the language and for you in Iran because everything is so organised.

But if you are determined to see Iran (combined with another country): Fly one-way with Iran Air to Yazd or Shiraz or with Turkish Airlines to Tehran, then cross the border either to Turkey or to the UAE and fly home from there. (Turkey would be cheaper.) Alternatively fly return to Istanbul and take the train from Istanbul to Tehran. It should also be possible to fly to the UAE and travel overland via Iran to Istanbul, but you would be really pressed for time.

As for Lebanon, I've never been there. But having taken Middle Eastern Studies at uni, having been to Israel and watching the news, I have the feeling that the situation in Lebanon is similar to the situation in Israel in general. This means that the security situation could change easily and dramatically within a day, and what is outright life-threatening in the evening is safe in the morning and vice versa. If you are travelling there, a small radio reciever and access to English-language news are essential for your safety. If I was you and was planning to see Lebanon and Syria, I would fly in and out of Damascus and would then decide in Syria on local information whether I would go to Lebanon or not.

So between Iran and Lebanon, Iran would be the safer option.

16. Posted by Mancunion (Full Member 128 posts) 9y

Thanks a lot for the advice...it is really helpful... Are you a pro at ME travelling?

Anyway, I will decide on the route in due course...maybe contact you sometime...

Cheers again...

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