Change in Iran travel situation for British passports

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d00gal
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Change in Iran travel situation for British passports

Post by d00gal »

Apologies if this is treading old ground or covered elsewhere that we've missed.

Who can advise us as to whether any change might be imminent with the independent travel situation for UK passport holders in Iran?

We may be getting our hopes up, but seeing the progress with embassies reopening etc, we'd heard rumours that by the time we'd be there in late 2015/early 2016, it might be possible.

We're cycling and currently in Kazakhstan. If Iran remains impossible, we'll take the Caspian sea ferry route.

Any advice much appreciated!
Luke

www.180degreesfromhome.com
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steven
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Re: Change in Iran travel situation for British passports

Post by steven »

Will be there in a few days to talk to some people, will let you know if i find out something new.
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d00gal
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Re: Change in Iran travel situation for British passports

Post by d00gal »

Cheers Steven, be keen to know what you find out.

Luke
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steven
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Re: Change in Iran travel situation for British passports

Post by steven »

AFAIK it's still the same.
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d00gal
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Re: Change in Iran travel situation for British passports

Post by d00gal »

Hey Steven,

Be interested to know what you make of this?

http://hitchhikershandbook.com/2015/06/ ... -canadian/
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steven
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Re: Change in Iran travel situation for British passports

Post by steven »

Well done to them. You should be able to do it too, if you don't mind a bit of stress at the border. This kind of tour operators tend to close down once too many people get wind of it, but for now, it's an option, it seems. I will put a link from the visa article for those interested.

ps: As a little comfort to Americans and others who can't afford the guide: after visiting Iran last month, I was not so impressed. After hearing hundreds of people rave about it, I thought this would be the most amazing place of all time. Did not find it so impressive. Mountains with nomads? Better in Kyrgyzstan. Food? Definitely nothing special.

People are indeed really friendly, but with most people it's always the same thing: Welcome to my country, Iran is a bad country, (but at the same time: you know it's not like in your media here) and, how can I immigrate to your country. I did meet some people with whom we had really nice conversations, but not more than in another country.

Not saying Iran is not a good place to travel, but it's overhyped imo. I prefer Turkey for a similar travel experience, I think it has more to offer. Esfahan is unique though and worth seeing. Kashan and Yazd are nice to see, as are some shrines, like for instance the ones in Qom or Shiraz. Ashura is very impressive (I also got tired of it though after the 3rd day, with still a week to go). Tehran is interesting but very tiring. Cannot comment on off-the-beaten-track places or the North.
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d00gal
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Re: Change in Iran travel situation for British passports

Post by d00gal »

Very interesting, maybe it's not worth the hassle. We're keen to avoid the Caspian ferry to be honest!

I wonder what the consequences would be if someone official actually realised you had ditched your tour guide? A slap on the wrist or worse?
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bwv812
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Re: Change in Iran travel situation for British passports

Post by bwv812 »

steven wrote:Well done to them. You should be able to do it too, if you don't mind a bit of stress at the border. This kind of tour operators tend to close down once too many people get wind of it, but for now, it's an option, it seems. I will put a link from the visa article for those interested.

ps: As a little comfort to Americans and others who can't afford the guide: after visiting Iran last month, I was not so impressed. After hearing hundreds of people rave about it, I thought this would be the most amazing place of all time. Did not find it so impressive. Mountains with nomads? Better in Kyrgyzstan. Food? Definitely nothing special.

People are indeed really friendly, but with most people it's always the same thing: Welcome to my country, Iran is a bad country, (but at the same time: you know it's not like in your media here) and, how can I immigrate to your country. I did meet some people with whom we had really nice conversations, but not more than in another country.

Not saying Iran is not a good place to travel, but it's overhyped imo. I prefer Turkey for a similar travel experience, I think it has more to offer.
After hearing many horrible stories about how tourists to Tibet have gotten their tour operators in trouble by freelancing and staying after their tours have ended, I can see this ending horribly for the tour agencies that offer these services—all it takes is one silly tourist to muck things up. As for consequences to the tourist, I suppose the worst that could happen is that you could be indefinitely detained as a spy.

As for Iran, I can see both sides of it. The people are very friendly, albeit to the point of oppressiveness (I generally passed as an Iranian while I was there, and was asked for directions a lot, but spending time with more sterotypical Westerners I can appreciate that the hospitality I was missing out on was very much a double-edged sword), but the architecture and its seamless integration into modern daily life is something you don't really see elsewhere in Central Asia (it seems like every city, for example, has a bazaar that would put to shame anything in any other Silk-Road country). Maybe you also experience this in Turkey, but my very limited experience in Turkey/Istanbul wasn't that pleasant given how expensive Turkey is and how everything there seems very much oriented towards separating you from your money as efficiently as possible.

I think that to get the best Iranian culinary experience you really need to eat with a family in a homestay or something like that. Street and restaurant food isn't that great, I agree, and kebobs tend not to be as beloved by tourists as they are by Iranians.
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exploreout
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Re: Change in Iran travel situation for British passports

Post by exploreout »

Not sure if I should start a new thread but, for Americans, is there any new information regarding the HHH article posted by d00gal?

I can speak Farsi a bit and would also like to visit there alone. I have about three weeks to get the authorization number and visa if this is going to happen. Well, unless I can get it in a day or so in some other foreign country...
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steven
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Re: Change in Iran travel situation for British passports

Post by steven »

Afaik the agency is still supplying invitation letters for americans
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