– 2014 Getting away to Middle East Dubai Iran 1 Month Trip
I needed to move again after Kashan. From Kashan to the capital Tehran, I followed the map direction to get to the bus station. There were 2 bus stations on the map, instinctively I went to one station. And after one hour and a half I lastly got to another one. Just at that time there was a bus departing to Tehran. I got there on time. The bus had snacks and drink provided, quite good. (I remembered I took a VIP bus before which had no snacks at all...) After arriving in Tehran it was already dark. In the bus station I asked people to lend me mobile to call my Couchsurfing host. I asked one but he ignored me. Luckily there was a guy sitting next to a Japanese tourist who proactively lend me his. He not only lend me his mobile, he also helped me to buy a metro ticket. He was a nice guy, or he liked Asian girls…?
Tehran's MetroIn Iran only the capital Tehran has metro system. Independent of how many stations you travel, it is the same price. The head and the tail of the metro each contains a female only carriage. I went there for sure. The metro was silent, the only sound was women selling stuff to the passengers, like nail polish, undies, hijab, etc. All these were things women like to buy.
Woman was selling things to passengers on the train with a basket
In here, I had an unhappy experience. I took a metro with my friend of boy and two other couchsurfers. As my friend was a male so we got on a mixed carriage. At that time all people around us were male and it was crowded. As we wanted to get out from the metro, we needed to walk through between the men. Suddenly I felt one of my breasts is being clutched for several times. As there were too many people there and we were busying getting out off the metro, I totally did not have idea who did that. Even I screamed I don’t think people can hear. What I could do was telling the story to my friend after I got out and accepted the thing happened. So I am here to ask female tourist to stay at the female carriage, even you have some male friends traveling together.
After arriving to the station, my host Reza came and fetched me. After arriving to his house, we have a good dinner with 1 Australian and 1 New Zealand travelers. Reza is super nice, he cooked us breakfast and dinner and they were all delicious. I felt safe when I was in couchsurfers’ houses, especially in countries where we don’t have a common language to communicate with.
Visiting some spotsMy friend lastly joined me after I traveled here for 2 weeks. He flew from Jordan to Tehran. He needed to apply for the ground visa. While getting into Tehran the immigration staff asked him question. As I gave him Reza’s phone number. The immigration staff called Reza at 4am to ask about questions regarding the stay of the friend. Like where will he be staying, how long is he staying…
The second day we went to famous Golestan Palace. There are many different places you can see, but they all costed one by one. We only went to see the most important one (IRR$200,000) and another one (IRR$50,000). All in all it was ok, however, after visiting the beautiful Kashan’s traditional houses, the palace is not as fascinating as it is.
This will be what you will be seeing in side the palace
I also went to bazaar, similar to other bazaar in other cities. We then went to National Jewelry Museum (IRR$50,000) to see jewelry and accessories. This one is quite amazing. The jewelry is so giant and beautiful, with different color, green, blue, red, black, etc. I was amazed by the varieties. From accessories, to little box, decoration, sword, etc.
Getting ferry ticket back to Sharjah, UAEAnother day we went to the company selling the ship ticket from Bandar Abbas to Sharjah. As the ticket can only be booked two weeks before, I could not book for the departure date from Iran while I was in Dubai one month ago even I bought the two way tickets. After asking 3-4 people on the street, we lastly arrived at the company. It was located inside a modern business building, the inside architect was just the same as a normal office. Here you can buy ferry ticket even cheaper than the two way ticket I bought in Sharjah. (My friend bought his ticket to Bandar Abbas here, while I was setting the departure date for my ticket)
In Tehran we found a fast food restaurant selling internal organ. We ordered an internal organ soup (IR$50,000). I think it was not pig as Muslims cannot eat pork. This was ok but I think Hong Kong’s one is better.
We also tried the mushroom corn snacks, it is quite expensive compared to other food (IRR$40,000)
Lastly we went to Carpet Museum of Iran, it was not as good as what I thought. Although there are lots of famous Persian carpets, I liked the National Jewelry Museum more.
At night we took bus to our next destination Sanandaj. Reza was so nice that he not only helped us to buy bus tickets, but also gave us a ride to the bus station.All in all, I think Tehran has not much to see, but all tourists come to here as it is the main channel to come to Iran. (International Airport is here)
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Dubai (1 day)-> Sharjah (Where the ferry was) -> 1. Bandar Abbas (1 day) -> 2. Kerman (1 day) -> 3. Bam (0.5 day) -> Kerman (1 day) -> 4. Yazd (2.5 days)-> 5. Kashan (Abyaneh , Maranjab) (3 days) -> 6. Tehran (2 days) -> 7. Sanandaj (Palangan) (2 days)-> 8. Kermanshah (2 days) -> 9. Isfahan (3 days) -> 10. Shiraz (3 days) -> 11. Bandar Abbas (2 days) -> Sharjah (Where we took the ferry)-> Dubai (0.5 day)