A holiday in Iran

The world is a scary place. That’s what I keep hearing anyway, and right now, the omnipresent threat to my personal safety, freedom, employment, and pretty much everything that’s important appears to be escalating into a terrifying crescendo. This tends to happen every four years, before US presidential elections. Luckily, a handful of elderly Americans are this minute arguing vociferously about which of them is best suited to protect me, and my very way of life… and I’m not even American.

I’m quite fortunate though to have no fear of ISIS, other terrorists, Muslims, Latinos, blacks, homosexuals, the unemployed, clowns, ghosts, zombies… apparently I’m highly ignorant or perhaps just wired wrong because these things just don’t scare me. Some things do of course. Perhaps most frightening to me is the rhetoric coming from people who are trying to convince me how scared I should be of everyone except them.

Yes, this world can be a weird and scary place
Yes, this world can be a weird and scary place.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, I just got back from a quick vacation in Iran.

Reaction to this news from some friends and colleagues ranged from concern to disbelief, and could generally be condensed into something like, ‘Iran? …omg, why???’

‘Because it’s there,’ is my standard response… and more accurately because it’s close to my house, but won’t be forever, and the one-hour flight from Dubai to Shiraz was cheap.

Everybody’s different I guess. If you happen to crave the adrenaline rush borne only of true adventure; if you want to test the limits of your own capacity to survive a desolate, unforgiving landscape and a hostile, unforgiving people… well, Iran will disappoint.

Iranians... scary stuff. Photo: Peninsularity Ensues
Iranians… scary stuff.
Photo: Peninsularity Ensues

Not long ago I had no knowledge of the city of Shiraz, and would have assumed it might be in France perhaps, maybe near Bordeaux. I had no idea of this ancient former Persian capital, famed for its literature and wine. I thought to do a bit of preliminary research, so as not to make any cultural faux pas. I’d been advised by a number of people that the wearing of jeans in Iran, and possession of other evil symbols of the western capitalist enemy are prohibited, which is, as it turns out, bullshit.

I’d been told that the Iranian women are strictly controlled by the oppressive regime, and must remain fully covered as not to show their hair, or commit other such immoral public acts, except… more bullshit.

The hotel staff were very friendly and helpful. Photo: Peninsularity Ensues
The hotel staff were very friendly and helpful.
Photo: Peninsularity Ensues

My lanky friend Borat Sohail and the other hotel staff were extremely helpful from the moment I arrived. They showed me how and where to get an Iranian SIM, tips on currency transactions, and directions to local places of interest. I set off on the first of many walks to get some local money and a bite to eat. Ten minutes later I was completely baffled.

The current official exchange rate is about 30,000 Iranian Rials to the dollar. The ‘real’ rate is about 37,000. Desperate for stable foreign currency after years of economic sanctions, you’ll get a much better rate on the street than in the banks, which makes everything even cheaper than it already was. It was a fun kind of novelty to be walking around with millions in cash… for a few minutes.

2.6 million Rials... cash baby! (that's about $70) Photo: Peninsularity Ensues
2.6 million Rials… cash baby! (that’s about $70)
Photo: Peninsularity Ensues

When you realise though that the huge piles of cash aren’t actually very valuable (the smallest denomination bank note (100 Rials) is worth less than US$0.003), things get confusing. Then I found out only the government talks in terms of Rials, but the people trade in the Toman, which just means all sums are divided by ten. There are still too many zeros though, so they often just leave those out. For the next three days I’d be attempting to pay far too much for everything, or far too little.

I ordered a hot dog at the fast food joint near my hotel. There are no western chain-franchise restaurants here. This place was called ‘Fast Food’. The guy asked me if I wanted a small hot dog, which I thought was weird. I ordered a normal one. It didn’t occur to me that the Iranians may not yet have mastered the intricacies of western fast food retail, and that the pictures on the wall might resemble the actual offering. Then I saw a burger being delivered to a table of young men. I remember seeing burgers like that in Australia, 30 years ago. I carried my hot dog in both hands, and the complimentary can of alcohol-free beer (?) back to the hotel.

For $1.50 I expected a quick snack. Photo: Peninsularity Ensues
For $1.50 I expected a quick bite.
Photo: Peninsularity Ensues

The hot dog guy was the first of dozens to ask me where I was from and if I was enjoying Iran. The Persians are proud of their country, and everyone I spoke to was very pleased to hear I was enjoying my stay. Vendors helped me out, smiling and laughing at my cluelessness regarding their currency and, somewhat surprisingly I thought, they didn’t attempt to take advantage. Several people handed back the extra wads of money I’d be attempting to overpay.

I went out for another walk later to see the city at night. I’ve been warned in several countries not to go walking at night, but not here. People were out, walking, shopping, chatting in the restaurants, being normal… the axis of evil stuff is apparently happening elsewhere. Actually it felt safer than a lot of cities I’ve traveled to, from the moment I’d arrived. Even the airport taxi driver hadn’t ripped me off, which is almost unheard of.

Evil Iran... cleverly disguised as quite normal. Photo: Peninsularity Ensues
Evil Iran… cleverly disguised as quite normal.
Photo: Peninsularity Ensues

It was getting late, but the hairs on the back of my neck continued refusing to alert me of any sense of danger. I set off looking for the famed Chah e-Cheragh shrine, which I’d heard was quite beautiful. I came across about 20 guys hanging out at a street falafel stand, near a large sign written in Persian with an arrow pointing down an alley, so I followed that. For the next ten minutes I wandered through a maze of dark alleys, and still… no sense of danger to be found.

Danger stubbornly refused to lurk around every corner. Photo: Peninsularity Ensues
Danger stubbornly refused to lurk around every corner.
Photo: Peninsularity Ensues

I don’t know where those alleys led to, but it wasn’t the shrine I was looking for. Eventually I found it though, and was patted down by an armed security guard who smiled and apologised for having to do so. Admission was free.

At the Shah e-Charagh, Shiraz. Photo: Peninsularity Ensues
At the Shah e-Charagh, Shiraz.
Photo: Peninsularity Ensues

The mosque and funerary complex was quiet and serene. Then I walked into the shrine itself. It was indeed quite beautiful. Jaw-dropping would be another way to describe this place, the name of which in Persian translates as ‘King of the Light’. Looking up at the glittering mirrored ceilings, I hadn’t noticed that I’d inadvertently walked into the women’s section, which, in the middle east, isn’t really the best idea. Two women very gently and politely alerted me to this fact and pointed me, smiling, to the men’s entrance.

Mirrors... lots of mirrors. Inside Shah e-Charagh, Shiraz. Photo: Peninsularity Ensues.
Mirrors… lots of mirrors. Inside Shah e-Charagh, Shiraz.
Photo: Peninsularity Ensues.

The remainder of this quick getaway was filled with more of the same… walking around the city, chatting with people, eating street food, and finding out yet again that what the western media has to say, about a great number things, is wildly exaggerated if not complete bullshit. I found Shiraz to be friendly and laid-back, and one of the safer cities I’ve explored, except perhaps to anyone insane enough to put their faith in the city’s many pedestrian (zebra) crossings, which are purely decorative.

It’s a great shame that fear is such an effective and extensively used propaganda weapon of control. There’s a simple way of rendering that weapon useless. We just have to understand, in numbers, that the people of these shadowy far-flung, “evil” countries who wish us so much harm… they really don’t. They’re just like us. There are good and bad elements everywhere of course, but everywhere, the good are the overwhelming majority.


That means peace. It’s how you say hello in Iran.


  1. Nice post. I agree about how government propaganda is, in many instances, intended to bring fear. I found countries like Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco much safer than my country (or Israel) wanted me to think. However, unlike you, I do fear ISIS.

  2. Thank you for sharing and another thank you for coming I enjoyed and had smile all the times was reading your opinion about Iran happy to hear that some people can’t believe everything showing in media and not judging easily people just because of their government but unfortunately it’s really nasty game hey please come again welcome always to my country x

  3. thanks for sharing. It was really pleasant and I am glad you enjoyed the trip. Also, as Pari said, you are always welcome. I just wanted to share your experiences and amazing story on my Facebook page.

  4. I had heard very good things about Iran and it’s great to get this confirmation from a trusted friend! I won’t hesitate to go there next chance I get…in the meantime, may the chinooks just keep on rollin’ in!

    • “hot spots for hatred like Iran is”…..and experienced, presumably personally, where? Or did you read it somewhere? See it on TV? Someone told you?…..must be true, then….😉

    • Al the west is setting up those goatfuckers such as ISIS and others like the Saudi Givernment! Please try to read up before you believe in your CNN and BBC news!! Then dropping bombs on elderly, young children, couples.. Anyone who comes in the way!! Only to steel wealth & OIL?! And they tell people like you about the danger of WMD!! In Iraq.. It’s a joke. Wake up!

    • Don’t be scared Al Snowdon. I am sure you never even been to Toronto, but best way to defeat your fear is to face it. I am from Iran and didn’t go back for 15 years but I love to see North Korea, don’t trust government and media. Full of bulshit.

    • Mumtaz Ali..maybe you can explain then the bullshit going on in France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, UK and several other countries that are now being terrorize by the garbage that they have let into their countries…the animals from syria, Iraq, Somalia and several other middle east countries…are you gonna try and tell me that nothing is going on there??? They come with the cult that is Islam and terrorize their host countries….that is not made up..that is a fact..they still live like it’s still 1100 a.d. playing off the words of a barbarian child molester….

    • Alex Kolver..I work with a guy from Iran every day…great guy but I still wouldn’t visit Iran. .and I make it to toronto on a regular basis…not sure how that is relivent though

    • Al Snowdon look up this website: http://www.1001inventions.com

      I am not out to convert you to my way of thinking, I am just telling you that if you look at the bigger picture you will see that if the western governments and bankers have a plan to stay in power then they will do anything!! ie who setup Saudi government, who setup Hasni Mubarak Egypt, who setup Saddam Hussain Iraq… The list never ends. As for terror look what Australians did to the aborigines, look what Americans did to Indians, look what west did to African slaves… When you go and bomb people’s homes, family and children then what do you expect they going to throw flowers at you ?!

    • I have friends who have done tours of duty in many places, almost all are beautiful and the people friendly. But they were not in foreign lands because of scenery. Governments killing their people, silencing those who speak out. Im sure many people thought Berlin was a wonderful vacation spot before 1939. Idiots.

    • Erik Hammer and these same Liberals on here will talk about equality for all, then advocate vacationing in places like Iran where they hang people for being Homosexuals and stone women to death for adultery after being raped. Why anyone would support such regimes is mind boggling.

    • Its true the narrow minded are a disgrace. What kind of person would murder another because they read a book wrong? How dare a god make people different enough to hang for it.

    • Al, don’t believe the BS, make up your own mind for a change, Iranians are amongst the kindest and friendliest people on the planet and extremely well educated too. As I said earlier if you see the country up close it’ll blow your mind, they don’t rape women (no more than the West 😉 ) and don’t behead people in public (that’s your lovely ally Saudi 😉 ) goat fucking is unheard of (I hear it’s legal in 11 states down your way ? ) they also don’t go around killing millions of innocent people and call it defending Freedom 😉 . If you brought an alien down to earth, it’s the US they’d pick out to avoid.

    • Kevin Fahey There are definitely problems that must be addressed but stoning is not common or routine. Regarding homosexuality, yes it is officially frowned upon but Iran is also one of very few countries that pays a large percentage of the costs for sex changes, bet your hate department hadn’t told you that 😉 .

    • Stuart Parkinson There can be many reasons Stuart, why do so many Europeans go to Australia or Canadians to the US or vice versa ? Why judge one man any differently to another ? I still go back regularly, it’s not perfect but nor is the West as perfect as it may want to lead you to think.

    • Al Snowdon, the people of the Middle East are human beings not animals.
      Before the ill fated attack by the US and my own country it was a vacation destination for a lot of Europeans. The turmoil that we have created is tragic and has let loose a religious faction that was suppressed by Sadam Hussein. We have a lot to answer for.

    • hmmm…..seems there’s a minority of one…..tells a story, in itself, doesn’t it….I’m reminded that, while insular, ill-educated, easily brain washed with ‘hogwash’ types are in the minority there is hope for the rest of us…..stop buying the bullshit,fed to you by your government/media, al! make your own judgements based on your own life experience….

    • Sorry Al Snowdon Spain has some pretty decent terrorist groups I think you will find if you do your research, France has recently received “terror” attacks. I have no ties to the US but they’re blowing up everyone at the moment and your murder rate is insane, the number of terrorist organisations the US has is rather high too, should I visit there?

    • Al Snowdon – the epitome of ignorance.

      According to the FBI 96% of all terrorist incidents in the USA in the decade leading up to 2012 were by non Muslim groups.

      In Europe, according to EuroPol, it is 94%.

      Even worse though the terrorist groups like ISIS, Al Quaeda, Taliban etc are ALL Sunni Muslims – Iran is 95% Shiah so has nothing to do with any of these groups.

      I’m not a liberal or an appeaser and there are nasty bastards out there but thankfully I also don’t cower in fear or believe everything the media feed me so happily have travelled to the US, Latin America, Middle East & Asia & loved every one of the places I’ve been to.

    • Al Snowden please let’s not use fowl language. what about the rapes that were taking place in Germany before refugees?! Will you blame the refugees for that too… It seems you’ve been blinded and you are scared to open your eyes! All religions are good but it’s individuals who misrepresent be it Islam, Christianity, Jewish!

    • Haha Al Snowdon you live in Hamilton you shouldn’t judge. Maybe I should believe what I am told about it being the armpit of Ontario and filled with drug addicts and bikers. Unlike yourself I live in Toronto and we are diverse and respectful of others cultures. Stay in Hamilton and keep your ignorance there. Perhaps instead of going on facebook you should educate yourself on Iran not just what cnn or other news outlets tell you. Before Afghanistan was bombed to the ground it was also a top vacation spot. News Flash you are being a terrorist. You are terrorizing a whole race of people based on ignorance. I figured you were an American so disgusted when I see fellow Canadians spewing hate. You definitely are not what we stand for. Before you call me a liberal or a left wing I will say this has nothing to do with my politics or religion its called being a decent human. You should try it its not hard.

    • Lmao Jody O’Brien after watching their elections the assumption wasn’t far off. I will add I am learning more and more how ignorant people are in the comment sections of posts like this. SMH you really showed me lol

    • Ugh so you suggest we condemn a whole nation because of their politics Erik Hammer don’t be ignorant. If that were the case I think we should also never visit the United States. Ugh so annoying when people assume they are superior. Maybe we should not be so blind to the rest of the world and ignorant of other cultures.

    • Shea Brown i never condemned a nation, i condemn the government that is hanging people. I also condemn our PM haircut for making billion dollar deals with that government. Ever wonder why we had sanctions against them? Because they have one of the worst human rights records in the world. If you accept a government “culture” where gays are hung from cranes you are the ignorant one. Maybe you as a free woman should go there Shea, wear a pride flag, drink a beer, speak your mind. Im sure its just minty 👌🏻

    • Darren Balls Same reason that every fucker from here wants to go to Australia 😉 every fucker from Italy wants to go to other places in Europe, every retired fucker dreams of Spain, every fucker in Canada wants to go to America, grass is always greener on the other side.

    • Darren Balls, I live in the middle east and most of my colleagues are British. We choose to live here. I’m Australian and every second person I talk to wants to live in Australia. Hamid Hajilou is right.

    • Erik Hammer. it is very naive to believe there is any good government in the world. yes Iran ruled by islamic dictatorship and I strongly believe any country in middleast must keep their dictatorship. I don’t like Islamic version of it but it is still way better than democracy. Growing in that culture you will learn majority of people culturally believe in dictatorship and that’s working for them, yes Iran killed thousands of people for crimes that are considered human rights and that’s horrible but find me a single country in the world who is not engaged in some sort of crimes. like Canada is one of the biggest sponsors of ISIS and other terrorist groups and arm and supports Saudi Arabia and Israel which are far worse than Iranian government. but the overwhelming majority of Iranian people know their government is criminal but in west majority of people are too naive or simply ignorant and racist to admit that they are just as bad.

  5. I like to travel and learn. You have painted a positive image , please don’t lead me astray because I will travel to Iran and explore and learn. So I’m counting on your accuracy

  6. Anthony Bourdain did an episode on Iran and basically says the people were great and interesting and wonderful . He had s great time there

    He did however know that people were terrified to say anything because they were afraid of the government

    One of the people he interviewed in his show disappeared six months later

    Sure regardless of how nice the people are and how beautiful the country is the government is very terrifying

  7. never judge a book by its cover I guess … or by what a greedy corporate run media portrays … I recently heard the iranian government executed a billionnare for corruption… that should be a law in the western world and maybe we wouldn’t have so many money “hoarders”

    • so you would execute someone for having money? wow. that is some misdirected greed right there, because if money wasn’t your god, why would you care about someone hoarding money? and where would you have your jealousy benchmark? £1000 in the bank? £100,000? a million? “sorry mate, you saved 50p this month with means you broke the martell law…how would you like to be executed? beheading with a blunt knife?”

    • I am from Iran and I would recommend visiting preferably by a tour or something. yes it is a dictatorship just like another 70 or so countries in the world. It is not like Castro is waiting in airport to execute everyone lands in Cuba is it? Lol

    • Alex Kolver No Cuba likes foreign money too. Did see a lot of police and military there though, probably making sure nobody does something as stupid as drinking or being gay to get themselves hung.

    • Brian yes a few kids were tried by a court and given death penalty .the usa police executed 115 in one year some r women without a trial and the police doesn’t even get suspended that’s a fact u and I know.

    • Erik Hammer. I am not suggesting you to visit Iran. if you are so scared and have no idea what you are getting to, you will definitely put yourself in trouble. I don’t think anyone here wants to go see how gay people doing in Iran or try the local bar. It is a very different culture and history and way of life which some people are interested to see it first hand. Just like I love to go and see North Korea. because I am sure it is very different from what media like us to know. The experience is different which is exciting for some people.

  8. I work with a couple of guys from Iran for a few months (they didn’t know each other previous to working at this place either) they truly changed my perception of the people of Iran. Strong family and friendship values. I am still in contact with them even after I stopped working there.

  9. Land & people are beautiful on their own accord It’s about the system of governance that creates conflicts & hostilities. Iran is not a true democracy & the ruling Mullahs will not waver from their ultimate goal…Celiphate = world domination by Islam ! Visit their prisons…

  10. Unless you have been and experienced a country you should not have opinions.
    I have just returned from Cuba and met the nicest people anywhere. Our governments have tried to starve the people into submission for 50yrs.

  11. So tell me why are so many countries in just the Middle East , not just Israel, are very weary of the country of Iran ??? And why is Iran creating havoc all over the Middle East

    • Ghetto blaster… no… but I was surprised at the teenagers there listening to the hip-hop on their phones in the street (no headphones). By the way, if you blasted those tunes you mentioned as my neighbour Peter, well… you’d have some trouble there too. Just sayin’.

  12. I like how the people who most fear foreign places never visit them, but spread the fear regardless. A tautological view of fear: I won’t visit to learn about it because it’s too dangerous. I’m afraid of it because I’ve never seen it. I’ve never seen it because it’s too dangerous to visit.

  13. Apalling human rights record, terror supporter & funder, self proclaimed enemy of the west & you climb into bed with these quranimals like everything’s fluffy!
    You should be ashamed of yourself!

    • Well the west did overthrow their elected government in the fifties and install a puppet dictator who ruled for about thirty years; you can see why they wouldn’t much care for western governments, I would have thought.

    • If you seriously think that is the root of this problem, you lack cognitive skills! Stop appeasing backward bullies by falling for the latest trend in self deprication. We did not cause islam’s attitude toward us!

  14. I must go visit, any nice Gay bars or clubs there?
    Oops, I forgot, they put you on the back of a truck, take you to the town square, then hang you. Like they did with a 19 and 20 yo, for being SUSPECTED of being gay.

  15. I was there in ’97 and I must say, it was one rewarding experience. People are the most friendly and I have 3 rugs to remind me of that trip that was 5 weeks long!

    • Thanks Wally! It’s a pity more people can’t get away from their TVs long enough to see the world for what it really is.

  16. Friends of ours went there in 2000 on their across land to Australia. They couldn’t speak highly enough of the country or the people they encountered. It was by far their favourite country

  17. Not surprised everything is ok, they are living under their own law which does not pussyfoot around like our do -good judges. You step out of line over there and you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. Take off your rose tinted glasses.

  18. Of course people are people everywhere. The problem with Iran is not its people, but its rejime run by mullahs who support terrorist groups like the Hizbullah, want to control Lebanon, Irak, Syria and Yemen, execute journalists, gays and women that do not conform to an extreme form of Islam. This article ignores all that and therefore is not an accurate description of Iran.

    • Where did I mention that I’m an expert on Iran? I gather you have spent much more time there than me. I’d be happy to hear your experiences of the place Kaden.

  19. Maybe he should have spoken to members of the LGBT community to get a fuller picture or indeed Bah’ai and Jews. I once had a holiday like that in Communist East Germany (GDR) with no sense of the political and totalitarian reality, such is Iran.

    • My American friend here, who happens to be gay, enjoyed his trip to Iran very much. It was he who got me interested in going to have a look for myself.

  20. Media paints & exagerates as per instructed by government (is my personal opinion & thoughts). ie Swine Flu. Few years back. Painted Mexico as terrible place to visit, airlines even cancelled flights. Yet speaking to friends living there. It big exaggeration. Coincidently US wasn’t happy over a deal at time. So ‘we’ll show you, & shut you down with stopping tourist from coming’

  21. Check your luggage for cameras and mics
    This country has and continues to sponsor terrorists across the world and you think is an OK country!

    How innocent and naive you must be to the world and its evil.

    • May be they do but america support terrorist all the time when it served their interest . The biggest terrorist is the devil bush who fabricate lies to invade iraq kill over one million to steal oil .but its ok its usa

    • Fizul Aberdeen
      The Hussain regime killed more than the western world did and had intentions on doing so much more, they used Sarin gas, Mustard Gas and nerve agents on the Kurdish and other people in their nation.
      All those weapons are weapons of mass destruction to human beings and no doubt he would have continued to kill people with these weapons if allowed.
      The evil in that country is the lack of civilised behaviour towards each other and their own people, that spilt over to the west which then responded .

    • I gather you shelter from the world and its evil by staying at home and believing what they tell you. I could be wrong of course. I enjoy traveling though, and have somehow managed to travel through five continents without being killed.

      …and one more time, I was not talking about the “country”. I was talking about the Iranian people.

  22. Yes countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia are very safe cause they are fascist dictatorships! You did not show any pictures of groups of women left unescorted. Where are they!

    • You are thinking of Saudi Arabia Jay. Iranian women do not need to be escorted by male guardians. In the middle east it is not appropriate to photograph people without their permission however, and it would not be appropriate for me to approach a group of women in the street.

    • I know that in Iran women do not need male guardians and that is why I was asking about pictures of groups of women left unescorted. The fact that you cannot approach a group women on the street shows that these countries are dictatorships that seek to do ONE THING and that is to control women! Of course thay have a bunch of excuses but I think it boils down to these men are mentally defective! I have read books about women from the west marrying one of these clowns and it is a NIGHTMARE!

    • You are thinking of Saudi Arabia Jay. Iranian women do not need to travel with male guardians. In the middle east however it is inappropriate (if not illegal) to photograph people without their consent, and it would also be inappropriate for me to approach a group of women on the street.

    • Who are we to say that what their society (that is centuries older than ours, by the way) does is right or wrong?? Does our society have it all figured out perfectly?? Does a strange male approaching women in the street ALWAYS go perfectly well here in the west?? A lot of the problems we have in our society wouldn’t exist or would be severely lessened if we lived more like some of these other societies. It is when one tries to force their ways upon the other that things get ugly.

    • As soon as I point out that these countries are dictatorships and/or idiots fighting endless wars and doing other stuoid shit people say “blame the west!” The stone cold fact is those idiots have been fighting in the Middle East HUNDREDS OF YEARS before the “west” even existed! They are going to have to come up with a better excuse! The saying “I am Satan. Friends call me Allah!” comes to mind!

  23. Rape victims stoned to death – alleged homosexuals hanged from cranes_ young people arrested for dancing to Pharell Williams. Yeah sounds like a great place to bring the family- NOT!

  24. Where’s the attraction in visiting Iran to a liberal westerner like me? It would be like someone from North Korea Saudi Arabia or Russia saying their country is a swell place to drop in on.

  25. Ha ha ha…. A couple of days ago some dumb bitch decided she was going to hitch hike through the middle east to show Islam was peaceful… Day 2 she was raped and murdered, honestly this makes me happy I feel its evolution killing dumb cunts!
    Seriously guys Iran is a fuckin mint travel destination

    • Every countries have their own laws . In usa the police kill hundreds of unarmed blacks every year .the white supremacist and kkk preach hate against people of colour but thats ok not because the west allowed man to marry man and adopt kids every country have to follow

    • Have you noticed Wayne that 100% the negativity here is from all the people who have never been there? Conversely, nothing negative has been said by anyone who has been there, or known Iranian people. Hmmmm.

  26. Four women were just murdered by the Iranian state. They also are second in the world for sex change operations as it’s considered a cure for homosexuality and it’s either that or death. Such nice “laws” there why just vacation and not go to live there permanently ?

  27. Rouhanii stated only two werks ago that the Fatwa on Salman Rushdi is still in force. So this supposedly normal nation thinks it has the right to kill foreign writers. I’m all for letting them wipe out IS, but don’t try to kid us that they are the good guys.

    • I’m not trying to kid you on anything Mike… and for about the fiftieth time, a people and their government are not the same thing.

  28. Great article, I wish to visit one day, I was always suspicious of the warnings about travelling in Iran, not impressed with the ruling regime, but the people I know who live there are amazing!

  29. Don’t bother yourself thinking about blood on the hands of the leaders , incarcerated American citizen and Iranian people , lack of freedom of speech , radical Islam , official declaration to destroy israel . ( how do you think they intend to do that if not by killing millions of Jewish people ?! But of course , why would you care : no one attempted to kill you personally , so just be grateful for that .

  30. Wow amazing number of negative comments from the sheeple , haven’t been to Iran , but had the immense pleasure of working with an Iranian engineer here in Australia , he was the nicest and smartest person you could meet.

  31. I lived there in the ’70s, before, during and six months after Khomeini returned. Religious extremism has poisoned the place. It is without doubt, a physically beautiful country, with a rich cultural history. As in any country, there are wonderful people, many of whom are now living in exile, as Iran is ruled by religious fanatics. I would not consider returning.

    • I understand Marilyn Aslani. I’m from one of the “lucky” countries, but I also will probably not return. I only write about my experiences. I’m not a political analyst. I’m just a traveler who writes what I see. I saw that the Iranian people are educated and hospitable. Around the world, the government and the people are not the same thing.

    • Exactly. Religious extremism distorts so much. The Christian far right in America paints an equally distasteful picture. How different our beautiful world would be, without religious hatred.

  32. What a hornets nest you have kicked.

    I agree with you. There are certain countries I feel perfectly at ease in and others which are intimidating.

    An Iranian friend says he will never go back, whilst the Ayatollahs are in power. At the same time he says that Persia is a beautiful country.

    I would love to go, unfortunately because of my job, there are certain countries I can’t. Iran is one of those countries.

    Whilst, some say it is supporting the regime, by accepting it and visiting the country, I would say that the other side of the coin is that you are giving the people of that country an opportunity to see that we westerners are not the “Devil”. That we are just ordinary people who want to get on with life and enjoy it. We are the same as them, just a different religion, being bullshitted to in the same way by our respective governments.

  33. When I was in Argentina 12 years ago I met a middle aged American couple who had been to Iran twice in the previous two years and loved it. They felt safe and never felt restricted or harassed by anyone during their stay. This couple were back packers who stayed in hostels.

  34. It is never the general populace that is the threat, small gangs such as governments and fraction groups, create fear and paranoia yet these people do exist!! It is the minority that are unlucky!!

  35. What a steaming load of crap.

    Iran has an amazing human rights record, especially women. They recently tried to jail a woman journalist for an editorial cartoon.

    Iranian Tourism, travel like it’s 1516, with less respect for women…


  36. Oh you are still trying to convince that this horror regime , that executes people that disagree and hangs them , and also a state sponsor of worlds terrorists organizations is actually “not that bad?!”. Since the “deal” obviously there is a great opportunity to make a big buck in Iran, including encouraging to travel there : I guess that’s where your interest is coming from . Because really you must be completely out of you mind if you want to visit such a notorious regime .

  37. Any country is a reflection of how you act when in it. I’ve been all over the world inc some really “troubled” places. Never had an issue, in fact those places have the very best people. Open your mind