Iran - unwanted guides and talking politics
Replies: 11 - Last Post: May 23, 2012 3:36 AM Last Post By: nikolaschnikow
May 20, 2012 2:25 PM
Iran - unwanted guides and talking politicsCan't wait for my trip to Iran in July (yes, I know it will be hot). I have two questions:
First, I prefer to travel by myself, without any guides. Is this acceptable or will the authorities or hotel be suspicious if I don't use guides and try to get me one?
Secondly, I love to talk about politics. But I know this is highly sensitive and for sure I don't want to cause people any trouble. How open are people to express how they feel and how much should you talk freely with people you meet on the street?
Thank you for all kind answers.
May 20, 2012 8:26 PM
I can tell you from being in Syria in 2010, politics are strictly off limits. This goes for most countries I have been to in the Middle East, though some more than others. Unless people are extremely comfortable with you, it doesn't really benefit them to talk about politics.
I am of course assuming that this can be transferred from one repressive country to the next. Arab countries with the most freedom of expression, Lebanon, Jordan.
Iran, while not Arab, cannot be up there.
As for going solo in Iran, I can generally tell you safety wise, I had no problems in the Middle East. Whether the government would frown on it, let's face it, they imprisoned american hikers for crossing into Iran from Iraq for years, so ...
Edited by: emd_two on Mar 20, 2013 4:34 AM
May 21, 2012 1:45 AM
i am an iranian so i can help you a little
first of all visa program is too complicated , i donna why but its the way it is i don think you need a hotel reservation or ...... but choose your destinations in iran wisely after choosing them i can be your free online leader.
Iran after revololoution in 79 become a kind of dictatorship country named Tvtalyth but most of the iranian people hate the government so please don't talk about politics casually with everyone it will make you some problems , talk to the people that are trustable . you can find them easily
May 21, 2012 4:43 AM
You are not forced to have a guide unless you are an American citizen so rest in peace.
You can discuss politics with many locals. Most of them will be willing to express their ideas freely to foreigners. The officials will not be interested in your casual talks as individuals.
The atmosphere is much more open than what you may find in other countries in the middle east.
The only thing that may put you in trouble is having journalistic backgrounds or intentions.
In that case, you'd better avoid gathering info!
hope that can help.
May 21, 2012 9:53 AM
4Younger generation Iranians love to engage foreigners in conversations and it almost always turns to politics. They want to know what visitors think of their country, of their government and so on. And they are usually very knowledgeable about the world out there, on the other side of the border. So go ahead, talk to people, you will love this country and it's people.
Tours, no problem going alone and doing your own thing. No need for tours, buses and trains are great ways to get around. And it's on long distance city to city trips that people will get talking to you.
The post above regarding Syria is irrelevant to your trip to Iran, take no notice of it.
May 21, 2012 12:26 PM
5I agree with the last 2 posters. Many Iranian people are very open and very interested in talking politics, usually they will bring it up, sometimes within minutes of meeting you. I'm sure it would be clear if someone wasn't comfortable talking politics. Be prepared for questions about how Iran is portrayed in the news and how you and people from your country see Iran and Iranians. The people who want to discuss politics with you are mostly those that hate the government.
No need to have a guide but you will get many offers from people to show you around - if you want to be by yourself you need to find a way to turn them down politely. Most people apart from Americans and larger groups are travelling independently without a guide.
May 21, 2012 1:21 PM
6Iranians will discuss politics 5 minutes after meeting you. However the usual rules apply. When asked "Do you like God?" smile and say yes. When asked "Do you like dogs" say no. "Do you like our president?" say yes but I don't really know him that well.
Iranians almost seemed too eager to discuss politics with me, however it's nice to have someone to talk to. They also wanted to discuss dresscode etc.
If you are a man however be careful talking with girls I guess!
No guide required unless you are an American, as it's super easy to travel around the country.
May 22, 2012 9:23 AM
May 22, 2012 2:12 PM
May 22, 2012 11:51 PM
May 23, 2012 1:00 AM
May 23, 2012 3:36 AM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$255.15 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$169.00 per night
Des MoinesBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$129.00 per night