Any Silk Rd tourers in Iran?
Replies: 1 - Last Post: Oct 14, 2012 7:22 AM Last Post By: bradrimm
Oct 13, 2012 1:35 PM
Any Silk Rd tourers in Iran?Wondering about latest info for Turkmen ,Uzbek, & China visas in Tehran?
Being Australian, I've got LOI for Uzbek coming.. From what I've read Turkmen is easy to get once having onward visa. China sounds like I need a LO Recommendation from my Aust embassy.. ?
Can anyone add to this? (unusual documents, cost, waiting time?)
And the other tourers I've met are either flying to India or too damn slow.
Will anyone be in Mashad early November?
Vali's Guesthouse best place to stay?
Oct 14, 2012 7:22 AM
1China Visa in Tehran as of Oct 2012 (easy to get in a few days!)
The CHN Embassy is new, busy, organised and hard to call. So don't waste your time going there and lining up for information, unless you have all the documents ready. Note: the address is below - GoogleMaps + the CHN embassy website lists the old address (1500m down the hill).
Step 1) Get a Letter of Recommendation from your home embassy. I can confirm this is required for Australians (myself) + Germans, UK, Spanish citizens I met at the embassy. I'd assume this applies to all other "westerners" also. Australian embassy took 15 mins to sort out mine, at a cost of $13 (380IR).
Step 2) Go to Mahdavi (a tour services company opposite the China Embassy, above the bank). They fill out your China Visa Application Form on your behalf, fudge hotel addresses etc, ensuring it's filled out correctly + photocopy ur passport. They charged me 100IR (3$) but I think it was supposed to be 500IR but the girl was nice.
No.66 Movahed-e-Danesh St,
Step 3) Check you have all documents (Visa Form) + photocopy of passport + photos + LO Recommendation.
Step 4) Go across the road to the Chinese Embassy (Open 8:30-12:30, 2:30-4:30pm on Sun, Tues, Thurs but double check the website). Be a little pushy like all the other locals jumping the line. They can give you the visa in 1 day (rushed), 2-3days (express). 4 days (normal). It costs 40USD for non americans. They request to hold your passport during this time, I couldn't plead her otherwise.
Step 5) Pay the 40USD at the bank across the road, same building as Mahdavi. You have 2 days normally to pay, or else the CHN embassy can't check the payment. Though if later you do it by showing the bank receipt, but they won't be as pleased.
Step 6) Pick up passport, bring the bank receipt with you. (I hope to get my passport back in a few days anyway).
Step 1) Attempt a BS Letter of Recommendation. A Brit tried this and seemed to get it HA - good luck!
Step 2) DIY Visa Application form. NOTE: It must be printed double sided, and it needs to be filled out properly (hotels).
Step 3,4,5,6 as above.
So Tehran CHN Visa is really easy (faster & easier than Uzbek and Iran anyway). You DO NOT need a "Letter of Invitation from a Duly Authorised Unit", or flight bookings, hotel bookings etc
Also my advice is check all embassy opening hours AND catch a taxi around the city! Its about $3-4 and 45 mins from the city center to the furthest embassies (eg China). Metro option takes a few hrs each way (with a few kms of walking), buses and cycling would be painful and just as slow. Without a few taxi rides it might take over a day sort out the application.
You should meet nice ppl along the way!
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