I am going to Persia!!

Tehran Travel Blog

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I really cannot believe how fast time flies. I got to know about Iran in Dec 2016, then managed to book a super cheap ticket from Thai Airlines at less than SGD400 to Tehran in Feb 2017, and before I know it, the day for me to fly has arrived!

It was by chance that I choose to visit Iran during the Ramadan period. So, there was a lot of last minute consultation with my Muslim friends on Islam, fasting and even wearing the hajib. Being a locally-born Singaporean, I am fortunate enough to be exposed to different cultures and at one point in time, I even wondered if I should wear a hajib and baju kurong for our own Racial Harmony Day. But I guess it is so common seeing muslim women wear the hajib, it is not very common for non-Malays to wear one. For another reason, it is really too hot and humid in Singapore to be all covered up. 

So, I did all I can to prepare for the hot summer weather, fasting period and covering up. I bought dri-fit t-shirts and pants and prepared additional clothes because I anticipate that I will be perspiring like mad in the hot weather. 

There is a transit in Bangkok, and that's where all the Singaporeans on the flight disappeared and I got my first experience with Iranians. Many of the ladies have not covered up their hair, but it is still not difficult to spot a handful who adhere to their clothing regulations dutifully even when in Bangkok. I got a shock too when suddenly a lonely lady suddenly stand very close to me. Then it dawned upon me that this is something I need to get used to for the next few days, that I need to be mindful about myself and the environment, because of the Muslim law that the entire country adopt.

It was a good thing to travel when the sun is still out, because you can admire the vastness of the desert of Iran below. there are mountains and deserts and once a while, you see small pockets of villages. After a while, we landed and that is where I felt a sense of excitement. I am going to cover my hair and be as "muslim" as possible. The next obstacle is getting my visa and insurance as I do not want to find my hostel when the sun is down.

Lucky for me, I met a Chinese girl who is residing in Singapore and we waited for her friend to arrive from China, to share the cab to our hostel. It was a breeze for me to clear my visa and immigration. Head straight to buy insurance, then to the bank to pay for the visa and then to the visa counter to apply for your visa. It cost me about about euro 16 (insurance) and euro 78 (visa). 

During our wait at the airport, we met an old man who is travelling in Iran. Apparently, he said he is from Turkey and we managed to spend about 1 hour, chatting and drinking tea with him. He even show off his art skills and urge us to visit him next time. And this is the start of my experience with the hospitality of Iranians. 

When the friend arrived, we shared a cab (I managed to save a lot of money!) to our hostel. It was almost 2am and I didnt even bother changing out my clothes and just fall asleep.

I am in Persia.

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Tehran
photo by: macajam