Iran

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IRAN located in the Middle East, bordered to the north by Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea, the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and the west by Iraq and Turkey.  It is a multi-ethnic and multicultural country.  In the north western region, Azerbaijan, is largely populated by Iranian Azeris, who are a Turkic people closely related to the people of Azerbaijan republic and Turkey. The province of Kurdistan is mainly inhabited by ethnic Kurds who are related to Persians. There are also Armenians, Arabs, Lurs, Turkmens, Georgians, Assyrians, and Jews.

The country has rich Persian Culture and has its heritages dating back 3,000 years is evident throughout the country, in spite of different devastating invasions and occupations by Arabs, Turks, Mongols, British, Russians and others, the country has always maintained its national identity and has developed as a distinct political and cultural entity. Historical sites like the ancient ruins of Persepolis and the still-glorious former capital of Isfahan are abundant. 

 

Area: 1,648,195 sq km (636,371 sq miles).

Population: 81.8 million (2015).

Capital: Tehran

Government: Islamic Republic

Head of state: Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khameni since 1989.

Head of government: President Hassan Rouhani since 2013.

Language : Persian (Farsi) and Persian dialects are the most widely spoken

Electricity: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style plugs with two round pins are used.

 

PASSPORT & VISA

Visas for Iran are required in advance by most of nationals.  Please check more about the visa application information at the embassy in your country. 

Iran Embassy in Hongkong

http://en.hongkong.mfa.ir/index.aspx?fkeyid=&siteid=72&pageid=29134

To enter Iran, a passport valid for six months beyond the length of stay, and with two blank pages, is required by the nationals that holding a valid visa. 

Important Note: 

~ If your passport contains an Israeli stamp or stamps from other countries' border crossing points with Israel, you may be refused entry to Iran.

~ Women judged to be dressed immodestly will also be refused entry.

 

Currency

Iranian Rial (IRR; symbol Rs) = 100 dinars. Notes are in denominations of Rs50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500, 200 and 100. 

Credit cards 

MasterCard is accepted in some places, but credit cards should emphatically not be relied on as the sole means of payment. Be aware too that if the card was issued in the USA, it may not be usable due to the US trade embargo.

ATM machine

ATMs can be used only by holders of local bank accounts.

 

Weather

Nights can be especially cold. Major cities like Tehran, Esfahan and Tabriz have seasons broadly equivalent to those in Mediterranean Europe. Iran has a relatively low rainfall, but is prone to earthquakes. Those travellers hoping to ski will find most action between November and March, while it’s advisable for all traveler to avoid traveling like Ramadan before booking a trip. In Tehran, lightweight clothing is worn from April to October while medium weights are advised from November to March. Be reminded, however, that dress should always err on the side of conservatism, particularly for women – the wearing of headscarves is obligatory in public.      

Dress Code

For Women, the country has regulated Hijab (a veil traditionally worn by Muslim women) compulsory for Iranians and all foreigners who enter the country. Regardless of their religion, foreigners are expected to have hijab. This means covering your body skin except your face, hands and feet up to the ankles should be covered and your clothes should not be tight. But don’t be scared, its not that tough or strict. A normal long sleeved cotton loose blouse that covers your hips and doesn’t have an open neck line is completely fine. A pair of non-tight pants that covers your legs and ankles is fine. Since tourists have to be careful of your skin not showing while sitting and standing, recommended to wear trousers. Your hair should also be covered, as long as you have a scarf on your head its acceptable. You donnot have to tie your scarf , you can just keep it hanging on your head.

Although it may seem very inconvenient in spring and summer, it can be very suitable for the strong sun throughout the day. Please try to bring cotton or non-plastic fabrics cloths, if traveling to Iran in warmer seasons, recommended for light colors which are cooler. Specially for the scarf try not to bring slippery fabric, since it may fall on your shoulders frequently and become annoying.

For the men shorts are not acceptable, please bring trousers that cover your legs up to your ankles. Choose shirts and blouses that have sleeves, short sleeve is okay but not sleeveless Recommended cotton non-plastic fabric with light colors.

 

Crime

There have been some attacks and robberies against foreigners. Young men on motorcycles or in cars have snatched bags from individuals either on the street or through open car windows/doors. There have been attempted robberies by bogus policemen, usually in civilian clothing. If you are approached by anyone who claims to be a policeman, ask their ID and request the presence of a uniformed officer or marked patrol car. Don’t hand over any documents or cash, or get in to any vehicle.

There have been incidents of motorcycle taxis taking tourists to quiet locations where they are then robbed. Take sensible precautions to protect yourself from street crime. Avoid carrying large amounts of money and keep your passport safe. Pre-booked taxis are safer than those hailed from the street.

 

Food & drink

Rice is the staple food and the Iranians cook it in style, eating it with wheat bread, yoghurt, lamb and aubergines. Typical Persian flavours are subtle, with cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, cardamom and saffron all delicately blended.

Garlic and lime also feature heavily. Many Iranians make their own yoghurt, which can be used as an ingredient in many dishes or as a cool and refreshing drink. Kebabs, served either in oven-fresh bread or with rice, tend to dominate menus, but there's plenty more besides. Vegetarianism is uncommon, but visitors will often find meat-free options.

Alcohol drinking  is illegal.

Bottled water is available and is advised for the first few weeks of the stay. Pasteurized milk is available; unpasteurized milk should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised. Avoid dairy products which are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

 

Tipping & Gratuity

In large hotels, a 10% to 15% service charge is added to the bill. In restaurants, it is usual to leave small change. For guides & drivers tipping is considered as part of their income if you have a joint tour and pre-arranged tour. We suggested US$10.00 per person per day tipping for local guide(s) and USD7.00 for driver(s) and if their services are good.

 

Shopping in Iran

While the shops offer a wide selection of quality goods, local items can be bought in the many bazaars. Purchases include hand-carved, inlaid woodwork, carpets, rugs, silks, leather goods, mats, tablecloths, gold, silver, glass and ceramics. Bargaining is customary. 

There are restrictions on which items may be taken out of the country please check with your guide or the shop before you purchase. 

 

Advice

The threat to travelers is likely to be higher if there’s any national unrest, terrorist incident or an increase in tensions between Iran and other international community. Better just keep a low profile when you are traveling in Iran. 

 

Travel Insurance 

Health facilities are limited in remote areas in Iran.  

It’s absolutely essential to have adequate travel insurance covered, especially for the purposes of flight cancellation, delay or any other unexpected incidental cases occurred during the trip. 

Please take the travel insurance that meets your needs and understand its coverage

 

More Travel Information 

It is the passengers responsibility to obtain all required travel documents, visas and permits, and for complying with the laws, regulations, orders, demands and other travel requirements of countries of origin, destination or transit. 

We strongly recommend that you go to the IATA Travel Centre website http://www.iatatravelcentre.com for more information.

Banned items for import and export

IMPORT 

Prohibited items include alcoholic drinks, narcotics, gambling devices, weapons and ammunition, explosives, counterfeit goods, anti-Islamic publications, and publications, photos and films considered to be against the religious and national dignity of Iran.

Restricted items include animals, fish, plants, medicines (other than those prescribed for personal use), and telecommunications equipment. 

EXPORT 

All prohibited imports are also banned from export, along with antiquities and cultural artefacts. The export of gold is restricted to 150g and the export of silver is restricted to 3kg.

 

For more travel information to Iran please visit :

http://www.irpedia.com/

 

YOUR TOUR ARRANGEMENTS

All land arrangements within Israel are solely at the discretion of our land operators who control the final scheduling of sightseeing programs based on current situation of the day or period like weather, traffic condition etc…….   

Those situations are not under our control and cannot be held responsible for sudden changes.

Terms & Conditions are based on our website : www.f56.com/Terms&Conditions.pdf

 

Health information for traveling ( For travellers from Hongkong )

http://www.travelhealth.gov.hk/eindex.html

 

TRAVEL ALERT 

Hong Kong Government raises the Travel Alert  “Amber” to visit Iran, please check and make sure you have travel insurance covered to travel to this country.  

If you would like to know more about the outbound Travel alert please explore the website:  

http://www.sb.gov.hk/eng/ota/note-Iran.htm

 

If you are a Hongkong Resident holding a valid HKID card and have register a MyGovHK account, you can use the ROTI which is free of charge.  Or explore the website to register. http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/immigration/outsidehk/roti.htm