Woman going to Iran

Jun 4th, 2000, 01:45 PM
Jackie B
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Woman going to Iran

I'm planning on visiting Iran in October, have any women in this forum been there recently and what would you advise in the way of clothing and shoes etc. Is it as bad as it seems??
Jul 10th, 2000, 09:03 PM
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I just recently got back from a trip to Iran. You, of course, must have a coat and scarf at ALL times whenever you are in public. I would suggest light clothing like t-shirts and jeans if the weather is fairly warm, because with the coat and scarf you will get hot. You can not show any skin except your face and hands. That includes wearin socks with sandals. The people are kind, but you are evpected to follow the rules.
Jul 10th, 2000, 09:37 PM
Carol Peddie
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When I was in Iran last October with a tour group, our leader said the women could get away with wearing a long sleeved loose shirt(in a plain sober color) over a long skirt or pants, so we did and found it to be much cooler than the long coats provided. Head scarves however were an absolute must. The people were wonderful.
Dec 5th, 2000, 07:43 AM
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Why would anybody in their right mind want to visit a dump like Iran?
Dec 5th, 2000, 09:46 PM
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I may live to regret this but....

Why do you think Iran is a dump? And does that description extend to all of the Middle East? What about Asia, after all Iran straddles both. Perhaps you should watch a video "In Search of Alexander the Great" - not the best video by any means, but it does give a glimpse of Iran, which looks an incredibly interesting and wonderful country. I'll be able to tell you better next May when I return from my trip there.

Actually the Middle East - and I'm talking of ALL countries in the Middle East (Israel and Arab) have a heck of a lot to offer. You can run the gamut from super-sophistication, (ie nightclubs, the highest rated hotel in the world), to being alone in perfect solitude in the largest desert on the planet. For history buffs - it's paradise on earth , for sun worshippers - one of the "hot" spots, for shoppers - a place to get the best from both east and west. Sure, there are restrictions - although, on the whole, I think these restrictions look a heck of a lot worse from the outside looking in than they do for those actually living with them (and navigating around them).

You can say lots of things about this region but I think "dump" should only be used after you've visited and seen for yourself. I hope I haven't offended.

However, this is only an opinion and lots of people may agree with you. I just wanted to put the other view.
Dec 7th, 2000, 08:16 AM
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Iran is a corrupt, third world country where no laws exist and where if you run into trouble nobody can or will help you.
Plus its a long way away and there are tons of more interesting places in the world to visit.
Dec 12th, 2000, 08:04 AM
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For a stunning view of Iran's natural beauty, see the movie "The Color of Paradise". I had no idea that Iran had places like this.
Dec 13th, 2000, 01:04 AM
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I'm in shock! I've just checked Amazon and find that movie costs $98.99!! Amazing!!!

Therefore, I think I'll wait and see Iran with my own eyes rather than on video, but thanks for the information.

Dec 25th, 2000, 08:19 PM
Norma Lammont
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I am replying here to the posters who describe the Middle East in general and Iran in particular as a "dump", "corrupt" and "lawless". Sure, if you go to Iran you have to follow their dress code - well being an experienced independent traveller to a number of Moslem countries I have no problem with that. Actually, all the time I was in Iran I experienced only helpfulness and friendliness from local people, some of whom went out of their way to help me. Several times people who owned snack bars refused payment for a drink and had to have it pressed upon them - Iran is a poor country. I have experienced sexual harassment in Italy and to some extent in Egypt and Morocco in tourist areas but I never experienced this in Iran and was always treated with the greatest respect and warmth. This was my second visit to Iran after a great many years - I went once before when the Shah was in power and then, as recently, I travelled independently and not with a group. I would reccomend Iran for any adventurous and independently minded traveller who wants to get off the dreary tourist trail - it is not a package destination and I sincerely hope it never will be invaded by some of the small-minded, bigoted and ignorent people who have posted above.
Mar 25th, 2001, 09:30 PM
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I'm planning on travelling through Iran on my way from Turkey to Pakistan - are there trains/buses that would allow me to do this or do I need to rent a car?
Mar 26th, 2001, 11:32 PM
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Trains in Pakistan go everywhere, so once you arrive in that country you'll have no problems with transport, there's also about 3 different classes of bus transport, but train is definitely better. If you use trains make sure you are specific about the class you want to travel, check if you have to book both a seat and sleeper if travelling at night. I have to say, my info is probably a bit old but that's the way it was in the early 90's. I can't imagine anyone wanting to drive themselves particularly as it's quite easy to hire a car with driver - and you need dodg'em car exerience in order to survive (joke).

I don't know but would assume there is a bus service from Turkey into and across Iran. There are pretty amazing bus transportation services all across the ME and Asia - and cheap too.

Be thoughtful though about when you plan to make this journey -there's one place in Pakistan (simbi ?) where it gets so hot the saying is that the locals would wear their overcoats in hell - sounds pretty warm to me!

For Iran "Marty" on Thorn Tree is a mine of information - sorry Fodors!

Apr 18th, 2001, 12:05 AM
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Wow, I just saw my name. Thanks, anon! Here is my usual dress advice for Iran:
Scarf: Any color, or you can wear a large shawl wrapped around your head and over the shoulder on one side. As long as it covers your hair (if a LITTLE BIT of bangs, or whatever stick out, don't worry.) I have long hair, and leave it down inside my shirt so it won't come out.

Leg Coverings: Pants with socks or opaque knee hose. If your Manteau reaches below the knee, you can just wear the knee hose, but don't buy the "sheer" kind. By "opaque", I mean colored, black is more common here but not necessary, of a thickness that your skin doesn't show through.

Manteau or "Roo Push": Here's the clincher - You can wear any loose garment on top, as long as it is long sleeved, below the knee or longer, and reaches to the bottom of your neck. (No V-Neck). Any color. I know that's hard to find in some countries. If you can't, wear the lightest trench coat you have, and buy something here - there's a large selection and it's cheap. In the wintertime, wear your winter coat, knee length or longer. In the past few years, the "mini-manteau" has been worn by more daring younger ladies. If you are one of those, you can wear a coat that is mid-thigh or longer, always with slacks.

Black is the more common color here, but it's hot in the summer, and definitely not mandatory. Very bright colors are not common and will attract attention (although no one will bother you about them, they'll just stick out.) I wouldn't recommend white for your manteau, but it's fine for other outer clothing (too hard to keep clean here) or red for certain reasons of custom and religion.

If you plan on visiting very religious sites or mosques, sometimes they will require a chador. Chador is CUSTOM - not law. If they require one there, usually they will loan you one at the door. But the chador is hard to handle and I wouldn't advise anyone to just depend on that.

The people of Iran are very reasonable, friendly and helpful to foreigners. If there is anything wrong with your clothes, they'll tell you. In the years I've lived here, I've only had one problem. Someone asked me to "clean my lipstick". Of course, there are problem people everywhere, and if you meet up with someone like that, just ignore them. If they persist, people will take up for you. We went to call the local police, and they disappeared.

One more thing - if you are worried about makeup, you can wear the same natural looking makeup that we wear on every day in the west. A light color is fine, just not "really red".

And dsd, sweetie, you can stick to your bikini vacations. Why travel at all? To learn, see new cultures, beautiful architecture, experience what the world has to offer! Many travelers return from Iran and express their surprise - it's not what you see in the media. Come and be amazed.

Aug 23rd, 2001, 05:09 AM
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I was in Iran last year in march. We arrived in Tehran, where I boupgt a pretty long black coat in a big store which our chauffeur brought us to. The scarves are bigger than ours and there are thousands on sale. If you are staying longer it is better to buy 2 then you can give one to laundry. The Iranians were very friendly and I am sending everybody there. We were on our own, with chauffeur bacause you are not allowed to drive. And if you could you cannot read anything.They are definitely not in English.The most dangerous thing was getting accross the streets in the big cities because of the traffic. And its good also for your liver, because alcohol is stricktly forbidden!!!! the men don't wear ties. Have a nice trip and buy your long coat there. Pretty and cheap.

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