Iran Resources

Well, I’ve spent most of the morning on the Internet researching and trying to reassure myself about Iran, and the South Eastern part the FCO says “don’t go to”, which you have to go to to cross by land into Pakistan. Here is a bit of a compendium of resources I have found, which I’m documenting as much for my own reference, as for my friends and family to be reassured/scared, and for other travellers looking for information. I’ll update this post if find any more.
First, this is what the FCO has to say about Iran – to sum up, it’s basically safe except for the SE, from Kerman to Bander Abbas.

Next, as I blogged before, Andrew and Friedel, two Canadians cycling around the world, have an excellent resource on cycling in Iran generally.

Mark Beaumont did the route by bike on his record breaking round-the-world bike ride. This page of his online diary has the posts about this part of Iran.

Mark mentions that he did the same route as and got lots of information from a couple cycling from London to Delhi. Here’s their experience.

Then, of course, there is the LonelyPlanet ThornTree forum on Iran. A lot of the posts are about different parts of Iran, but have a flick through, and there are a number of posts on the border crossing.

Finally (for now), there’s a guy travelling around the world trying to find a home. He has written an account of travelling over the Iran/Pakistan border crossing by public transport.

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5 thoughts on “Iran Resources

  1. Thoughts from an old git (envious)
    It’s a all a far cry from my day! When I cycled to Turkey through Europe in the mid 80s I didn’t use any books or guides, only maps, and of course there was no internet. One of my abiding memories is of well-meaning people in each region or country warning me about what was coming up next and how much danger I’d be in. French people warned me about Italians, Italians about Slovenians, etc. right through to Greeks warning me about Turks. However I was overwhelmed by people’s generosity and helpfulness. I probably missed lots of things I ‘should’ have seen along the way through sheer ignorance, but found other things through happy accident. FWIW Don’t be put off by others’ experiences and beware of doing the whole trip one step ahead of where you are. You’ll probably only pass that way once. There is an interesting tension between the slowness of a bicycle and the speed of the internet. Good luck and tell us about what you experience.

  2. Hi Steve, it is a different world now! I still don’t have any guidebooks, they’re far too heavy, and I prefer to explore by wandering and discovering “hidden gems”. But being able to research the security of a region beforehand is useful.I wasn’t going to go that way at all when I started the trip. Then I thought to cycle up to the FCO “don’t go there” region in the SE and take a bus the rest of the way. Now, after reading other people’s experiences, I will see how I feel when I get there (if I get a visa!).

  3. Hi there, we can put you in touch with someone in Iran who can give you information on this part of the world. He is Iranian-Canadian and cycled there for a few weeks. Even as an Iranian, he had a police escort most of the time but said the people were the friendliest he’d ever met, and that’s saying something in Iran! We also know an American who just returned from there and she also had police protection, even to travel on the bus. You will undoubtedly have police protection whether you want it or not for at least part of the trip.

  4. Sorry, just to clarify, those comments pertain particularly to Baluchistan. In the rest of Iran, you’re fairly unlikely to attract the attention and special care of the police.

  5. Thanks Friedel and Andrew, If you could put me in contact with them it would be great – I’m trying to obtain as much info as possible. BTW, went to the bike shop in Alexandroupoli – one of the friendliest most generous guys I’ve ever met, and of course he remembered you two (his jaw dropped when I mentioned your names!).

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