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Luggage and bags: I carried a holdall on wheels and a barrel bag with handles and a long carry strap. I was camping for part of my trip, so had sleeping bag etc, which took up quite a bit of space.
For sightseeing I had a day sac to carry my camera, Travel guide and phrase books etc
I also packed a small handbag for going out to restaurants etc at night - just so I felt a bit more smartly dressed!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Females over 9, hejab is compulsary.
No need for a chador though.
Trousers/ Jeans or long skirt/dress, with long sleeve shirt or jacket, reaching mid- thigh are ok.
No need for black or plain material either.
I packed a light unlined mac - 2 sizes too big. This was cool (temperature, not fashionwise!)
Also, 'Best Lingerie' in coloured cotton or silk! it helped me feel less frumpy.
Iranian women are very elegant, The young are 'pushing the boundaries' wearing tight fitting shorter tops, with hems on jeans cut above the ankle.
Towards the end of my trip, I was desperate to buy some new clothes, but discovered that a lot of the clothes are in man-made fibres.
Open toed sandals worn with nail polish are ok
A selection of scarves - lightweight cotton or silk - in different colours and patterns.
Squares for wearing knotted under the chin - ( the locals look elegant, I felt like a character from 'League of Gentlemen' or a Queen Liz 2 impersonator) and longer rectangles, for draping over the hair.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Carry all prescription medicine with you.
Eye drops and throat lozenges - to combat the effects of the traffic fumes.
Sun screen - even if only your hands and face are exposed!
All the guide books state that tampons are difficult to obtain in Iran, so come prepared. I'm afraid that I meant to check this out, but forgot. I did notice packets of sanitary towels on display in a shop in Kandovan though.
Photo Equipment: All that you can carry!!! This was my first trip using a digital camera - and thought that I had sufficient SD card memory and with 2 rechargable batteries I'd be fine, even when camping, and unable to re charge them- Wrong! (Yes I'm snap happy!!!)
Luckily most towns have at least one photography shop. I was considering burning my pics to CD, but my guide told me of a couple who'd done this, and arrived home to find the cd had broken in 2 - luckily, they'd made a copy for the guide, so he was able to send them another copy.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: During my trip, I spent 3 nights camping, the first night was in Shabil, which was very cold at night - next to a river, near snow capped Mount Sabalan. I was glad I'd packed a cheap fleece blanket ( I later left this with the nomads - along with some clothing)and a long sleeved thermal vest.
Forget beach wear, unless you're travelling to Kish Island! However, I'm glad that I took my (sensible) cossie, because when I got to Shabil, I got the chance to bathe in the hot springs - (alternating times for male and female bathers) However, my fellow bathers were wearing various attire -swim wear, underwear, or nude!
Anti- bacterial handwash
Tissues/ toilet paper.
Tea spoon! -
post cards/ photos of your home town etc.
I also carried small gifts, to give to my guides, and people that I stayed with.
Boiled sweets- for the long car journeys! (These were very popular)!
Torch - magilite etc
Farsi phrase book - I used Lonely Planets'.
Updated May 17, 2009
Miscellaneous: ATM and credit cards won't work in Iran. I have no choice but to carry cash. For me I wanted to carry some US dollars and some Irani rials. The biggest Banknote is 20 000 Irani Rials (about 2 Dollars) which mean the 300 US dollars will turn into 150 notes of 20000 Irani Rials. This will make any walet big and painful to carry. I was pleasently surprized to know that in UAE (other Gulf countries) you can buy Iranian checks (sort of) with banknotes of 500 000, 200 000 and even 1 000 000 Irani rials which means I am carrying only 8 banknotes. These travellers checks are issued by Iranian Banks and can be used any where in Iran as you would use cash in banks resturants and shop. I am enclosing a picture of the both sides of 500 000 and the 200 000. Note the bank Stamp of one side. In Dubai you can get these Notes from Souq Morshed in Diera, next to Dubai creek where most of the currency exchange shops are located.
Updated Mar 25, 2007
Luggage and bags: Carry small sized suitcases if on a flight inside Iran as the aircraft are very small and it is not possible to take very large bags.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Toilet rolls are a must unless you are staying in 4 to 5 star hotels. Medicines are also preferably to be brought by you if you need anything specific.
Photo Equipment: Camera film is available but very expensive and only in 100 ISO. So if you are using fast films or transparencies (slides) then buy it before you come here. Developing and printing is not advisable in Iran. Get it done after your visit in your own country.
Miscellaneous: Mosquito repellant spray or cream.
Written Aug 26, 2002
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you are a woman:
a scarf to cover your hair, not too tight clothes, and long shirts that covers your butt.
If you are a man:
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: There are many possibilities to go hiking in the mountains in the North of Tehran, and many people do it.
Written Aug 25, 2002
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