Donald Trump’s recent directive to ban Iranians and other Muslim majorities from entering America has caused quite the upset.
Not only is he making it difficult for Iranians to holiday in America but also for foreign travellers who have recently visited Iran. I had to attend an interview at the embassy to confirm I wasn’t conducting illegal espionage before I could party on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
But here at The Kiwi Has Landed, I reckon that Iran could be a favourite travel destination for the tweeting president and not just because it has the second largest proven oil reserves globally.
So here are ten reasons why a visit to Iran by Donald Trump, could drain the unusually orange hue from his cheeks.
Travel to Iran
1) THE PEOPLE OF IRAN ARE THE FRIENDLIEST IN THE WORLD
When I say Iranians are the friendliest people in the world, this isn’t a blanket statement to make my blog post seem sexier than it already is. I travelled alone and people in trains would share their food with me. People on the street would regularly ask if I needed help, they offered to guide me around their city without expecting payment. Iranians at bus and train stations invited me to stay at their house to save paying for accommodation. People took time from their day to make sure I had a wonderful time in the country they are so proud of!
Photo credit: Wild junket
Photo credit: Out there somewhere blogger
2) IRAN IS STEEPED IN CULTURE AND HISTORY
I’m from New Zealand and our history is fairly short comparative with some countries. However, Iran’s history dates back as far as 7000BC so its safe to say that if Donald Trump is a culture vulture, he will be spoilt for choice. Mousterian stone tools made by Neanderthals have been found in Iran so there is an incredible wealth of information to be uncovered. What about the volume of human traffic crossing the desert to trade the ancient Silk Road and then there are sites like Persepolis and old town Yazd. I’m almost breaking into sweat thinking about all that history.
The rock tombs of Necropolis
The ancient ruins of Persepolis
Yazd old city
3) IRAN’S MOSQUES ARE BEAUTIFUL DURING THE DAY, BUT BY NIGHT THEY ARE MAGICAL
One thing Iran does insanely well is mosques. They are colourful, ornate and have a deep sense of peaceful serenity about them. Donald would need to ensure his camera battery was fully charged because he certainly wouldn’t want to go flat mid afternoon. However, no matter how stunning mosques are under the light of day, at night they are another beast, almost as though they have risen from the ground like the stones from 2001 The Space Odyssey. Don’t believe me? Check out these photos below and make your own mind up.
Jame Mosque in Yazd
4) OLD TRADITIONS STILL EXIST MAKING IRAN A UNIQUE PLACE TO VISIT
In this day and age, anything that isn’t made by machine in a factory in China or India is a thing of beauty. Whilst strolling the network of markets, I enjoyed watching local artisans crafting metal and woodwork and seeing hand woven carpets take shape. Each individual market specialised in a different trade, they did what they did well and didn’t try to be a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. With Trump trying to give American jobs back to American people, he may pick up a few tips from a visit to Iran.
Making pots and pans the old fashioned way
Baking fresh bread inside a wood fire
5) THEY HAVE EXCELLENT FREE SPECTATOR SPORTS
Game of polo anyone? This was my welcome in the main square after I arrived into Isfahan (Esfahan).
…AND SOME OF THE FINEST BRIDGES IN THE WORLD
Siosepol Bridge in Esfahan
6) THE ARCHITECTURE IN IRAN IS TRULY AWESOME
Some of Iran’s architecture is utterly magnificent and it is hard not to be awestruck by the ornate tile-work and patterns that adorn buildings and mosques. Everything is well thought-out, with true craftsmanship at the forefront of decision making.
Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque
7) THE CITIES COME ALIVE AT NIGHT
Iranians do not need alcohol to have a good time. As long as they are with good friends and family, have sweet food for a picnic and space for a good gossip they are happy. Oh and tea, never forget the tea. Typically if you cut a human being, blood will pour from us however, in the case of an Iranian it will be tea that flows.
Evening view in Naqsh-e Jahan Square
Amir Chakhmaq Square
8) IRAN HAS PLACES OF ABSOLUTE DIVERSE BEAUTY THAT IT WILL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY
I’m not talking about the usual number, 6 or 7 attractions on the list of ‘things to do’ in the city, I’m talking about attractions that will make your jaw drop open, fall to the floor and make your brain squeeze oxygen as to why you never visited Iran sooner. If Donald Trump needs a change from the subtle tones of The Whitehouse, I suspect the beauty of Iran is just the change he needs.
Shapouri House in Shiraz…the perfect place within the city to wind down with a coffee and relax
View of Azadi Tower in Tehran
View of Tehran
9) IT’S WARM ENOUGH SO DONALD CAN LEAVE THE BOTTLE OF SPRAY TAN AT HOME
If Donald Trump spent any time out enjoying the Iranian sunshine, he would have that sun-kissed look as opposed to a somewhat jaundiced tone. Just imagine picking up a healthy tan whilst exploring the mud brick city of Kharanaq or tasting falafel at a street side food vendor.
This is a bad tan
This is a good tan
10) THE MARKETS ARE BUSTLING AND FULL OF INTERESTING TRINKETS. THIS IS WHERE IRANIAN LIFE HAPPENS!
An unguided tour of any of Iran’s markets reveals a more granular side to each city in the same way that a driving tour reveals a superficial but all encompassing view. The markets reveal the tastes, smells and sounds of Iranian life. They show normal everyday people going about their daily life and habitual behaviours. It is the perfect place to enjoy a sweet tea and people watch to get a real feel for the country and people who call it home.
Inside Esfahan bazaar
Iran was the highlight of 2016 for me, mainly because I was so humbled by the people I met and places visited. It dispelled many of the myths that history and the media feeds to the public. Iranians are an incredibly friendly race of people, proud of their country and eager to also ‘make their country great again.’
If you want to read my other posts on Iran, please click on the links below:
Guide to travelling in Shiraz, Iran
Your guide to travelling in Esfahan, Iran
The ultimate guide to travelling in Iran
Yazd city guide, Iran
Iran’s obsession with taking the perfect selfie
Tehran city guide and obtaining an Iranian visa
Bathhouses of Iran – washing away tradition