Iran, mainly known for conservative Islamic clerics led by Ayatollah Khomeini, shows a welcoming side when one manages the courage to visit. Contrary to its dangerous image in the media, the reclusive nation can be charming due to the warmth of Iranian hospitality. Mosques and museums make the least to be enjoyed here; experiences of moving through the streets to various landmarks are also a must to enjoy a well-rounded trip.
Misconceptions about this misunderstood country stem from the rigid traditionalism in following Islamic law. This does not define the tourism here completely, as Iranians are often more curious about the occasional foreigner in their midst than hostile and argumentative. One can relax during their trip with the usual precautions about safety kept in mind. Doing so will leave one more open about the culture and way of life of the Iranians.
Where to go
Iran has many sights waiting for travellers visiting its sights. There are more that await those venturing outside Tehran, the country's capital. Mashhad is one of the cities to add to the list, as this lets one visit the holiest sites for Shia Muslims. This city honours Imam Reza, the eighth imam whose martyrdom is an admirable example for his followers. From paying respects to this pilgrimage site, one can then go to the shopping areas to look for souvenirs that will remind one of this unique place.
Shiraz is also another spot in visit in this country. Travellers going here will see various gardens, such as Bagh-e-Eram, with its well-manicured landscapes surrounding the royal villa. Another garden to discover is Bagh-e-Afifabad, which was once the resting place of the Queen way back in time when Iran was ruled by monarchy. The Old Town's historical sites should also be part of the list of adventures.
Turkey, the land of the Ottoman Turks, has a justifiably proud history that has conquered ancient Western societies and has a charming culture of its own. Istanbul, known as Constantinople in the ancient times, is only one of the highlights of this fine country. There is also Ankara to explore, with its bustling nightlife and historical sights such as the Roman-era ruins and the imposing Citadel. Many other ancient cities await exploration such as the famous Troy, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Halicarnassus, one of the most beautiful districts that also doubles as an open-air museum.
Although once the country with the tallest towers, Malaysia shows no signs of being dwarfed by others with higher skyscrapers. Those who want to see some of the best examples of Muslim decorations can make their way to Islamic Art Museum with its stunning domes and tilework. Inside its walls feature collections of beautiful textiles, carpets, and pottery inscribed with calligraphy. Thean Hou Temple is another fascinating sight with its ornate appearance and the statues of Buddhist gods displayed in the main hall.
How to get out
Tourists eager to see the world from Iran can board flights in Imam Khomeini International Airport. Airlines serving here transport passengers to different parts of Europe and Asia. Some of them are: Aeroflot, Air Arabia, Alitalia, Atlasjet, Austrian Airlines, Caspian Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, flydubai, Gulf Air, Iran Air, Iran Aseman Airlines, Iraqi Airways, Kuwait Airways, Lufthansa, Mahan Air, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Syrian Air, Tajik Air, Turkish Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines, and Zagros Airlines.
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