Middle East & Central Asia - It begins! - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



Go Back   TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards! > Backpacker College Student Travel Message Boards > Where ya going? & Specific country info! > Asia

Asia Truly...a different world. Kazakhstan, Japan, and everything in between. Mekong River, Central Asia deserts, sticky rice, ancient traditions, temples, tuk-tuk...

Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-21-2007, 03:20 PM   #1
TPunk Recognized
 
ajb3000's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: London, England
Posts: 502
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Middle East & Central Asia - It begins!

I feel like I've been waiting forever to make this post, but now it's time. On Saturday morning at 6am (a mere 30 hours from now) I will be departing London for my 3 month jaunt from Istanbul to Hong Kong through Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China. I'm all visa'd up and ready to go (although I still need to actually pack my rucksack). I hope to access the net about once a week to update you all, and if possible will upload some photos to my site at http://www.adambrown.co.uk/gallery.

Wish me luck!
__________________
Where I've been: Albania, Australia, Belguim, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, Somaliland, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Transnistria, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Ukraine, Uruguay Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Vietnam, Yemen

Where I'm going: Cyprus (June 2013)
ajb3000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2007, 03:46 PM   #2
always trippin'
 
freespiritz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: The Island of Rhode
Posts: 2,071
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Good luck! That is going to be one hell of a trip - I seriously cannot wait to hear about your adventures! Stay safe and have a blast! :D
__________________


Check out my band!
freespiritz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2007, 05:42 PM   #3
Hiked the Inca Trail
 
jengt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Columbus, OH USA
Posts: 865
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I'm excited to hear about your travels & see you photos.

Have a great trip!
__________________
"Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you."
~ Aldous Huxley

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer (an ad in the Smithsonian)

Travel is the enemy of bigotry.
jengt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2007, 06:44 PM   #4
TPunk Emeritus
 
worldwidemike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA
Posts: 3,405
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I feel like I've been waiting forever to READ about it, Adam!

Sounds absolutely awesome...and I'll be waiting to hear about the adventures...

worldwidemike
__________________
Check out my travel web page at:
Worldwidemike.com
"Life is not measured in the number of breaths we take, but by the places that take our breath away..."
worldwidemike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2007, 06:44 PM   #5
No one regrets traveling
 
joe7f's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,072
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to joe7f Send a message via Skype™ to joe7f
Default

The ol' silk road that's a helluva trip. Enjoy it man!

--Joey
__________________


Countries visited: USA, Netherlands, Norway, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain (and Gibraltar), Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, Ireland, UK, Japan, Canada , Portugal, Czech Republic, Poland, Andorra, Croatia, Montenegro

Next up: Mongolia, China

"I sought trains; I found passengers" - Paul Theroux

Help Travelpunk's continued existence with a small donation
joe7f is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2007, 08:45 PM   #6
Members
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 240
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Enjoy your trip!
hurr111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2007, 10:01 PM   #7
Resident Junglist
 
buzzingtalk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: somewhere over the rainbow
Posts: 474
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via MSN to buzzingtalk
Default

wow that sounds like a mammoth trip. have a good one stay safe adn take lots of photos!
__________________
Up next...

Euro trips for gigs and festivals as usual...
Then heading east to NZ & Aus for a few years! Via Abu Dhabi, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

Time to get out of the UK for a while!!
buzzingtalk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2007, 04:04 AM   #8
TPunk Recognized
 
ajb3000's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: London, England
Posts: 502
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Just a quick update, Im safe and well in Bodrum ın Turkey where its 45C! Its an absolutely beautiful place though; crystal clear water, great bars and Ive met some fantastic people. Im getting too sunburnt and spending too much money here now so Im off to Cappadocia this afternoon. Ill wrıte a more detailed report later.
__________________
Where I've been: Albania, Australia, Belguim, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, Somaliland, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Transnistria, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Ukraine, Uruguay Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Vietnam, Yemen

Where I'm going: Cyprus (June 2013)
ajb3000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2007, 05:44 AM   #9
TPunk Recognized
 
TERI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 976
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via MSN to TERI
Default

glad you got there ok. and too see you're having a great time already.
wow thats hot! I heard there was some crazy heat wave going on.

__________________
never frown. even when you're sad, cause you never know who's falling in love with your smile.

urple\'> "Wanna feel the warm breeze, sleep under a palm tree, feel the rush of the ocean."
"...Get aboard a fast train, travel on a damn plane."
" Take a Risk, Take a chance, Make a change!"--- Break away. Kelly Clarkson (lol)
TERI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2007, 10:15 AM   #10
TPunk Emeritus
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Leigh On Sea, Essex
Posts: 3,337
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Is there going to be a book about your travels...would be very exciting! Definately have to arrange a UK meet up for when you get back so i can hear all about it! Have fun!
__________________
I have two skins, one to lie on and one to cover myself with; the earth and the sky. (Masai proverb)


FANCY A READ...TPUNK BOOK CLUB CAN BE FOUND HERE



what goes around comes around
beergal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2007, 02:14 PM   #11
Members
 
DrGonzo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: anywhere i can have my pack and guitar
Posts: 65
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

best of luck to ya!! hope to read about your travels soon!
DrGonzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2007, 08:01 PM   #12
TPunk Emeritus
 
worldwidemike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA
Posts: 3,405
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajb3000 View Post
Im off to Cappadocia this afternoon
Oh, man...Cappadocia! Jealous. Post some pics, if you get a chance. I'm a sucker for weird stone formations, and Cappadocia is like the Great Elephant Burial Ground of all weird stone formations!!!

worldwidemike
__________________
Check out my travel web page at:
Worldwidemike.com
"Life is not measured in the number of breaths we take, but by the places that take our breath away..."
worldwidemike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2007, 09:57 AM   #13
TPunk Recognized
 
ajb3000's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: London, England
Posts: 502
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Got to be brief because I don't have many Rials on me (yes, I'm in IRAN!!!).

So I spent 4 days in Bodrum just partying and sunbathing really, I went on a day cruise as well, and discovered the Turkish police don't like people making out on the beach at 6am in the morning, oh well.

After that I spent 3 days in Cappadocia, staying in Goreme. There's enough to keep you occupied in the village itself for at least a full day, I visited the open air museum of buildings made out of the rock formations, the UFO museum, and had a good walk around. The next day I decided to hire a scooter and go for a drive. It was quite an amusing experience as I told him I'd left my license at home in the UK and had never driven a scooter before, and he said "as long as you have money and your passport, it's no problem".

The drive was amazing, I went past the "fairytale chimnes", formations where hard rocks have been deposited on top of soft rock and now balance on top of a chimney like structure where the hard rock has scewed the erosion. I then drove through a canyon landscape, which eventually turned very green, and then arrived at an underground cave and had a tour round that. It was incredible. I kept stopping the scooter every couple of minutes to take photos of the landscape!

The following day I was given a tour of the valley by "spotty" the dog! The dog at the pension I stayed in is so used to walking with tourists, he leads the way and stops at every scenic view and waits for you to take a photo before carrying on! Then when you want to go back, you just have to call him and point backwards and he'll lead the way home. The most amazing dog I've ever seen.

So now I arrived in the Islamic Republic of Iran today. I'm in some small town while I try to sort out money and things but will hopefully move on to Tabriz tomorrow. More about that later.

I've uploaded the photos on Bodrum to my site, and will try and get more up as soon as possible but it's not an easy thing to do in an internet cafe.
__________________
Where I've been: Albania, Australia, Belguim, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, Somaliland, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Transnistria, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Ukraine, Uruguay Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Vietnam, Yemen

Where I'm going: Cyprus (June 2013)
ajb3000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2007, 06:56 PM   #14
T-PUNK SPECIAL FORCES
 
davidd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 111
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via MSN to davidd
Default

Wow sounds awesome, that is an amazing dog. Hope you have a great time in Iran, it seems a very interesting place but I dont think id have the balls to visit atm.

Have fun and stay safe
__________________
This party sucks! Let's put our pants back on and go
davidd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 10:48 AM   #15
TPunk Emeritus
 
worldwidemike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA
Posts: 3,405
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajb3000 View Post
The following day I was given a tour of the valley by "spotty" the dog!
Adam...that is hilarious! You should send that in to Travel Channel. They'd probably send a staffer out to film that. Couldn't you see Ian Wright and Spotty walking through the valley..?

worldwidemike
__________________
Check out my travel web page at:
Worldwidemike.com
"Life is not measured in the number of breaths we take, but by the places that take our breath away..."
worldwidemike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2007, 05:54 AM   #16
TPunk Recognized
 
ajb3000's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: London, England
Posts: 502
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Right, I'm surprised this site works in Iran as everything else (including my e-mail!) appears to be blocked by their web filter.

So a few days ago I took the bus from Cappadocia to Dogubayazit near the Iranian border. The bus reached some high altitudes and people were being sick left right and centre! I felt a bit ill but that soon went away. Arriving in Dogubayazit I was surrounded by kids asking for money, but unlike anywhere else I've been as soon as I said no they all walked away! I then had to walk past all the scumbag taxi drivers trying to con me into believing their taxi was a dolmus and I'd have to pay 30 lira to the border as I was on my own. About 2 minutes down the road from them was an actual dolmus waiting for 1 more person. The price: 3 lira.

Crossing the border seemed very dramatic but was actually amazingly straight forward. Picture the scene: Heading to the border in a packed dolmus, thunder and lightening all around with a huge snow peaked volcano to the side. Tanks and military checkpoints everywhere. I walked about half a mile through Turkish checkpoints and finally got stamped out of the country. I then walked through a gate into Iran and into the immigration building. I showed a guy my passport who stamped it straight away and I was in Iran! Was told to go straight through customs without even stopping as well, however I am a bit concerned that I didn't fill in any customs forms as the LP reckons I'll need a copy of customs form when I leave, but we'll see. I haven't even seen any other tourists to ask!

Now, in Iran my mobile phone doesn't work, nor does my debit/credit card, and my e-mail and all other remotely interesting sites are blocked by the web filter. Upon crossing the border I changed $10 with the ripoff money changers who give half the actual rate and used that to get to the nearest town (10km away) and buy dinner. All banks were shut as I arrived quite late so couldn't change any money til the following morning. After eating I found an internet cafe (where I wrote the first message from) and after about 15 minutes a guy came in and asked me to spend some time with him so he could practise his English, he then paid my internet bill for me and waited for me outside!

The following day I exchange $100 for a huge wad of Iranian Rials (the largest note being worth $2) and made my way to Tabriz where I am now. I can't walk 5 metres down the street here without someone coming up to me and asking if they can help, where I'm from and why I'm here. I've been invited to 2 peoples homes, taken to dinner about 3 times, and given phone numbers of their friends all over the country incase I need help when I'm there. You can't even fathom the concept of hospitality until you come to Iran. In fact I'm even finding it difficult getting to the sights as I'm always talking to people. I even attended a Tourism lecture at the local University which I was invited to by one of the students (which was all in Farsi of course, but interesting none the less).

Today I went out of the city and visited the second of the three Cappadocia style rock formations in the world (apparantly there's one in the USA but it's been ruined, according to a guy I was speaking with from Tabriz). This one was smaller than that in Tabriz, but is still lived in by local families. Half of them even have double glazing windows in the rocks! I have loads of cool photos I'll try and get uploaded at some point.

So tomorrow I'm off to the Caspian Sea for a couple of days before heading to Tehran.

Oh, I also can't spend money here, in 3 days I've spent about $50!
__________________
Where I've been: Albania, Australia, Belguim, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, Somaliland, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Transnistria, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Ukraine, Uruguay Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Vietnam, Yemen

Where I'm going: Cyprus (June 2013)
ajb3000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2007, 11:39 AM   #17
TPunk Emeritus
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Leigh On Sea, Essex
Posts: 3,337
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

So i get my hospitality from my Iranian family lol

Glad you are having such a good time Adam, cant wait to see the pictures!
__________________
I have two skins, one to lie on and one to cover myself with; the earth and the sky. (Masai proverb)


FANCY A READ...TPUNK BOOK CLUB CAN BE FOUND HERE



what goes around comes around
beergal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2007, 09:53 AM   #18
TPunk Emeritus
 
my retro career's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 896
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Thanks for the awesome trip report - it takes a lot of enthusiasm and adventure to embark on such a journey as yours.

I dream of doing something similar someday - driving/travelling/taking the train into middle Asia and eventually getting to the far east.

Good inspirational reading - looking forward to your next installment..!!

__________________
my retro career is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 05:44 PM   #19
TPunk Emeritus
 
worldwidemike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA
Posts: 3,405
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

That is so cool, Adam. I had no idea Iran is so amazingly friendly and hospitable. BLOOP! Another country just got added to my list...!

And whooaa...e-mail blocked, cel phone doesn't work, but Tpunk is still rockin'...you gotta love it!!!

worldwidemike
__________________
Check out my travel web page at:
Worldwidemike.com
"Life is not measured in the number of breaths we take, but by the places that take our breath away..."
worldwidemike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2007, 03:23 AM   #20
TPunk Recognized
 
ajb3000's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: London, England
Posts: 502
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

After Tabriz I went to Sareiyn where they have hot thermal spas like those in Budapest, except the ones in Budapest were nicely warm, these ones were so hot I was actually scared I would burn to death! It took about 10 minutes to get fully in to the water and even then I could only stay there briefly before I had to get out. It was definitely an experience. Anyway, there I met a couple of guys who spoke next to no english, but we hung out for the rest of the day anyway, went for something to eat, then to a tea shop for some tea and a water pipe.

After that, I went to Masuleh, a beautiful village high up in the hills where the weather is reasonably cool. I stayed there just one night and spent the evening talking to the locals and taking lots of photos. I had to get a private taxi from Rasht to Masuleh as it was getting late. It's 60km and it costs me $10.

After Masuleh I was going to go to the Caspian, but discovered an Iranian friend of mine (who was originally going to be in Dubai) was in Tehran, so I went straight there and met up with him. I stayed at his for the past 5 days and we went to see all the main sights, met up with some of his friends, and took a drive to Soltaniyeh which is home to the largest brick domed Mausoleum in the world, measuring 48m high and 25m in diameter. It's also the only Mausoleum from it's time period still standing.

I don't know if you'll have heard but Iran introduced petrol rationing 2 weeks ago and it's playing havoc with everything. My mate has almost used his 4 months ration already! Plus, all the trains and buses have been fully booked. They currently have 100 buses a day running between Tehran and Esfahan (where I am now), and I had to wait 8 hours at the bus station for the next available bus! Up until now I could jump on a bus as it was about to depart and it would be half empty, but everyone is now using public transport instead of driving.

I've uploaded the Cappadocia pics to my site. It takes so long to upload I haven't had time for any Iran pics yet.
__________________
Where I've been: Albania, Australia, Belguim, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, Somaliland, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Transnistria, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Ukraine, Uruguay Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Vietnam, Yemen

Where I'm going: Cyprus (June 2013)
ajb3000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply






Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:23 AM.



 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.2.0

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121