Iran Tour Guide: Shomal and Unseen Facts

The non-Iranians know nothing about Iran (Persia). The western mass media tell lie about Iran and Iranians. Many know nothing about the differences between Iran’s regime and Iran’s people. When the tourists go to Iran, in the best case, they have a “Lonely Planet” book and have a little knowledge about Iran’s history and some ancient cities in Iran, but their knowledge about today’s Iran and many other things is zero. We have not read “Lonely Planet” book about Iran, but we checked their website. What they say about many things in Iran is not true. Of course, many believe they are the best available source for the tourists, and it’s not wrong. So, we decide to write a series of articles, “Iran Tour Guide”, about Iran, Iranians and their culture. In this series, that can be called “A Guide to Iran and Iranian Culture”, we want to write about the unseen facts that non-Iranians can’t find in “Lonely Planet” and other sources. It can complete what we have already written about Iranians and their culture (check Archive). Unfortunately, non-Iranians know nothing about the difference between Iran’s regime and Iran’s people. Only when they go to Iran, they see the truth. A tourist writes: “Its just really interesting to see how much Iranians do not support the government here. The regime here tries to isolate Iran, with internet filters, and tv/newspaper restrictions, but everyone gets around it. And though I knew Iran wouldnt be this closed off conservative society its really surprising how much. Iran really does have a crazy mix of Western and Persian culture. Unlike other parts of the Middle East where the government dont impose regulations, but society is very conservative, here in Iran its the opposite, with a ridiculously conservative government and a society [that is very modern] doing whatever they want“[4] It’s exactly what the western mass media tell lie about it. In addition, many tourists know nothing about the natural beauties of Iran. They only know some ancient cities in Iran, and know nothing about Shomal, the green part of Iran. We have already written about Iran’s maps and the beauties and problems of Shomal, the north part of Iran. Iranians love Shomal. Many Iranians have seen Shomal, but they only have heard about the other parts of Iran. But the non-Iranians only know the central Iran, or the western, eastern, or southern Iran, but Shomal (the northern Iran) that its jungles have a very long history (before the Ice Age) and its cities are among the ancient cities of the world, is totally unknown to them.


The non-Iranians really know nothing about Shomal and its beauties, and of course about the tragedy of Iranian beaches in the Mullah era that we have already written about it (check Archive). A German tourist writes: “We left Tabriz into northern direction to hit the Caspian Sea, which we were very curious to see. Beach, swimming[!], fresh air, delicious oriental food -some kind of these thoughts were circling in our heads. After a damn long drive over the Alborz mountains, we made it to the coast, but we were mostly disappointed of its appearance. The hole 750 km of Iran’s coastline was completely overcrowded and overloaded with buildings or remainings of those. Because we didn’t find a place to park the car at the seaside [they traveled by their own car (a van)]. We spent the night in a very poor looking area with little houses, and dreamed about upcoming adventures. The next morning we were pretty surprised, when an Iranian lady came by to our car knocking at the door. First of all, we were annoyed by her waking us up, but we soon realized that she was holding a breakfast on a plate (tea, biscuits, fruits etc.) right in front of her. Of course, we kindly opened up and the woman warmly invited us into her house for lunch . After another night at the Caspian Sea we headed back south, again through the Alborz mountains, to make it to Tehran. When we arrived, it was an Iranian celebration day (Nowruz, 13-Bedar). Tehran, a city of approx. 15 Million people, was like dead, as all the people went out into the nearby mountains for vacation and all shops were closed.” [2] Apparently, these tourists knew nothing about Nowruz, and also about Shomal and this fact that they could spend their whole trip in Shomal and enjoy its natural beauties, historical sites, and delicious foods. It’s exactly what many Iranians do. But maybe “Lonely Planet” has not written anything about this matter and this great part of Iran! We advise the tourists to travel to Iran like Iranians. At least they should know Shomal as much as they know the ancient and famous cities of Yazd, Kerman, Shiraz, Esfahan, Kashan, Kermanshah, Hamedan, etc. Many Iranians have not seen Yazd or Kerman, but they have seen Shomal.


Almost all non-Iranians write about the generosity and hospitality of Iranians, and it’s really interesting. Iranians have a very friendly behavior towards tourists and non-Iranians, specially Europeans and Americans. A German woman writes: “It was New Years Eve in Iran and we had very nice encounters with the locals in Esfahan. We had just left the Royal square (Naghshe Jahan Sq), but when we heard all that noise, we turned around. We split up and within a few minutes each of us was engaged in conversation with some Iranians. It really is striking how quickly contacts are made when you walk around alone as a non-native. I saw a young couple taking pictures of each other and I offered to take a picture of both of them. From there it went: First she wanted her picture taken with me, then he with me. Before long, another couple joined us who wanted to ask me a few questions and wanted to film me. And before I knew it, the original couple offered me their miniature Noruz table display, which they had brought along for decoration,as a gift! I rejected and rejected, and then accepted it. Now we had to exchange names and I was scrambling for a gift to give them in return. At last I found a Michigan button with a pin and explained that I was German, but was working in Michigan. That pleased them very much, especially when I explained, that all the gifts from Iran will become teaching material for my students. Again, I was overwhelmed by the generosity and warmth of total strangers. I had walked into this square with nothing and walked out with a gift box in hand!” [1] Iranian generosity and hospitality are really among the best in the world, but the stupid western mass media talk nonsense about Iranians, and mislead the non-Iranians. They don’t say that the Mullahs and the Islamists are very hated figures in Iran, and Iranians hate them. They don’t speak about the differences between Iran’s people and Iran’s regime; And it’s really shameful.


A Swedish tourist writes: “When we reached the beautifully lit Khaju Bridge (in Esfahan) we got invited to share a picnic with a family in the grassy slopes. Before we knew it we were in a cab towards their home, where we all danced in their living room. In lack of typical Swedish dancing I tried my Pulp Fiction moves. Judging from their faces they had never seen anything more weird in their entire lives. A great evening” [3] It’s really the true meaning of Iranian life and how Iranians live in Iran. The image of Iran that is drawn by the stupid western mass media is so unreal and so shameful. And it makes Iranians angry. A German woman writes: “The taxi driver looked at me and said: Welcome to my city. This is one of two things I hear in just about every store, office, bank, internet café and even on the street. The other is a question: What do you think of Iran? Iranians know very well, how their country and their leaders are viewed abroad. As this is vastly unjust towards them, they try to make up for it by extending themselves in every possible way and they ask your opinion hoping to hear a positive answer [in fact, they want to know whether you are ignorant or not! and do you know the differences between Iran’s regime and Iran’s people?]” [1]. She also adds: “Akbar, that I met him and his wife (Parvin) at the airport, has been calling just about every day to make sure I am OK. Mahsa, with whom I explored Hamadan yesterday, has been calling twice already to make sure I dont need any help. I really dont need any help and I wont get lost and I am OK. I might just have to turn the phone off” [1] I think what she has written is so clear and so meaningful, and of course so tragic. It’s the story of the western ignorance, and how Iranians are victims of the western hypocrisy and the western stupidity, and how the hypocrite western mass media tell big lies about Iran and Iran’s people.


The tourists taste the generosity and hospitality of Iranians since the first moments of their trips. A German tourist writes: “In Airplane, I sat next to a couple from Iran: Akbar and Parvin. After about ½ the flight we started to talk. Both spoke English. As it turns out, they had a car parked at the airport and offered to take me back to town with them. What a relief. Akbars son runs a four star hotel. He offered to get me the special family rate. Instead of $120 to $160 per room it would only be $80. I had to politely decline and explain that with 3.5 months of travel my budget is more around $20-40 per night. A no-star hotel was needed. He kindly called my Lonely Planet pick and reserved a room for me. Both also invited me to their summer home near Estfahan during the New Year festival, Nowruz. That might be an offer I wont turn down. But then, there will be two of us. Nicola from London will be joining me during that time. So, I think I will decline once again. But then they offered to have me over for dinner tomorrow. I accepted. Akbar insisted on coming into the hotel with me to make sure that everything was fine. He paid the clerk 50,000 Rials as a down payment no matter how much I protested. This tops even the level of kindness and help I experienced in Syria” [1] This kind of hospitality is quite normal among Iranians, but non-Iranians know nothing about it. Of course, everywhere has its own problems. Some Iranians, specially the Islamists and the salesmen, are stupid and charlatan, but when we talk about Iranians, we mean the majority of ordinary Iranians, and the general mood that you can see in Iran. I also should add that many Iranians are nosy, and many play games with each others. In addition, some Iranians are not very kind to each others; they are only kind to non-Iranians ! It’s shameful, but it can be understandable when you see, because of the Mullahs and the Islamic regime, Iranians can not trust each others, and they are frightened of the Mullah informants and the Iranian hypocrite bastards who work for the Mullah regime or are psychotic charlatan. But non-Iranians know nothing about the problems of Iranians in the Mullah regime, and also about the old and rich culture and civilization of Iran.


The German woman adds: “After Akbar left my hotel, it took no more than 10 minutes when he called the hotel back to ask if I was hungry. He was going to come back and take me to their house to eat! I could only insist that I was completely filled from the meal we had gotten at the airplane and there was absolutely no need for them to turn around in this heavy traffic. Wow! What a welcome to Iran” [1]. All Iranians know that this sort of hospitality is quite normal among Iranians. In fact, it’s part of Iranian culture. But many non-Iranians know nothing about Persia, its nice people, and its old and rich culture. The Iranian generosity and hospitality are independent of where you meet Iranians inside Iran. In the small towns or big cities, in the poor or rich areas, or in the rural or urban areas you always can find the Iranian generosity and hospitality, and we would write more about it later. The tourists should see the unseen beauties of Iran and Iranians, by seeing the ordinary people, and by seeing Shomal and its natural beauties in cities like Ramsar, Masouleh, Abbas Abbad, Rasht, Kelardasht, Tonekabon, Sarri, etc. For example, the historical town of Masooleh (above picture), has an attractive nature and a wonderful architecture with an antiquity of more than 2000 years. It is situated at a distance of 60 km from Rasht, capital of Gilan province, and 1050 m above the Caspian sea. From the architectural point of view, Masouleh is unique in the world, so that the yard of a house is the roof of another one. There are many beautiful and ancient cities in Shomal. Ramsar and Kerlardasht are two of them, that like almost all parts of Shomal, have many green mountains, green roads, jungles, green valleys, waterfalls, rivers, springs, etc that have created a very beautiful and eye-catching natural landscape. But unfortunately the tourists don’t know Shomal, and many other things in Iran. When you read their blogs or travel dairies, you can find many wrong and stupid things; and it’s a result of western media’s lies about Iran. We would write more about this matter later.

[The pictures that you see here, are the pictures of Shomal]

for more information:

[1] Blog of a German woman who traveled to Iran in 2010

[2] Blog of two German guys who traveled to Iran in 2011

[3]Blog of a Swedish guy who traveled to Iran in 2010

[4]Blog of a British woman who traveled to Iran in 2010

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