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Iraq Travel (Kurdistan Reigon)

xxhughesxx

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Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 9
Joined: December 8th, 2006

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Tags: iraq, kurdistan, middle east, zakho, dahuk, ibrahim khalil, turkey, silopi
  • Added on: August 26th, 2007
Hello all, about a month ago, a friend and myself traveled through Turkey and into Northern Iraq. the experience was great, and i wanted to post what we did and how we got there so if anybody else is thinking of going to Northern Iraq, they can hopefully learn some stuff from it. Sorry it is long, i took it pretty straight from my blog only with a little editing. I also would like to thank people like: Alby (Stroppy2006?), kokoro, and everybody else whose postings i read that helped make my travel to Iraq easy.

I had a great time in Northern Iraq and Turkey. Honestly, the Turkish and Kurdish people are probably the most hospitable people in the whole world. i was absolutely blown away by how nice they are.

We flew to Diyarbakir, Turkey from Istanbul and when we got off the plane, I felt a furnace of heat I have not felt in a long time. We had no clue where to stay (there were no hostels there, (I don't think that there are any hostels in eastern Turkey) or how far the airport was out of town, so after we got our packs we walked out of the small one-terminal airport to the sea of taxi drivers that were waiting for us. They attacked us from all sides asking, "You go to Dahuk (Iraq)?" Apparently the majority of westerners who come here eventually go to Iraq. I said no, we go to Silopi (the border town), but they were insistent on taking us to Iraq. I finally made it clear that we wanted to go to a hotel, so we found a taxi driver to take us to a local hotel. We then arranged the same driver to pick us up in the morning to take us to the bus station.


After we dropped our bags in our hotel, we walked around the city to try to find something to eat. Everyone was fascinated with us because we were westerners. We would get random shouts of 'Hello' and 'where are you from.' This would go throughout eastern Turkey into Iraq, and back in Turkey. It was cute at first, but now it is really annoying. The city of Diyarbakir has an ancient wall that we were told dates back about 1500 years. I took a lot of pictures of it and we set off to try to find something to eat. Apparently the only thing to eat in eastern Turkey are kebabs. This is unfortunate for me because as most of you know, I am a vegetarian. I have basically been living on peanut butter and crackers / PBJ sandwiches for the last two weeks. I have only had about three meals that didn't involve peanut butter, I am peanut buttered out and for nutritional reasons I was really close to eating some tuna fish. Thankfully I did not have to do this, but if I was in S.E. turkey for much longer, I would have to.
We caught our bus the next morning to Silopi, Turkey. Silopi is the major (only?) border crossing between Turkey and Iraq. The bus ride to Silopi was very interesting. We drove right next to the border of Syria for a few hours. There were scores of Turkish military bases to guard Turkey from Syria / Iraq / and the local PKK (Kurdish 'freedom fighters' or 'terrorists' depending on which side you are on) other than the view, the bus ride was totally uneventful until we reached Cizre. This is where it got really weird. When we initially boarded the bus in Diyarbakir, it said "Silopi" on the window. When we arrived in Cizre, I got off to stretch my legs. As soon as I stepped off the bus, a swarm of taxi drivers ran up to me saying, "You go to Silopi?" and trying to grab our bags to put in their taxi. I said 'no' our bus is going. But they kept on insisting that our bus was going to Sirnak (a town north of Silopi). So after a bit of arguing, I turned to look at the bus, and the sign on the bus magically changed to Sirnak! I have no clue how this happened. I asked the driver if the bus was going to Silopi, he shrugged and said, "Sirnak". Dave and I were confused, but we couldn't risk going to Sirnak because we were only about 30 minutes from Silopi in Cizre, and Sirnak was a few hours from Silopi. So we grabbed our gear and negotiated a Taxi for 20 USD to Silopi.

When we walked in, we walked to the desk and waited for a few minutes while one of the staff went to get the manager who spoke English. When the manager returned, he introduced himself as Salit. Salit turned out to be one of the most welcoming person I have ever met. He had one of his staff show us to our room, and we got settled in. Salit sent for us a few hours later to grab our passports and so we could arranged a taxi to Zakhu, Iraq the next morning. After we arranged the taxi, Salit told us to sit down and have tea. We drank tea for a while, then Salit said what turned out to be a famous line, "lets go". He then took us to an internet café so we could check our email, then to a street side café to drink tea and talk with his friends / family.

We planned to cross the border on a Sunday. I would definitely recommend crossing the border on a weekday. Our taxi driver told us if we wanted to wait to Monday, it would be much cheaper. We paid 90 lira (I know, that’s a lot…) for the two of us. But like I said, it could have been much cheaper, but we wanted to get on the road.

The next morning we woke up and met our taxi driver at 1100. He then drove us to the border where with his help; we started the long process for crossing the Ibrahim Khalil border. Crossing the Turkish side of the border was fairly easy. They just kept on looking at us weird wondering why we would want to go to Iraq. One thing we were told over and over again before we got to the border was on the Turkish side; NEVER say you are going to Kurdistan. Always say you are going to Northern Iraq. Many of the Turkish do not like the Kurdish people. Once we crossed the Turkish side of the border, we had to wait in the Duty Free cafeteria for a while because all the border agents were at lunch. Once Lunch ended, we went to the Iraqi side of passport control. We gave them our passports and they asked us questions like what we were doing in Kurdistan and what our jobs were back home. I told him we were there on holiday, and he said, "Really, why are you here." I told him Tourism, then he looked at me and smiled saying, "I welcome you to Kurdistan!" he stamped my passport with a big visa type stamp, then with a smaller normal entry type stamp, then we were on our way. Once in Iraq, our taxi driver took off back to Turkey and we got a taxi to Zakhu. The border crossing was confusing, and the driver really earned his keep. He did pretty much all of the paperwork and was running around like mad. He worked really hard. When we arrived in Zakhu, we found a hotel for 30 USD total. We dropped our gear, then went walking around. There is an ancient bridge in Zakhu that we walked to. On the way there, we had to get money changed over form Turkish Lira to Iraqi Dinar. There are no real foreign exchange places in Zakhu, just guys on the street corner with a lot of money and a calculator. We figured about what the exchange rate was and got some money changed over, then we headed off to the bridge. On the way there, everyone was staring at us. Kids would follow us for a while, a little girl came up and held my hand while I walked, it was like we were this weird novelty item. When we arrived at the bridge I took a bunch of pictures then we walked across it to a weird mountain park. We walked up the park to the top and were rewarded with an amazing view of the city. If there was an Iraqi equivalent of the Fonz, this is where he would take a girl. There were nice benches on the edge of the park overlooking the city. Dave and I commandeered one of them and sat for a while overlooking the city. One of the many great things about Kurdish people is as a whole, they really like Americans! The Kurds have benefited greatly from the Iraq invasion because they are almost totally autonomous from Baghdad and they have their security down extremely well. Plus as we learned out later, everyone carries guns. EVERYONE. I was looking at waist lines, and the majority of people had a bulge on their side. I seemingly brought a knife to a potential gun fight… However, they were no threat to us. Nothing good can come of an American and British citizen being killed in Kurdistan. What was amazing to me, is that just about 50 kilometers south (we could just about see it from a mountain we were on in Dahuk) was Mosul. You don't go to Mosul unless you are rolling strong. We were talking to some American contractors in Dahuk that we stayed with; I asked them hypothetically how long I would last if I walked down the street in Mosul by my self. They said 15 minutes at the most (time it takes for a sympathizer to call some insurgent friends and get to where I was). But in Dahuk and Zakhu, we walked all over town without any problem at all. As of right now, the Kurds have security well under control. Don't get me wrong. I was on high alert the whole time I was there. Even though Kurdistan was "safe," I took nothing for granted. If you know me you know that I can get ultra paranoid. However, the most dangerous thing we encountered were the taxi drivers.
We left Zakhu the next day and traveled by taxi to Dahuk. Lanes are totally relative, the speed limit is how fast your car can go, and I basically buckled up tight, prayed, and accepted that I was going to die in this taxi :-) When we got to Dahuk, we had the taxi driver drop us off at a hotel. We checked in, dropped our bags in our room, then went for a walkabout around the city. It was ultra hot, I am talking around 45 to 48 degrees Celsius. For those of you who don't know Celsius, understand that 48 is WICKED HOT. We didn't walk far because of the heat, but we did walk to the University of Dahuk and a bit around the city. Once again we were novelty items, and at one point, a kid started following us around for a while. He tried to take my bag from me (to carry it for me, not to steal it… I think. After a while of this, we came to a corner, where a Kurdish guy I will call "Bob" came up to us and told us in perfect English that he worked for some American contractors in Dahuk and if we wanted to come visit them. I said no at first, but he was insistent and really nice, so we decided to check it out. I wasn't sure if he was totally legit. I was just being paranoid, but two people on holiday in Iraq have to be a bit paranoid. We followed them to the contractors office and he led us up the stairs to a wonderfully air-conditioned room where we met two Americans I will call "Steve" and "Mike." We talked to them for a while, then they offered to show us around the city. We hopped in their car, and they drove us all around the city telling us about what goes on there. They took drove us on top of a mountain that overlooked the city of Dahuk on one side and on the other, you could almost see Mosul if it weren't for another mountain blocking the view. They also took us to a local village where they were looking at how the locals run a fish farm. They wanted to put in some more fish farms for the local villages. Steve and Mike do a lot of charity work for the local community from their profits fulfilling contracts for the government. After a while, we went to dinner at a nice restaurant (my first meal that didn't include peanut butter in a long time). Dahuk was a really interesting town. There is a moderately large Christian population there who lived along with the majority Muslim population. This means that alcohol was more acceptable here than in other places. You would see a mixture of women wearing traditional clothes, head scarves, and western clothes. Dahuk was a really nice town! After we finished eating and had a few beers, Steve and Mike drove us back to our hotel, but invited us to stay with them the next night. The next day they picked us up early and we met up with a convoy of security contractors who had to take Mike to Mosul to meet with some clients. Dave and I tried to stay cool at Steve's house. The power kept on going out. The theory was that since we get power from Turkey, the Turkish government (which everyone fears will try to annex Kurdistan) was showing its muscle. It definitely could have been that, or it could have been the hundreds of wires that I saw that weren't insulated, hanging down where I had to duck under on the streets, or just hanging in an unorganized jumble. I am not a political science major or an electrician, so I am not totally sure. But anyway, we had a great time at Steve and Mikes house. We relaxed on top of the house in the shade, had a great meal, and later on that evening, Dave and I walked around the market.
The next morning Steve and Mike offered to take us to the border. They drove us there like a NASCAR driver, and we said goodbye at the border. We went through all the paperwork for crossing the Iraqi side very easily, but it took forever to cross the Turkish side. The Turkish soldiers gave the Kurdish people a really hard time when they tried to cross. For example, the soldiers frisked us, and made a quick but thoroughly search through our bags (we just brought day packs to Iraq). However, the Kurdish people were subject to a much more rigorous search. It was really sad to see how the Kurdish people are treated. However; looking at it from the Turkish side, there are Kurdish PKK terrorists (as seen from the Turkish side, freedom fighters as seen by some Kurdish) killing Turkish soldiers in the mountains.

After we crossed the border we made our way back to Silopi where we stayed another two nights at Hotel Touristik with Salit. We had to wake up early the next morning to catch our bus to Van, Turkey.

The next morning we caught our bus to Van, Turkey. I will call this bus, "The bus from hell." As the crow flies, Van is not more than 200 miles from Silopi, but we took the 11 hour scenic rout on a cramped bus in 40 degree C. weather with no air-conditioning. It would never end. People as tall as me with as many knee surgeries are not made to ride on busses. I asked Dave to knock me out so hopefully I would wake up there, but he refused. That was a painful experience. We finally arrived in Van that evening, where we got a really cheap hotel.

P.S. I didn't proofread as I am in a hurry, so please excuse any mistakes; also sorry for the length!



We flew to Diyarbakir, Turkey from Istanbul and when we got off the plane, I felt a furnace of heat I have not felt in a long time. We had no clue where to stay (there were no hostels there, (I don't think that there are any hostels in eastern Turkey) or how far the airport was out of town, so after we got our packs we walked out of the small one-terminal airport to the sea of taxi drivers that were waiting for us. They attacked us from all sides asking, "You go to Dahuk (Iraq)?" Apparently the majority of westerners who come here eventually go to Iraq. I said no, we go to Silopi (the border town), but they were insistent on taking us to Iraq. I finally made it clear that we wanted to go to a hotel, so we found a taxi driver to take us to a local hotel. We then arranged the same driver to pick us up in the morning to take us to the bus station.


After we dropped our bags in our hotel, we walked around the city to try to find something to eat. Everyone was fascinated with us because we were westerners. We would get random shouts of 'Hello' and 'where are you from.' This would go throughout eastern Turkey into Iraq, and back in Turkey. It was cute at first, but now it is really annoying. The city of Diyarbakir has an ancient wall that we were told dates back about 1500 years. I took a lot of pictures of it and we set off to try to find something to eat. Apparently the only thing to eat in eastern Turkey are kebabs. This is unfortunate for me because as most of you know, I am a vegetarian. I have basically been living on peanut butter and crackers / PBJ sandwiches for the last two weeks. I have only had about three meals that didn't involve peanut butter, I am peanut buttered out and for nutritional reasons I was really close to eating some tuna fish. Thankfully I did not have to do this, but if I was in S.E. turkey for much longer, I would have to.
We caught our bus the next morning to Silopi, Turkey. Silopi is the major (only?) border crossing between Turkey and Iraq. The bus ride to Silopi was very interesting. We drove right next to the border of Syria for a few hours. There were scores of Turkish military bases to guard Turkey from Syria / Iraq / and the local PKK (Kurdish 'freedom fighters' or 'terrorists' depending on which side you are on) other than the view, the bus ride was totally uneventful until we reached Cizre. This is where it got really weird. When we initially boarded the bus in Diyarbakir, it said "Silopi" on the window. When we arrived in Cizre, I got off to stretch my legs. As soon as I stepped off the bus, a swarm of taxi drivers ran up to me saying, "You go to Silopi?" and trying to grab our bags to put in their taxi. I said 'no' our bus is going. But they kept on insisting that our bus was going to Sirnak (a town north of Silopi). So after a bit of arguing, I turned to look at the bus, and the sign on the bus magically changed to Sirnak! I have no clue how this happened. I asked the driver if the bus was going to Silopi, he shrugged and said, "Sirnak". Dave and I were confused, but we couldn't risk going to Sirnak because we were only about 30 minutes from Silopi in Cizre, and Sirnak was a few hours from Silopi. So we grabbed our gear and negotiated a Taxi for 20 USD to Silopi. About 10 minutes into our taxi ride the driver told us (in very broken English) that he wants 20 USD a piece. I told him 'no' that we would pay him 10 USD a piece, but not twenty. He threatened to turn the taxi around, and we called him on it. He wanted 40 USD total, and we wanted 20 USD total. Finally I told him that the most we would pay is 30 USD total. We argued for a while longer. The passenger tried to say that he had to pay 20 for himself and to emphasize his point, he handed the driver 20 Turkish Liras. I yelled at the driver that the passenger gave him Lira and not USD. The passenger quickly gave over 10 more Lira to try to show that he was giving about the equivalent of 20 USD. By this time we figured out that the driver and passenger were friends because of how they were talking. I was sick of arguing and didn't want to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere, but I stuck firm at 30 USD. I should have stuck at 20 USD total, but like I said, no clue where I was, no one spoke English, terrorists / freedom fighters in the mountains fighting the Turkish government, I just wanted to get to our hotel in Silopi. We argued for a while longer, then he shut up, turned up the Kurdish / Turkish music, and drove us to Silopi. When we got to our hotel I told Dave to get out and get our bags out of the trunk. I waited in the car incase they tried to drive off with our gear. I did not trust our driver and his passenger. If we both got out before they did, I did not want them driving off with our gear, or holding our gear for more money. Once I saw our gear was out, I quickly got out and put on my pack. I gave the driver 30 USD and we walked into our hotel, Hotel Touristik. Please understand that this is not how you are normally treated by Kurdish people. The Kurdish people are the most hospitable people I have ever met.

When we walked in, we walked to the desk and waited for a few minutes while one of the staff went to get the manager who spoke English. When the manager returned, he introduced himself as Salit. Salit turned out to be one of the most welcoming person I have ever met. He had one of his staff show us to our room, and we got settled in. Salit sent for us a few hours later to grab our passports and so we could arranged a taxi to Zakhu, Iraq the next morning. After we arranged the taxi, Salit told us to sit down and have tea. We drank tea for a while, then Salit said what turned out to be a famous line, "lets go". He then took us to an internet café so we could check our email, then to a street side café to drink tea and talk with his friends / family.

We crossed the border on a Sunday. I would definitely recommend crossing the border on a weekday. Our taxi driver told us if we wanted to wait to Monday, it would be much cheaper. We paid 90 lira (I know, that’s a lot…) for the two of us. But like I said, it could have been much cheaper, but we wanted to get on the road.

The next morning we woke up and met our taxi driver at 1100. He then drove us to the border where with his help; we started the long process for crossing the border. Crossing the Turkish side of the border was fairly easy. They just kept on looking at us weird wondering why we would want to go to Iraq. One thing we were told over and over again before we got to the border was on the Turkish side; NEVER say you are going to Kurdistan. Always say you are going to Northern Iraq. Many of the Turkish do not like the Kurdish people. Once we crossed the Turkish side of the border, we had to wait in the Duty Free cafeteria for a while because all the border agents were at lunch. Once Lunch ended, we went to the Iraqi side of passport control. We gave them our passports and they asked us questions like what we were doing in Kurdistan and what our jobs were back home. I told him we were there on holiday, and he said, "Really, why are you here." I told him Tourism, then he looked at me and smiled saying, "I welcome you to Kurdistan!" he stamped my passport with a big visa type stamp, then with a smaller normal entry type stamp, then we were on our way. Once in Iraq, our taxi driver took off back to Turkey and we got a taxi to Zakhu. The border crossing was confusing, and the driver really earned his keep. He did pretty much all of the paperwork and was running around like mad. He worked really hard. When we arrived in Zakhu, we found a hotel for 30 USD total. We dropped our gear, then went walking around. There is an ancient bridge in Zakhu that we walked to. On the way there, we had to get money changed over form Turkish Lira to Iraqi Dinar. There are no real foreign exchange places in Zakhu, just guys on the street corner with a lot of money and a calculator. We figured about what the exchange rate was and got some money changed over, then we headed off to the bridge. On the way there, everyone was staring at us. Kids would follow us for a while, a little girl came up and held my hand while I walked, it was like we were this weird novelty item. When we arrived at the bridge I took a bunch of pictures then we walked across it to a weird mountain park. We walked up the park to the top and were rewarded with an amazing view of the city. If there was an Iraqi equivalent of the Fonz, this is where he would take a girl. There were nice benches on the edge of the park overlooking the city. Dave and I commandeered one of them and sat for a while overlooking the city. One of the many great things about Kurdish people is as a whole, they really like Americans! The Kurds have benefited greatly from the Iraq invasion because they are almost totally autonomous from Baghdad and they have their security down extremely well. Plus as we learned out later, everyone carries guns. EVERYONE. I was looking at waist lines, and the majority of people had a bulge on their side. I seemingly brought a knife to a potential gun fight… However, they were no threat to us. Nothing good can come of an American and British citizen being killed in Kurdistan. What was amazing to me, is that just about 50 kilometers south (we could just about see it from a mountain we were on in Dahuk) was Mosul. You don't go to Mosul unless you are rolling strong. We were talking to some American contractors in Dahuk that we stayed with; I asked them hypothetically how long I would last if I walked down the street in Mosul by my self. They said 15 minutes at the most (time it takes for a sympathizer to call some insurgent friends and get to where I was). But in Dahuk and Zakhu, we walked all over town without any problem at all. As of right now, the Kurds have security well under control. Don't get me wrong. I was on high alert the whole time I was there. Even though Kurdistan was "safe," I took nothing for granted. If you know me you know that I can get ultra paranoid. However, the most dangerous thing we encountered were the taxi drivers.
We left Zakhu the next day and traveled by taxi to Dahuk. Lanes are totally relative, the speed limit is how fast your car can go, and I basically buckled up tight, prayed, and accepted that I was going to die in this taxi :-) When we got to Dahuk, we had the taxi driver drop us off at a hotel. We checked in, dropped our bags in our room, then went for a walkabout around the city. It was ultra hot, I am talking around 45 to 48 degrees Celsius. For those of you who don't know Celsius, understand that 48 is WICKED HOT. We didn't walk far because of the heat, but we did walk to the University of Dahuk and a bit around the city. Once again we were novelty items, and at one point, a kid started following us around for a while. He tried to take my bag from me (to carry it for me, not to steal it… I think. After a while of this, we came to a corner, where a Kurdish guy I will call "Bob" came up to us and told us in perfect English that he worked for some American contractors in Dahuk and if we wanted to come visit them. I said no at first, but he was insistent and really nice, so we decided to check it out. I wasn't sure if he was totally legit. I was just being paranoid, but two people on holiday in Iraq have to be a bit paranoid. We followed them to the contractors office and he led us up the stairs to a wonderfully air-conditioned room where we met two Americans I will call "Steve" and "Mike." We talked to them for a while, then they offered to show us around the city. We hopped in their car, and they drove us all around the city telling us about what goes on there. They took drove us on top of a mountain that overlooked the city of Dahuk on one side and on the other, you could almost see Mosul if it weren't for another mountain blocking the view. They also took us to a local village where they were looking at how the locals run a fish farm. They wanted to put in some more fish farms for the local villages. Steve and Mike do a lot of charity work for the local community from their profits fulfilling contracts for the government. After a while, we went to dinner at a nice restaurant (my first meal that didn't include peanut butter in a long time). Dahuk was a really interesting town. There is a moderately large Christian population there who lived along with the majority Muslim population. This means that alcohol was more acceptable here than in other places. You would see a mixture of women wearing traditional clothes, head scarves, and western clothes. Dahuk was a really nice town! After we finished eating and had a few beers, Steve and Mike drove us back to our hotel, but invited us to stay with them the next night. The next day they picked us up early and we met up with a convoy of security contractors who had to take Mike to Mosul to meet with some clients. Dave and I tried to stay cool at Steve's house. The power kept on going out. The theory was that since we get power from Turkey, the Turkish government (which everyone fears will try to annex Kurdistan) was showing its muscle. It definitely could have been that, or it could have been the hundreds of wires that I saw that weren't insulated, hanging down where I had to duck under on the streets, or just hanging in an unorganized jumble. I am not a political science major or an electrician, so I am not totally sure. But anyway, we had a great time at Steve and Mikes house. We relaxed on top of the house in the shade, had a great meal, and later on that evening, Dave and I walked around the market.
The next morning Steve and Mike offered to take us to the border. They drove us there like a NASCAR driver, and we said goodbye at the border. We went through all the paperwork for crossing the Iraqi side very easily, but it took forever to cross the Turkish side. The Turkish soldiers gave the Kurdish people a really hard time when they tried to cross. For example, the soldiers frisked us, and made a quick but thoroughly search through our bags (we just brought day packs to Iraq). However, the Kurdish people were subject to a much more rigorous search. It was really sad to see how the Kurdish people are treated. However; looking at it from the Turkish side, there are Kurdish PKK terrorists (as seen from the Turkish side, freedom fighters as seen by some Kurdish) killing Turkish soldiers in the mountains.

After we crossed the border we made our way back to Silopi where we stayed another two nights at Hotel Touristik with Salit. We had to wake up early the next morning to catch our bus to Van, Turkey.

The next morning we caught our bus to Van, Turkey. I will call this bus, "The bus from hell." As the crow flies, Van is not more than 200 miles from Silopi, but we took the 11 hour scenic rout on a cramped bus in 40 degree C. weather with no air-conditioning. It would never end. People as tall as me with as many knee surgeries are not made to ride on busses. I asked Dave to knock me out so hopefully I would wake up there, but he refused. That was a painful experience. We finally arrived in Van that evening, where we got a really cheap hotel.

P.S. I didn't proofread as I am in a hurry, so please excuse any mistakes; also sorry for the length!
"Never mind what's been selling, It's what you're buying,
And receiving undefiled" Fugazi

Stephen Mattison

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Knows What a Schengen Visa Is
 
Posts: 396
Joined: September 5th, 2005

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  • Added on: August 27th, 2007
cool.

Jeff W

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Lost in Place
 
Posts: 94
Joined: February 21st, 2006

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  • Added on: September 1st, 2007
Thanks for this account. Did you take any photos and put them up online somewhere?
------------------------------
Everywhere's nice if you are just passing through or you have money, it's a different story to live there.

aopaq

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Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 259
Joined: June 4th, 2004

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  • Added on: September 1st, 2007
I did a similar trip this past February and had an equally incredible experience. If you want to see some of my photos, you could check out my blog at: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/aopaq/asia-me_2007/tpod.html

I stayed for 11 days (requiring a visa extension, which a bit of a process) and my hilights were hooking up with some university students and going to their classes and then spending a couple nights in a smaller community where I experienced incredible Kurdish hospitality.

xxhughesxx

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Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 9
Joined: December 8th, 2006

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  • Added on: September 10th, 2007
Jeff W said,"Thanks for this account. Did you take any photos and put them up online somewhere?"

Thanks Jeff, I did, but they are on my Myspace page. my name is Joshua Hughes (myspace.com/xjoshuaxx)if you want to look them up!

and to aopaq, you are exactly right, Kurdish hospitality is second to none! which uni were you at? Dahuk? and how was the visa extension? i didnt want to deal with that so i made sure i was out of country before my 10 days were up!
"Never mind what's been selling, It's what you're buying,
And receiving undefiled" Fugazi

Jose p.

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Thorn Tree Refugee
 
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Joined: October 14th, 2009
Location: Boston

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  • Added on: October 16th, 2009
Once you're in Kurdistan, what would be some ballpark daily budgets? I'm thinking of going in may for about 10 days, and want to get a sense of what it would cost.

thanks!

dustingduvet

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Joined: January 27th, 2006

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  • Added on: December 8th, 2009
Real interesting post. Thanks for sharing.
Travels in South America at http://www.locationlessliving.com

jeremystar

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Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 2
Joined: February 24th, 2011

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  • Added on: February 24th, 2011
Thanks for this post. The information was very useful for my trip to the area in 2010. I absolutely agree about the kindness and hospitality of the Kurdish people.
http://www.traveliraqikurdistan.com travel information for the Kurdish region of Iraq



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