Archives for posts with tag: Kurdistan

In the last post (Iraqi Kurdistan Part 1 – Crossing the Border) I detailed our unnecessarily thrilling journey into Northern Iraq. The main question this post has thrown up from those of you that have read it is “Why? Why did you go there if that is what it is going to be like?” and I guess that’s fair when you consider the standard image of Iraq, which is the same image I subscribed too until I started to read more about the place.

Kharand Canyon, Iraqi Kurdistan

Kharand Canyon, Iraqi Kurdistan

Within the Middle-East Iraqi Kurdistan is now considered a bit of a paradise, it has remained stable for coming on 10 years (In which time it has not the seen the death of a single foreigner,  a better rate than most western countries) and has a lot to offer its visitors. To the north and east there is the dramatic scenery of the Zagros mountains, the impressive Kharand Canyon and the Ali Beg waterfall (a popular paddling spot with tourists and features on the 5,000 Iraqi Dinar note).

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Best Van Turizm coach we took from Diyarbakir to Duhok ($30).

Best Van Turizm coach we took from Diyarbakir to Duhok ($30).

After the events of my last post (Taksim Square protests) I flew to a city in Eastern Turkey called Diyarbakir, which I’d found earlier was the closest city to the Iraqi border crossing that had both an airport and a bus station which I could find online references to having a bus to Iraq (As a result of the trip it also appears you could fly to the interestingly named city of Batman and catch the same bus later on its route, although I would recommend Diyarbakir for having slightly more things to see and do).

I was travelling with a friend on this trip and we’d anticipated that the Turkish part of the journey would be fairly event free but once we were into Iraqi customs things would quickly become a bit more tense, little did we know the terrifying situation we would be driving into…

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I’ve had a few people suggest I start one of these travel blogs due to the slightly uncommon nature of a lot of the trips I make. I’ve got a bit of a habit of visiting off the beaten track places such as North Korea, Svalbard, Chernobyl, Palestine etc. and there tends to be a lack of information on trips to these places. There are blogs about all of them but very few cover how to go about visiting these places yourself.

I’ve always felt that a lot of people don’t travel because they are intimated by it, I know I certainly used to be. Thanks to the internet we have swathes of information available to us when planning a trip, but this presents the problem of having to sift through all of it.

So what to do? Well I thought I’d start by posting about trips whilst I’m planning them, distilling down the useful information I find and then discussing the decisions I’ve made based on that to put together a trip. Hopefully people will find my approach to the problems I encounter helpful.

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