Exploring Iraqi Kurdistan with Karwan

Kurdistan tours with Karwan

A few weeks before my trip to Iran I had already decided that I would visit Iraqi Kurdistan afterwards. However, I had no idea how to get around. Public transport is virtually non-existent outside of the cities and on top of this the tourism sector is not very well developed. Thus getting around outside the city would not be easy….

Luckily one taxi driver had the solution! His name is Karwan Wahed and this is his website. He is basically a taxi driver and an English-speaking guide at the same time.

Karwan Kurdistan

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Visa application for Iran in The Hague

On-arrival or at an embassy?

Applying for a visa is a costly and somewhat annoying part of travelling. It involves a lot of paperwork and a one might have to visit the embassy. In order to attract more visitors some countries allow visitors to apply for their visa upon arrival at the airport.

Supposedly Iran had introduced a visa-on-arrival programme several months before my trip. However, the information was very unclear. Some people said they could not get the visa on arrival and were send home. Consequently I decided to get my visa at the embassy. Continue reading

6 things you didn’t know about a tour in North Korea

1. The driver cleans the bus before entering Pyongyang

If you take one of the longer tours to North Korea, say more than 5 days, chances are that you will visit places outside of Pyongyang. During these visits the drive might take you off the highway onto some dirt roads. As a consequence the bus will get dirty (duhh!). However, driving a dirty bus is not allowed in Pyongyang. Continue reading

North Korean Guides or Minders?

Preparing for North Korea

In preparation for my tour through North Korea I looked at documentaries on YouTube, read other travel blogs and read Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea. All of which helped me to prepare what I was going to see in North Korea. However they did not inform me well on the relationships with the North Korean guides (or minders as most people call them) I might form.
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Relaxing with locals at a beach in North Korea


In the summer of 2016 I visited North Korea for a total of 12 days. One is not allowed to travel independently through North Korea, therefore an organised group tour is the way to go. Togethere with approximately 15 other people I went on a group tour organised by Young Pioneer Tours. I cannot recommend this tour company more!

At some point during the trip we visited a beach on the west coast of the peninsula. This visit was truly amazing and took away all my doubt that tourist cannot have an impact on the local population. In this post I will describe what happened as best as I can. Continue reading

5 things to do before visiting Iran

Before I went to Iran there were some things I did before, which were an absolute must. There were also some things I did not do before I went, but wish I did. Here is a list of 5 things you should do before visiting Iran.

1. Get cash

Most trade sanctions have been lifted from Iran by Obama. Despite this most banks are still reluctant to do business with Iranian banks, because they are afraid of ending up on a black list. Therefore most bank cards are not excepted in Iran. Continue reading

Border crossing from Iran to Iraq

Back to Tehran

In the beginning of March I woke up in Shiraz. I headed to the airport from where I flew back to Tehran. My plan was to catch a bus to Erbil in Iraq. However, I was not sure if this bus was even going. Let alone at what time the bus left and how long the journey would take.

After arriving at the West Bus Terminal in Tehran I found a bus company that regularly drives to Erbil. This was only the third company I asked so this was not bad. The ticket cost me the equivalent of about 25 euros. Although

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