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ANDY HOBOTRAVELER.COM RATES IRAQ DANGER
I would call Iraq as of September 1, 2003 as an ADVENTURE TRAVEL COUNTRY - READ NEWSLETTER FOR EXPLANATION
HOTELS HOSTELS - A ROOM CENTER OF BACKPACKER UNIVERSE
This is the path from Turkey to Syria - READ NOTES FIRST
The price of hotels is a GUIDE ONLY. We do not drive ourselves crazy looking for prices.
ZAHO, IRAQ - Someone stop and collect all the business card and send to me as scan.
Send to hoboontheroadATDELETETHISyahoo.com
Slivan Hotel is probably best choice.
PHOTOS of Hotel Business Cards to Print.
MOSUL (Saddam Territory)
ERBIL OR ARBIL (Kurdistan)
NOTES: If they say the hotel is full. Sit around for awhile. They are checking you to see if you
are OK before the completed changed their mind and suddenly there is a room.
This has happened 3 times now.
If you are in a hotel in Iraq with no air conditioning.
Sleep on the roof.
NOTES: Get to all the hotels very early. Hopefully arrive before 10 in the morning.
They are very full and the prices are gouging. You may want to check the hotel for
vacancies or ask for sure. "When is check out?"
It is common for a hotel anywhere in the world to say they are full.
But in reality the people have not checked out yet. There will be rooms.
The 5 star ones are really going for the Dollars and are not good for tourism
because too far from everything and you must take a taxi. A taxi is the best
opportunity to be robbed or killed. You are isolated.
About the accommodation in Baghdad,,many of hotels in the center of
Baghadad, ZAHRAT ALKHALEEJ and ALFANAR are good with reasonable price,,
prepar your self to pay between 20 to 50 $ per night.
BAGHDAD NOTES - FROM READER
was in iraq last week--went from amman and spent a few days in baghdad. some info. 1. go ahead and take the bus--even if money isnt a big concern. from the stories i heard in baghdad its the safest means of transport if for no other reason than the bandits who are robbin people on the road from amman have much more profitable targets then a busload of poor iraqis returnin home. it also has ac and leg room. as of last week it leaves every night at 8 from al mahata station about five minutes by taxi from downtown. it gets into baghdad at about 1030 the next morning. 2. i took sarhots advice and stayed at the al fanar--right next to the palestine/sheraton complex. its $20 a night w/ breakfast and another meal. the staff was friendly and it was nice to be able to talk with/get info from the western journalists that were there. 3. never get in a car thats not properly marked as a taxi--ie completely orange or w/ orange details on the front and back--or take photos of american troops w/o explicit permission or go near the baghdad hotel, unless you really want to be robbed, interogated, or shot. 4. if youre goin to be walkin around with anything--ie camera, money, map--put it in a plain black plastic bag. 5. if you have the time and money you might want to consider gettin a driver/bodyguard for a day to see some areas that would otherwise be too dangerous. the goin rate is $50/day and another $30 if you want a translator. or you may be able to tag along with some journalists/film makers/etc that you meet at the hotel. 6. on the way back id take a gmc taxi rather than a bus. they leave in the morning from and area that is pronounced something like havel kali which is a couple km north of the palestine/sheraton. my main reason for this is that the jordanian border on the way back is a real bitch. apparently the jordanians are intent on collecting duty on all the looted goods streamin out of the country and therefore have to search everyone--i spent just under 9 hrs there. im not sayin that i didnt have a good time--actually met some pretty interestin people--but 22 hrs in transit might not exactly be everyones idea of fun. 7. if youre gonna be in amman for any amount of time it wouldnt hurt to stop by the al saraya and see sarhot before you leave--he can update you on any major changes and makes a fine cup of tea. 8. you can more or less disregard everything that the tiovo said--the ability to cut and paste the us govts official statement travel warning doesnt make you any kind of authority on the matter. hope that helps. cheers
MISC - MONEY - PROBLEMS - TORTURE MUSEUM IN SULAMANIA
2 Types used in Iraq.
PHOTOS AND EXCHANGE OF MONEY
Kurdish Dinars. 10 to 1 dollar as of August 24, 2003
SOUTH OF KIRKUK AND MOSUL (Includes Mosul and Kirkuk)
Saddam Dinars 1870 to 1 dollar as of August 24, 2003
ADDRESS IN SULAMANIYA OF SADDAM TORTURE MUSEUM
SULMANIA TORTURE MUSEUM
Do no throw bread on the ground.
Be careful about putting feet on table.
The people of Iraq will touch you. They will
grab your arm and pull. Just twist or turn around
on them. They will let lose. Children will hole your hand.
Men will walk up and grab your hand and hold it.
They are being friendly and not homosexual.
Do not just pull away. That is rude. But after a short while
go ahead and pull your hand away.
I have 2 guidebooks with me.
The Bradt Guide to Iraq and the Middle East Lonely Planet.
I would say both of them are pretty good at history.
For you Barefoot Hoboes.... oops Not so good.
The Lonely Planet has no Hotel information.
The Bradt guide thinks paying for 5 star is the way to go...
Being in the center of a city is a Hobo way to do a city.
There is no doubt though that the Bradt Guide is a good history and places to go book.
It does have some hotels.
Iraq: The Bradt Travel Guide
Lonely Planet Middle East (Middle East,...
Great book to give you history of a TELL.
The Source, By James Michener
They have 2 types of long trip travel.
1. Colective taxi. Share with others.
2. Bus or the middle sized bus.
Both are very cheap.
You need to ask for GARAGH OR GARAGE?
So to get to Mosul, I would ask GARAAGE MOSUL
The inner city taxi will take me to a Garage for about 1 dollar.
The most I have paid for a colective taxi so far is 25 Kurdish Dinars or about 3 dollars USA.
I suppose you can take a private taxi, but that is more dangerous. I believe people are willing
to kill one person easier then a whole car.
I also to not BOOK a taxi.
That would give the crazies time to prepare.
Most of the HOTELS will go get a taxi, and make sure the price is good.
I try to carry a piece of papers with the name of the city written in Arabic or Kurdish on it.
I show them the paper. Hold up the amount the reception desk said was correct to pay.
The nod their head and we leave. This can be with or without the help of Hotel Staff.
Do not tip if possible. Maybe when you really like a person. But if you like to give away
money and want to be considered rich. Tip. It will tip them off that you do not travel much.
The world does not tip for the most part. Americans and rich people. Or those with too much
middle class guilt. If after exceptional service. I will tip. TIP To Insure Promptness.
INTERNET AND TELEPHONE
They have the booth type telephone service.
You go to a telephone center and make a call.
Satellite telephones are for sale. Seems the only way to have your own international.
INTERNET IS EVERYWHERE
Iraq area codes (Country code: 964)
From USA you need to dial 011 first.
CITY CODES OF IRAQ
City / area code / digits
Baghdadu 24(0)1 + 7D SN
Tkritzsb 6(0)21 + 6D SN
Kutd 82(0)23 + 6D SN
Ramadieb (0)24 + 6D SN
Baquba _9(0)25 + 6D SN
Hilla (al-Hillah) (0)30 + 6D SN
Kerdalat (0)32 + 6D SN
Najafp 6(0)33 + 6D SN
Diwaniyat 25(0)36 + 6D SN
Samawa _(0)37 + 6D SN
Basrahi +2(0)40 + 6D SN
Nasiriyafx 5(0)42 + 6D SN
Amara 3(0)43 + 6D SN
Kirkukukc (0)50 + 6D SN
Sulaimaniyath +0(0)53 + 6D SN
Mosulr 5(0)60 + 6D SN
Duhokjv (0)62 + 6D SN
Erbilr (0)66 + 6D SN
1. 2 copies of passport.
2. Go with TAXI. The driver will run the guantlet.
3. Turkey people pay 50 I believe. Others pay 0, but I paid 40 Million Lira.
20 on the Turkey side and 20 on the Iraq side.
You will switch to another taxi after the border. For Zaho, Dohuk, or maybe Mosul
PETER - A READER JUST SENT THIS TO ME August 19?, 2003
Turkey to Iraq border crossing.
I crossed the above border about three hours ago. It wasn't a big deal. Here's what happens.
The nearest Turkish town to the border that I crossed (there may be others) is called Silopi. It is 15 km's from the actual border. The border facility is called Habur. You can walk those 15 km's if you want to, however, it is really hot right now. As far as I could tell, there is no local bus. Apparently, there are no locals using that border, hence no bus. You can probably hitch-hike without too much problem. There are plenty of lorries (trucks) going that way. If you do take a lorry, you will probably spend quite a few hours at either side of the border as there were literally hundreds of lorries queueing up to cross the border. If you get a ride in a car, then you just whiz straight to the front of the queue.
Personally, I ended up taking a cab. I figured that he could assit me in all the running around. I had heard all these stories about the difficulty of the crossing. I was told that there was a heavy Turkish military checkpoint. That consisted of one guy in very casual gear who asked me why I was going into Iraq. I told him and he just said "enjoy it". I saw no heavy weaponry, no tanks, sod all actually. I was also told that the Turkish passport control was very hit and miss and faxes had to be sent from Ankara and God-knows what else. It was very very simple. As was the Kurdistan/Iraqi side. You do need to take one photocopy of your passport though. If you are press, you also need a letter from your Embassy confirming that fact. I only saw one American at the border and he had just left the toilet and was going into an office where, apparently, there are other Americans. I saw no Americans at all between the border and Dohuk (from where I am writing this).
On reflection, I could have done the whole thing for free if I had wanted, except the bits on the Kurdistan/Iraqi side.
Once at the border, it's just the normal rush of people etc etc. The border is always open, as is the bank there. Once you leave the Turkish side, it's about 500 metres to the Kurdistan/Iraqi side. That facility is called Ibrahim Allir (or something like that). Once you do your stuff there, there are taxis right there or if you walk about 100 metres, there is a bus stand. It costs 1 Dinar (about 10 cents) to go to Zohak which is about 10 km's away. From there, it's 5 Dinar by bus to Dohuk or 10 Dinar by shared taxi.
ONE THING: I have a British passport and perhaps, that made things a little easier. No visa is needed, no AIDS test PLUS I EVEN HAVE ISRAELI STAMPS IN MY PASSPORT. Guess what? no worries at all. How times change!!!
Last night, by co-incidence, I had dinner with a Turkish customs officer. He told me that some nationalities (the non-Western ones) sometimes have to get approval from Ankara. That involves going somewhere there and having them fax permission to the border folks. However, things change and what is so today may be different tomorrow.
I hope this un-biased and impartial (kudos to Sarhot) information assists.
BORDER CROSSING COMMENTS FROM JJ
August 10, 2003
it's official: i am in dohuk, iraq.
i was right in that i figured the hard part wouldn't be getting into
iraq, it would be getting out of turkey. the border police gave me a hard
time. they were convinced i was cia. in the end though they let me through.
miraculously, i didnt have to pay any "fees" of any kind to cross the
border. my taxi driver was awesome in hustling me through all the
lines; the longest step was the interrogation. the kurdish side of the border
was no problem.
Andy - Great job.
LANGUAGES- KURDISTAN AND ARABIC
I have not found a big need for learning the languages.
Lots of people speak English. But learn to say Thank You and Hello for sure.
There is about 4 major dialects as best I can figure in Kurdistan.
This information came from the owner of the Shanan Hotel, plus he
is also the owner of the film processing place directly across the street from the
Shereen Hotel in Erbil.
I am putting a mark above his door as a source of information.
He speak 5 languages. His English is good. Not excellent.
4 LANGUAGES OR DIALECTS OF THE KURDS AND ROUGHLY WHERE.
Iraq - Kanekin
Iran - Kesershirin, Mehababad, Kiran Shah
Iraq - Kerkuk, Sulayminya, Erbil
Iraq - Duhuk, Zaho, Wan
Turkey - Wan, Marding, Urfa, Gazanna
Iraq - Hawrenan, Benjwin, Helabia
Iran - Sine - Bukan, Bana
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