Both of these countries are beautiful and attract a lot of tourists. Unfortunately, there has been a decrease in the number of tourists visiting these places. This is because of the various conflicts which have plagued them for many decades. If you are still interested in these places and would like to make the effort to go and see them then you have to plan well. Gather as much information as possible. Talk to people who have visited this place. Develop contacts with the locals if possible. Check all the websites related to these places and also read as much as you can. Click this link for information.
There are some things which you can keep in mind while planning your trip.
- There is a lot of questioning at the border. Everyone, including Arabs and other foreigners, will need to have proper paperwork and documents. Deportation and sometimes even detainment is possible if you are not prepared.
- Start your tour with the safe areas. It is better to spend some time and understand the situation before you venture into the more dangerous areas. Erbil is one of the safest cities in the area. Kurdistan has more restrictions for people coming from Turkey.
- North Iraq was spared wars and is a different place when compared with South Iraq. The terrorist activity here is minimal and there has been a massive influx of foreign investment and aid. Iraqi Kurdistan is now called the “gateway to Iraq”.
- Be careful while talking to people. Don’t get into discussions and arguments about nationalist issues with the locals. Read and brush up your history before you start your travels.
- Though Kurdish people are friendly, it is good to understand that certain topics and issues should not be raked up. Never call a Kurdish person an Iraqi.
- Europeans will find the lack of women in public spaces a bit strange. More than ninety percent of the people in the crowd are men. Women rarely, if ever, travel alone.
- If you are a woman, remember to cover your hair and not hang around in tea houses or cafes on your own. Avoid going out after dark by yourself.
You will find that the Kurdish people are friendly and in fact, they are curious to learn about you. If given a chance they would like to ask you all kind of questions. Most of them are not aware of other cultures and are not well versed with world affairs. Remember to go with an open mind and be ready for new experiences.