has anyone been backpacking in iraq recently?

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has anyone been backpacking in iraq recently?

Postby amandalindhout » Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:00 am

i'm planning atrip through the middle east and would like to include iraq. if anyone has been thre as a backpacker i would love info on the transporation situation, and is it easy to find cheapish hotels? whats the best border to cross from and wheres best to get my visa. is it true you need a blood test to enter?
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Postby flipflop » Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:42 am

Erm.....not a good time to go old girl, I'm afraid, something to do with those American chaps having a frightful time with a few of the old Arab chaps.

Methinks you should definitely hold off for possibly five years until the old Iraqi situation kind of sorts itself out, you could say when they discover that a bit of the old bang bang isn't really cricket as this English Gentleman knows it...

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Postby jonas » Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:06 pm

FlipFlop me senses a business opportunity for you..."FlipFlop's Bed and Breakfast"
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Postby ROB » Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:38 pm

I am always amused when someone comes to a board about dangerous places to ask about travelling to dangerous places and someone pipes up and tells them that it's dangerous! Duh!

That's the fucking point.
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Postby flipflop » Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:21 pm

True, true, but there's 'dangerous' and then there's 'fucking stupidly dangerous' and the old sand box is defo in the second category. Anyone who looks remotely european/american/indian/non-arab... should receive a good slap from someone sensible if they even consider 'backpacking' to fucking Iraq, christ on a bike...come on

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Postby jbuchana » Tue Dec 06, 2005 5:32 am

I applaud your guts amanda. I will have to agree with flipflop though. I am not a traveler, but I really don't want you interrupting my news in an orange jumpsuit on video at the Al-Zarqawi hotel (it will cost you an arm, a leg and a head).


If you go through with it.
I am guessing Maybe Northern Iraq maybe the safest area. Maybe you can jump across the border from Turkey for a quik gander with some armed guards to visit Kurdistan. You might want to repost on the main board. You should find some people on the main board that have been there as soldierd, aid-workerd, or journalists. Be prepared for some flame though, this does sound suicidal.
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Postby ROB » Tue Dec 06, 2005 6:35 am

The editor of PBs was in Northern Iraq about 2 or 3 months ago. I don't regard him as fucking stupid (mildly dim, perhaps) so if you need info I suggest you email him.
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Postby flipflop » Tue Dec 06, 2005 10:47 am

Bully for him, he's probably a well informed and experienced travel writer or whatever....ding dong. He also shits steel rivets out his armour plated arse.......

I know very little about northern Iraq. I did, however, spend two years in the remaining two thirds of the country and if that counts for anything I can say anyone thinking of going on a backpack trip there looking for cheap hotels is an idiot. It isn't fucking Thailand.

So go ahead and visit Kurdish Iraq if you need to, try entering through Turkey. If you're as tough as PBs editor you'll be fine. If you also want to prove a point about how cool you are by saying you've been to Baghdad backpacking you will probably be on CNN as jbuchana says if you try Kuwait, Iran and Saudi Arabia, you will die if entering through Jordan and Syria.

Plain enough?

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Postby Slam » Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:48 pm

Chechnya is pretty this time of year.
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Postby Stiv » Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:50 pm

Seems to me if you're going to be in that part of the world there are some pretty good alternatives.

But hey to each his own.

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Postby crotalus01 » Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:25 am

friend of mine was at the Turkey/Iraq border a couple of months ago. she was hell-bent on going to Iraq. when she saw the situation at the border (and this is the "safer" Northern Iraq by the way), she said Hell No and turned around. very smart on her part as there had been 4 murders that day in the town she was supposed to be crossing into. just food for thought.....
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Postby seektravelinfo » Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:40 am

I was in Iraq last June, with Foulplay and his friend David. Not exactly as a backpacker ..... as I traveled with a little red suitcase and got shit for that let me tell you ..... but I'd be damned before I'd be a "backpacker",
Anyway,
We crossed at the Turkish border into Zaxo for a night, then on to Dohuk. Quiet place, interesting, but no time to explore. I'd like to go back, but not in the summer (too hot) and next time I'll travel with Kurds .... the people there were good folks, rather guarded (understandable), some beautiful scenery surrounding Dohuk, an amusement park and a wal-mart type store selling treadmills, which I found to be most curious indeed. The Yezedi are in that area, a religious order I'd be interested in observing a ritual of, and there's a good mix of mosques and churches.
There is danger, but not at this moment what you could put your finger on, but these days it seems that more will be coming from Turkey, as the Kurdish situation is becoming quite restless. I wouldn't be surprised if there was not a presence of Turkish secret police and such.
My advice to you would be : don't travel alone. If you wish, PM me and I'll give you contact info. for a friend in Van and a friend in Diyarbakir who might be willing to help you out, at the least in terms of advice.
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Postby ROB » Wed Dec 07, 2005 9:46 am

I love when tough guys throw tantrums. :D
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Postby The Settle » Wed Dec 07, 2005 5:06 pm

What about when dillusional western women get themselves beheaded or shot?
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Postby kilroy » Wed Dec 07, 2005 5:13 pm

kinda strikes me as a troll post. i mean, seriously, even if someone was intending to travel iraq, it isn't thailand, like flipflop said. people dumb enough to just hike around looking for 'cheapish' hotels would be bound to get capped (or 'de-capped', as it were).
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