To avoid getting my hopes up and then disappointed, I try to avoid reading opinions and reviews about my destination before each trip. I prefer to let my journey unfold naturally, with all its newness.

If you Google “Iran, Tehran,” you’ll find information about economic sanctions, religion, politics, policy, and the war with Iraq (which ended a long time ago, similar to Vietnam – many Westerners think Vietnam is still at war). In reality, our trip was a fascinating experience of the hospitality and warmth of the people and:

Iran is safer than the media makes it out to be.

The ancient culture of the Persian Empire has left behind countless priceless heritages.

… and many other surprises about the country and its people.

A peaceful view of Tehran from Mount Tochal.

Các loại hoa hồng đủ loại thơm ngát được trồng dọc đường lên núi

Fragrant roses are planted along the way up the mountain.

Tehran is a large city with a climate that varies within the city itself. Some places have lower temperatures than others. The light shines all day long, the sun doesn’t set until 9pm, so there is plenty of time for outdoor activities. Parks connect the gardens, where flowers bloom all year round, and the mountains are covered in white snow even in summer.

View từ một ngôi nhà trong khu phố nhỏ với dãy núi tuyết xa xa

View from a house in a small neighborhood with distant snow-capped mountains.

Trời vẫn sáng mặc dù đã 19h30

It was still light out at 7:30pm.

The Golestan Palace, an impressive work of art, down to the detail of each tile. Each small tile is a painting that could be a fable, decorated with patterns reflecting culture and religion.

Majestic mosques are located everywhere, with elaborate domes and minarets. The intricate design is evident from the outside to the inside of the Islamic architecture.

Bazaars located on maze-like streets or as sturdy as fortresses are considered the breath of Persia. They are always bustling with a myriad of goods, the most attractive of which are handicrafts and precious stones.

No matter where I went, I was captivated by the warmth and hospitality of the Iranians. It is a land of beautiful people, both in appearance and soul, who are friendly and helpful without expecting anything in return.