Free travel home page with storage for your pictures and travel reports! login GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community GLOBOsapiens - Travel Community
 You are here: Member pages
 Forgot password?
sign up

Top 3 members
wojtekd 70
pictor 33
el2995 17
Member snaps
krisek Yazd - A travel report by Krys
about me      | my friends      | pictures      | albums      | reports      | travel log      | travel tips      | guestbook      | activities      | contact      |

Yazd,  Iran - flag Iran -  Yazd
19787 readers

krisek's travel reports

Yazd. A place to relax to the max.

  13 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
This desert town, built from mud brick, was a chillout haven. Even traffic was slower and more organised. And although shisha was illegal in Yazd, tea on the roof of traditional house with a perfect view was most delightful.

Yazd travelogue picture
I dedicated 6 hours of my life to an uneventful coach ride from Shiraz to Yazd. I suffered a little but was glad that the coach arrived one hour early. Almost all the way from Shiraz, it was a motorway. Small sections were still based on a regular single lane highway, but work was being done to complete the entire motorway. This should shave additional 30 minutes off the trip, perhaps.

Yazd appeared larger than I expected or imagined from discussions with Iranians in Shiraz. It took quite a taxi ride from the coach terminal to the hotel. Arriving in the hours of darkness can of course be deceiving and does not belong to things I like the most. En route, I noticed few illuminated monuments. The rest of town seemed dark and calm. It most definitely was leaving an impression of a mysterious ancient city that hid many secrets.

Yazd was very close to the legendary Silk Route. Not so much legendary as factual. And apparently it still is a good place to buy silk products. I was not interested in shopping, so I cannot confirm.

I made a friend of one of the waiters at the hotel, where I was staying. His was a refugee from Afghanistan and worked at the hotel for food. They did not pay him. His name was Samin. He was very polite and professional, and also very funny outside business hours. He was very kind to show me around Yazd and even negotiated a taxi trip to see places out of town. At the age of 20 he had experienced much and his life in Iran was not easy. As a refugee he had a permit to stay in the country but was not allowed to go to university or to be employed. Somehow, it seemed that the Iranian government did not care how he was supposed to earn his money to live, at the same time allowing the black market to take care of him. Anyway, he was a good sport to keep me company and show me some hidden places in the old town. I also visited his family.

Favourite spots:
Amir Chakhmaq Complex
Amir Chakhmaq Complex
The Amir Chakhmaq Complex was my favourite spot in Yazd. The square to which the complex was opening was spacious, the building or rather facade was splendid and the fountains completed this perfect picture. What an unusual structure! The gradual three storey facade appeared to be just an over-the-top portal to a tiny market inside or rather behind it. The best time to see it was at sunset, as sun rose almost exactly behind the facade making viewing uncomfortable and taking pictures very challenging. The Amir Chakhmaq Square was not very popular. Every time I went there, it was almost completely deserted. A few people kept themselves busy in the market, moving bottles and other objects around. So it was a fantastic place to snooze and reflect on how misunderstood Iran and Iranians were by the West. In the evenings, when the complex’s sunken alcoves were lit, locals trickled in and the square became a socialising centre.

What's really great:
Yazd, Old Town alley
Yazd, Old Town alley
The old town was a-maze-ing. I loved it. Many alleys were tunnels in this fab structure of mud brick. Some of the tunnels had arched ceiling making the old Yazd look like a town from planet Tatooine (those readers who have not seen Star Wars - should!). Wandering around either in those tunnels or in the labyrinth of narrow alleys flanked by tall mud walls was fantastic. Surely I would have got lost if I had been walking alone. The Yazd authorities put few signs around pointing directions to selected monuments and museums, but they really did not make the trick. There were too few and put on main junctions only. How to get to those junctions was left up to the visitors. It was superb. The sunrays struggled with great effort to penetrate the corridors and tunnels leaving them cool and pleasant.

Some hotels converted from traditional houses offered terraces from which the entire old town could be seen and its domes and wind towers, a several thousands years old air conditioning system.

Jemeh Mosque
Jemeh Mosque
Apart from wind towers, Yazd's main attraction was Jameh Mosque. Its supertall portal decorated with countless tiles of different shades of blue and green and 2 minarets rising immediately from its top could hardly fit in the frame of a regular camera. The mosque's dome was additionally decorated with orange tiles.

Old Yazd hid many smaller and older mosques, some of which were cosy and almost intimate. There was also an interesting Yazd Water Museum (free entry) explaining the extensive system of underground water channels called qanat.

I also liked the alleged Alexander's Prison complex including the oldest temple in Yazd. The prison had a superb underground cafe with a central fountain under the circular skylight.

Among the greatest sights were the Tower of Salience, remains of the Zoroastrian tradition of 'burying' the deceased. Two large circular but not tall towers on hills were used to display the bodies. The towers were at the outskirts. Taxi for 1 hour was €1.30 (18,000 rials)

The Orient Hotel
The Orient Hotel
I made a booking in the Silk Road Hotel but when I arrived, I was told that the management decided to book me in another of their hotels, The Orient. I really liked the Silk Road and its magnificent courtyard with fountains and little garden, but when I saw The Orient, I decided not to complain. It was based on the same principle. It was a converted traditional house with large courtyard in the middle. In the evening it also looked nice and its rooftop terrace offered incredible views of Yazd, including the Jameh Mosque. Having tea there in the evening with such a fabulous view of the huge blue portal of the mosque became totally unforgettable. Single rooms (300,000 rials) with traditional decor were simple but came with clean ensuite bathroom, European style toilet, towels, simple toiletries, etc. but mine had no toilet roll (?). I wasn't sure if it was a standard or an overlooking. I didn't have to check - I had my own. The other sister hotel was the Oasis.

Wind towers of an old Zoroastrian hamlet and the Tower of Silence in the background
Wind towers of an old Zoroastrian hamlet and the Tower of Silence in the background
Apparently, it was illegal to smoke shisha in Yazd, and apparently it was only allowed in specific locations in Iran. There was no reason for this cruel restriction. Cruel, because... how can you strip people from this simple pleasure? It is traditional in the entire Middle East!! And yet, I managed to get invited to a shisha and tea party. The waiters (actually they also worked as a general help) at the hotel invited me. We went to their quarters at the back of the hotel, sat on what looked like very old carpets, drank tea and smoked this fabulous water pipe. We tried two apple flavours. One from Egypt and the other from Russia. And talked. Gossiped. Talked a little politics and plenty about travelling and other cultures of our beautiful planet. This took us to about 1:30 in the morning. What a great night!

Otherwise, I spotted few public cafes and chilling places in Yazd. Nightclubs obviously did not exist but even teahouses were very few and far between. Perhaps they were hidden...

Entry to the Bagh-e Doulat Abad park
Entry to the Bagh-e Doulat Abad park
The Bagh-e Doulat Abad park was a very pleasant spot in the old town. It had a great and tall wind tower under which the air was cool and windows of which were decorated with colourful stained glass. This public park surrounded with an arg-like mud brick wall had a long and narrow pond with numerous little fountains. Along the pond, under the trees there were benches with carpets and cushions for chilling and stretching. What a hangout place! Furthermore, the wind tower building had a very atmospheric little cafe with a fountain and stained glass skylights. This was a perfect spot for locals to bring a date and cuddle, and for tourists to break their getting lost in the labyrinth of the old town. The garden and the buildings had been Karim Khan Zand’s residence, who in his will decided that it was to become a public park. Entry: 5,000 rials.

Old Town. Love expressed in local graffito.
Old Town. Love expressed in local graffito.
The first night I ate at the Orient Hotel. The menu listed about 15 Yazd specialities, most of which were based on camel and mutton meat, as well as a few Indian dishes, the top one being chicken curry (30,000 to 45,000 rials). I hesitated a little regarding camel meal. I hadn’t eaten all day, so would’ve preferred something I'd enjoy to risking something new I might potentially hate. The traditional chicken stew with rice and flat Iranian bread was good. The sauce, based on onions and tomatoes, was slightly spicy and had a good structure.

Amir Chakhmag Cafe, right in the Amir Chakhmag complex served huge traditional kebabs and chicken pieces grilled on a skewer with tomatoes, onions and flat Iranian bread for about 33,000 including large lemon beer. Only locals and refugees ate there. I tried the chicken, which looked yummy but was slightly undercooked.

By the complex there was also a pizza restaurant. Their tasty and crisp pizzas were about 35,000 rials and small drinks 3,000 rials.

Other recommendations:
Henna factory. This young man, was an Afghani refugee, who was very friendly and showed me Yazd
Henna factory. This young man, was an Afghani refugee, who was very friendly and showed me Yazd
Desert trips seemed to be a popular side activity. Every hotel could organise one. Actually, three nights stay at either the Orient, Oasis or Silk Road (all under the same management and about 100 yards from one another) qualified for a free night stay at their desert guesthouse. Therefore the tour worked out much cheaper.

There was a very interesting henna factory in Yazd. The mills are now powered by electric engines but the giant central grinding stone and the mechanism are from the times when camels were used to move the core. The factory was not an obvious tourist object in a typical itinerary. My new friend Samin took me there, as he used to work in the factory. I found it really interesting to see how Iranians worked and what health and safety procedures were in place - not bad at all; protective clothing, dust masks, etc.

Published on Thursday May 22th, 2008

send travelogue via e-mail    Publish on Facebook  

Sat, Jun 07 2008 - 08:40 AM rating by jorgesanchez

another jewel report, because of the text and the pictures

Sun, Jun 01 2008 - 04:41 AM rating by marianne

great report about a less often visited place

Mon, May 26 2008 - 01:01 PM rating by terje

Thanks for sharing iranian cultur experiences!

Sat, May 24 2008 - 02:06 AM rating by rangutan

Another unique and great report.

Fri, May 23 2008 - 02:45 AM rating by davidx

I can't think how you manage to maintain so many high quality reports. One small point - if you are giving prices in local currency, which is very informative, I think it helps understanding if you have a brief note relating the curency to £, $ or €' such as 100,000 rials = €7 approx, at an early point.

Login if you are a member, or sign up for a free membership to rate this report and to earn globo points!

   Berat average user rating for this report
   Gjirokaster average user rating for this report
   Tirana average user rating for this report
 Antigua and Barbuda
   Saint John's average user rating for this report
   Buenos Aires average user rating for this report
   El Calafate average user rating for this report
   Punta Tombo average user rating for this report
   Yerevan average user rating for this report
   Oranjestad average user rating for this report
   Sydney average user rating for this report
   Salzburg average user rating for this report
   Baku average user rating for this report
   Oistins average user rating for this report
   Antwerpen average user rating for this report
   Brugge average user rating for this report

Publish your own story!
 More on Iran

   Tehran - nicoparnasse average user rating for this report
   Shush - farnaz average user rating for this report
   Soltaniyeh average user rating for this report
   Mahan - hieronyma average user rating for this report
   Isfahan - masoud average user rating for this report

  Terms and Conditions    Privacy Policy    Press    Contact    Impressum
  © 2002 - 2024 Findix Technologies GmbH Germany    Travel Portal Version: 5.0.1