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Thread: NE Iraq holiday

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    Thailand Expat
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    NE Iraq holiday

    I am off to ne Iraq the Kurdish bit next week for a short holiday. Taking my bike and plan to cycle.

    Has anyone been recently?

    I'm assured I can get ten day visa on arrival at erbil but any info on extensions?

    Thanks !

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    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
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    Knowing your Nationality would help, but you really shouldn't rely on getting a visa on arrival. If you spend 10 or more days in Iraq then you have to get a permission to exit stamp in Baghdad before you leave the country, you may want to take this in to consideration. Apart from that, it's a lovely part of the world and a great place to visit.


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    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostandfound
    Taking my bike and plan to cycle.
    Be sure not to accidentally stray into Iran. The Iranians will lock you up and throw away the key.

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    If he is wearing tight bycycle shorts they'll likely bugger him first, I'd expect...
    Last edited by Bettyboo; 23-02-2011 at 01:06 PM.

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    Thanks - going to have to take a chance on the visa on arrival - the conditions are different in the Kurdish Autonomous Region to the rest of Iraq. There isn't a consulate for the KAG in Thailand as far as I can see.

    No plans to go east of Lake Dukan, approx 30KM as crow flies from Iranian border. More worried about disruption in Bahrain en route.

    Judging by google map the terrain between Erbil and Dukan looks manageable, but will be travelling really light with just a change of clothes in a small backpack.

    I visited the area during Sadaam's time and looking forward to seeing again. The lake should be a nice 15c or so for a quick swim . My AC at home only goes down to 18......I'll take a camera.

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    EN - I'm on a UK pp, the consul/office in Washington says 10 days is OK on arrival. But I heard of people being turned away at land crossings plus a Malaysian denied entry. Hoping the UK pp works. Otherwise it's a wasted day on gulf air!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    If he is wearing tight bycycle shorts their likely bugger him first, I'd expect...
    Just like Beach Road then?

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    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostandfound
    EN - I'm on a UK pp, the consul/office in Washington says 10 days is OK on arrival. But I heard of people being turned away at land crossings plus a Malaysian denied entry. Hoping the UK pp works. Otherwise it's a wasted day on gulf air!
    Well in that case I wish you all the best, and hopefully you will gain entry with no problems.

    Make sure to get the pictures posted up. Looking forward to it already.

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    Now thats what I call real travel. Have a good trip, and don't forget the trip report.

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    I currently work in Erbil for a drilling company and our visa process is taken care by a legal firm.

    You will have to report to the Residency Office within 10 days of your arrival. This involves many forms to fill out, around $30 USD in fees as well as a compulsory blood test to check for Hep C and HIV. Be prepared to wait for around 2-3 hours throughout this whole process.

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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by jonboy View Post
    I currently work in Erbil for a drilling company and our visa process is taken care by a legal firm.

    You will have to report to the Residency Office within 10 days of your arrival. This involves many forms to fill out, around $30 USD in fees as well as a compulsory blood test to check for Hep C and HIV. Be prepared to wait for around 2-3 hours throughout this whole process.
    That's great advice. 10 days may be enough in any case. I was looking at Erbil International Hotel on arriva - 250US ..... Do you think I'll have much trouble finding somewhere safe to leave a bag for a week or so that charges less 100-150 sort of thing?
    Also - am I about right thinking 2 heavy days of cycling from Erbil to Dukan each way?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Now thats what I call real travel. Have a good trip, and don't forget the trip report.
    Sure will. Really looking forward to it - feels like being 16 again when I hitch hiked with a school mate to the South of France!

    Will keep a diary and get pics when there - don't want to tempt fate by saying too much now. Need a decent hotel in Erbil to leave my bike box, otherwise I'm OK to sleep rough/ local accom. Flight was bloody expensive, 90K on Gulf. Booked biz so i don't get hassled with luggage allowances

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    Try not to get beheaded on the internet.

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    I'm really looking forward to your pics and report. I've seen stories about that region on TV and I would really love to go there sometime. If hubby and I stay in the GCC for another few years, we'll try and go. We have so many places on our wish list.

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    Molecular Mixup
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    I've seen lots of Kurdish illegal immigrants / bogus asylum seekers in London ,
    nasty ....

    Now they have there own oil rich autonomous region they don't seem in any hurry to return.
    Anyway the scum population aside ,the countryside should be fascinating.

    Hows the weather ? imagine it will be perfect temp during the day , but might be cold at night for sleeping rough , especially if you're travelling light .

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    Should be around 15C daytimes. Probably chilly at night. Save on my ac bill . Maybe I'll get myself kitted out in some baggy trousers like the locals ......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostandfound View Post
    I am off to ne Iraq the Kurdish bit next week for a short holiday. Taking my bike and plan to cycle.

    Has anyone been recently?

    I'm assured I can get ten day visa on arrival at erbil but any info on extensions?

    Thanks !
    I wouldn't even consider doing this. The Kurds might be okay overall but there are still a lot of bad guys hanging out here. Between the local sheiks and the corruption a foreigner on his own may be in harm's way. Unless you can blend in and look like one of the locals I wouldn't do it. I can't imagine blending in on a bicycle traveling cross country.

    Today they start their "Day of Rage" down south and later on in March they are hosting the Arab economic summit so things are kind of tense in this country right now. Visa and exit requirements at the airport are forever changing, and shutting down airspace at a moment's notice isn't uncommon.

    Best of luck to you.

  18. #18
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    So it's been a week now in Iraq and a great time too.

    Erbil airport is ultra modern although duty free is more expensive than local shops.

    The rotana hotel was good for a first night although pricey at 250 us a night.

    Day one had early start around citadel in erbil. Tea with locals and everyone friendly. Driving is no worse than Thailand - I felt safer on my bike here in fact

    Road out to Dokan lake - 90 km of dusty road. Lots of hills with 5-10%incline.

    Police and army checkpoints every 20 k so. Police fixed me up with a ride for last 20km with a Peshmerga colenel. Really helpful and friendly. Dropped me at nice hotel overlooking Dokan lake.

    There's six more days to get to where I am now. Sat with beer and club sandwich in hotel back in erbil before flight tomorrow. Will add pics as soon as home in Thailand!!

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    Wondering whether to post a blog on the trip. It's been an amazing few days. Shooting pool with locals in Suleymanya, riding bike s with members of Iraqi national triathlon team, drinking tea with locals who want to know whether the demos in rest of ME will come to Kurdistan (as if I'd know lol), being given top to bottom tour of Dokan dam, staying with iraqi /assyrian family as house guest, washing up in local hammams and 200 km on bike!!!

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    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Great stuff. Looking forward to the trip report with pics.

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    As soon as I'm back with a laptop - on a stupid I pad and no camera battery left

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    Any advice on uploading photos? It asks for URL??? I've got some pics on I phone and can e mail them but that's it.........

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    Molecular Mixup
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    sounds interesting look forward to further updates

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    I have images on my laptop but cannot get them onto forum. Copy /paste doesnt work and the prompt asks for a url which i dont have........??????

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    http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5296/...91547365_m.jpg



    Few hours in Bahrain - quick dip at Sheraton

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