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Study Trip

A visit to Islamic Republic of Iran

Wednesday, 17 - Monday, 29 April 2019
Leader: Khun Euayporn Kerdchouay, Senior Consultant

 

 

IRAN has an area of about 1,648,695 sq.km, roughly three time the size of Thailand. It is bordered by Iraq on the west, Turkey on the north-west, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea to the north, Afghanistan to the east and Pakistan to the south-east. Its former name - Persia - derives from the historical prominence of the province call Fars or Pars, at a time when the Greeks-who called it Persis - attempted to conquer the country. And that is not the main connection between European civilization and Iran, for the word “IRAN” itself is etymologically akin to the word ARYAN, or Indo-European, that family of languages embracing not only the Sanskrit family of Indian tongues, but also Greek, Latin, Italian and most of the other languages of ancient and modern Europe. Iran is one of the world’s leading producers of petroleum. The country was a constitutional monarchy ruled by a shah from 1909 until 1979, when a popular uprising led by Islamic religious leader, namely “Imam Khomeini”, resulted in the establishment of an Islamic Republic.

IRAN is dominated by a central plateau, which is about 1,200 m. high and is almost ringed by mountain chains. In the north, paralleling the southern shore of the Caspian sea, are the Alborz Mountains. The highest peak in Iran, Mount Damarand (5670 m.), is part of this mountain system. The Caspian Sea, at 28 m. below sea level, is the lowest point in Iran. Along the western border the complex Zagros Mountains extend southeast to the region bordering the Persian Gulf. Mountains of lower elevation lie to the east of the central plateau. Two great deserts extend over much of central Iran. The Dasht-e Lut is covered largely with sand and rocks, and the Dasht-e Kavir is cover mainly with salt. Both deserts are inhospitable and virtually uninhabited.

The official language of Iran is Modern Persian, one of the Indo-Iranian languages, a sub-family of the Indo-Iranian languages. Modern Persian emerged from Middle Persian and is written in the Arabic alphabet with many Arabic loan words. Several minority groups in Iran retain their languages.

Iran has been home to organized urban settlements since at least 4,000 BC and even from those times the history of Iran has been intertwined with the history of the region as a whole. Initially the Elamites and Medes paid tribute to the greater Mesopotamian powers of Sumeria and Neo-Assyria. But for about 1100 years from 550 BC a successive of Iranian empires were the Superpowers that dominated the region from Egypt, the Mediterranean and the borders of Europe in the west to the Indus River in the east. It began with the Achaemenids, was interrupted by Alexander the Great and the Seleucids and continued with the Parthian and Sassanid dynasties.

The arrival of the Arab in AD 633 was a turning point in Iranian history. The Zoroastrian religion was soon replaced by Islam, but the more advanced arts, sciences and administration that had defined Persian civilization were absorbed into Islamic life. What followed was a pattern that would recur for hundreds of years. Finally, the artistic tradition of Persia dates from ancient time and continued throughout the medieval period. During these centuries, Islamic art reached its peak, spreading throughout the Mediterranean, Asia, and part of Africa, and employing various regional languages to express a unique aesthetic culture.

Under the leadership of Khun Euayporn Kerdchouay, the Society will organize a study trip to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran from Wednesday, 17 to Monday, 29 April  2019. Members will have the opportunity to visit and admire famous and remarkable attractions of the country like:-
Tehran – a modern city with excellent museums which are full of Iran’s rich history.
Shiraz - the heartland of Persian culture.
Persepolis – the magnificent ruined capital of Achaemenid.
Yazd – the desert city and one of the oldest towns on earth.
Esfahan – the majestic Safavid capital dating from the Sassanid period (224-636 AD), and again the Seljuks made Esfahan their capital in 1047 AD.
Kerman - once a former capital of Iran, has long history and strong cultural heritage. The city is home to many historic mosques and a Zoroastrian fire temples.

 

The tentative programme will be as follows:

Day 1: Wednesday, 17 April 2019 : Bangkok – Doha

6.00 p.m. Meet at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Row Q, Check in counter for Qatar Airways, Entrance Gate no. 8.
8.40 p.m. Depart Bangkok to Doha by Qatar Airways, flight QR 833 (travelling time 7.10 hours)
11.50 p.m. Arrive at Doha International Airport, transit to flight to Shiraz.

Day 2: Thursday, 18 April 2019 : Shiraz – Persepolis and Naghsh-é-Rostam – Shiraz

2.00 a.m. Depart to Shiraz by Qatar Airways, flight QR 476 (traveling time 1.15 hours)
4.45 a.m. Arrive at Shiraz International Airport and transfer to hotel Zandiyeh for check in and breakfast at the hotel
 
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon: Sightseeing in Shiraz, the capital city of Fars province, the former capital of Iran during the Zand dynasty’s era, and also the birthplace of great Persian poets such as Hafez, Saadi, Mehdi Hamidi Shirazi. We will visit interesting places as below
- Eram Garden, its Sassanid architecture and mirror-encrusted stalactite are unique. The impressive cypress trees, one of which dates back to 300 years ago, create an eye-catching scene.
- Nasirol Molk Mosque. The mosque and house of Nasirol Molk are located next to each other, and display very remarkable tile-works and architectural style.
- Narenjestan Palace, with its famous setting for the opulently decorated Naranjestan –e Ghavam Pavilion, built between 1879 and 1886 as part of a complex owned by one of the Shiraz`s wealthiest Qajar-era families.
- The Tomb of Saadi, the famous Iranian poet and writer, was born in Shiraz in 13th century. After several years of traveling round the world, he returned to Shiraz and remained there until he passed away. His tomb has been renovated several times and the present building was constructed in 1942.
Evening: Dinner at local restaurant.
- Overnight at Hotel Zandiyeh in Shiraz.

Day 3: Friday, 19 April 2019: Shiraz

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel.
- Proceed to visit Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire(550-330 BC.), believed that it was Cyrus the Great (Kūrosh) who chose the site of Persepolis, and was Darius I (Daryush) who built the terrace and the great palaces. He ordered the construction of the Apadana Palace and the Council Hall (the Tripylon or three-gated hall), the main imperial Treasury and its surroundings. These were completed during the reign of his son, King Xerxes the Great(Khashayar). Further construction of the buildings on the terrace continued until the downfall of the Achaemenid dynasty.
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.
 
Afternoon: Visit Naghsh-e-Rostam, site of an ancient necropolis, there are four tombs belonging to Achaemenid kings, carved out of the rock face and Seven rock reliefs depict monarchs of the Sassanid period.
Evening: Dinner at local restaurant.
- Overnight at Hotel Zandiyeh in Shiraz.

Day 4: Saturday, 20 April 2019 : Shiraz - Kerman

Morning: Breakfast at your hotel and proceed to Kerman (566 km.)
- Kerman is the largest and most developed city in the Kerman Province and the most important city in South-East Iran. Kerman was once a former capital of Iran, has long history and strong cultural heritage. The city is home to many historic mosques and Zoroastrian fire temples.
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.
Evening: Check in and overnight at Hotel Pars in Kerman.
- Dinner at Hotel.

Day 5: Sunday, 21 April 2019 : Kerman - Arg-e Rayen - Kerman

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel.
- Excursion to visit Arg-e Rayen (Rayen Castle), the medieval mud brick city of Rayen is similar to the Arg-é Bam city which was destroyed in an earthquake in December 2003. Rayen displays all the architectural elements of a dessert citadel. It is extremely well preserved, despite numerous natural disasters that have destroyed similar structures nearby, and it is one of the most interesting sites in Iran.
- Arg-e Rayen was inhabited until 150 years ago and, although believed to be at least 1,000 years old, may in fact have been founded from the pre-Islamic Sassanid era.
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon: Drive back to Kerman.
Evening: Dinner at local restaurant.
- Overnight at Hotel Pars in Kerman.

Day 6: Monday, 22 April 2019 : Kerman - Yazd

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel, check out of the hotel and proceed to visit sites in Kerman as below.
- Ganj-Ali-Kahn Bathhouse, the ancient bathhouse, ornamented with fine plaster and tile works.
- Kerman`s Original Bazaar, this bazaar was constructed and expanded throughout many eras and under many dynasties. It is Iran`s longest bazaar.
- Friday Mosque, one of the most magnificent mosques of Iran, with separate summer and winter halls
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon: Proceed to Yazd (366 km.)
- Yazd is capital of Yazd province, a centre of Zoroastrian culture and has a long and important history as a trading post. When Marco Polo passed this way in the 13th century, he describes Yazd as “a very fine and splendid city and a centre of commerce”. The city itself is located at 1203 metres above sea-level and is the driest city in Iran
Evening: Check in and overnight at the hotel Yazd Dad.
- Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 7: Tuesday, 23 April 2019 : Yazd

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel and proceed to visit sites in Yazd as below.
- Zoroastrian Tower of Silence (Dakhmeh –ye Zartoshtiyan), set on two lonely, barren hilltops on the southern outskirts of Yazd. In accordance with Zoroastrian beliefs about the purity of earth, dead bodies were not buried but left in these uncovered stone towers so that vultures could pick the bones clean. Such towers have not been used since the 60s. The modern Zoroastrian cemetery is nearby.
- Fire Temple: The fire in this temple has been kept alight for the past 1,500 years, but the present building is only 50 years old.
- Masjid-e Jame (Friday Mosque), the grandest historic monuments of Yazd, the masterpiece of Iranian – Islamic architecture. Its huge and impressive dome, and tile plaster works draw many visitors to Yazd.
- Dowlat Abad Complex: This complex consists of gardens, residential and official buildings, with a remarkably, high baadgir (wind catcher).
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant in Yazd.
Afternoon: Free time at Yazd Bazaar, one of the oldest bazaars of Yazd.
Evening: Dinner at own arrangement.
- Overnight at Hotel Yazd Dad in Yazd.

Day 8: Wednesday, 24 April 2019 : Yazd - Isafahan

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel.
- Proceed to Isfahan, the capital of Isfahan Province in central Iran, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It was an ancient town and capital of Persia from 1598 to 1722, the Persians call it "Nesf-e-Jahan", meaning "Half The World". Isfahan was long noted for its fine carpets and silver filigree.
Enroute: Stop at Nain, a small town in the centre of Iran and visit an old mosque and remains of Sassanian castle.
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon: Arrive Isfahan, visit Vank Cathedral, the Church of the Saintly Sisters - 17th century. The interior is covered with fine paintings and gilded carvings and includes a wainscot of rich tile work. The delicately blue and gold painted central dome depicts the Biblical story of creation of the world and man's expulsion from Eden.
- Sio-Se-Pol (Allah Verdi Khan Bridge): This bridge, with a length of 300 metres and width of 14 metres, is one of the most prominent historic monuments, thanks to its architectural style. It is unique in beauty, stability and grandeur, and is the largest bridge over the Zayandeh Rood River.
- Khajou Bridge: The present bridge was built during the reign and by the orders of Shah Abbas II of Safavid dynasty on the river Zayandehrood. It is renowned for its magnificent architecture and delightful frescos and tile work. In the middle of this bridge, there is a building which the Shah used as his resting place on visits to the river on occasions of festivity and celebration.
Evening: Check in and overnight at Abbasi Hotel in Esfahan.
- Dinner at hotel.

Day 9: Thursday, 25 April 2019 : Isfahan

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel.
- Visit sites of interest in Isfahan.
- Chehel Sotoun palace: This palace lies in the center of a garden covering 67.000m2. It has several halls and rooms which are decorated with marble, impressive gilding, exquisite painting, and animal statues.
- Ālī Qāpū (The Royal Palace): Early 17th Century. It is forty-eight metres high and there are seven floors, each accessible by a difficult spiral staircase. It is rich in naturalistic wall paintings by Reza Abbassi, the court painter of Shah Abbas I, and his pupils.
- Naqsh-e Jahan Square also known as Imam Square. The square is surrounded by buildings from the Safavid era such as Imam Mosque (it was called Shah mosque before Iran's Revolution). Built during the Safavid period, it is an excellent example of Islamic architecture of Iran, and regarded as one of the masterpieces of Persian Architecture. Sheikhlotfollah mosque, one of the architectural masterpieces of Safavid Iranian architecture and Bazaar, one of the most significant bazaars of Iran.
 
- Friday mosque: The Jāmeh Mosque of Isfahān is the grand, congregational mosque of Isfahān. The mosque is the result of continual construction, reconstruction, additions and renovations on the site from around 771 AD. to the end of the 20th century.
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.
- Dinner at Own arrangement.
- Overnight at Hotel Abbasi in Isfahan.

Day 10: Friday, 26 April 2019 : Isfahan - Tehran

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel.
- Proceed to Tehran (447 km.), on the way stop at Kashan for short visit.
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon: Continue to Tehran.
Evening: Dinner at local restaurant and check in at Hotel Espana in Tehran.

Day 11: Saturday, 27 April 2019 : Tehran

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel.
- Visit Golestān Palace: The oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran, the Golestān Palace belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s Historic Arg (1524-1576). The Golestān Palace complex consists of 17 palaces, museums and halls. Almost all this entire complex was built during 200 years of Qajar kings ruling.
1.00 p.m. Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon: Visit The National Jewels Museum which is probably Tehran’s biggest tourist drawcard. Most of the collection dates back to Safavid times, when the shahs scoured Europe, India and the lands of the Ottoman Empire for booty with which to decorate their capital, Esfahan. The Qajar and Pahlavi rulers enthusiastically added to the jewels collection, which grew to be so valuable that In the 1930s it was transferred to the National Bank of Iran as a reserve for the national currency. The Darya-ye Nur, a pink diamond weighing 182 carat and said to be the largest uncut diamond in the world, is to be seen here.
Evening: Dinner and overnight at Hotel Espana in Tehran.
 

Day 12: Sunday, 28 April 2019 : Tehran-Doha-Bangkok

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel.
9.30 a.m. Visit the Archaeological Museum, one of the most reputable museum of the world, with artifact dating back to over 1000 years ago and visit the Carpet Museum.
Noon: Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon: Visit downtown area / Tehran Bazaar.
8.00 p.m. Dinner at own arrangement / Transfer to airport for flight to Bangkok.
11.40 p.m. Depart to Bangkok by Qatar Airways, flight QR499 to Doha (traveling time 2.05 hours)

Day 13: Monday, 29 April 2019 : Doha-Bangkok

00.15 a.m. Arrive at Doha Airport transit to flight for Bangkok.
02.10 a.m. Depart to Bangkok by Qatar Airway, flight QR834 (traveling time 6.15 hours)
12.40 p.m. Arrive at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
 

Booking

Bt. 163,000 (Bt. 166,500 for non-members). Single room surcharge Bt. 26,000. A deposit of Bt. 50,000 and photocopy of passport must accompany the booking. Your reservation will be confirmed as soon as the deposit has been made. Payment in full is required 60 days before the start of the trip (i.e. by Sunday, 17 February 2019)

Please pay by cash or cheque payable to ‘The Siam Society’. There is a 4% surcharge for credit/debit card payment to cover bank charges. Alternatively you can deposit/transfer the money to the Siam Society travel account at the Thai Military Bank, Asoke Branch saving account no. 053-2-18000-7. Please fax or e-mail the deposit or transfer docket to us. In case the tour has to be canceled due to insufficient participants, a full refund of the deposit will be made.

Includes/Excludes:

The contribution includes meals as mentioned in program, accommodation for two persons per room, international airfare, entrance fees, gratuities and other costs incurred to make this trip possible. It excludes visa fee to Iran (if any), personal expenses, personal beverages, etc.

To comply with payment and cancellation policies set forth by tour agencies, and to facilitate smooth working condition between the Siam Society and the tour agencies, please read carefully the revised cancellation policies stated below:

Cancellation charge:

60 days before the start of the trip:                                      Deposit forfeited
60-30 days before the start of the trip                                  50% of the tour cost
Less than 30 days or cancellation without notice:                   No refund

Booking details:

Your booking will not be confirmed until deposit payment has been received. Please book your place as soon as possible. Please supply a copy of your passport with your booking.

The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary. Seats are limited. Please book your place as soon as possible. For further information and bookings please contact Khun Prasert or Khun Supanut.