Americans In Iran
Trip Thoughts
Comments On Tour
Field Trip Shell & British Petroleum

Americans In Iran

From: Angela Davies

To: 'Gashttour Travel & Tour Agency'

Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2003 8:51 PM

Subject: Testimonials

Mr. Honari,

“I can truly say that our recent trip to Iran was the most interesting and enjoyable in my memory. Partly this was due to the extraordinary beauty and diversity of Iran, and to the incredible hospitality of the people. In no small measure though, this was also due to our travel agent, Gashttour. From the Individually tailored itinerary itself, to the full attention to our comfort and enjoyment, Gashttour provided a complete and unique tour that went beyond the pale. Accommodations and facilities exceeded our expectations, and Gashttour itself was very attentive to and solicitous of our desires. We can't recommend Gashttour highly enough.” David Cohn

“In general, we're not inclined towards using tour companies, but Gashttour was a very fortuitous find for us. Coming from America, we needed to find a tour company in Iran, and we chose Gashttour for their price and accessibility. With

some trepidation, not least about spending 14 days on a tour with just us and a tour guide, we booked through Gashttour and flew off. Were we pleasantly surprised! Our tour guide, Abbas, was informed, humorous, and just plain excellent company. He also accommodated easily to our desire to "wander around on our own. Gashttour had helped us plan a well-timed itinerary encompassing both the "tourist highlights" and stops, such as camping with the nomads, which were far off the beaten track. All fascinating! Iran itself is rich in historic, natural, and cultural beauty, and the people themselves are very friendly-- they simply love Americans (are fleshing change for a US traveler) and are very open and conversational.

We couldn't stop asking ourselves "why isn't Iran overrun with tourists?" Go now, before it gets too crowded!”

David Cohn

"Gashttour exceeded our expectations by tailoring the tour to our individual needs. The quality of the guide, their concern for our comfort and the overall level of personal attention was truly extraordinary."  Angela Davies

"Iran is the most culturally accessible country I have ever visited. People were incredibly friendly and astonishingly hospitable...they love foreigners!" Angela Davies

"The value and the quality of the tour far exceeded the modest amount  we paid." Angela Davies

"Our visit to the nomads was a highlight of our tour. Thank you Gashttour...How could we forget going to sleep to the sound of goat and sheep bells and waking to the sound of the women churning milk?" Angela Davies

"While we were nervous to pick a travel agent over the internet having  just spent 14 days in Iran with Gashttour we can recommend them unconditionally." Angela Davies

"Iran has it all, architectural, historical and cultural interest. From the centers of antiquity to the bazaars and the mosques, we were fascinated.... this country should be packed with tourists." Angela Davies

Trip Thoughts

From: Hopkins Philip

To: Gashttour Travel & Tour Agency

Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2003 3:40 PM

Subject: Trip thoughts Mr. Honari

I just wanted to complete the form you gave me and tell you what happened with Daniel Rafferty at the Istanbul embassy. Before that, I want to personally thank you for your hard work in organizing the trip. Thank you for being real with us and telling us about yourself. That is important to me. I felt we put some undo added strain on you and the tour guides. Thank you for you patience. 

Transportation -- I thought it was good. There were no problems. There was enough space to store our luggage as well as seat us comfortably. Grade A- 

Hotels -- The hotel star system in Iran is different than the hotel star system in America. The 4 star Grand Hotel was more like a 2-3 star hotel in America. The 5 star Abbasi was more like a 4 star hotel.  We knew that before, but some Americans may not. That stated, the hotels were good. The rooms were clean, the hotel staff was nice, and the food at the hotels was fine. Grade A-

Food -- The food was great, especially lunch and dinner. I cannot remember the last time I ate that much meat for so many days. Breakfast was a little different, but that may be because I am a picky eater. If I can eat the food and really like it, anyone can. Grade A

Attractions -- As I have stated in other emails, the whole point of the trip was to see the university and meet with the officials. While we did that, I was a bit disappointed that I could not meet with them for a longer period of time or on a one-on-one basis. As far as the other attractions, they were great. The guides really knew their history. I wish we would have had more time to interact with regular people in Esfahan and talk to them, but you may have not been allowed to do that. One suggestion, a 2 hour rest during the heat of the day is a good thing (which you gave us), especially for Americans who may not be used to the climate. Grade B+

Guides-- The guides were great. They knew their history and were proud of it. They were very hospitable. They had a sense of humor and did everything in their power to make the trip enjoyable. The guides had so much energy, they wore us out, even though most of them were at least 10 years older than us! One of the best things about them was they allowed us to get to know them on a personal level. Grade A+

General Comments -- As a whole, Iran is lot more modern that I would have expected. It is not as western, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The people treated us with the utmost respect and dignity -- I felt safer in Iran than in America. Trips such as these help to break down barriers and allow both Americans and Iranians to realize that people are people, wherever they reside. Overall Grade --  A.

Comments On Tour

From: Dr Harry McQuillan
To: Gashttour Travel & Tour Agency
Sent: Saturday, October 09, 2004 1:14 PM
Subject: Recent Tour

Dear Honari
The arrangements for our recent tour were very good indeed. Thanks to Ali Reza, yourself and all the staff for that.
The geological traverse let us see some interesting country I had not visited since 42 years ago!!
All tourists were enthusiastic about the tour and some want to return again.
The use of the bus for transport rather than using air transport was appreciated. This we should do in the future.
The hotels were all good.
A great find was the restaurant in Kashan run by a British woman and her Iranian husband.
In Yazd dinner at the Moshir-al-Mamalek was excellent and inspection of the rooms there made us wish to experience that hotel on our next visit
The Pars International at Shiraz gave us a warm welcome and ,as usual, the service was very good. The same applies to the Laleh in Tehran where tourists feel comfortable in that huge metropolis.
The Parsian in Kashan was reasonable but we await the opening of the accommodation being constructed in one of the old houses in Kashan.
On our Fars geological traverse we are pleased that you could arrange accommodation but the closure of the old tourist inn at Firuzabad led to poor accommodation which was adequate for geologists but not for tourists. The effort made at the hotel in Lar was appreciated -- those people were not used to foreign tourists but did their best to make us welcome. The same cannot be said for the Bandar Lengeh Tourist Inn which is in a state of dilapidation requiring urgent maintenance. Added to that the air conditioning and electrical power were off for much of the evening. The bright note was to arrive at the Homa Hotel in Bandar Abbas where the service (especially the restaurant) was probably the best we had in all the tour.
The old tourist inn network in Iran was a wonderful asset to the traveler when we used to use them in the 1960s and 70s . They now mostly are in urgent need of renovation .One of our tourists commented that US100 spent on some of those crumbling hotel rooms would make them very attractive and comfortable. Soft pillows were hard to find and the hard uncomfortable pillows were commented upon by all tourists.
Leila Farmani is an excellent guide. She has a difficult job in dealing with some of the hotels and their staff .Her pragmatic approach to the problems we encounter is one of her many good attribute. She is also innovative in seeking out new and interesting places to visit, for example the water museum in Yazd, the silk weaving factory in Kashan, the Zorkhaneh in Yazd and so on. She also appreciates that tourists come from afar to see the archaeological and historical sites rather than to listen to lengthy, often boring, descriptions which they can read about before and after the tours. She also arranges for variety in our food dishes rather than being subjected to never ending kabobs!! The midday picnics are very popular with New Zealand tourists and Leila always manages to produce good picnic lunches. Her handling of check-in and prompt luggage delivery is much appreciated.
The Volvo bus driver , Javad, and his assistant performed extremely well and we would like if possible to secure their services on our next tour. Knowing that we have a reliable and careful and cooperative bus driver makes the whole tour process so much more pleasant. All the tourists commented favorably on this matter.
The two main drivers on the geological tour were very good and cooperative. Mr Jaffari however does not have the required finesse to deal with and please foreign tourists -- to have him found washing and spitting in to tourists bathroom basins after delivering their luggage was not appreciated.

I await your invoice for hotel services for the Clifford family, Mr Smith and Ms Jan Newton plus Mr and Mrs Crowe. Please note that I did inform you to cancel Mr Kelly's requirement for Dubai hotel accommodation while Mr Reid and Ms VanZyl had to cancel their booking in order to have Emirates make her booking to secure a temporary visa.. Mr Goff did not require a short term hotel since we arrived 4 hours late from Bandar Abbas.
I hope these comments are useful for you.

Kind regards,


Field Trip Shell & British Petroleum

From: “Stephemson, Ben” Shell oil company

To: “Gashttour Travel & tour Agency

Sent: Wednesday, Octobr 30, 2002 9:02 PM

Subject: Back in Netherlands 

Dear Alireza,

I am writing to let you know that we all arrived safely back in Holand after a great trip. I would just like to say that the field trip was extremely well organized. Here is my feedback.

Transportation: Very good. Both mohammad and janissary were very good drivers. Probably 2 of the best drivers. On the whole visit.

Camp: The camp site was very well organized and the location was perfect.

Food: Leyla did a fantastic job of cooking for us at the camp. We all thought that this was the best food that we had on the entire trip. In particular Abbas, Leyla and Nader were very sufficient and provided us excellent food and friendship. I will send some photos over next week.

Best wishes,

Ben Stephenson

Geologist – Carbonate Development Team


From: “Goff Jeremy” BP British Petroleum

To: Gashttour Travel & tour Agency

Sent: Friday, May 03, 2002 2:38 PM

Subject: Field trip 

Dear Mr. Ghajar

I am pleased that the payment has come through.

 I am also dory that we were unable to work in Tang I Dalan, Mort and Kurd. This was because of the high water levels as a result of the storm a week before we visited Iran. Whilst I am sure we would have reached the localities, safety would have been compromised, and less time would have been available for doing geological work. In the Tang I Dalan section it would have been impossible to work as part of the section would have been underwater in the river bed. The day we were due to work in Tang I Mort you will recall was very foggy and it would have been impossible to see the outcrops properly. We considered it unsafe for the large team to wade through high water levels in Tang I Kurd. Also the threat of another storm (although a false alarm) deterred us from visiting Tang I Kurd. We have therefore decided to log the above sections at the end of September when there is lowest risk of high water levels. Martin Fuller will be in contact with you as discussed. I will also be in contact regarding further work in the future in the Neyriz and other areas. I would like to thank especially your hard working teams at Sauraru and Malagha, Abbas for his work as our guide on the 3 day tour with Harry in Shiraz / Neyriz and excellent drivers you supplied: Mamoud and Ali. I hope to have the opportunity to work with them all again in the future.

Best Regards

Jeremy Goff