GQ (Australia) - - TASTE & TRAVEL -

To twist the punk­ish, ge­o­graph­i­cal words of Dead Kennedys’ front­man Jello Bi­afra, it’s a hol­i­day in Tehran. That’s right, add the Ira­nian cap­i­tal to that list of places to ex­plore in the com­ing year. While in­trepid skiers have re­cently em­braced the slopes here – lured by the al­ti­tude, af­ford­abil­ity and lack of crowds – it’s now time for Tehran it­self to shine. Lux­ury, for­eign-owned ho­tels are ei­ther re­cently opened or in the process of be­ing built – a first since the 1979 Is­lamic Rev­o­lu­tion – with last year’s his­toric nu­clear arms deal de­liv­er­ing a stronger sense of se­cu­rity across the re­gion. The city it­self is chaotic, at times claus­tro­pho­bic. The dis­par­ity be­tween wealth and poverty is ob­vi­ous – matched by an un­usual mix of moder­nity and his­tory. Trav­el­ling here is about ad­ven­ture and ex­cite­ment, about dis­cov­ery and sur­prise. About not do­ing Cam­bo­dia, again. Given cer­tain gov­ern­ment poli­cies, ven­tur­ing here is also a moral choice, but the peo­ple are ex­tremely wel­com­ing and far re­moved from how the de­scen­dants of an­cient Per­sia tend to be por­trayed.


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