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Iraq

Yes, parts of this fascinating country are again safe for visitors, such as the Kurdish area up north; elsewhere, even Baghdad & the ruins of Babylon are also doable, but escorted rather than independently. And always monitor the changing situation.

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Latest Activity: Nov 11

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Comment by Michael Luongo on October 21, 2012 at 2:13pm

I had done several Iraq travel pieces for Bloomberg Muse, the arts and culture division of Bloomberg News.....on Babylon, Baghdad and Suleymania and Erbil and Halabja in Kurdistan......all amazing places to see, but yes, southern Iraq, where Baghdad and Babylon are, a little hard to visit though there are tour groups to both.....Kurdistan is easy, no visa necessary for entry beforehand, you get it when you land (arduous process for Southern Iraq) Anyway, this is all the cradle of civilization...........

Comment by Vacation Wanderer on October 21, 2012 at 1:35pm

Kurdistan is so much different as said before by Shannon than the rest of Iraq.  There are still insurgent / terrorist groups active in Baghdad, Mosul and other regions.  Having worked there for 4.5 years, I would NOT recommend traveling there "indie" style because you open yourself up to many negative factors.  There have been group tours and its quit possible there were behind the scene negotiations to leave the group alone.  However; thats no guarantee.  So, unless you dream of being held hostage, I would avoid it until the situation gets better there.

Comment by David Paul Appell on November 4, 2010 at 2:51pm
Good tip, Mike. Hopefully Hinterland will join us on here. In any case, I'm sure we'll be talking a lot of security issues. Another deadly bombing in one of Baghdad's Shiite neighborhoods this week, for example -- tragic, for sure, but from a tourism standpoint it's an area unlikely to see any tourists. Also, has tourism in Ahmed Awa, in the Kurdish zone, suffered noticeably since those 3 American hikers were lured across the Iranian border and jailed? What would be the best way, when visiting that area, to avoid such a possibility if the border area is apparently as unclear as it is?
Comment by Michael Luongo on November 4, 2010 at 1:36pm
There is a British company called Hinterland which runs tours...when I was there I was also told of individual tourists who come too......the visa itself is very hard to get a mix of bureaucratic inefficiency and other issues, so best procured through a group or through contacts.
Comment by John Kipper on November 3, 2010 at 9:18am
This would be the trip of a lifetime!!!

Any tour operators running trips to Iraq at all, or is it all indie travel?
 

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