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Travel to Iraq for Blond Haired Blue Eyed Travelers

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Do you think that a blond haired blue eyed American will get messed with too bad in Iraq?

Blond haired blue eyed travelers

It is not my impression that you will be messed with too much in Iraq. I do not think that your blond hair or blue eyes will invite trouble any more than dark features. The people in the cities of Iraqi Kurdistan do not seem to be too shocked at the presence of a foreign face — many soldiers and contractors have been through this region in recent times.

Though people will probably be pretty curious about what the hell you are doing traveling there, and you will attract a decent amount of attention. For myself, almost all of this attention was positive or neutral, and all negative interactions were reserved to ugly looks alone. No problems.

Some reccommendations:

I just recommend not going in with less than 500 USD cash for your week of travel, as there are not any ATMs in the country with international capabilities. Western Union is common, but all of the international ATMs have closed down long ago, as the country of Iraq has been blacklisted by VISA.

There are also no public buses that go between the cities in the Kurdish region — only taxis. But you can cut down on the cost of taxi transport by taking cabs with other passengers. Make sure you fight hard for good prices, but expect to pay around 15 USD per hour of travel. Hotels in the north of Iraq are pretty cheap, food is cheap, and the traveling is pretty good. US dollars are more readily accepted than Iraqi money, and it has a higher street value than the official exchange rate. If you consider traveling to Amadiya, just keep in mind that the only hotel is at the bottom of the hill and costs 40 USD a night.

Travel in the north of Iraq seems reasonably safe.

I hope this helps.

Walk Slow,

Wade

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Original question about traveling in Iraq

I am leaving for Diyarbakir and then traveling down into Kurdistan Iraq. I’ll be there in a week. Do you think that a blonde haired blue eyed American will get messed with too bad? Is it pretty safe there?
Thanks

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Filed under: Iraq, Travel Help

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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