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In the Name of God بسم الله

Official ShiaChat A-Z Virtual Travel Thread

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Mombasa (/məmˈbɑːsə/; Kenyan English[mɔmˈbɑːsə]) is a city on the coast of Kenya. It is the nation's second-largest city,[2] after the capital Nairobi, with an estimated population of 1.2 million people in 2014.[1][2] 

A regional cultural and economic hub, Mombasa has an extra-large port and an international airport, and is an important regional tourism centre. Located on the east coast of Kenya, in Mombasa County and the former Coast Province, Mombasa's situation on the Indian Ocean made it a historical trading centre,[3] and it has been controlled by many countries because of its strategic location.

Most of the early information on Mombasa comes from Portuguese chroniclers writing in the 16th century. In 1331, the famous Moroccan scholar and traveller Ibn Battuta also visited the area during his travels to theSwahili Coast and made some mention of the city, although he only stayed one night. He noted that the people of Mombasa were Shãfi'i Muslims, "a religious people, trustworthy and righteous. Their mosques are made of wood, expertly built."

The exact founding date of the city is unknown, but it has a long history. Kenyan school history books place the founding of Mombasa as 900 A.D. It must have been already a prosperous trading town in the 12th century, as the Arab geographer Al Idrisi mentions it in 1151.

In the late pre-colonial period (late 19th century), it was the metropolis of a plantation society, which became dependent on slave labour (sources contradict whether the city was ever an important place for exporting slaves) but ivory caravans remained a major source of economic prosperity. Mombasa became the major port city of pre-colonial Kenya in the Middle Ages and was used to trade with other African port cities, the Persian Empire, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent and China.[6] 16th-century Portuguese voyagerDuarte Barbosa claimed, "[Mombasa] is a place of great traffic and has a good harbour in which there are always moored small craft of many kinds and also great ships, both of which are bound from Sofala and others which come from Cambay and Melinde and others which sail to the island of Zanzibar."[7]During the pre-modern period, Mombasa was an important centre for the trade in spices, gold, and ivory. Its trade links reached as far as the Indian subcontinent and modern-day China and oral historians today can still recall this period of local history. History shows that there was trade links between Mombasa and Cholas of South India. Throughout the early modern period, Mombasa was a key node in the complex and far reaching Indian Ocean trading networks, its key exports then were ivory, millet, sesamum and coconuts.

Vasco da Gama was the first known European to visit Mombasa, receiving a chilly reception in 1498. Two years later, the town was sacked by the Portuguese. In 1502, the sultanate became independent from Kilwa Kisiwani and was renamed as Mvita (in Swahili) or Manbasa (Arabic). Portugal attacked the city again in 1528. In 1585 the Ottoman Turks led by Emir 'Ali Bey caused revolts in Mombasa against the Portuguese landlords; only Malindi remained loyal to Portugal. Zimba cannibals overcame the towns of Sena and Tete on the Zambezi, and in 1587 they took Kilwa, killing 3,000 people. At Mombasa the Zimba slaughtered the Muslim inhabitants; but they were halted at Malindi by the Bantu-speaking Segeju and went home. This stimulated the Portuguese to take over Mombasa a third time in 1589, and four years later they built Fort Jesus to administer the region. Between Lake Malawi and the Zambezi mouth, Kalonga Mzura made an alliance with the Portuguese in 1608 and fielded 4,000 warriors to help defeat their rival Zimba, who were led by chief Lundi.

With the capture of Fort Jesus in 1698, the town came under the influence of the Sultanate of Oman, subordinate to the Omani rulers on the island of Unguja, prompting regular local rebellions.



Fort Jesus: Located in Old Town Mombasa.


The Tusks. 


After Nyali Bridge.



Mombasa Island.




The beach. Since it is an Island we are surrounded by beaches and the Indian Ocean.



Tsavo West National Park.


Aside from the beaches, if you want to enjoy the great Kenyan Safari, it is only between 2-4 hours away from the city!



EDIT: I forgot to post the Wiki link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mombasa

Edited by Tonks

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North Pole, Alaska ( seasonally appropriate)

The name "North Pole" is often applied to the entire area covered by its zip code, 99705. This area stretches between Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base, and between the Chena River and the Tanana River, including subdivisions off of Badger Road, a loop road connecting the eastern edge of Fairbanks city limits with North Pole city limits, and in the nearby census-designated place of Moose Creek. Despite the name, the city is about 1,700 miles (2,700 km) south of Earth's geographic North Pole.

The city is a summertime attraction for tourists visiting nearby Fairbanks and, due to its location on the Richardson Highway, those traveling to and from the Alaska Highway and Valdez. North Pole is home to two oil refineries, the town's major industry aside from tourism. The larger refinery, operated by Flint Hills Resources, is a major source of jet fuel for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Tanker car traffic on the Alaska Railroad, entering and leaving the refinery, frequently bisects the city.

Its biggest attraction is a gift shop named Santa Claus House, the modern-day incarnation of a trading post established in the town's early days. The Santa Claus House is known for the world's largest fiberglass statue of Santa Claus outside.

While the real North Pole has no terra firma many travelers discovered this town as an ideal way to finally visit the home of Santa Claus. This revelation made this small town in Alaska a must visit during the holidays causing the town to create more and more Santa Claus themed attractions. Many elaborate ideas have been brought up from some of the country's largest amusement park companies however nothing ever came to fruition.

Prior to Christmas each year, the USPS post office in North Pole receives hundreds of thousands of letters to Santa Claus, and thousands more from people wanting the town's postmark on their Christmas greeting cards to their families. It advertises the ZIP code 99705 as the ZIP code of Santa. A community program also responds to letters addressed to 1 Santa Claus Lane. [3]

Christmas-themed streets in North Pole include Santa Claus Lane, St. Nicholas Drive, Snowman Lane, and Kris Kringle Drive. Street lights in the city are decorated in a candy cane motif, and many local businesses have similar decorations. The city's firetrucks and ambulances are all red, while the police cars are green and white. The city also has an all-female flat-track Roller Derby league, the North Pole Babes in Toyland (NPBT) whose athletes have Christmas and/or North Pole inspired Skater names.






Edited by LeftCoastMom

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Orumiyeh is the capital of West Azerbaijan province in Iran, and the second largest city in Iranian Torkustan (after Tabriz).


On the wikipedia page it says the nickname of Orumiyeh is "Iran's Paris." Don't pay any heed to that; most shahrestans in Iran have some similar retarded nickname which most likely started as jokes. For example, the nickname of my hometown is "Little Greece." 


In any case here are some purdy pictures.








Nature of Orumiyeh:


Edit: sorry can someone pix the pictures?

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Puebla, Mexico

 Puebla City, is the seat of Puebla Municipality, the capital and largest city of the state of Puebla, and one of the five most important Spanish colonial cities in Mexico.[2] A colonial era-planned city, it is located southeast of Mexico City and west of Mexico's main Atlantic port, Veracruz, on the main route between the two in Central Mexico.

Being both the fourth largest city in Mexico and the fourth largest Metropolitan area in Mexico, the city serves as one of the main hubs for eastern Central Mexico. Many students come from all over the country. The city is also important because of its industry, with the world's largest Volkswagen factory outside of Germany located in the Municipality of Cuautlancingo.[7] As a result, many suppliers have opened factories in the city of Puebla.




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Quebec, Canada

"Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut is larger. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario, James Bay, and Hudson Bay; to the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay; to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; it is bordered on the south by the province of New Brunswick and the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. It also shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_City



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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

From the top, left to right: Christ the Redeemer, Botafogo's cove, Rio Downtown, Rio–Niterói bridge, Maracanã Stadium, and panoramic view of Barra da Tijuca from Pedra da Gávea

From the top, left to right: Christ the Redeemer, Botafogo's cove, Rio Downtown, Rio–Niterói bridge, Maracanã Stadium, and panoramic view of Barra da Tijuca from Pedra da Gávea

Rio de Janeiro (/ˈr di ʒəˈnɛər, -d ʒə-, -də ə-/; Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʁi.u dʒi ʒɐˈnejɾu];[2] River of January), or simply Rio,[3] is the second-largest city in Brazil, the sixth-largest city in the Americas, and the world's thirty-ninth largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area, the second most populous metropolitan area in Brazil, the seventh-most populous in the Americas, and the twenty-third largest in the world. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's third-most populous state. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.[4]

Founded in 1565 by the Portuguese, the city was initially the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a domain of the Portuguese Empire. Later, in 1763, it became the capital of the State of Brazil, a state of the Portuguese Empire. In 1808, when the Portuguese Royal Court transferred itself from Portugal to Brazil, Rio de Janeiro became the chosen seat of the court of Queen Maria I of Portugal, who subsequently, in 1815, under the leadership of her son, the Prince Regent, and future King João VI of Portugal, raised Brazil to the dignity of a kingdom, within the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and Algarves. Rio stayed the capital of the pluricontinental Lusitanian monarchy until 1822, when the War of Brazilian Independence began. This is one of the few instances in history that the capital of a colonising country officially shifted to a city in one of its colonies. Rio de Janeiro subsequently served as the capital of the independent monarchy, the Empire of Brazil, until 1889, and then the capital of a republican Brazil until 1960 when the capital was transferred to Brasília.

Rio de Janeiro has the second largest municipal GDP in the country,[5] and 30th largest in the world in 2008,[6] estimated at about R$343 billion (IBGE, 2008) (nearly US$201 billion). It is headquarters to Brazilian oil, mining, and telecommunications companies, including two of the country's major corporations—Petrobras and Vale—and Latin America's largest telemedia conglomerate, Grupo Globo. The home of many universities and institutes, it is the second-largest center of research and development in Brazil, accounting for 17% of national scientific output according to 2005 data.[7]

Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the Southern Hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, Carnival, samba, bossa nova, and balneario beaches[8] such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon. In addition to the beaches, some of the most famous landmarks include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Sugarloaf Mountain with its cable car; the Sambódromo, a permanent grandstand-lined parade avenue which is used during Carnival; and Maracanã Stadium, one of the world's largest football stadiums.

Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics—the first time a South American and Portuguese-speaking nation will host these events, and the third time the Olympics will be held in a Southern Hemisphere city.[9] On 12 August 2012, at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, Mayor Eduardo Paes received the Olympic Flag, via Jacques Rogge, from London Mayor Boris Johnson. Rio's Maracanã Stadium held the finals of the 1950 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, and the XV Pan American Games including its opening and closing ceremonies. Rio de Janeiro also hosted World Youth Day in 2013.[10]


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Şanlıurfa, Turkey

"Şanlıurfa , pronounced [ʃanˈlɯuɾfa], often simply known as Urfa in daily language (Arabic الرها ar-Ruhā, Kurdish Riha, Syriac ܐܘܪܗ Urhoy), in ancient times Edessa (Έδεσσα in Greek), is a city with 561,465 inhabitants[3] in south-eastern Turkey, and the capital of Şanlıurfa Province. It is a city with a primarily Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen population. Urfa is situated on a plain about eighty kilometres east of the Euphrates River. Urfa's climate features extremely hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters.

The history of Şanlıurfa is recorded from the 4th century BC, but may date back at least to 9000 BC, when there is ample evidence for the surrounding sites at Duru, Harran and Nevali Cori.[4] Within the further area of the city are three neolithic sites known: Göbekli Tepe, Gürcütepe and the city itself, where the life-sized limestone "Urfa statue" was found during an excavation in Balıklıgöl.[5] The city was one of several in the upper Euphrates-Tigris basin, the fertile crescent where agriculture began." [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9Eanl%C4%B1urfa]


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Tabriz, Iran

Kandovan, a village near Tabriz in Iran, carved into the mountains.





They have a hotel as well called Laleh Kandovan, was very close to going to it this summer, but plans didn't end up working out. Pictures of the hotel:



Read more about it on Trip Advisor.


Edited by magma
Added "Tabriz, Iran" to emphasize the letter "T"

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Ürümqi, China

Ürümqi (literally "beautiful pasture", from the Dzungar Oirat language) is the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China[2] in Northwest China. Ürümqi was a major hub on the Silk Road during China's Tang dynasty, and developed its reputation as a leading cultural and commercial center during the Qing dynasty.

With a built-up (or metro) population of 2,988,715 as of 2010 census (6 urban and suburban districts but Dabancheng not yet urbanized) and 3.03 million in 7 urban and suburban districts,[3] Ürümqi is the largest city in China's western interior. Since the 1990s Ürümqi has developed economically and serves as a regional transport node, cultural, and commercial centre.

The largest city in western China, Ürümqi has earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the most remote city from any sea in the world.

From top: A panoramic view of Ürümqi's CBD, Red Mountain (Hong Shan), Ürümqi Night Market, and a view of Tian Shan from ÜrümqiÜrümqi (red) in Xinjiang (orange)
From top: A panoramic view of Ürümqi's CBD, Red Mountain (Hong Shan), Ürümqi Night Market, and a view of Tian Shan from Ürümqi

Ürümqi (red) in Xinjiang (orange)

Tourist Locations:

  • Grand Bazaar, a bazaar on South Jiefang Road (解放南路).
  • Hong Shan (Red Mountain) is the symbol of Urumqi, located in Hongshan Park.
  • People's Park, south of Hongshan Park.
  • Glacier No. 1 (一号冰川), origin of Urumqi River, is the largest glacier near a major city in China.
  • People's Square
  • Nanhu Square (南湖广场)
  • Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Museum (新疆维吾尔自治区博物馆), which was completely rebuilt in the early 2000s.[38]
  • Heavenly Lake Scenic Area, a popular park with some of China's most famous alpine scenery, a little more than two hours outside Urumqi.
  • Shuimogou Hot Springs (水磨沟温泉) is located 5 km (3.1 mi) northeast of Urumqi.
  • Xinjiang Silk Road Museum (新疆丝绸之路博物馆) is located right next to the Grand Bazaar at No. 160 Shengli Road. It is located on the fourth and fifth floor of a very large European style building which houses a shopping complex as well. Most of the exhibits have English names as well and some of their guides speak some English.
  • Ürümqi City Museum (乌鲁木齐博物馆) is located at South Nanhu Road 123 (南湖南路123号).
  • Urumqi Tartar Mosque (乌鲁木齐塔塔尔寺清真寺) is a luxuriously furbished mosque located on Jiefang Road. The mosque is open to female and male visitors unlike other mosques. However, permission must have been obtained prior to visiting the mosque.[39]
  • The monument at the Geographical Center of Asian Continent, in Yongfeng Township, Ürümqi County

The Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar (simplified Chinese: 新疆国际大巴扎; traditional Chinese: 新疆國際大巴扎; pinyin: Xīnjiāng Guójì Dàbāzhā; Uyghur: شىنجاڭ خەلقئارا چوڭ بازىرى‎, ULY: Shinjang Xelq'ara Chong Baziri), also known as International Grand Bazaar Xinjiang,[1] is an Islamic bazaar in Ürümqi, Xinjiang, China. It is the largest bazaar in the world by scale,[2] combining Islamic culture, architecture, ethnic commerce, tourism and entertainment. It is also one of the most famous landmarks in Ürümqi, and in Xinjiang.




Edited by magma

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Veracruz (Spanish pronunciation: [beɾaˈkɾus]), officially known as Heroica Veracruz, is a major port city and municipality on the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican state of Veracruz.

It is the state's most populous city, with a population that is greater than the municipality's population, as part of the city of Veracruz extends into the neighboring Boca del Río Municipality.


*** so I can't upload more pics thanks to shiachat :( since I can't use shiachat at a computer it doesn't work, nor at home or work :(*** its annoying to do it on my phone all the time. 


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[from wikipedia] Wasini Island lies in southeast Kenya 3 km. off the coast of the Indian Ocean 75 km. south of Mombasa 3 km opposite the harbour of the village Shimoni. It is approximately 7 km long and 3 km across. The island has only footpaths of sharp old coral or sand; in the forest consisting of earth. There are no autocars, carts or bicycles. Cargo is transported by foot or by a wheelbarrow with a solid tyre. Transport is over the paths, or via the beaches, mainly consisting of coral and only passable with low tide, or by boat over the sea. In the British colonial time, so before 1963, there used to be an airstrip in the lagoon situated longitudinal south on the island; only small parts of tarmac are reminders of this history.

The island has a population of about 3.000 living at the northcoast in the two villages Wasini and Mwkiro at the west respectively east side of the island, and inland in the hamlet Nyuma Maji, which means in ki(=language) Swahili 'behind the water'. In Wasini-village and Nyuma Maji live the Bantu people the Vumba, whose mothertongue is the Swahili dialect kivumba; in Mwkiro the Digo have their own mothertongue, the Swahili dialect kidigo. Besides that they all speak Swahili and sometimes English. The Vumba are of Arabic origin, may be a little bit mixed with the Chinese. The Arabs came to the East-African coast in the 1st century A.D. and after mixing with the Bantu people they together formed the Coast or Swahili people. The Digo probably came from the Persian Gulf in the 15th century A,D. Between the island and the Tanzanian islands Pemba and Zanzibar south-east of the island in the Indian Ocean consist strong cultural connections and family ties. The population is for about 99% Muslim, from liberal to orthodox.

People enjoy going there for dolphin watching/swimming with dolphins, snorkeling, scuba diving, the dhowobserving life on the coral reef (very beautiful flora and fauna visible from the glass bottom boats) and the delicious unique cuisine (sea food and vegetarian). Definitely a must visit for anyone visiting Kenya.











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1 hour ago, hameedeh said:

Who got X? :mod:

Xuzhou, China ^_^

"Xuzhou, otherwise known as Pengcheng in ancient times, is a major city in and the fourth largest prefecture-level city of Jiangsu Province, China. Its population was 8,577,225 at the 2010 census whom 2,623,066 lived in the built-up (or metro) area made of Quanshan, Gulou, Yunlong and Tongshan districts.[1] It is known for its role as a transportation hub in northwestern Jiangsu, as it has expressways and railway links connecting directly to the provinces of Henan and Shandong, the neighboring port city of Lianyungang, as well as the economic hub Shanghai.

Before the adoption of Hanyu Pinyin, the city's name was typically romanized as Suchow[2] or Süchow,[3][4] though it also appeared as Siu Tcheou [Fou],[5] Hsu-chou,[6] Hsuchow,[7] and Hsü-chow.[4]"



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You all damn well know what's coming next


Yazd, I.R. Iran


With, I dunno, one million people (?) ... Yazd is the largest kahgeli (straw and clay... or "adobe" if you want to be a douchebag) city in the world. Even with the influx of cheap modern Third World concrete-and-steel construction (which has become the standard throughout Iran), the vast majority of buildings in Yazd are still gahgeli. Because these buildings tend to have a short life span (I am guessing in the olden times they would have to rebuild such structures every 50 or 60 years), nowadays the government reinforces these structures with brick. In addition to the added stability, it looks very nice and fitting.


Although Yazd lacks the technical beauty of Esfahan, Yazd is a monument to humanity and civilization. Civilization means to carve out some semblance of stability and welfare in a cold, barren, unforgiving wasteland that is this dunya. If that is the case, then Yazd marks the pinnacle of civilization. 3000 or God knows how many years ago, some people decided to build a city between two mighty deserts: Dasht-e Lut and Dasht-e Kavir. Unlike modern-day desert cities which are baseless and nonsensical. "Oh hey, there is a sand dune here, let's make an artificial snowstorm over it so we can build a mountain ski resort." Everything was planned. After all, people needed to live. In what would have otherwise been the harshest conditions imaginable. This is what led to many of the peculiarities of Yazd architecture which I will show some of them.


Here is a panorama of the city



Tekiyeh-ye Amir Chakhmagh




Masjed Jameh






These minarets are the tallest I've seen in my life. They are much taller in person.





Now, some of the architectural features common in Yazd.


Wind vents



These served as a sort of ancient air conditioner. You may laugh but they work. I remember being in Meibod at the peak of summer heat, walking into a shaded OUTSIDE area which was cooled by these vents. It's like standing under the air conditioning vents at Walmart. People don't live in the desert for thousands of years without learning about how to cool down, that's for sure.


Water storage facilities



Yazd doesn't have water. It has always had to import water. People would store them underground to keep it from drying up and to keep it cool. Basements have always played an important role in Yazd, as well. Back in the day, people would live in their basements during the summer time. Because of the nature of gahgeli buildings, basements would insulate the cool air. It's very refreshing.


These water storage basements are closed off nowadays. But they still exist. (And they usually have a water tap on the outside, for if anyone is thirsty).


This is Chak Chak, outside of Yazd. Zoroastrians consider it sacred. I don't consider it sacred, I just think it's beautiful.




And lastly, as a reminder of how bad California sucks, here is some pictures of Yazd covered in snow:







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Ziarat is a famous holiday resort of Balochistan. Ziarat (literally ziarat is an Islamic shrine) was the summer residence of the chief commissioner of Baluchistan, and sanatorium for the European troops. It is 8850 ft. above the sea, and is about 125 km from Quetta. The hills around are well-wooded and picturesque. Khilafat Hills are the highest peak with an altitude of 11,400 feet (3,475 m) in Ziarat.

Pakistan’s largest juniper forest is located in this reserve. 

Juniper Forest


Ziarat Residency


Juniper is a strange looking tree, 


Cherry from Ziarat



Edited by Hasan0404

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Trip #1 Complete!!!!!

Overview of Trip:

Akita, Japan
Bratislava, Slovakia
Caracas, Venezuela
Daegu, South Korea
Ekbatan, I.R. Iran
Figuig, Morocco
Galle, Sri Lanka
Hingol National Park, Pakistan
Isfahan, I.R. Iran
Jakarta, Indonesia
Kazan, Russia
Lima, Peru
Mombasa, Kenya
North Pole, USA
Orumiyeh, I.R. Iran
Puebla, Mexico
Quebec, Canada
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Şanlıurfa, Turkey
Tabriz, I.R. Iran
Ürümqi, P.R. China
Veracruz, Mexico
Wasini Island, Kenya
Xuzhou, P.R. China
Yazd, I.R. Iran
Ziarat, Pakistan


Most visited countries:
I.R. Iran (5)
Pakistan (2)
P.R. China (2)
Mexico (2)
Kenya (2)

Regions by visit:
Middle East (6)
South/Southeast Asia (4)
East Asia (4)
North America (4)
South America (3)
Africa (3)
Eurasia (2)
Central Asia (0)
Oceania (0)


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