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Old 04-18-2010, 10:42 PM
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I'll be going to Armenia in May/June, and I would like to travel overland from Istanbul to get there. I am wondering if anyone here has traveled overland through Turkey or Georgia (I am thinking about taking a bus through these countries). I am also wondering if there are any safety issues I should know about. I'm a female traveling alone, so I just want to be cautious.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:59 PM
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There is an adventure motorcycling website called advrider.com that has a lot of trip reports about people that have biked from Istanbul across Turkey through Georgia and Armenia and on to other places. If you do a search on the trip report section on that website you should be able to find a lot of info and pictures. I know you want to take a bus but some of those trip reports were rather informative about the area with lots of pictures.

The impression I got was that there are still some issues in Georgia due to the Russian invasion and ransacking of the country and that Turkey may not be the wisest place for a single female to be wondering around in.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:18 AM
Location: rain city
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Caution would be good.

Eastern Turkey is relatively untouristed by foreigners and doesn't have the visitor infrastructure of western Turkey. There is unrest on the Turk/Iraq border and other hotspots. Turkey is 96% Islamic and eastern Turkey is rural and very conservative. These are not good times in rural eastern Turkey. And in these more remote parts of the country do not expect to find many English speaking people (how's your turkik?).

As a woman traveling alone you should be well covered at all times. I cannot say you would be unsafe in any way, but as an American woman traveling alone in the rural backwaters of Turkey you will stand out and attract attention--no matter what you are wearing. Be careful, seriously. Turkish men have a view of western women that may not coincide with your view of western women. The cultural divide is large.

My experience with long distance Turkish buses is good (all in western Turkey). Clean, efficient and with nice snack service and rest stops and generally friendly. Eastern Turkey may be a whole nother story......

Never been to Armenia. It is not a muslim country so may be a little easier. Georgia has areas of current political unrest but is not generally unsafe.

There are border problems throughout the region. Be prepared with all the necessary visas in advance, and have ready cash in the event that passport control palms need to be greased for entry/exit.

In all these fairly remote and untraveled areas be prepared to find a dearth of English. Pocket translators are a godsend. Get one.

And finally, none of these countries share a common currency. Therefore you must get rid of all currency before leaving a country as you will not be able to use it in the next country. This is an area of shysters. Be prepared to get ripped off in any currency exchange transaction.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:30 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I'm trying to find the cheapest way to get to Armenia, and most flights I've found to Yerevan are pretty expensive. I just discovered a long distance bus from Istanbul for around 50 bucks (round trip flights from Istanbul are much cheaper), so that is why I'm even considering this. Thanks for all of safety info as well, I definitely need to look into that more.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:16 AM
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I wouldn't advise to come overland as it can be pretty much of a hustle. Two of the borders with turkey and azerbaijan are closed so there's only georgian border left which is a pretty long ride in the mountains. You should come by air and travel in the country overland..haha
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