Sunday, October 20th 2019

Tabriz to hot spring village of Sarein

Second day in Tabriz we spent in search for accommodation  It was not easy…Some places were dirt cheap and filthy looking, the other ones were ok, but 10 times more expensive then the cheap ones. Most places did not have Internet. So we continued walking around looking for a good option. Finally we found a more or less appropriate hotel which still seemed a bit expensive for Iranian prices (725 000Rials, 30USD). At least at that moment it seemed to us a bit too much. But it was clean, had internet and breakfast  Internet turned out to be working only in the lobby, and only sometimes.

We walked a bit around Tabriz but have not found anything what excited us. Strangely food was not easy to find. And as we learnt later it was mostly kebab (like Adana kebap), bread, rice and a chunk of onion. It was good but now I know that we paid double price as during these day we have been overcharged many times. On one hand this is a learning process, on the other hand there are no prices in many places, and you cannot really know real prices.

Not finding much excitement in Tabriz we decided to move further to a /highly recommended by Tabriz Tourist Info/ hot spring village of Sarayein. Hot mineral waters which cure all deseases sounded like a great idea. According to the above-mentioned official the village is very popular among foreigners.

After 4 hours on a bus and a taxi ride we arrived to the village. By the way, all buses and most cars in Iran date back to 1970-1980s. Though not very comfortable they are still operating well & bus ticket prices are very low. It is just strange not to see new cars or buses at all.

old buses in Iran

The village of Sarayein looks a bit dusty & dirty. I imagined something close to Karlovy Vary, if you know what I mean, but what we found reminded me more of Chinese villages. Frankly nothing spectacular.

Sarein Iran 01

In the hunt for a hotel we got suprising range of prices from 50USD to 12USD. We chose the latter one, as the more expensive hotels did not have Internet and looked very similar to the cheap one.

It was time for lunch and we went around looking for something local to eat. The menu everywhere was limited to kebabs-rice-bread-onion, cow stomach soup & tomato mutton soup in clay pots.

tomato mutton soup in Sarein Iran

Surprisingly in several restaurants we got a cold welcome. Of course, they don’t have English menus & we cannot speak Farsi and we wanted to point at kebabs in the window and ask for prices, but people did not want to move their asses to come out & tell us prices. Some of them were quite nasty talking to us in Farsi and making faces when we could not understand. This is what I call customer-oriented service. And this is the place popular among foreigners????? I was a bit shocked. Luckily we found a place where guys were friendly & used their minimal English to talk to us. The food was good but again kebap, rice, onion & bread.

Sarayein is famous for its all-curing hot springs & this is exactly why we came here. Of course, the pools are separate for men & women. It was really nice to dip my tired body into hot water and wash away all the stress of the previous days. The men’s area consists of big pool, jakuzzi hall and individual baths hall. Water in the big pool is brownishly clody. In indivdual bath tubs is clear & hotter. I spent half an hour snoozing in a bath tub and then went to the big pool. Although it was really nice to get some hot spring treatment, i did not really like the hydrotherapy facility due to its uncleanliness.

Besides waters, Sarayien is famous for its honey. The center of the village is full of honey shops. Mara is crazy about honey, and we visited probably all the shops there. As a result 1kg jar of honey in my backpack.

Honey in Sarein IranAnother possible entertainment was to hike Mount Sabalan (4811m) but taking into account our Farsi & their English skills it looked like too much struggle to get information how to get to a trail, where to hike, etc.

Having no intentions to go to the hot springs pools again we decided to move to the city of Rasht which lies close to the Caspian sea and again recommended village of Masuleh.

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10 Comments on “Tabriz to hot spring village of Sarein”

  1. Im following you on my google map and taking notes for the trip :p

    1. Good. :-))) I will be posting more info. I keep record of prices, bus fares, connections, etc.

  2. No Couchsurfing in Iran?

    1. There is. We are surfing in Tehran in 2 days.

  3. Watch out for the riots of money dealers and bazzar traders.

    The currency is loosing it’s value pretty fast and Ahmadinejad foolishly blamed the money dealers and small traders (according to BBC), which caused some riots in around main Teheran Bazaar


    Note: at the bottom you can leave your contacts and be called for BBC World Service Radio report.

    1. Thank you, Vitek, we will be careful. I will check the link and maybe contact BBC.

  4. … we also did not see so many restaurants. But we went shopping and always cooked at home with our hosts. Last November we were couchsurfing all the time. Just find the “active” members – they are very well connected all over the country and will find you friends to stay anywhere :)
    Check out my host in Qom (see my profile !)

  5. well , in Tabriz many people talk turkish ( which somehow differss from the language spoken in turkey) but it is a great city believe me. so many attractions , but many of them are interesting only for people who love history

    1. i believe we have just missed the most interesting places. probably were also a bit confused and tired. If we visit Tabriz next time, we will make sure to see more of the city.

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