Monday, December 24, 2012

Top Six Souvenirs from Iran

Bazaar E-Borzoog, Esfahan
While in some countries, most of their souvenirs are imported from China, Iran has a huge selection of local traditional souvenirs. They range from the cheapest key chain to the most expensive Persian carpets. The traditional bazaar is the best place to look for some of the country's best souvenirs. Most of the bazaars are so huge that it is impossible to finish browsing in a day. Among all the bazaar I visited in Sanandaj, Shiraz and Esfahan, I like the bazaar in Imam Square (Bazaar e-Borzoog) in Esfahan It is very huge, not crowded and very organized. Here are the top six souvenirs from Iran which I think are unique and authentic.
This piece of carpet cost about USD $3,000 
Even if you have no plans to buy Iranian carpets or they are just off your budget, visiting the carpet stores and admiring the beauty would suffice. Iranian carpets are beautiful and worth the investment. Although the initial plans is not to buy any bulky souvenirs but the temptation lured by the store owner is way too strong to resist. Depending on the size and material, Persian carpet can be very expansive.
Crafted by the local silversmith, this beautiful silver chain is priced at US $80
I think Iran has skillful jewelry designers. Beautifully crafted silver and gold jewelries  and the fact that they are handmade gives it a unique craft as a memorable souvenir. The jewelries are weighed to determine its actual content of gold or silver before the price is quoted.  There is still room for bargaining though you will not get a major price slash.
The hand made enameled copper plate - a gift from Esfahan University
These plates are not cheap but they make very exquisite souvenirs
These stunning hand made enameled copper vases, tea sets, plates, wall-hanging plates and others can be a gift or even for home decoration. In the bazaar, you may find an artisan working in progress, and you can purchase his/her completed pieces. The items can be priced around USD $50-$300 over a range of sizes of wall hanging plates. Of course the price of tea sets and vases will be much higher.
The glittering tablecloth for US $40 and above
These glittering table cloths can easily catch your eyes. They are really beautiful but you have to give it a real check at the back of the table cloth to make sure that the beads and sequins are not falling off easily. They are hand made and I think depending on the shops, quality may vary significantly. Check for durability when you are buying one of these. Be careful when cleaning these items. You can dip in mild soapy water and hang them to dry or you can send it for dry cleaning.

Hand printed table cloth from US $5 to $100 
These beautiful cotton printed table cloths can be both hand printed or machine printed. Obviously the machine made is much cheaper than the hand made and in fact you can get it as cheap as US $5. The hand printed table cloth with the printer's name sealed at the back is an authentic and memorable souvenir to take home. They come in beautiful natural colors extracted from spices, fruits and plants. For the hand printed one, the more colors are layered on the piece, the more expensive it gets.
These mouse pads - a miniature of Iranian carpet, cost US $2 each 
These Iranian carpet mouse pads are the best bargain souvenirs to take home. It comes in various designs and colors just like the carpet. The little carpets are glued to the light foam material and they are very light to carry. But what bothers me is that after few months, the pad tends to curls at its end and of course I can't complain much for the price I'm paying.

No comments:

Post a Comment