Trans Eurasia travel

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Brilliant Palangan is one of Iran's most picturesque villages. In Palangan the roof of one house serves as the courtyard of the upper house. Close to this village we can see ruins of an ancient fort dating back to B.C. Its earth-coloured stone houses climb steeply up both sides of a rocky chasm while traditionally dressed villagers shoe horses in the narrow pathways or simply stand gazing from their flat rooftops. Wobbly old bridges cross the gushing river at either end of town. Unlike Howraman, though, this is not an 'undiscovered' gem. Local tourists come in considerable numbers at weekends to picnic in the local orchards. However, because many come dressed up in Kurdish Friday-best costumes this adds further photogenic colour to the scene.

To get here, start in dreary Kamyaran, halfway between Hamadan and Sanandaj. Savaris for Palangan start from Salahaddin St (2km southeast of Kamyaran's main terminal), but you will probably need to pay dar baste. The asphalted road (45km) passes some other interesting mud-and-stone Kurdish villages en route. Vehicles arrive at a car park outside Palangan's big, rather ugly fish farm. Don't be dismayed. The old village is hidden around the corner, a 15-minute stroll along a covered watercourse.