After a couple of weeks spent in the marvellous Tajikistan – among ones of the highest peaks in the world – we came up with the following top experiences in our touching journey. To the same extent, we have also retained the heartfelt hospitality and cheerful welcome of its native people, whose genuine spirit and long-standing traditions represent at the best the “core values” of this country.
1. WAKHAN VALLEY & LANGAR: a dusty, canyon-like route at the edge of the Afghanistan border.
2. BULUNKUL & YASHIL-KUL: enjoy the remote quietness of the secluded hamlet at 3700 m above the sea level. Take a relaxing stroll to the adjacent, turquoise lake.
3. MURGHAB & ITS BAZAR: generally used as a logistic base for further expeditions in Pamirs, Murghab has a quite original appeal for the “Old City” and related bazaar.
4. SARYTAG & ISKANDERKUL (FAN MOUNTAINS): spend at least one night in Sarytag, in one of the local homestays out of the world! Relish the direct contact with the restless, always smiling kids in the village : )
5. KARAKUL & ITS LAKE: enjoy the desert hamlet on the shore of a stunningly crystalline lake 3900 m high.
6. BARTANG VALLEY: the wildest and most astounding valley in the western Pamir. We crossed the full valley by 4×4 in three days, reaching on the way the most isolated and genuine settlements.
7. KUDARA & SAVNOB: small “oases” at the foot of the Bartang River, perfect to relax and spend the night in an hospitable and authentic homestay where you can try succulent local dinners.
8. BORDER WITH CHINA: an almost unnoticed and abandoned “Soviet” fence separates Tajikistan and China for many kilometers on the eastern, barren side of Pamirs. You could even sneak in if you dare…
9. TAKING A BATH IN BIBI FATIMA HOT SPRINGS, a popular destination among locals and tourists in the Wakhan Valley (between Iskashim and Langar). The place lies around one kilometer beyond the ruins of the impressive YAMCHUM FORT, built on the top of an overlooking cliff and considered a key point to check the traffic of the SILK ROAD trade.
10. CAMPING IN GORNO-BADAKHSHAN AUTONOMOUS OBLAST (GBAO): one of the most meaningful experiences to appreciate the imposing view of the Pamir mountains and the soothing sound of the surrounding rivers.
All in all, Tajikistan is an astonishing country replete with glorious sights at remarkable altitudes. Regardless you move by taxi, private vehicle or hitchhiking (public transport is almost absent), you will be spellbound by the still tangible auhenticity of the dusty itineraries (most of the roads are still unpaved) and the pure candor of the small villages scattered around the mountains and providing very basic food and facilities : )
Please share your genuine adventures in Tajikistan with us !!