Top 5 reasons to visit Tajikistan
Tajikistan - You probably never heard of this country, or if you did, maybe never thought of traveling there or you know enough to consider it your next travel destination but not decided yet. Here are 5 reasons you should come to Tajikistan, or at least put it on your travel bucket list.
Never before traveling to Tajikistan was easier than it is now. Although very slowly, Tajikistan is becoming more recognized as a tourist destination every year and a lot of efforts is being put to attract more tourists by the government and private sector. Introduced in 2017, an electronic visa is easy and fast to get. It can be obtained in 1-3 days along with GBAO permit after you submit your application online (www.e-visa.tj). Once issued the visa can be used at all borders. The infrastructure is getting better, many hotels, guesthouses, and homestays have opened up in almost all regions with better facilities like toilets and showers in remote villages. The reconstruction of the road from Dushanbe to Kalai Khumb via Kulob, a stopover town on the Pamir highway, is almost over and instead of 8-9 hours, now it's possible to get there in 6-7 hours and enjoy the ride. Same as the road from Ainy to Penjikent and other roads in the north. There is no more "tunnel of death", the new asphalt had been put in Istiklol tunnel (on the road from Dushanbe to Khujand and Penjikent), and now it takes a mere 10-15 minutes to pass it. Only a handful number of foreigners are visiting Tajikistan now, and it's just the time to be among the first discoverers.
It's easy to forget landscapes on your trip if you don't shoot them with your camera, but you can hardly forget people, especially those who become friends. After all, 5 years from your trip, the only thing you remember and may miss is people. Tajikistan is a diverse country, Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Kyrgyz are major ethnic groups with Tajiks being predominant. And one thing that is amazingly common in them is Hospitality! It's not just being nice to guests here, it's a culture. Authentic, sincere and sometimes too much in terms of food served at homes in Tajikistan you will find Tajik people extremely hospitable. Whether you are in the city in Dushanbe or up in the remote village in the mountains you will find yourself having a chat with people over a cup of green tea which is a national drink in Tajikistan. A guest is an honored addition to any feast in Tajikistan, where one can witness the abundance of gorgeous fresh fruits, local produce, national dishes accompanied by warm home-made bread, melting layer cakes, nuts, and sweets. Visit one of the many festivals of music, song, and dance around the country and join in the dancing…everyone does.
You don't have to seek adventure in Tajikistan, adventure seeks you! Tajikistan is a place for travelers rather than tourists. With 93% of the countries land being mountains, it has everything an intrepid traveler can dream of. Hiking, trekking, mountaineering, rafting, paragliding, adventure jeep touring, camping, cycling, horse riding and even Yak riding, yes Yaks can be used as a means of transport, everybody can find his or her own adventure here. One of the most epic and adventurous road in the world, named Pamir highway or M41 runs across the country from Dushanbe to Osh of Kyrgyzstan. By car or bicycle, the road trip on the Pamir highway, which is the second highest in the world is truly epic. A continues route through rugged mountains, along the Oxus river, which is the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan and on the roof of the world makes a lifetime journey you won't find anywhere else. A trekkers paradise and an area of stunning mountain lakes - Fann Mountains is another adventure destination in Tajikistan. Trekking routes go from one mountain lake to another over some passes, always with great views on snow-capped mountains and going through different vegetation zones. Overall, doesn't matter if you are an experienced adventure traveler or you want to become one, Tajikistan is a place where everyone can find a piece of adrenaline.
Set on the crossroads of the Great Silk Road, this historic land with more than 3000 years of history is a treasure trove of Persian literature, art, dance, music, superb craftsmanship and historic monuments. From ancient Persian kings to Alexander the Great, Arabs and eventually British and Russian empires, all used Tajikistan's territory either as a passage or conquered it leaving their mark on the region. The famous traders of the Silk Road still live in remote villages up in the mountains and speak the Sogdian language, the one which Alexander the Great heard when he arrived here. Medieval mosques, ancients settlements, magnificent fortresses, Islamic shrines and even Buddhist relics can be found in today's Tajikistan. Travelling in this historic land may take you through the kaleidoscope of time and allow you to live out its history, the example of this would be the Camel caravans seen in Wakhan valley on the Afgan side or visiting the Afghan bazaar in Khorog. Tajikistan was formed as a state in 1921 under the USSR and been so up until 1990 when the Soviet state collapsed, giving birth to an independent state. Many Soviet monuments like that one of Lenin and neoclassical soviet buildings still exist in big cities like Dushanbe, Khujand, and others allowing travelers see and sometimes experience the reality of Soviet rule. So for lovers of history and culture, Tajikistan offers both.
If your idea of a perfect vacation is getting out of your comfort zone and getting lost in time, then consider Tajikistan a top priority. By traveling in Tajikistan you are taking a road less known, you discover a wild and beautiful landscape, meet warm and hospitable people, see the history from a different perspective and understand better the very basic values of life. Traveling here takes you to places where there is no phone reception, forget about the internet, it's almost nonexistent outside big cities. Walking out of a homestay in a village or out of your tent in the mountains at night to look up and see the wonder of the stars, with no light pollution, will surely bring peace to your mind and make you ponder over the universe. Tajikistan is a perfect place to escape from the worldly affairs.