"Tajikistan - pieces of a puzzle" Top 5 Page for this destination Tajikistan by Saagar

Tajikistan Travel Guide: 224 reviews and 688 photos

A geographical oddity

When planning for my visit to Tajikistan, I found very little in tourist brochures and on the web, including here on VT. Tajikistan is apparently not yet on the revamped Silk Route proper. There are reasons for this, but these reasons are diminishing, and you will find that visiting Tajikistan is a rewarding experience. I write a separate chapter on how to and what to below. There are interesting historical reasons for why Tajikistan came into existence and why the country's borders are the funny way they are. It is a very good idea to get to know these facts before you arrive, as it is the key to understanding modern Tajikistan and how she struggles.

I found I myself needing some basic information, and given the lack of easily obtainable info, I am providing some of what I found here:

General travel information from : Travel Tajikistan
More specific info for visitors at Tajikistan travel info
The National Tourism Organization of TajikistanSayoh
Specific travellers info on the Pamir MoutainsPamir travel info
Thematic maps and environment info of Tajikistan: Tajik topical maps
Basic information: CIA's "factbook"
Best international travel agency found on the web The Great Game Travel
International security presence in Tajikistan OSCE Dushanbe
Environmental information about Tajikistan: Environment status

Reasons to go:

Having read guidebooks, Tajikistan appears to be a place to go to for those mainly interested in outdoor adventures and mountain hiking especially. The Pamir and Fan Mountains stand out as the prime attractions. While there is apparently a potential for a more diversified and complete tourism offer, it remains largely undeveloped. People of Tajikistan are quite unlike their government - they go out of their way to accommodate and welcome guests. That alone is a good reason to go. Tajikistan has a rich historical background and an interesting immediate past, too. The colorfulness anmd pride of people and cultures is an attraction in itself, and so are the diverse landscapes from desert to high glaciated mountains and everything inbetween. It is a great place for fruit lovers - the crux of Central Asian gardens and palates.

A though place for travelling

Hard to get there: You will find out when you try to book your ticket from faraway places... Part of the problem is the weak economy - there isn't much happening in the economic life of Tajikistan. And tourism isn't really a fast developing sector. Another significant reason is the fact that Tajikistan is locked in by mostly traveler-unfriendly countries and regions; Western China, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. Kirgizistan is the sole traveller-friendly neighbour. To top it off, the government is fairly xenophobic, extremely political/security conscious and suspicious and you need permits to go to the most attractive areas.

Hard to get out of there: Try to leave by land - the train or by road. A real effort by vehicle and major hassles by train. By plane you will have to squeeze yourself though an extremely overt corrupt immigration and customs service.

Hard to use public transport: Many languages are spoken in Tajikistan, but apart from Russian, no major international languages. This makes life on the road an interesting challenge, but not one that should keep you from going. Many places that are real attractive are not served by public transport at all, so vehicle hire is necessary, or you team up in a taxi. There are always people looking for somebody with whom thay can share a taxi...

For a hassle-free travel, get yourself organised through an agency; I may list some here later that do serve people well in my experience:

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful landscapes, welcoming people.
  • Cons:Difficult to get there, and difficult to travel around.
  • In a nutshell:A place for hardy travellers, but extremely interesting.
  • Last visit to Tajikistan: Dec 2005
  • Intro Updated Apr 25, 2007
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Reviews (20)

Comments (4)

  • TrendsetterME's Profile Photo
    Mar 15, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Superb detailed tips and nice photos of Tajikistan .... :)

  • MariePisces's Profile Photo
    Oct 7, 2007 at 4:45 AM

    Hey, that is a really good review, it actually tells you what it is like, to go there and, if it is advisable!

  • thelittlevoice's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2007 at 5:37 AM

    The opening picture is absolutely breath-taking!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jan 21, 2007 at 10:36 AM

    Yes, please, write more about Fan Mountains :-) I missed them, as I wanted to go to Pamirs, but have seen them while driving from Samarkand to Dushanbe.

Saagar

“It's better to be approximately right than precisely wrong...”

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