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Тоҷикистон (Tajikistan} - Scenic mountains

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by Günther Eichhorn

Itinerary

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In October/November 2014 I visited Central Asia and the Caucasus. The tour was organized by Original World. The organization was flawless. Before I left, I was a bit apprehensive about the many border crossings and changes of tour guides, but everything worked like clockwork. The current guide in the country I was leaving brought me to the border, and the new guide would pick me up after crossing the two borders. The border crossings in Central Asia took some time (45 min - 1 hour), but were no problem. In the Caucasus the crossings were faster, they took only a few minutes. I had all the necessary visa arranged in advance. In each new country the new guide was already waiting for me. I was very pleased with the organization of the trip and can really recommend Original World.

In Central Asia I visited Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan, in the Caucasus I visited Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. It was a very interesting trip, with almost 6 weeks the longest I have done so far.

Itinerary

I arrived in Tajikistan from Uzbekistan. My guide picked me up at the Uzbekistan-Tajikistan border and drove me to the capital Dushanbe. On the first full day I visited sites in and around Dushanbe.

On the next day we drove to Khujand, a very scenic drive. I walked around Khujand for a while in the afternoon.

On the next day we visited some historic sites in Khujand, and the drove to the Tajikistan-Uzbekistan border in the north.

Observations

Just like the other countries on this trip, Tajikistan was not what I had expected. I expected drab Soviet style cities, dilapidated cars, and depressed people. It was not at all like that. Dushanbe was modern and busy. There were some areas that were not renovated, where you could still see the older Soviet style buildings. The villages lag behind the capital, but altogether I had a good impression of Tajikistan. It was not as well off as for instance Turkmenistan, since Tajikistan doesn't have oil or natural gas.

The scenery in Tajikistan is very beautiful. The drive from Dushanbe to Khujand is very scenic.

There are not as many historical monuments in Tajikistan as in Uzbekistan, the Silk Road seems to have bypassed Tajikistan.

Food and beer was decent and inexpensive.

Summary

It was a short visit to Tajikistan. As everywhere in Central Asia, people were friendly, but didn't speak English. Tajikistan doesn't have the many historical Silk Road sites that the other countries in the area have, but it is very scenic. As I understand it there is fantastic hiking in the mountains of Tajikistan. I would have liked to see more of the natural beauty of Tajikistan.


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© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
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