Tajikistan

Too Lazy to Care

Contrary to what everyone I know in America seems to think, long-term independent travel is not just some big happy vacation. Crossing from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan was one of the most-hassle filled two days of my life, and by the time I got to Khojand I was feeling downright lazy. I spent about an hour, … Continue reading »

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A Walk through small-town Tajikistan

There are times that, honestly, I can’t really explain why. A place just grabs me, without much of a clear reason way. Istravshan was, I think, one of those. Though of some prominence in Tajikistan’s history, today Istravshan is just  a small-town with a big bazaar and a couple of historic mosques and mausoleums. It … Continue reading »

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Through the Lens: Camping at Kulaikalon

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Or is it ‘proto-urbane’ ?

Central Asia is old. Old like “cradle of civilizations” old. Of all the old, though, the proto-urban site of Sarazm is perhaps the first of them all. Estimates suggest that Sarazm was settled over six THOUSAND years ago. You know what North America looked like then? A big forest. Sarazm is, rightfully, inscribed on the … Continue reading »

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Silk Road Fortress for the Win

The Wakhan Cooridor, whichever side of the border you happen to be on, is all sorts of beautiful. It should be no surprise, of course, that there’s also a crazy long history to human habitation in the area. The Yamchun Fortress was built in the early 3rd Century B.C., almost 1500 years before Marco Polo … Continue reading »

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Alexander the Lake

Alexander the Great and I? We have pretty similar taste in vacation retreats.  Now, I’m not even gonna attempt to take credit. Obviously, through sheer luck of birth, he found Iskander-Kol first. I will say, though, that I think I did it in a little more luxury. Did Mr. The Great have his own cabin … Continue reading »

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Focus on the Family

Like so many places in the world, much of the joy of the Tajik Wakhan is from the great people I met along the way. At the Ratm Fortress, just beyond the farthest one can go on public transport, I met this awesome family. I think I started interacting with Maria and Nikita by asking … Continue reading »

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Pretty Little Penjikent

Its very rare that regional capitals, in Central Asia at least, are anything but a transit point to get to bigger and better destinations. The city of Penjikent, though, is a wonderful little backwater. Though once easily accessible from the Uzbekistan city of Samarkand, a disagreement over hydro issues between the Uzbek and Tajik governments … Continue reading »

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