Way beyond the big city, past the Pamir Highway, in a forgotten corner of the world that was last of vital importance somewhere around the time Marco Polo went through. That’s where you’ll find the Wakhan.
This is the type of place so remote that even Greg Mortenson’s Centra Asia Institute has logistical trouble organizing its construction projects in the area.
And because of all this the Wakhan Corridor is also home to amazing landscapes, incredible people, and some of my favorite memories of all of Central Asia.
The Wakhan corridor, at least on the Tajik side of the border, runs from Ishkashim (home of the much-acclaimed Afghan bazaar) in the west to Langar in the East. From here, the road runs back up over the mountains and on to Murghab and the Pamir Highway.
There’s a bit of ancient history.
A bit of modern hospitality.
And a lot of footloose wandering.
There’re also, as I mentioned already, a lot of really spectacular people that happen to live in the area.
Like kids that will tug on your shirt and lead you to the coolest ancient Buddhist stupa in town.
Old men with a smile as you walk through.
And of course a lot of folks who are just doing their thing as you pass through their far-away corner of the world.
Most of the time, goats outnumber cars by a wide margin.
Don’t worry too much about the livestock-induced traffic jams or dead-before-arrival Lada taxis, though, as there isn’t ever really much of a hurry to get anywhere in particular.
The easiest way to reach the Wakhan is via shared-taxi from Khorog to Ishkashim. Several weekly busses leave from Ishkashim to Langar, at the other end of the Tajik Wakhan. Another option is to cross the border into Afghanistan from Ishkashim, at which point you can continue past Langar and deep into the Upper Wakhan.