Pamirs

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Flying over Pamir
Travel Warning WARNING: In July 2012, violence erupted in the autonomous Gorno-Badakhshan region. The violence occurred after a top military official was stabbed to death, which resulted in the military going after a local opposition strongman. Official reports indicated 42 dead, but there are unofficial reports of 200 or more dead, including Tajik troops, opposition, and possibly civilians. The region's largest city, Khorog, is said to resemble a warzone. The government has blamed "citizens of Afghanistan" for the violence and is investigating whether members of the Taliban or al Qaeda are involved, but this is most likely hot air. This is likely the worst outbreak of violence the region has seen since the end of a civil war which kept it within Tajikistan. Travelers planning to visit the region in the coming months (after July 2012) should follow news of the security situation in the region closely and seek the advice of your embassy. BBC article (Updated July 2012)

The Pamir mountains, or Pamirs, are in south eastern Tajikistan, near the border with Afghanistan, The Pamir range extends across the border but this article covers only the Tajik part; for the Afghan parts see Northeast Afghanistan.

The terrain is difficult and the population sparse. The nearest region with relatively flat land and denser population is Bactria to the west.

Cities[edit]

Other destinations[edit]

Understand[edit]

Talk[edit]

Get in[edit]

You could take a flight from Dushanbe to Khorog. There is a 14 seater flight every morning to Khorog, but its departure depends on weather conditions and the number of passengers. Tickets to the flight are sold a day in advance at the Dushanbe airport.

You could share/hire a jeep from the jeep stand near the airport in Dushanbe to Khorog. This will take between 13 and 21 hours and privately hiring a jeep costs around $400.

From Khorog you can hitch on a fuel tanker or truck on its way back to Kyrgyzstan, or hire your own vehicle from Khorog. Its also possible to get an occasional shared van to Murghab and from there to Osh. Most days will also see a jeep or share taxi head towards Ishkashim. Hitchhiking on the Pamir highway requires patience. The first vehicle with space will give you a ride, but as with many places in the former Soviet Union you are expected to pay for the ride. It can take anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days to get a ride. There many only be 2 or 3 vehicles going in your direction each day.

Get around[edit]

Same as getting in.

See[edit]

  • Lake Karakol -A crater lake near the Kyrgyz and Chinese Border it is frozen half the year
  • Khorog
  • Wakhan Valley - a beautiful detour from the Pamirs
  • Lots of mountains
  • Murghab's very small bazaar
  • Weekly Ishkashim Afghan Bazaar
  • Old fortresses in the Wakhan Valley

Do[edit]

  • View the wild life like the Marco Polo Sheep.
  • Mountain climbing.
  • Hiking and trecking.
  • Skiing.
  • Be a part of a very expensive tour group. (Or travel on the cheap and hitchhike.)
  • Sit an enjoy the silence and views.

Eat[edit]

Rice, eggs, snacks, yak butter, bread, mutton, Pamiri tea (sheer-chai), freshly made warm bread (non).

Drink[edit]

Tea, surprisingly good coffee, and vodka. Yak milk.

Sleep[edit]

There are a number of homestays in most villages on the Pamir highway. They are usually in homes built in traditional Pamiri style. They are made with wood, with five pillars, a sky light and richly decorated with carpets. You are ensured great hospitality and simple but delicious meals.

Zong Village - Homestay of Mavluda. $12 per person per night incl dinner and breakfast.

Alichur - Ask for the English Teacher, meet her family, and you decide how much money to leave behind.

Stay safe[edit]

A zealous policeman in Murghab may want to register you with the police or complain if you were taking photos. This isn't a problem, registration should be known well enough simply getting to the area.

There is some risk of altitude sickness.

Go next[edit]

Go to Khorog or onto Kyrgyzstan. There is the border crossing at Kulma Pass into China open year round, officially open now also for foreign nationals - but have wads of US dollars handy to facilitate your passage.

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