Tajikistan

by Sophie Ibbotson

Tajikistan

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About this book

This new, thoroughly updated second edition of the most practical guide to Central Asia's smallest and least understood country brings to life the 'Roof of the World': Tajikistan. Enhanced trekking details and maps are included, along with more detailed practical information than any other guidebook and an expanded language section. Travelling to and entering Tajikistan is easier than ever before with improved transport infrastructure and a new airport terminal in the capital, Dushanbe. Accommodation options in the capital have also improved with new high-end hotels now open for business. This new edition includes details of all such changes and improvements.
With this guide you can explore the Tajik side of the Wakhan Corridor, complete with fortresses, petroglyphs, and stunning views of the Pamirs and Hindu Kush. Also covered are the Fann Mountains, easily the most accessible - and one of the most beautiful - mountain ranges in Tajikistan, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sarazm and the Tajik National Park, the hot springs of Garm Chasma, and the Tajikistan section (which forms the majority) of the Pamir Highway, arguably the most spectacular drive in the world.
Epic mountain landscapes, glacial lakes, and the mighty Amu Darya - the Oxus River of antiquity - encircle ancient Buddhist sites, Silk Road trading posts, medieval shrines, and planned Soviet cities alike. The modern population continues to draw upon its diverse heritage from Persia, China, Afghanistan and Russia, creating a complex and intriguing culture waiting to be discovered. With first-hand descriptions of everything from Sogdian ruins to playing the traditional sport of buz kashi, trekking on the Murghab Plateau and eating shashlik in garden tea houses, Tajikistan's expert authors bring the country alive in Bradt's new and fully updated edition.

About the author

Sophie Ibbotson and Max Lovell-Hoare moved to Central Asia in 2008 and lived and worked in the 'Stans for the next five years, advising national governments and promoting investment. They developed the national tourism development strategy for the Kyrgyz Republic, have written and updated guidebooks to Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, and have led numerous expeditions in the region. As lecturers, they have addressed organisations including the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Asiatic Society, and the Royal Society of Asian Affairs, where Sophie is also a member of council. Both Sophie and Max return to Central Asia several times a year, and Sophie continues to develop and promote tourism opportunities there.

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Contents

PART 1 GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
At a glance, Geography & geology, Climate, Natural history & conservation, History, Archaeology, Government & politics, Economy, People & culture (inc Religion, Language, Education), Art & architecture
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tour operators, Red tape, Embassies, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, Gay & lesbian travellers, Travelling with kids, What to take, Money, Budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating & drinking, Public holidays & festivals, Shopping, Arts & entertainment, Photography, Media & communications, Business, Buying a property, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively

PART 2 THE GUIDE
Chapter 3 Dushanbe and Environs
History, Getting there, Getting around, Tourist information, Local tour operators, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment, Shopping, Sports/fitness, Other practicalities, What to see and do, Around Dushanbe
Chapter 4 Karotegin
Faizabad, Obi Garm, Roghun, Gharm, Tojikobod, Jirgital, Tavildara
Chapter 5 Fann and Zarafshan Mountains
Yagnob Valley, Iskanderkul, Aini, Zarafshan Valley (East), Zarafshan Valley (West), Penjikent
Chapter 6 Khujand and Northern Sughd
Istaravshan, Khujand, Isfara
Chapter 7 Khatlon
Kurgan Teppa, Shahr-i Tuz, Kurbon Shahid, Kulob
Chapter 8 West-Central Gorno-Badakhshan
Qalai Khum, Rushon and the Bartang Valley, Khorog, Ishkashim, Wakhan Corridor
Chapter 9 Murghab Plateau
The Pamir Highway: Khorog to Murghab, Murghab, The Pamir Highway: Murghab to the Tajik-Kyrgyz border

Appendices
Language
Other
Further info
Index