About this book
This new, thoroughly updated third edition of Bradt’s Tajikistan is the most practical guide dedicated exclusively to this breathtaking country, central Asia’s smallest but home to the biggest tea house in the world! Bradt’s Tajikistan caters for all interests, whether you’re a nature lover, explorer, just want to soak up the stunning surroundings, or a wildlife enthusiast in search of eagles, elusive snow leopard or extraordinary Marco Polo sheep. Locals call Tajikistan ‘Bam-i-Dunya’, the Roof of the World, and travelling the Pamir Highway you can understand why. 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, the authors bring the country alive.
This latest edition covers all the most recent developments, notably the significant increase in hotels, restaurants, guesthouses and homestays, along with improvements to travel and transport, all following the government’s investment in tourism. New attractions are also featured, including the new cable car in Khujand over the Sirdarya river and new trekking destinations, festivals and exhibitions. There are also details of which sites require additional permits and permissions and how much they cost, and where border crossings have been closed or have become more accessible.
Mountains, crystal clear lakes (including Lake Sarez), wildlife and epic trekking routes are all here, as well as ancient Buddhist sites, Silk Road trading posts, medieval shrines, and planned Soviet cities. The modern population continues to draw upon its diverse heritage from Persia, China, Afghanistan, and Russia, creating a complex and intriguing culture. Bradt’s Tajikistan covers every corner of the country, from the Wakhan Corridor to the Fann Mountains and Garm Chashma springs, Dushanbe to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sarazm and Tajik National Park, making this comprehensive guide an ideal companion for a perfect trip whether travelling independently or on an organised tour.
About the author
Sophie Ibbotson moved to central Asia in 2008 and lived and worked in the ‘Stans for the next five years, advising national governments and promoting investment. She now returns to central Asia several times a year and continues to develop and promote investment and tourism opportunities there.
Claire Blackmore has worked in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan as an influenza expert both independently and with global health organisations. She first visited Tajikistan after a long European winter and fell in love with the warmth and colours of the capital, Dushanbe. Since then she has been to Tajikistan five times, each time exploring a new part of the country and attempting (mostly in vain) to improve her language skills. She wants others to find out more about this fascinating and welcoming country in order to share the wild untouched beauty and rugged mountain landscapes.
Having graduated from Tajik State National University with a Bachelors degree in International Economic Relations, Behruz Boev has worked in tourism for four years, both as a tour guide and as a manager in a number of tour agencies. He has volunteered and worked in many different international organisations but gains the most enjoyment from exploring his country and sharing it with others. He loves his job, the nature, people, local traditions, customs and music, and is passionate about introducing his country to the rest of the world. He sees organising tours as not just his profession but as an art, creating a deeper contact and understanding between tourists and his country, and taking a little of the Tajik hospitality home in their luggage.
PART 1 GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography and climate, Natural history and conservation, History, Government and politics, Economy, People, Language, Religion, Education, Culture.
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tour operators, Red tape, Embassies, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, LGBTQ travellers, Travellers of colour, Travelling with a disability, Travelling with kids, What to take, Money, Budgeting, Getting around, Trekking, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays, Shopping, Photography, Media and communications, Business, Buying property, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively.
PART 2 THE GUIDE
Chapter 3 Dushanbe and Environs
History, Getting there and away, 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 Fann and Zarafshan Mountains
Yagnob Valley, Iskanderkul, Ayni, Zarafshan Valley (East), Zarafshan Valley (West), Panjakent.
Chapter 5 Khujand and Northern Sughd
Istaravshan, Khujand, Isfara.
Chapter 6 Khatlon
Qurgonteppa, Shahrtuz, Panj, Kurbon Shahid, Dangara, Vose, Kulob, Khovaling
Chapter 7 Karotegin
Faizobod, Obigarm, Roghun, Nurobod,Gharm, Tojikobod, Jirgatal, Tavildara,
Chapter 8 West-Central Gorno-Badakhshan
Kalaikhum, Vanj, Rushon and the Bartang Valley, Khorog, Ishkashim, Wakhan Corridor, Alichur, Bachor
Chapter 9 Murghab Plateau
The Pamir Highway: Khorog to Murghab, Murghab, The Pamir Highway: Murghab to the Tajik-Kyrgyz border.
Appendix 1 Language
Appendix 2 Glossary
Appendix 3 Further Information
‘The most up-to-date and comprehensive guidebook to Tajikistan.’
Adventure Travel Magazine