Some updated info on Pamirs: Bike rental in Khorog, access issues, impact of ongoing crisis

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noobnoob
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Some updated info on Pamirs: Bike rental in Khorog, access issues, impact of ongoing crisis

Post by noobnoob »

Hi all,
Just thought it might be helpful to provide some updated info on things in the Pamirs after spending almost a month here (September 2022).

You can actually rent decent bikes in Khorog and (limited) panniers for bike touring. We were also given tools and repair parts that we would only pay for if we actually used them. Very affordable ($10 a day). We spent 6 days on a very slow paced route from Khorog to Langar through the Wakhan. Fantastic. Getting back by vehicle with bikes worked well for us, but I imagine it could be a nightmare if you don't get lucky. A guy named Zohir has a collection of bikes of varying quality. Very nice person and good mechanic. He has a facebook page for the bikes, but not sure if he checks it often since we just met him in person: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id ... e_internal

Zorkul permit: takes 2 minutes at PECTA. I know most people say this, but I had also found information saying it was more difficult. Getting a driver there was also really easy. Was able to arrange to leave in less than 24 hours of walking in to the office. Super professional.

Was just in Karakul. There are a lot of rumors about the border. Yes a few cyclists did get through this month, but it was only a 3-4 day window and now firmly shut again with outbreak of violence in Isfara. Tanks were attempting to reinforce the border at Kyzylart, but a few were broken down between Murgab and Karakul. Karakul was still accessible for tourists but that might change.

A few less visited places:
Bulunkul village is quite lovely and has a great homestay. Since it is just off the Pamir highway, it seems to get few guests, which is a shame since if you go a few kilometers past the town, you have beautiful views of Yasilkul.
Jarty Gumbez is quite an impressive place. I think there are two guesthouses (out of the three houses in the settlement). One has hotspring swimming pools inside (opened 2 years ago). Lots of geothermal activity and tons of ibex visible in the hills above. Supposedly lots of Marco Polo sheep.
Savnob: just an update that both homestays in town started renovations a few years ago, but due to the decline in tourists, didn't finish them. As a result, both are in pretty awful state and needed to walk far to the medical center if you needed to use the toilet.

Best,
Jay
5 x

Erfahrung_der_Welt
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2022 11:37 am
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Re: Some updated info on Pamirs: Bike rental in Khorog, access issues, impact of ongoing crisis

Post by Erfahrung_der_Welt »

Thanks for the update. We are the two Swiss cyclists that passed the Kyzylart border. Then our rear hub broke before Jarty Gumbez, so much for Karma:) We ended up renting a bicycle from Zohir as well, was not the best, but it worked good enough for cycling the Wakhan Valley and Zohir is a very nice and helpful person.

Some information and recommendations:
Restaurants Khorog: After Zhandija from Welcome Inn told us that many people got sick from Delhi Darbar, we didn't eat there. But we can recommend the following places: Rooftop Lal Hotel: Ideal to enjoy a beer with a view, some salads and pizza. Food is decent, but not outstanding.
World Cuisine Restaurant: Great to try some different dishes for a change, have everything from Tortilla to Indian Food to Pizza. Don't expect too much, it's still Khorog.
Silk Road Restaurant next to the park: open for Lunch and always crowded with locals. Our firm favorite. Delicious Kurutob (vegetarian), Plov and Kompot will set you back at 70 Somoni very well spend.

Homestay along the Wakhan Valley:
-Hanisa Guesthouse in Ishkashim doesn't exist anymore
-Ren Guesthouse comes recommended there

Our favorites were the following:
Akim Homestay in Yamchun (steep climb up, but it's a heart-warming place with a huge garden where you easily would like to stay a little longer and stroke the cat and eat delicious home-made food from their garden). 2 Rooms with comfy mattresses on the floor. Only downside - the shower block. We paid USD 15.- per person incl. breakfast & dinner.

Davlatkhon's Homestay in Hisor (next to Langar): What a surprise to find this sophisticated homestay with a real shower and a new bathroom, comfy beds and some real good food. USD 23.- per person incl. breakfast & dinner.

Enjoy Tajikistan
Lisa & Dario
2 x

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