Tajikistan Trip Report

All about Tajikistan. Expert: Pamirski, Christian77
funkyboots
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Tajikistan Trip Report

Postby funkyboots » Fri May 15, 2015 10:48 am

Details For Dushanabe, Khorog, Wakhan, Pamirs- April 2015

Crossed border from Uzbekistan from Sariosiyo- see Uzbek trip report for details.
$10 in share-taxi to Dushanbe, about 45 mins.

Yeti Hostel - small, new hostel on 6th floor of a block about 15 mins out of town on a regular bus/ marshrutka service, but plenty of shops and eateries nearby. Google them for booking page and for very clear visual directions. $15 for bed in 4 bed dorm. Most comfy bed I've had in c Asia; spotless sheets & duvet; v clean bathrooms; microwave, fridge, kettle for basic food prep. V helpful guys working there. A couple I met later had stayed at the Green House Hostel near the bazaar, which they recommended.


GBAO permit - could not be issued with my visa at embassy in Dubai, and I was told I would have to get it in Dushanbe. I got no response to my emails sent to the travel agents listed in the LP, & no reply to any of the phone numbers listed. When I finally walked round and found Hamsafar Travel it was closed, so I went into the city centre in search of one of the other agents listed in the LP. Tajikintour have a place called Visa Center, opposite their main office, with staff who speak English - 26 Pushkin St, 2 blocks behind Segafredo Cafe tel:+992 (372) 230434, [email protected] $30 for GBAo permit, 2 day wait time. They also do LoIs.
In the guest book at the hostel someone had noted that if you get to OVIR before 10a.m., & fill in the form, they will send you off to the bank to pay and you can usually pick up the permit later that same day - I would have tried this, had I read the book first, so bear this in mind if you don,t want to hang around!

Flight to Khorog - I went out to airport ( bus 8) 3 days beforehand and there was no availability for next 2 days, so got name on list for 3rd day (which fitted in with waiting for my permit anyway.) and was told to turn up at 2pm the day before to get the ticket. Ticket office is down a lane to the right of the airport building, as you are facing it. Ticket 630 somoni/ $100 - ticket was issued, as I as told, at 2pm the day before, and not a minute before. Check-in at 8 am, flight at 9am - great views!

Khorog - Pamir Lodge $9 - lovely garden to hang out in :)

I was excited by the extensive veg menu at Delhi Darbar, but it was only offering 2 items from it! And the nan was just Tajik bread. Tasty dhal, though. If you're veggie, Bar Varka, down the hill from the lodge, had a good roast potato & mushroom dish & bean soup :)

40 somoni ( $6 ish) share taxi to Ishkashim- jawdroppingly gorgeous scenery. 3 hours.

Hanis Guest House - $20 room, breakfast & dinner - as a veggie it was great to get veg salad, veg soup & veg plov! Vali runs the place, speaks excellent English, is super-helpful with onward transport/travel plans & arrangements, & is a really sound guy, running several community projects for locals from the GH grounds including a greenhouse, cement brick production, kids sports area, & English classes for kids - if you are a primary or EFL teacher and have any spare resources to pass on here, they would be put to v good use.

I joined another guy to hire a 4WD and driver for 4 days, overnighting in Vichkuk, Langar, Alichur & Murgab, and stopping lots enroute. Vali is able to arrange this through local drivers, rate is about 60-70c per km, works out at about $500-$600 for that distance, depending on type of car. Add on another $20 to pay for driver's bed & board. The guy I was travelling had done a deal independently with a local, so we got a driver and 4WD for $400 for the trip, including the driver's bed & board. We had been given a list of homestays at the PECTA office in Khorog, & it seems the going rate with them is about $15 - $17 including breakfast & dinner. We just asked around in villages and found beds for $5-8, paying $10 to include food, or a couple of times just eating our own supplies. Fantastic road trip, don't miss it if you are in Tajikistan.

I had wanted to do Murgab - Osh in stages, but couldn't find anyone to share a vehicle, and as traffic was scarce & I didn't want to get stuck for days enroute, I took a marshrutka straight up the road, paying 150 somoni ( about $23). This took 12 hours, though it can be done in 9, depending on driver, border, weather etc.
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steven
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Re: Tajikistan Trip Report

Postby steven » Mon May 18, 2015 9:47 am

Thank you! Sounds like a great trip!
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breakfastbuffets
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Re: Tajikistan Trip Report

Postby breakfastbuffets » Wed May 20, 2015 6:28 am

Salaam! Thanks for your trip report, which was incredibly helpful. I intend to head to Tajikistan and the Pamirs in late June and I hope I'll be able to obtain my GBAO permit in Dushanbe (I'm a Singaporean, miles away from any Tajik embassy). This thread doesn't make me feel very confident hah.

I will be travelling solo and I was just wondering whether it was easy to find fellow solo travellers to split the cost of a hired driver + 4WD (as you did in Ishkashim). Tashakkur!
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funkyboots
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Re: Tajikistan Trip Report

Postby funkyboots » Wed May 20, 2015 10:30 am

Hi Breakfast Buffets!
I was expecting it to be easy to meet others to share the trip with, based on reading reports from lthers on blogs etc. Turned out i didn,t meet any travellers at the hostel in Dushanbe ( I was the only guest at that time) and then in Khorog I met 2 cyclists who obviously had gheir own transport & 2 people gping the other way, so no, it wasn,t easy, but i think that was timing - i was there in April and it was still very early. I was in bishkek a few days ago and met heaps of travellers - i am thinking there will be plenty more around in Dushanbe too by late June, and also in Khorog & Ishkashim. It is an oncredibly beautiful part of the world, enjoy it! And it seems that the permits were not being issued last fridAy but were available again by monday... Don,t know what that was about, but hopefully you will be in luck!
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breakfastbuffets
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Re: Tajikistan Trip Report

Postby breakfastbuffets » Thu May 21, 2015 11:24 am

Hi funkyboots, wow it seems that you got the Pamirs almost all to yourself (tourist-wise). Thanks for the detailed response too. I guess I'll leave it up to serendipity when I do get into Tajikistan. :P
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