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Panjakent drivers (7 Lakes, Artuch, Dushanbe)

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:58 am
by Christian77
Super short version: in most of Tajikistan the local people will help you to get the local price, or close to it, for a seat in a car. But in Panjakent and the entire valley (including 7 Lakes, Artuch, Dushanbe-Panjakent route), the local people conspire with the drivers to get the drivers the maximum price. They will lie to you. I speak Tajik, but I often pretend I don't. I hear all sorts of scheming in Tajik, and then a load of BS is presented to me in Russian (about the going price, or where the car/marshrutka is going, and whether or not there is a marshrutka option, etc.).The local people are smiling and acting helpful, but they are not your friends. The local people are working with the drivers against you, as opposed to helpful and honest locals in Isfara, Khujand, Dushanbe, Khatlon, Rasht, etc...

So investigate beforehand what the local price is.

Re: Panjakent drivers (7 Lakes, Artuch, Dushanbe)

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:21 am
by aybe
Thanks Christian for your post. It's really helpful.

I'll be um panjakent in 2 days and I'm planning to do the 7 lakes.

Do you have any driver to recommend ? What would be the approx cost for a ride ?

Thanks.

Re: Panjakent drivers (7 Lakes, Artuch, Dushanbe)

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:47 pm
by Christian77
You can take a marshrutka from Panjakent to the town of Shing and find an onward driver there. That's the cheap but unpredictable version. The more expensive version is to have a driver for the full day. It's more of a driving tour than a hiking tour, so lots of people opt for that. But I'm not sure on price. I usually only go to trekking destinations. Salom Hostel would likely have a mid-range quote on that.

Re: Panjakent drivers (7 Lakes, Artuch, Dushanbe)

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:59 am
by FRT15
It was mentioned that a trip to 7 lakes could be more of a driving trip. Would that be an all day trip? Does Shing have accomodations?

Thanks for the input.

Re: Panjakent drivers (7 Lakes, Artuch, Dushanbe)

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:05 am
by Christian77
From Panjakent, yes a whole day should cover it (leave after breakfast, get back before dinner). If you want to stay by the lakes, then start here: https://goo.gl/maps/D5NMVTdSZYHqnAncA Or take recommendations from others for another guesthouse.

Re: Panjakent drivers (7 Lakes, Artuch, Dushanbe)

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:51 pm
by FRT15
Thanks Christian. Is the guesthouse you mentioned near where a public transport from panjakent could drop you off or or you have to hike a ways to get there? Are the lakes a short or long distance from the guest house?

Re: Panjakent drivers (7 Lakes, Artuch, Dushanbe)

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:47 pm
by Christian77
Google maps shows distances. The guesthouse is as far from the lake as it is on the map. And no, there is no predictable public transportation this far up the lakes. At the Shing/Haftkul stop in Panjakent you can find someone who will offer to take you all the way up the lakes, but the chances of getting a single seat in a car that leaves soon all the way up the lakes is not good.