Hey - I am just back from a trip in the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan and thought I would share some things I found helpful.
Firstly - I would have a second Tajik visa before entering Afghanistan just to be sure, it DOES NOT invalidate your second one and considering it took two weeks for mine to process and had to pay a hefty bribe to the border officials in Tajikistan I don't want anyone else to experience that.
Secondly - if you do engage a guide or engage anyone before you enter Afghanistan I recommend Yar Mohammad, even if you just choose to stay at his guest house instead of Marco Polo or other recommended ones, (his is $20 USD per night including breakfast and dinner, its very comfortable and his family are great, he will transport you to and from the bazaar for free).
I will also tell you Yar went out of his way to help me get back into Tajikistan when the Tajik gov had no processed my visa yet, this included pretty much ordering the guy at the border to call the head office in Dushanbe to approve my second Tajik Visa, he also used his own money to pay the bribe and trusted me that I would transfer at a later date (I have since done so). Seriously I cannot speak highly enough of the man, he was also going to accompany me with his wife incase the visa was not approved to ensure my safety. - Yar Mohammad Attahi ([email protected], +992 50 18 666 930)
AND If you do choose to hike Mt. Noshaq (DO IT, it was amazing) I hired a guide named Nayab Shah, and he was great, got me through a snow storm and 2 foot of fresh snow on the top.
I had a wonderful time in Afghanistan, I ask all travellers to respect the fact that its an extremely underdeveloped part of the world and wishing for things like better toilets and facilities is futile and insensitive.
Also there are some guides who walk around the bazaar and can be quite persistent, if you want a guide then by all means, however I just engaged Yar to stay at his guest house and was not pressured into using any of his other services.
Also - LETS NOT TAKE PHOTOS OF WOMEN IN BURKAS, its insensitive and disrespectful, people in any country we travel to, particularly countries like Afghanistan and especially the children in those countries are not our props for our photography careers and instagram pages.
Have a cracker!
All about Afghanistan
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