Little review of our recent travels to Afghanistan

All about Afghanistan
thijsbroekkamp
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Little review of our recent travels to Afghanistan

Postby thijsbroekkamp » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:22 am

Just thought I’d share some information about travelling in Afghanstan as there is not so much reliable info on Afghanistan.
I visited from 23 september 2018 for a week. We flew from Tashkent to Kabul with Kam Airlines. There are regular direct flights, the only thing was that we were not able to buy our tickets ourselves online but you have to buy them in the ticket office in Afghanistan (our guide did this for us). Applying visa in the Netherlands was quite easy, short conversation with the consul, show itinerary, hotel confirmation and letter of invitation and two weeks later we could pick up the visa (70 euro,-).

We visited Kabul, Pansjhir valley, flew to Herat and flew to Mazar e Sharif from where we visited by car the surrounding areas of Samangan and Balkh. From there I went by land border to Termez, Uzbekistan. I don’t have a favourite destination, everything was equally as interesting. Traffic in Kabul Is absolute chaos, Afghans developed a special way of driving to deal with this (or caused it ;-)
Mazar e sharif is a lot quieter than Kabul and Herat and very pleasant. Only on Friday at the blue mosque it get’s very busy, which is a great time to watch local people hang out. I really enjoyed that scene as you saw families and young people having a good time, really makes you realise that daily life goes on and it is not all war.
We did this trip with a guide, Noor from Let’s be friends Afghanistan (http://www.letsbefriendsafghanistan.com/) for safety reasons, to get in touch with locals and receive tons of information about the country. I think a trip like this is nearly impossible without a guide, there are certain local customs, do’s and dont’s and places to avoid etc. I highly recommend Noor as he speaks perfect English, has an international outlook and genuinely just want to show you the positive side of the country and is just a very friendly and genuine guy. Noor was very open to any suggestions I had for places I wanted to visit as well. There is another tour operator that I was talking to who is a lot more expensive as they send an extra armed guard with you etc. In the end I decided not to go for them because of the price and got some advice that traveling like that only draws more attention. I then contact Noor and he makes you blend in as much as possible, by using small hotels, local cab drivers he knows very well and wearing Afghan clothes etc. We felt very well looked after and never felt unsafe.
It was definitely the highlight of our Central Asia trip. It felt very special to be there and to actually see and meet the people from a country that seems so secluded and unreachable for Western tourists was an incredible experience. They were very grateful we took the effort to visit their country. Also, they spoke at least a few sentences of English, more than in the Central Asian countries, and we were often approached and asked with much interest where we from etc.

Hopefully this info is useful for anyone planning to travel to this amazing country. I know it took me a lot of research and hesitation before I finally did made the decision to go and to trust a tour operator from there. If you have any questions let me know!

(Eventhough I had a very positive experience please be aware of the safety situation in the country)
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steven
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Re: Little review of our recent travels to Afghanistan

Postby steven » Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:01 am

Thanks Thijs, we don't get a lot of reports out of Afghanistan so this is very welcome!
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netllama
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Re: Little review of our recent travels to Afghanistan

Postby netllama » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:33 am

Thanks for sharing this trip report. Do you have any photos from the trip that you could share?
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thijsbroekkamp
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Re: Little review of our recent travels to Afghanistan

Postby thijsbroekkamp » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:13 am

netllama wrote:Thanks for sharing this trip report. Do you have any photos from the trip that you could share?


Sorry for my late reply, been busy processing my photo's from this trip. You can find some from Afghanistan on my website: https://thijsbroekkamp.com/afghanistan/
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Solsticio
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Re: Little review of our recent travels to Afghanistan

Postby Solsticio » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:16 pm

I just happened to see that you sent me a message last year. Sorry that I never read it. Goed om te zien dat je het voor elkaar gekregen hebt!
Erik
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thijsbroekkamp
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Re: Little review of our recent travels to Afghanistan

Postby thijsbroekkamp » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:22 am

Solsticio wrote:I just happened to see that you sent me a message last year. Sorry that I never read it. Goed om te zien dat je het voor elkaar gekregen hebt!
Erik

No worries! Inderdaad allemaal gelukt en daar ook wel blij om :D
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