Odyssey guide to Tajikistan and the High Pamirs
At close to 700 pages, Tajikistan and the High Pamirs by Robert Middleton is not exactly the book you want to take with you on your peak climbs. It does, however, give you a full, nuanced history of Tajikistan, 100+ colour pictures, plenty of maps and hiking routes and tons of background on the culture of Tajikistan with a focus on the Pamir mountains.
The style is less regimented and more free-flowing than the traditional guidebook, making it perhaps a bit more difficult for the Lonely Planet addict to find his way in the book. For these, the Bradt guide might be ideal.
Bradt guide to Tajikistan
Bradt Tajikistan is well-suited to the visitor not planning to stray too far off the beaten path. It focuses on practical information and steering the visitor to and around the most interesting places in Tajikistan. What it does well is summarize the highlights in the country. At the moment, this guide is the best attempt at bringing a concise overview of the what, where and how of travel in Tajikistan, offline or online.
At 160 pages, the book is clearly no match for the 700-page mastodon that is Tajikistan and the High Pamirs. If you want tons of background information on the history of Pamir travel, and which old guy to talk to in some distant valley, get the Odyssey guide.
If you don’t feel like lugging around an extra 1,2 kg in your backpack but just want to know how and where to have a good time, get the Bradt guide.
Trekking in Tajikistan – Jan Bakker
The first and only guidebook dedicated to trekking in Tajikistan. It comes with a few flaws (read the full review), but seeing its low price, it will be a valuable asset to any hardy pioneer venturing into the wild in Tajikistan.