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Overview

Hidden in one of the farthest corners of High Asia bordering China and Afghanistan, tiny Tajikistan is a little-visited mountain gem. With the chaotic collapse of the Soviet Union and a bitter decade-long civil war finally behind it, Tajikistan is finally starting to attract in-the-know travelers with some of the most exciting road trips and mountain adventures in Asia. The capital Dushanbe is a pleasant city and the start of the scenic drive north into the Fan Mountains and their stunning trekking routes. The country's number one draw, though, is the Pamir plateau to the east, home to Central Asia's most dramatic scenery and the highest ...

Hidden in one of the farthest corners of High Asia bordering China and Afghanistan, tiny Tajikistan is a little-visited mountain gem. With the chaotic collapse of the Soviet Union and a bitter decade-long civil war finally behind it, Tajikistan is finally starting to attract in-the-know travelers with some of the most exciting road trips and mountain adventures in Asia. The capital Dushanbe is a pleasant city and the start of the scenic drive north into the Fan Mountains and their stunning trekking routes. The country's number one draw, though, is the Pamir plateau to the east, home to Central Asia's most dramatic scenery and the highest peaks outside the Himalayas, whose epic landscapes rival anything in Tibet, North Pakistan or Afghanistan. Community tourism projects make it surprisingly easy to hire a Soviet-era jeep and head off into remote rolling valleys dotted with Kyrgyz yurts and remote archaeological remains. Perhaps the most beautiful destination is the remote Wakhan Valley, bordering Afghanistan. One Tajik trait common to all corners of the country is the humbling tradition of hospitality, which makes travel here such a joy, despite the limited tourist infrastructure.

Bradley Mayhew
About the Expert

Bradley Mayhew is the author of more than 25 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, including Central Asia, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and Jordan, and is coauthor of the Odyssey guide to Uzbekistan.

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Bradley Mayhew for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Tajikistan is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and the People's Republic of China to the east.
  • Language: Tajik
  • Currency: Somoni
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight