Officially known as the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the country of Afghanistan is a landlocked country within South and Central Asia. The country’s population is at around 31 million Afghans. Some of the largest cities or towns within Afghanistan include Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif, Jalalabad, Lashkar Gar, Taloqan, Khost, Sheberghan, and Ghazni. Since the country of Afghanistan is a multi-ethnic society, it has various ethnic groups such as Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Aimaq, Turkmen, Baloch, along with Pashayi, Nuristani, Arab, Brahui, Pamiri, and Gurjar, to name a few. Afghanistan’s official languages are Pashto and Dari, with a couple minor languages on top of Uzbek and Turkmen.
What to see & do
Afghanistan is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites. Some of the sites include the Minaret of Jam, by the North of Herat; and the Buddhist sculptures by Bamiyan. The buddhas by Bamiyan Cliff include a 38-metre Buddha, as well as a 55-metre Buddha that surrounds the caves, seated Buddhas, among others. The Minaret of Jam is located in the village of Jam, by the West of Afghanistan. People often stop by Jam while traversing the central route between Herat and Kabul, which lasts for several days. The Minaret of Jam is a minaret located in the middle of nowhere, standing at 65 metres. It is only second in size to Delhi’s Qutub Minar.
How to get around within Afghanistan
Afghanistan has two rail links, one is a 75-kilometre line from Kheyrabad to the Uzbekistan border, and another is a 10-kilometre line from Toraghundi, to the Turkmenistan border, although these rail lines are used only for freight travel, and there is no passenger service at the moment. There have been various proposals for the construction of additional rail lines within the country. When travelling by road, buses are common in Afghanistan, but these rides are not recommended since most drivers are careless and intoxicated, and therefore may cause serious traffic accidents, among others. The buses are often older car models that are owned by private companies. Upon the country’s rebuilding of roads and highways, newer automobiles have become more widely available. Imported from the UAE or United Arab Emirates via Pakistan and Iran, the newer vehicles are being used since the older vehicle models that are 10 years old or older have been banned from being imported into the country.
How to get there
Serving Kabul, Kabul Province, Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai International Airport is located around 16 kilometres or 9.9 miles from the city centre of Kabul in Afghanistan. The airport is among the country’s main international airports, and also serves as one of its largest military bases. Airlines that operate via Hamid Karzai International Airport include Afghan Jet International, Air India, Ariana Afghan Airlines, East Horizon Airlines, Emirates, Flydubai, Iran Aseman Airlines, Kam Air, Mahan Air, Pakistan International Airlines, Saif Airways, SpiceJet, and Turkish Airlines, with its flights to and from destinations such as Herat, Kandahar, Tarin Kowt, Delhi, Baku, Ankara, Dubai, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kuwait, Moscow, Bamyan, Chaghcharan, Khost, Mashhad, Tehran, Dushanbe, Tehran, and Islamabad, among others. The airport also operates cargo flights to destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Sharjah, Dubai, and Baku, via airlines like Etihad Cargo, Coyne Airways, FitsAir, and Silk Way Airlines.
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