Tajikistan, officially the Republic of Tajikistan, is a sovereign country in central Asia. It is landlocked by Kyrgyzstan to the north, China to the east, Afghanistan to the south, and Uzbekistan to the west. The area was formerly the residence of several ancient cultures such as the city of Sarazm from the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, as well as the kingdoms of people of different faiths and cultures. The capital and largest city of Tajikistan is Dushanbe.
What to see & do
Tajikistan National Museum - The Tajikistan National Museum in Dushanbe had undergone years of renovation before its grand opening in June 2013. The museum comprises of 22 halls that contain artefacts relating to Tajikistan's rich cultural heritage and ancient history. Among its most notable objects is the 13-metre long 5.5 tons heavy sleeping Buddha statue, the largest known statue Buddha in Central Asia.
Dushanbe Zoological Park - Founded in 1960, the Dushanbe Zoo was once one of the most popular attractions in Dushanbe. The zoo was abandoned during the Civil War that lasted until 1997, but was restored due to its importance as the only public institution to exhibit the local and foreign animal species in Dushanbe. There are currently about 700 animals of different species housed in the zoo, including lion, jaguar, snow leopard, black bear, brown bear, Bactrian camel, golden eagle, vulture, owl, and jackal.
Rudaki Park - The Rudaki Park is a peaceful park that features botanical gardens and fountains lit by coloured lights. It is a great place to relax and go for a leisurely walk.
Pamir Highway - One of the main reasons travellers go to Tajikistan is to experience travelling through the Pamir Highway, but the journey is most definitely not an easy one. The roads are quite difficult to manoeuvre, accommodation is basic, and the altitude is a big challenge (it is the second highest altitude
international highway in the world). However, the spectacular scenery of rarely seen outstanding beauty is well worth it. The Pamir Highway is also a very popular route for adventurous bicycle tourists, but it is more often tackled during the summer due to the altitude and extreme climate.
How to get around within Tajikistan
The major cities of Tajikistan can be explored by taking scheduled minivans. SUVs can also be hired from the large minibus terminal outside of Khujand, the second largest city in the country. The roads can be quite rough, so it's really much better that there are no rental agencies in operating in Tajikistan. It is possible however to hire a private driver with a 4x4. There is also a network of 4x4 taxis that cover the country.
How to get there
The primary air passenger gateway into Tajikistan is the Dushanbe International Airport, located in Dushanbe. The airport serves as a main hub for East Air, Somon Air, and Tajik Air. Other airlines that operate in the airport are flydubai, Air Kyrgyzstan, Aeroflot, Kam Air, NordStar, Tajik Air, Turkish Airlines, and Ukraine International Airlines. There are flights to Dushanbe International Airport from Saint Petersburg, Bishkek, Mashhad, Kabul, Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Moscow, and Kyiv.
Images by Flickr/Veni
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