9-night fully guided tour for those wishing to see
more of this beautiful country and experience its
From 2,200 USD per person
9-night fully guided tour for those
wishing to see more of this beautiful
country and experience its unique
Dushanbe - Hissar Fortress - Varzob Valley - Buzkashi Event - Khoja Ob Garm Spa - Khujand -
Zarafshan Valley and Panjikent - Dushanbe
Thursday 23rd March
·Free morning for settling in/exploring/acclimatizing
· Hissar Fortress – a stunning UNESCO site at a strategic point on the ancient silk road, destroyed 21 times during its long history
· Local village to see a school and a Lenin statue
· Welcome group dinner in Dushanbe
Friday 24th March
· Morning walking tour of Dushanbe, including Victory Park, Rudaki & Somoni Avenues (the main streets in the city), Central and Rudaki Parks, Ismaili Somoni Monument, and much more
· National Museum of Antiquities – a deep look at the complicated history of Tajikistan
· Botanical Gardens – popular for wedding groups and housing a vast range of Central Asian flora
· National Opera Theatre & Dushanbe Puppet Theatre· National Teahouse for end-of-day relaxation – this is the largest teahouse in the world!
Saturday 25th March
· Drive north to the stunning Varzob Valley, past scenic lakes and in to the mountains for a light hike
· See a holiday wrestling match and have lunch at a local family home
· Free afternoon to explore Dushanbe - holiday decoration will be up by now and a lively atmosphere on the weekend can be expected
Sunday 26th March
· Today we go to see the most remarkable sporting event imaginable – Buzkashi!
· This is a flamboyantly violent and aggressive game played by hundreds of men on horseback, wrestling over a goat carcass to try to score ‘goals’ with it. It simply has to be seen to be believed, the photos you will get will blow the mind of anyone you show them to!
· The day will be spent at the sports fields, in addition to Buzkashi there is wrestling, people-watching, mingling with the friendliest people in all of Central Asia, and snacks and drinks available for sale. An incredible day is assured!
Monday 27th March· Today we head into the mountains, for some stunning views on a long drive that brings us through tunnels and valleys, over peaks and ridges of the amazing mountains of Tajikistan!
· The destination in the end is Khoja Obi Garm Spa, a vast sanatorium built into the side of a mountain above natural hot springs – like a James Bond villain’s lair meets the hotel from The Shining!· A full range of ‘treatments’ can be enjoyed here, from radon baths to massages, leeches to swimming, or simply explore and relax. This is one of those great Soviet-era buildings that are hard to find these days, you will love this experience!
Tuesday 28th March
· Those departing Tajikistan will return to Dushanbe for their flight home or onward travels, the others will take the drive onwards to the northern city of Khujand
· Driving through the Hissar mountains the route itself is part of the adventure including a pass through a 5km long Iranian-built Anzob Tunnel
· Lunch at Iskander Kul – Alexander Lake –where Alexander the Great himself stopped for lunch during his advance through Central Asia
· Cross into the Fergana Valley – the ancient crossroads of cross-continental trade and home to some of the great cities of the silk road· Arriving in Khujand (previously known as Leninabad) we’ll stop at a giant Lenin statue at a hydro-electric dam. Communism personified!
Wednesday 29th March
· Khujand Market and the sights, sounds, smells of this fascinating city which once market the eastern edge of Alexander’s Empire
· Local Museum to learn the history of the area
· Local Mosque, lined with stunning wood panels on the inside
· See more of the city – local parks, statues, and mix with the locals too, one of the highlights of any trip to Tajikistan
· The bizarre Arbob Cultural Palace - a recreation of the St. Petersburg Winter Palace built during the Soviet 1950s, a fantastic local curiosity!
Thursday 30th March
· Departing Khujand we drive through the Zarafshan Valley, all the way to Panjikent to have lunch
· Panjikent is the centre of Sogdian Culture in Tajikistan. Sogdians were an ancient power in this region, active until the Arab invasion of the 7th Century.
· See the remains of a Sogdian city – foundations, royal palace, Zoroastrian Temple, and the city bazaar· Rudaki Museum – dedicated to the hometown hero and founder of Persian Poetry, the great Central Asian polymath Rudaki
Friday 31st March
· We’ll spend the day driving back to Dushanbe, stopping at scenic and historic sites & towns along the way· We will get back to the city for a last bit of free time and a final group farewell dinner
VISA APPLICATION & ARRIVAL TO TAJIKISTAN
Koryo Tours will send you a Visa Application Form so that we can issue you a Letter of Invitation (LOI). Please bring with you to Tajikistan:
1.) Visa Application Form
2.) Letter of Invitation
3.) two passport photographs
4.) USD $35 cash (2015 price so might increase!)
As you arrive in Dushanbe Airport immigration hall you will find a paper form entitled 'CARD OF IMMIGRATION CONTROL’ which you have to complete in duplicate. Pick one up and fill it in as you join the queue at the VISA APPLICATION windows.
At the VISA APPLICATION WINDOW present your passport, your original Visa Application and Letter of Invitation. Your visa will be placed in your passport and you will need to pay the US $35 fee.
You then proceed to the IMMIGRATION BOOTHS where you present your ‘CARD OF IMMIGRATION CONTROL’ one half is kept and the other half stamped and returned to you. KEEP THIS SAFE as you will need it at the hotel and exiting the country.
There will be a driver with the sign KORYO GROUP waiting for you in the arrival lobby and you will be taken to HOTEL LOTUS.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO TOURISTS
This tour is a group trip but designed to have a good amount of free-time. We will give you ideas if you want to go out exploring or just take it easy at a café.Please be on time and return to that the hotel in the evening.
Please note we will be driving relatively long distances and seats can be hard so we suggest bringing a travel pillow/neck support – the view and experience more than make up for a little discomfort though.
Khoja Obi Gharm Spa - please note this is a Radon spa which has radioactive properties. There are various thoughts on whether this is good for you or not! - please read up beforehand and make your own decision. The various types of treatment with steam sauna and water jets, massage etc. It is in a beautiful mountain area and worthwhile even for those not taking the spa treatments. The spa was built by the Russians over a religious shrine – for those of you not taking a sauna go pop out and try and find it in this beautiful mountain scape. Massage is 60 somoni head body arms, just need to wear pants or towel provided (radon shower included if you want! )
Carry a colour photocopy of your passport with you at all times.
Taxis – In 2015 most journeys cost around 20-30 somoni, but make sure you agree a price beforehand.
Segafroid Café in Dushanbe is a good place for internet and Western food- open for billiards and ten pin bowling cost 120 somoni per hour. The Segafroid Café is about a 20 somoni taxi ride from the Hotel Lotus.
Dushanbe has the the world’s largest tea house is open for billiards and ten-pin bowling cost 120 per hour.
Bring sun protection cream.
Bring hand sanitiser and toilet paper.
Early Spring weather so bring a light jumper and jacket, however, we will be heading into the mountains so have some warm clothing also as there will be snow.
Please apply by 9th March, 2017.