Tajikistan

Remote and mountainous mystery-land

Buzkashi, marathons and mountain views you can only dream of

Koryo Tours is pleased to present a range of tours to the mysterious, yet strikingly beautiful Tajikistan. Join in Persian New Year celebrations, experience the flamboyantly violent and mind-blowing sport of Buzkashi, run the Dushanbe Half Marathon or travel on the roof of the world following the ancient silk road from Kyrgyzstan through Tajikistan. All feature in our range of tours available in this place that we guarantee will leave you amazed!

Our tours to Tajikistan are led by our one of our most experienced tour leaders, Rich Beal. Rich has led tours all over the world since 2004, and has personally designed and researched all our Tajikistan tours. Because of his close connection to the country, his fellow Tajik guides and friends like to joke the country is basically his third home (China and Mongolia being first and second)! If you have any questions about these tours, you can contact Rich here.

March 2019

March 21 - March 30 2019

Tajikistan Buzkashi and Persian New Year Tour

Dushanbe to Ancient Sogdia
and the Fergana Valley

See the Buzkashi, Central Asia’s 'most dangerous sport',
and travel to Tajikistan over the Nowruz Persian New
Year.

From 2,200 USD per person

Please apply by 9th March, 2019.

Tajikistan Buzkashi and Persian New Year Tour

Dushanbe to Ancient Sogdia
and the Fergana Valley

See the Buzkashi, Central Asia’s 'most
dangerous sport', and travel to Tajikistan
over the Nowruz Persian New Year.

From 2,200 USD per person

  • Overall

    Travel to Tajikistan over the Nowruz Persian New Year and see the Buzkashi (goat-pulling on horseback), ancient history, and breathtaking scenery.

    As a crossroads of Central Asia and the Silk Road, Tajikistan has a rich and vibrant culture bringing together Persian, Greek, Turkic, Mongol, Russian, and Soviet culture throughout the ages.

    Beginning from the capital Dushanbe, centre of modern Tajik culture, we’ll explore southern Tajikistan and set out across the countryside to find the Buzkashi. Watch as hundreds of horsemen work in teams and as individuals to pull a goat carcass though a goal. Dubbed the ‘world’s most dangerous sport’, Buzkashi is a sight to behold!

    We’ll then head north over the beautiful and rugged Fann Mountains in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Babur, the first Mughal emperor, on the way stopping at the colossal Khoja Obi Garm Soviet sanatorium - a gigantic Bond villain-like hideout - and the crystal clear waters of Lake Alexander, and pass through the 5 km long Anzob tunnel before reaching the Sughd region, once ancient Sogdia at the mouth of the Fergana Valley.

    This tour will be led by expert tour leader Rich Beal, who has extensive experience planning and leading tours throughout Tajikistan and Central Asia. Because of Rich's close connection to the country, his fellow Tajik guides and friends like to joke the country is basically his third home (China and Mongolia being first and second)!

    Looking to travel the Pamir Highway? See Koryo Tours’ Pamir Highway Mountain Crossroads Tour in August from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to Dushanbe, Tajikistan on the M41 Highway through the Pamir Mountains.

    Please see below for the Buzkashi and Persian New Year Tour highlights, itinerary, and additional information.

    Highlights

    • Travel north across the stunning landscape of the Fann Mountains.
    • Drive through the infamous 5-km Anzob Tunnel.
    • Experience Buzkashi (goat-pulling), Central Asia's most dangerous sport
    • Explore the ancient Sogdian culture and the history of the Fergana Valley, crossroads of the world and once the farthest outpost in Alexander the Great’s empire.
    • Get a taste of Czarist Russia at the Arbob Palace, a recreation of St. Petersburg’s Winter Palace in the heart of Central Asia.
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 of 10
    1. Thursday 21 March

      Arrival day in Dushanbe

      AM
      • This morning is a free morning for settling in, exploring and acclimatizing whilst we wait for the whole tour group to arrive on different flights.
      PM
      • After our initial pre-tour meeting and briefing, we drive to the Hissar fortress. This large fort is said to date back to Cyrus the Great (600BC) and to have been captured 21 times by invading forces. Much of this area has been restored, but it has a lovely museum that offers a nice introduction to this fascinating country - a great chance to learn about the country's history and catch up with local people.
      • Upon our return to Dushanbe we will stop by a local school to photograph an interesting statue of Lenin

      Meals | Lunch and Welcome Dinner in Dushanbe.

      Overnight | Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe. A new hotel located within 5 minutes walk of the main city. This comfortable hotel has beautiful rooms located on a designated floor with free laundry facilities, kitchen area and reading room. Breakfast provided buffet style in the main restaurant area.
    2. Friday 22 March

      Dushanbe City Tour

      AM

      • We begin our day with a morning walking tour of Dushanbe both by car and by foot, visiting the following locations: 

      • Victory Park | Built in 1975 commemorating the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, this Soviet built monument offers great views of Dushanbe. 
      • Rudaki & Somoni Avenues | The two main streets in Dushanbe formally known as Lenin street and Putovskiy street. These grand avenues were renamed in the early 1990s after the poet Rudaki and the ancient king Ismail Somoni. Lined with a mixture of past Soviet architecture and modern Tajik grand buildings.
      • Rudaki Park | A beautifully laid out park with a grand statue of the poet Rudaki, located opposite the brilliant national library building. 
      • Ismaili Somoni Monument | This amazing statue of the the ancient king stands on the former site of Lenin. it is said that Somoni's crown contains 10 kilograms of Tajik gold. 
      • Mehrgon market building | With many of the cities old market places now closed in Dushanbe's drive for modernization we visit one of the new areas where local people travel to buy fruit and vegetables as well as other necessities. 
      PM
      • National Museum of Antiquities | this museum gives us a more in-depth look at the complicated history of Tajikistan and the surrounding countries.
      • Botanical Gardens | Popular for wedding groups as well as housing a vast range of Central Asian flora.
      • National Tea house | For end-of-day relaxation this was once the largest tea house in the world, but it has now been remodeled as an entertainment facility for local people. now holding a cinema, bowling alleys and various shops. we can still visit to view the amazingly intricate work carried out in its construction.  

      Meals | Breakfast and Lunch.

      Overnight |  Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe. 
    3. Saturday 23 March

      Anzob Village and the Varzob Valley

      AM

      • After breakfast we drive out of Dushanbe following the Varzob River north to the stunning Varzob Valley along the way we pass scenic lakes, stunning geological formations, and bizarre palatial residences of the Tajik elite. 
      • Our destination for the morning is the the small village of Anzob, where we join our friends for some traditional Tajik hospitality at their home. For those whom wish to we can hike into the mountains for amazing views of the surrounding valley.
      PM
      • Upon our return to Dushanbe, if there are any local events such as holiday wrestling, dancing or singing we will stop making the most of our time.
      • Late afternoon is left to free time for your own explorations and adventures in Dushanbe - holiday decorations would be up by now and a lively atmosphere on the weekend can be expected.

      Meals | Breakfast and Lunch.

      Overnight | 
      Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe. 
    4. Sunday March 24

      The Buzkashi, Tajikistan and Central Asia's most exciting and dangerous sport

      AM

      • 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! Please note that we may have a long drive as the location of this spectacular event does change from year to year. The aim is to arrive when the event is in the throes of setting up watching the competitors arrive. We will stay until the end so as to make the best use of our time for photography and enjoyment.

      PM

      • The day will be spent at the sports fields, in addition to Buzkashi there may be wrestling and dancing giving us the opportunity for mingling and people-watching considered to be the friendliest people in all of Central Asia. Snacks and drinks are often available for sale. As well as an incredible day is assured.
      Meals | Breakfast and Lunch.

      Overnight |
      Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe.
    5. Monday 25 March

      The Fann Mountains and the surreal Khoja Obi Garm Spa

      AM

      • After a later start today we will drive through the mountains until we reach our destination; the 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 true relic of the USSR days.

      PM

      • Once settled in 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!

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

      Overnight | Khoja Obi Garm Spa, Fann Mountains. The rooms in this Soviet monster are a little more basic and older, although warm and comfortable. Use of many of the health facilities is included whilst also giving us to opportunity to explore this surreal complex late into the evening (if you’re brave enough.)

    6. Tuesday 26  March 

      Drive to Khujand, farthest extent of Alexander the Great's empire

      AM

      • This morning we bid farewell to our villains lair and drive onwards to the northern city of Khujand, passing over and through the Hissar Mountains the route itself is part of the adventure including a drive into the 5km long Iranian-built Anzob Tunnel. On the way we will stop at Iskander Kul – Alexander Lake –where Alexander the Great himself stopped for lunch during his advance through Central Asia.

      PM

      • We continue on and 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!
      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.  

      Overnight | Bahoriston Hotel, Qayraqqum. A hotel resort located around 15 mins drive from Khujand. Nestled on the banks of the Kayrakum reservoir the hotel is a comfortable yet bizarre option, combining pseudo-Romanesque architecture whilst reliving the cult seventies.

    7. Wednesday 27 March

      Explore Khujand

      AM

      • A day of exploration today as we first stop by the traditional Panjshanbe Market one of the largest in Central Asia. We immerse ourselves in local life whilst trying to pick up a bargain or two buying everything from local snacks to Soviet memorabilia.
      • Opposite the market sits the beautiful Sheikh Muslihiddin Mausoleum and Mosque. This complex was erected on the Tomb of Muslihiddin Khudjandi the sixteenth century building allows us to learn a little more about Islam in central Asia whilst also marveling at the ancient carpentry from inside the main prayer hall.  
      • Before lunch, we have one more stop to visit the Khujand fortress, this Silk Road fortification has been in situ for over 2500 years in its many forms. Its current build includes a fascinating museum looking at the history of not only the area but the whole region.

      PM

      • After a local lunch we continue the tour of the city by visiting the giant statue of Lenin (the biggest in Central Asia,) and on to the bizarre Arbob Cultural Palace originally housing the former headquarters of a Soviet collective farm. It was designed as a recreation of the St. Petersburg Winter Palace and built during the Soviet 1950's. This is a fantastic local curiosity.
      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. 

      Overnight |
      Bahoriston Hotel, Qayraqqum.
    8. Thursday 28 March

      Drive to ancient Panjikent

      AM

      • Departing Khujand, we retrace some of our route back over the Fann Mountains before following a stunning river valley on to the ancient city of Panjikent. The drive is a real treat as apricot blossoms dot the countryside our only other distraction as we’re dwarfed by the huge geological features evident in this part of the world. 
      • We will make a detour en route to visit the tomb and Museum of Rudaki – (Panjikent is the birthplace of Abu Abdullah Rudaki, considered by many to be the father of Persian poetry)

      PM

      • This afternoon we have a historical tour of ancient Panjikent, viewing ruins of the Sogdian town founded in the 5th century and finally abandoned in the 8th century by the Arabs after their conquest of the region. Foundations of houses, a citadel city bazaar, and Zoroastrian fire temples are all visible as we walk around this UNESCO listed site. Dinner tonight will be a traditional style in a beautiful local home.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

      Overnight | Sugd Hotel, Panjikent. This locally owned and run hotel is a small guest house with comfortable rooms, beds and warm showers. The owner is always happy to engage guests in conversation, often sharing his travel stories of his visits to Europe. 

    9. Friday 29 March

      Return to Dushanbe

      AM

      • This morning we bid farewell to Panjikent but not before a stop as its interesting and colourful local market. Driving out back to the Fann Mountains we will visit an old Soviet Cognac factory we have the opportunity to sample its produce and photograph this large partially abandoned site.

      PM

      • By mid afternoon, we arrive back into Dushanbe where you can make the use of your free afternoon for some last minute sightseeing into one of the history museums, local shopping or browsing one of the unique Soviet-era antique shops
      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

      Overnight | Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe. 

    10. Saturday 30 April

      Departure day 
      • All group members will be taken to the airport for their individual flights as we bid each other a fond goodbye after this eventful epic journey!

      Extensions are possible to other regions of Tajikistan and beyond– please speak to your Tour Manager to discuss options.

      End of Tour

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Airport pick up and drop off to and from Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe.
      Hotel accommodation
      Tajiki tour guides
      A driver per group
      A member or Koryo Tours
      All transportation in the country
      All entry fees for attractions and sights
    • Not included
      Flights to Tajikistan
      Single room supplement unless otherwise specified (US $50 per night)
      Early check-in US $50 per night.
      Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
      Tajikistan visa fees at other embassies vary
      Tip for the guides (approx. US $15 per day)
      Not all meals are covered but we will make recommendations if needed
      We occasionally have the opportunity to visit a performance which is extra
  • Notes

    VISA APPLICATION TO TAJIKISTAN

    It is now possible to purchase your visa online, which makes our visit to Tajikistan a lot easier.

    Please see the following link for more information: https://www.evisa.tj
    Upon booking we will help should any further information be required.

    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.

    USEFUL TIPS

    Taxis – In 2017 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.

    WEATHER

    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, 2019.

April 2019

April 18 - April 25 2019

Run Dushanbe Long tour

Dushanbe International Half Marathon
Tour - running again in 2019!

7-night tour exploring unknown Tajikistan and run in the AIMS certified Dushanbe
Half Marathon. Marvel at its scenery, discover its history and meet the friendliest
people we know!

From 1,500 USD per person

Please apply by 30th March, 2019.

Run Dushanbe Long tour

Dushanbe International Half Marathon
Tour - running again in 2019!

7-night tour exploring unknown Tajikistan and run in
the AIMS certified Dushanbe Half Marathon. Marvel at
its scenery, discover its history and meet the friendliest
people we know!

From 1,500 USD per person

  • Overall

    Incredible, yet relatively unknown, Tajikistan is one of the most unique countries in the world. Sitting in Central Asia, it not only has fascinating history as a former Soviet bloc country, but the friendliest people you will ever meet and the most incredible breathtaking scenery. This tour will not only get you there to experience all of this, but to also join in the local Tajik celebrations for their 'Day of the City' running in the 2019 Dushanbe International Half Marathon - an AIMS certified race.

    Learn more about the marathon and Tajikistan at www.rundushanbe.com

    This tour will be led by our one of our most experienced tour leaders, Rich Beal. Rich has led tours all over the world since 2004, and has personally designed and researched all our Tajikistan tours. Because of his close connection to the country, his fellow Tajik guides and friends like to joke the country is basically his third home (China and Mongolia being first and second)!

    Highlights

    • Participate in the little known Dushanbe half marathon, as the streets are lined with locals cheering you on
    • Expect more as this is the 10th city day, horse racing, dancing and more
    • Explore the UNESCO-listed ruins of ancient Panjikent
    • Journey across the beautiful snow-capped Fan mountains
    • Camp on the shores of stunning glacial Lake Alexander
    • Get a massage at the surreal Soviet health spa of Khoja Obi Garm, which looks like something straight from a movie
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 of 8
    1. Thursday, April 18th

      AM

      • The tour group meets at 13.30 in the hotel reception for an orientation & introduction meeting.

      PM

      • Afternoon drive to Hissar Fortress. This large and impressive site is said to date back to the days of Cyrus the Great (around 600BC) and to have been captured 21 times by invading forces – making one question how effective a fortress it is!. Much of this area has been restored over the years and there is a lovely museum offering a nice introduction to the country and history- a great chance to learn about the country's history and catch up with local people who also visit the site.

      • Upon our return to Dushanbe we will stop by a local school to photograph an interesting statue of Lenin, a soviet remnant, and learn a bit about the educational system too
      Meals: Lunch, dinner

      Overnight:

      Hotel Vatan – newly built and with an excellent location. This comfortable hotel has beautiful rooms located on a designated floor with free laundry facilities, kitchen area, and reading room. Breakfast provided buffet style in the main restaurant area.

    2. Friday, April 19th

      AM

      • We begin with a half-day walking tour of the sleepy capital of Dushanbe, including Victory Park, Rudaki Street, Central Park, Monument of Ismaili Somoni. We will also follow the route of the Dushanbe Marathon. Along this route, we will learn about the development of the city over the years. From its ancient origins to the Soviet-era (when it was called Frunze), to modern-day Dushanbe

      PM

      • This afternoon is free for further exploration or for training for tomorrow’s big event, we have secured the use of Dushanbe’s premier gym should you wish to work out and get ready for the adventure ahead!
      Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

      Overnight: Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe

    3. Saturday, April 20th

      AM

      • Today is our main event! We make an early start for this unique opportunity; The Dushanbe International Half Marathon! Running with local athletes and amateurs, winding through the city, a life-changing experience – medals and prizes for finishers and winners!

      PM

      • After the morning’s exertions, you deserve some rest! Therefore the afternoon will be free for relaxation or for further exploration with your tour leader visiting the nearby local market for some local flavours and experiences.
      • We also expect celebrations in some local parks to mark the City Day Holiday. So we will find them and join in, the most welcoming people in the world will definitely show you a good time on this occasion – be ready for some socializing and great photo opportunities too! 
      • Tonight we have a special invite to the City day celebrations dress smartly as there may well be important guests. Dancing singing and awards will be the flavour of the night.
      Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

      Overnight: Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe

    4. Sunday, April 21st 

      AM

      • The tour continues as we depart Dushanbe and follow the Varzob river into the mountains, driving up through the Varzob Gorge where we will stop on the way for photos of this scenic area. Our goal for this morning is the small village of Takob. Upon arrival, we will hike for 30 minutes through this hamlet where we will be rewarded by a visit to a local family whose home has amazing views of the surrounding area

      PM

      • We will have lunch given to us in the local Tajik way; sitting on the floor. You will lose count of the number of courses!
      • We continue our drive through the mountains until we reach our destination;  the 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 true relic of the USSR days.
      • 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!
      Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight:

      Khoja Obi Garm Spa - the rooms in this Soviet monster are a little more basic and older, although warm and comfortable. Use of many of the health facilities is included whilst also giving us to opportunity to explore this surreal complex late into the evening (if you’re brave enough.)

    5. Monday, April 22nd

      AM

      • We begin with a long drive from the health resort over mountain roads out across the Fan Mountains working our way up through the ‘Tunnel of Death’ – an Iranian-built long road tunnel burrowing under he mountains, the nickname overstates the danger but it can be nerve-wracking although it is very safe in reality. We stop along the way from breathtaking shots of this beautiful mountain range. Our destination is Panjikent. If time permits we will make a detour en route to visit the tomb and Museum of Rudaki – (Panjikent is the birthplace of Abu Abdullah Rudaki, considered by many to be the father of Persian poetry)

      PM

      • This afternoon we have a historical tour of ancient Panjikent, viewing ruins of the Sogdian town founded in the 5th century and finally abandoned in the 8th century by the Arabs after their conquest of the region. Foundations of houses, a citadel city bazaar, and Zoroastrian fire temples are all visible as we walk around this UNESCO listed site. Dinner tonight will be a traditional style in a beautiful local home.
      Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight:

      Local Hotel - Here we stay in one of the locally owned and run hotel with comfortable rooms, beds and warm showers.  
    6. Tuesday, April 23rd

      AM

      • This morning we bid farewell to Panjikent but not before a stop as its interesting and colourful local market. Driving out back to the Fan Mountains we will stop at an old Soviet Cognac factory we have the opportunity to sample its produce and photograph this large partially abandoned site.

       PM

      • We drive along small mountain roads past local villages, abandoned factories, and scenic and stunning views. Eventually arriving at the remote and secluded Iskanderkul (Alexander Lake – named for Alexander the Great). We have the option of hiking or relaxing by its beautiful shores. The lake sits at an altitude of 2195 metres; a stunning alpine body of water.
      Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight:

      Alexander Lake Guesthouse - we stay in a small mountain village seemingly cut off from the outside world with the mountains as our backdrop. , for those who wish you may watch sunset and sunrise (recommended!) in this location there are is no single room availability. The facilities may be basic but the surrounding countryside needs to be seen. 

    7. Wednesday, April 24th
      • Overnight: Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe

        • After a relaxing morning for photos, further hiking or sleeping, we return over the mountain pass to Dushanbe. We should arrive into the capital mid-afternoon. You can make the use of your free afternoon for some last minute sightseeing into one of the history museums, local shopping or browsing one of the unique Soviet-era antique shops

    8. Thursday April 25th

      End of tour. All group members will be taken to the airport for their individual flights as we bid each other a fond goodbye after this eventful epic journey!

      Extensions are possible – please speak to your Tour Manager to discuss options.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Airport pick up and drop off to and from Vatan, Dushanbe.
      Hotel accommodation
      A Koryo Tours leader, Tajiki tour guides and a driver per group
      Marathon Entry Fee
      Warm up in Dushanbe's no 1 Gym pre-marathon
      All transportation in the country
      All entry fees for attractions and sights
      Meal's where listed
    • Not included
      Flights to Tajikistan
      Single room supplement (unless otherwise specified, US $50 per night)
      Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
      Tajikistan visa (visa fees vary at different embassies)
      Tip for the guides, drivers, porters and local crew ( US $120 for the tour).
      We occasionally have the opportunity to visit a performance - this is to be paid on the spot

Please apply by 30th March, 2019.

April 18 - April 22 2019

Run Dushanbe Short tour

New Tour for 2019 - Dushanbe International
Half Marathon Short Tour!

4 -night tour exploring Dushanbe and running in their AIMS certified Half
Marathon. Plus join in the local celebrations for the 10th anniversary
of the Day of the City!

From 1,100 USD per person

Please apply by 30th March, 2019.

Run Dushanbe Short tour

New Tour for 2019 - Dushanbe International
Half Marathon Short Tour!

4 -night tour exploring Dushanbe and running in
their AIMS certified Half Marathon. Plus join in
the local celebrations for the 10th anniversary
of the Day of the City!

From 1,100 USD per person

  • Overall

    Incredible, yet relatively unknown, Tajikistan is one of the most unique countries in the world. Sitting in Central Asia, it not only has fascinating history as a former Soviet bloc country, but the friendliest people you will ever meet and the most incredible breath taking scenery. This tour will not only get you there to experience all of this, but to also join in the local Tajik celebrations for their 'Day of the City' running in the 2019 Dushanbe International Half Marathon - an AIMS certified race.

    Learn more about the marathon and Tajikistan at www.rundushanbe.com

    This tour will be led by our one of our most experienced tour leaders, Rich Beal. Rich has led tours all over the world since 2004, and has personally designed and researched all our Tajikistan tours. Because of his close connection to the country, his fellow Tajik guides and friends like to joke the country is basically his third home (China and Mongolia being first and second)!

    Highlights

    • Participate in the little known Dushanbe half marathon, as the streets are lined with locals cheering you on
    • Get a massage at the surreal Soviet health spa of Khoja Obi Garm, which looks like something straight from a movie.
    • A tour designed for those on a shorter time frame whom would still like to scratch the surface of this beautiful country.
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 of 5
    1. Thursday April 18th

      AM

      • The tour group meets at 13.30 in the hotel reception for an orientation & introduction meeting.

      PM

      • Afternoon drive to Hissar Fortress. This large and impressive site is said to date back to the days of Cyrus the Great (around 600BC) and to have been captured 21 times by invading forces – making one question how effective a fortress it is!. Much of this area has been restored over the years and there is a lovely museum offering a nice introduction to the country and history- a great chance to learn about the country's history and catch up with local people who also visit the site.

      • Upon our return to Dushanbe we will stop by a local school to photograph an interesting statue of Lenin, a soviet remnant, and learn a bit about the educational system too
      Meals: Lunch, dinner

      Overnight: Hotel Vatan – newly built and with an excellent location. This comfortable hotel has beautiful rooms located on a designated floor with free laundry facilities, kitchen area, and reading room. Breakfast provided buffet style in the main restaurant area.

    2. Friday, April 19th

      AM

      • We begin with a half-day walking tour of the sleepy capital of Dushanbe, including Victory Park, Rudaki Street, Central Park, Monument of Ismaili Somoni. We will also follow the route of the Dushanbe Marathon. Along this route, we will learn about the development of the city over the years. From its ancient origins to the Soviet-era (when it was called Frunze), to modern-day Dushanbe

      PM

      • This afternoon is free for further exploration or for training for tomorrow’s big event, we have secured the use of Dushanbe’s premier gym should you wish to work out and get ready for the adventure ahead!
      Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

        Overnight: Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe

      • Saturday, April 20th

        AM

        • Today is our main event! We make an early start for this unique opportunity; The Dushanbe International Half Marathon! Running with local athletes and amateurs, winding through the city, a life-changing experience – medals and prizes for finishers and winners!

        PM

        • After the morning’s exertions, you deserve some rest! Therefore the afternoon will be free for relaxation or for further exploration with your tour leader visiting the nearby local market for some local flavours and experiences.
        • We also expect celebrations in some local parks to mark the City Day Holiday. So we will find them and join in, the most welcoming people in the world will definitely show you a good time on this occasion – be ready for some socializing and great photo opportunities too! Be prepared for Dancing and horse racing.  
        • Tonight we have a special invite to the City day celebrations to enjoy a show, dress smartly as there will be important guests.
        Meals: Breakfast and dinner

          Overnight: Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe

        • Sunday, April 21st

          AM

          • The tour continues as we depart Dushanbe and follow the Varzob river into the mountains, driving up through the Varzob Gorge where we will stop on the way for photos of this scenic area. Our goal for this morning is the small village of Takob. Upon arrival, we will hike for 30 minutes through this hamlet where we will be rewarded by a visit to a local family whose home has amazing views of the surrounding area

          PM

          • We will have lunch given to us in the local Tajik way; sitting on the floor. You will lose count of the number of courses!
          • We continue our drive through the mountains until we reach our destination;  the 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 true relic of the USSR days.
          • 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!
          • After dinner, you will be taken back to Dushanbe ready for your final night.

          Overnight: Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe

        • Monday April 22nd

          End of tour. All group members will be taken to the airport for their individual flights as we bid each other a fond goodbye after this eventful epic journey!

          Extensions are possible – please speak to your Tour Manager to discuss options.


      • What is / is not included?

        • Included
          Airport pick up and drop off to and from Vatan, Dushanbe.
          Hotel accommodation
          A Koryo Tours leader, Tajiki tour guides and a driver per group
          Marathon Entry Fee
          Warm up in Dushanbe's no 1 Gym pre-marathon
          All transportation in the country
          All entry fees for attractions and sights
          Meals where listed
        • Not included
          Flights to Tajikistan
          Single room supplement (unless otherwise specified, US $50 per night)
          Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
          Tajikistan visa (visa fees vary at different embassies)
          Tip for the guides, drivers, porters and local crew ( US $ 70 for the tour).
          We occasionally have the opportunity to visit a performance - this is to be paid on the spot

      Please apply by 30th March, 2019.

      August 2019

      August 17 - August 27 2019

      The Mountain Crossroads Long Tour

      Travel across the
      roof of the world !

      This 10-night tour traces the route of the ancient Silk Road and the adventures of Marco Polo. Starting in the
      capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, we will follow the M41 Pamir Highway to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, while passing
      the most amazing mountain scenery.

      From 2,700 USD per person

      Please apply by 1st August, 2019.

      The Mountain Crossroads Long Tour

      Travel across the
      roof of the world !

      This 10-night tour traces the route of the ancient Silk Road and the adventures
      of Marco Polo. Starting in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, we will follow
      the M41 Pamir Highway to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, while passing the most amazing
      mountain scenery.

      From 2,700 USD per person

      • Overall

        This tour starts in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. We visit the fascinating capital of Bishkek before flying to Osh. Where we join the tour members on the shorter to follow the route of the historical M41 Pamir Highway. We will cross into Tajikistan over high passes and past beautiful lakes and snow capped mountains. Staying in small towns and villages along the way, this journey will take you to some of this region’s most remote but rewarding destinations, to ultimately arrive in Dushanbe — Tajikistan’s lovely, laid back capital.

        This tour will be led by our one of our most experienced tour leaders, Rich Beal. Rich has led tours all over the world since 2004, and has personally designed and researched all our Tajikistan tours. Because of his close connection to the country, his fellow Tajik guides and friends like to joke the country is basically his third home (China and Mongolia being first and second)!

      • Itinerary

        Day 1 of 11
        1. Saturday 17th August

          After arrival in Biskek, Kyrgyzstan all group members will be met at the airport and be taken to the tour hotel. We will gather at 13:00 in the hotel reception for our tour briefing and orientation. We will start city tour of Bishkek the capital city of Kyrgyzstan.

          We begin our visit by stopping at the Osh bazaar an amazing produce market which gives us our first chance of taking photos of local life. After experiencing the shopping with the locals we stop at the building of the National Philharmonic, this Soviet-style building is an imposing structure dominating the surrounding area. To Learn more about Kyrgyzstan a stop at the Central square Ala Too and the State Historical Museum is a must. Whilst a short tour of Oak Park gives us the chance to view some local sculptures as well as the Open-air art gallery. on route to our final stop, we will call at Victory Square the traditional state department store ZUM once located in most capital cities across the USSR.

          Meals: Lunch and dinner.

          Overnight: 3-4 star hotel

        2. Sunday August 18th

          After an early morning flight arriving in Osh, we will first drive to our hotel and check in before lunch.

          In the afternoon, we will tour the city and visit the Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain and its various sites. This beautiful area has amazing views over Osh and was once a place of worship for Muslims as well as earlier pre-Islamic people. It is also one of Kyrgyzstan's first UNESCO listed sites.

          At the top of the mountain, we will view the Babur's house, which is now a mosque. The history of this small building is fascinating, and we'll learn about the stories surrounding it. Other sites that we will visit on the mountain are the Tahti Suleiman Mosque, a cave complex and the Museum of Suleiman.

          Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner.

          Overnight:

          The Classic hotel: this aptly named hotel is conveniently located in the heart of this thriving city within walking distance of some of the main city sites.

        3. Monday August 19th

          This morning we visit the Jaima Bazaar, an amazing market that is one of the largest in Central Asia and sells everything you could possibly need and a lot you wouldn’t! Locals say Jaima Bazaar has been in existence for over 2000 years. We will have some time to explore the stalls and see trade being conducted from the backs of old shipping containers and the remains of Soviet-era trucks. Practice your haggling skills before lunch.

          This afternoon we begin our adventure with a drive to the village of Sary-Tash through the high Taldyk Pass. This road was constructed between 1930 and 1932, and offers some grand views as we snake up over 3615 meters.

          After our first day of driving we stay in this remote village with a population of only 1500 hardy souls. This backwater is surrounded by high mountains, seemingly cut off from the world outside.

          Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          Overnight:
          Sary Tosh(village) guest house: Along the route this accommodation is a real mix of local home stay and traditional style guest house.














        4. Tuesday August 20th

          After an early start we leave heading out back onto the highway, driving up through the Kyzyl Art border point up to 4,280 m. We say goodbye to our Kyrgyz guides and drivers and greet our Tajik hosts at the Kizil Art border point. The stark landscape on our route will make for some great photography as we make stops along the way. We are now in the Republic of Tajikistan!

          After lunch we continue on to Karakul Lake. This high altitude lake was formed millions of years ago after a meteorite impact. We will stop here to enjoy the stunning views of the lake with the snow-capped Lenin Peak (which reaches 7134m, but is considered one of the easiest 7000m peaks in the world to climb) as its backdrop.

          We drive upwards over the 4650m Ak-Baital Pass, the highest point on the M41 (Pamir) highway. In Tajikistan it is said that you are closest to the moon here, not only for the height of the place, but also due to the scenery looking like a lunar landscape. We eventually arrive in Murgab — formerly known as the Pamirsky Post, which was founded by the Russians in 1893 as their most advanced military outpost and remains the highest town in Tajikistan at 3,618 metres. The town is now home to around 4000 inhabitants. In Murgab, we will pay an afternoon visit to the local bazaar, the nearby Lenin statue and some Soviet reliefs.

          Before dinner we will stop by a local yak herder's house to see what life is like in these remote regions of the country as well as learning just one herds yak!

          Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          Overnight:
          Hotel Pamir: in this small town the hotel Pamir may be basic but offers us hot showers and relatively comfortable beds. whilst nestling among a backdrop of mountains akin to a lunar landscape.
        5. Wednesday August 21st

          Today we drive to Langar village, continuing along the Pamir highway over the Khargush Pass at 4344 meters, driving past mountain lakes and arid lunar landscapes. We will stop for photographs as we go.

          The pass leads us out to the Wakhan Valley, which runs for about 350km sandwiched between the Pamir and the Karakorum mountain ranges. This valley supports around 12,000 inhabitants in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Along the route we will follow the Panj River as it flows along the border with Afghanistan. We will regularly stop to take photos of the beautiful landscapes; time permitting we will also view some ancient petroglyphs (rock carvings).

          We will stay the night in Langar village, (not to be confused with the village of the same name just across the border in Afghanistan)

          Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          Overnight:
          Local guesthouse:




        6. Thursday August 22nd

          After breakfast and a short walk though the village, we continue along the Panj River and the border with Afghanistan following the Wakhan corridor.

          We will stop at Vrang village to see Osorkhonai Abdullo Ansori and its museum. This once-important site is well worth the visit to view the ancient cave dwellings of Buddhist monks who lived here in the past, at the fringes of Buddhist civilisation.

          As we continue onwards after lunch, we will tour the  Kahkaha Fortress — to view the remains of this 4th century A.D fortress. This once-great, clay-built fortification is said to be named after a legendary epic hero; a king of fire worshippers. Its ruins now offer views of the surrounding countryside as well as a history lesson.

          Our aim today is to make it to the town of Khorogh, the regional capital of the GBO area (Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region) with a population of 28,000. We will be able to squeeze in a chance to relax or soak in the outdoor Garm Chashma Hot Springs and the grave of Nosiri Khisrav Qabodieni.

          Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          Accommodation:
          Hotel LA'L: This newly built hotel offers us a welcome break on our journey, within a great setting and comfortable rooms. A little heavy on the decoration of carpets and rocks but it certainly has a quirky feel.





        7. Friday August 23rd

          We continue our journey along the Panj River bordering Afghanistan, following the route of the old Silk Road and tracing in the footsteps of explorers such as Marco Polo.

          On our drive today we will visit the many small towns and villages that line this well trodden path. In Rushan, Dekh, Amun, and Kevran we will visit local family homes and catch a glimpse of life in this remote corner of the world. Local people across this region are very friendly and welcoming. We will not be there to exoticise them but to interact, the hear what their lives are like, to learn and experience even in brief moments a little bit of commonality – you’ll see when we are there what a treat this can be!

          Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          Overnight:
          Karon Palace hotel: A jewel in this interesting gateway town. This hotel looks out of place with its gold trim and blue shaded windows. Although with its soft beds, warm showers and clean rooms it offers a relaxing stay.
















        8. Saturday August 24th

          As we continue to trace the Panj River, we eventually bid farewell to the Pamir territory and enter Khatlon Province - Located in the Southeast of the country and one of the least visited parts of Tajikistan.

          During the Soviet period, this was also one of the country's poorest regions, We will stop to view towns and cities along the way while looking out for the Soviet architecture dotted around this area. One of these towns is Shurobod, where very few changes have taken place since independence was achieved in 1991. Here we will stop here to see impressive mosaics of Lenin that remain on the side of the buildings.

          We will also stop at Kulyab, the center of Khatlon province and fourth biggest town in Tajikistan. Kulyab has a history stretching back over 2500 years and borders Afghanistan. We will walk around the city, stop in at the local museum, and visit the market (one of the best ways to mix with the locals and their culture).

          Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          Overnight:
          Khatlon Hotel: This hotel offers us a hotel designed during the period of the Soviet Union. Giving us the chance to relax after our long day in a traditional soviet hotel.






        9. Sunday August 25th

          Today is our final drive on the M41 Pamir Highway as we drive to towards the national capital, Dushanbe. En route we will stop to see the amazing Khulbuk Fortress, built in the 9th - 12th centuries AD and once a governor's palace. The fortress has been shortlisted at UNESCO as a place of "outstanding universal value to the world".

          Later, we will also stop to view Norak Basin - a large reservoir that was created in 1961 when the 300 meter Nurek Dam was constructed. The dam is currently the second highest in the world. Unfortunately, we cannot get right next to it, but we can view it from a distance.

          We make our final leg driving into the Dushanbe city for a well-deserved rest! We'll have dinner, and afterwards will have the opportunity to have a much needed drink in one of Dushanbe's bars – the first one is on us!

          Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          *Overnight:
          Hotel Vatan: a new hotel located within 5 minutes walk of the main city. this comfortable hotel has beautiful rooms located on a designated floor with free laundry facilities, kitchen area and reading room. Breakfast provided buffet style in the main restaurant area.




        10. Monday August 26th

          This morning we begin our day with a city tour of Dushanbe. We will visit Victory Park on the hills above Dushanbe, where we'll have great views of the city. We will then stop on Rudaki Street to walk to Dushanbe's Central Park, stopping for photos at the Monument of Ismaili Somoni that is situated on the site of the old Lenin statue. Passing Rudaki Park, we will then walk on to the entrance of the National Museum where we will learn a little more about the beautiful country we have been visiting.

          After lunch we will drive to the Victory tank monument (“Oslinie Ushi” — “The donkey ears", the local name for this monument), and visit the botanical gardens, before finishing our day with a visit to the world’s largest tea house with its amazingly decadent interior.

          Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          *Overnight:
          Hotel Vatan:



        11. Tuesday August 27th

          Departure day! Airport transfers are provided for everyone regardless of the time of flight or where you are going.

          There is also the option of extending your room until a later date – contact us to discuss this

          End of Tour

      • What is / is not included?

        • Included
          Airport pick up and drop at the start and end of tour.
          half day tour in Bishkek
          Internal flight from Bishkek to Osh
          Hotel accommodation
          Tajiki tour guides
          A driver per group
          A member or Koryo Tours
          All transportation in the country
          All entry fees for attractions and sights
        • Not included
          Flights to Tajikistan
          Single room supplement unless otherwise specified (US $50 per night)
          Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
          Tajikistan visa fees this must include GBAO travel permit
          Tip for the guides (approx. US $10 per day)
          Not all meals are covered but we will make recommendations if needed
          We occasionally have the opportunity to visit a performance which is extra

      Please apply by 1st August, 2019.

      August 18 - August 27 2019

      The Pamir Highway Mountain Crossroads Tour

      From Osh to Dushanbe through
      the Pamir Mountains

      The adventure of a lifetime across breathtaking mountains landscapes
      on the famous M41 highway from Krygyzstan to Tajikistan. Our most ambitious
      tour to-date!

      From 2,300 USD per person

      Please apply by 1st August, 2019.

      The Pamir Highway Mountain Crossroads Tour

      From Osh to Dushanbe through
      the Pamir Mountains

      The adventure of a lifetime across breathtaking
      mountains landscapes on the famous M41 highway
      from Krygyzstan to Tajikistan. Our most ambitious
      tour to-date!

      From 2,300 USD per person

      • Overall

        The Pamir Highway - known as the M41 - traverses some of the most rugged terrain in the world at the heart of Central Asia. We’ll travel the length of this ancient branch of the Silk Road over high passes, beautiful lakes, and snow-capped mountains, experiencing history and modern Tajik culture along the way.

        Starting in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, we'll travel south to the border of Tajikistan, crossing into the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region. Following the Pamir Highway, we’ll visit Karakul Lake, formed by a meteorite impact, and pass Lenin Peak, the second highest in the Pamir Mountains.

        Our journey will then take us into the Wakhan Valley, on the river-border with Afghanistan, stopping by local villages and markets as well as a mix of historic sites and monuments associated with the Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Islamic, Russian, and Soviet civilizations.

        We’ll then continue into the Tajik heartland and ultimately arrive in Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s friendly laid-back capital, for a tour of the city before we end this overland adventure of a lifetime.

        This tour will be led by Koryo Tours’ tour leader Rich Beal, who has extensive experience leading tours in Tajiksitan and Central Asia. Because of Rich's close connection to Tajikistan, our fellow Tajik guides like to joke the country is his third home (China and Mongolia being first and second)!

        Each March, Rich also leads our annual Buzkashi and Nowruz Tour in March to western Tajikistan.

        Please see below for the highlights, itinerary, and additional information for the Pamir Highway Mountain Crossroads Tour.

        Highlights

        • The Pamir Highway and Pamir Mountains
        • The Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region
        • Breathtaking Karakul Lake
        • The Wakhan Valley and border with Afghanistan
        • Rural Tajik culture, markets, and historic sites
        • Laid-back Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan
      • Itinerary

        Day 1 of 10
        1. Sunday August 18

          Arrival in Osh and city tour

          After arrival in Osh, Kyrgyzstan all group members will be met at the airport and be taken to the tour hotel. We will gather at 13:00 in the hotel reception for our tour briefing and orientation.

          In the afternoon, we will tour the city and visit the Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain and its various sites. This beautiful area has amazing views over Osh and was once a place of worship for Muslims as well as earlier pre-Islamic people. It is also one of Kyrgyzstan's first UNESCO listed sites.

          At the top of the mountain we will view the Babur's house, which is now a mosque. The history of this small building is fascinating, and we'll learn about the stories surrounding it. Other sites that we will visit on the mountain are the Tahti Suleiman Mosque, a cave complex and the Museum of Sulaiman.

          Meals | Lunch and dinner.

          Overnight | The Classic Hotel, Osh. This aptly named hotel is conveniently located in the heart of this thriving city within walking distance of some of the main city sites.

        2. Monday August 19

          Our journey on the M41 begins! 

          This morning we visit the Jaima Bazaar, an amazing market that is one of the largest in Central Asia and sells everything you could possibly need and a lot you wouldn’t! Locals say Jaima Bazaar has been in existence for over 2000 years. We will have some time to explore the stalls and see trade being conducted from the backs of old shipping containers and the remains of Soviet-era trucks. Practice your haggling skills before lunch.

          This afternoon we begin our adventure with a drive to the village of Sary-Tash through the high Taldyk Pass. This road was constructed between 1930 and 1932, and offers some grand views as we snake up over 3615 meters.

          After our first day of driving we stay in this remote village with a population of only 1500 hardy souls. This backwater is surrounded by high mountains, seemingly cut off from the world outside.

          Meals | Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          Overnight | Sary Tosh (village)  Guest House. Along the route this accommodation is a real mix of local homestay and traditional style guest house.
        3. Tuesday August 20

          The Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan Border and Murgab

          After an early start we leave heading out back onto the highway, driving up through the Kyzyl Art border point up to 4,280 m. We say goodbye to our Kyrgyz guides and drivers and greet our Tajik hosts at the Kizil Art border point. The stark landscape on our route will make for some great photography as we make stops along the way. We are now in the Republic of Tajikistan!

          After lunch we continue on to Karakul Lake. This high altitude lake was formed millions of years ago after a meteorite impact. We will stop here to enjoy the stunning views of the lake with the snow-capped Lenin Peak (which reaches 7134m, but is considered one of the easiest 7000m peaks in the world to climb) as its backdrop.

          We drive upwards over the 4650m Ak-Baital Pass, the highest point on the M41 (Pamir) highway. In Tajikistan it is said that you are closest to the moon here, not only for the height of the place, but also due to the scenery looking like a lunar landscape. We eventually arrive in Murgab — formerly known as the Pamirsky Post, which was founded by the Russians in 1893 as their most advanced military outpost and remains the highest town in Tajikistan at 3,618 metres. The town is now home to around 4000 inhabitants. In Murgab, we will pay an afternoon visit to the local bazaar, the nearby Lenin statue and some Soviet reliefs.

          Before dinner we will stop by a local yak herder's house to see what life is like in these remote regions of the country as well as learning just one herds yak!

          Meals | Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          Overnight |  Hotel Pamir, Murgab. The Hotel Pamir may be basic but offers us hot showers and relatively comfortable beds. whilst nestling among a backdrop of mountains akin to a lunar landscape. 
        4. Wednesday August 21

          The Wakhan Valley and Afghanistan border 

          Today we drive to Langar village, continuing along the Pamir highway over the Khargush Pass at 4344 meters, driving past mountain lakes and arid lunar landscapes. We will stop for photographs as we go.

          The pass leads us out to the Wakhan Valley, which runs for about 350km sandwiched between the Pamir and the Karakorum mountain ranges. This valley supports around 12,000 inhabitants in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Along the route we will follow the Panj River as it flows along the border with Afghanistan. We will regularly stop to take photos of the beautiful landscapes; time permitting we will also view some ancient petroglyphs (rock carvings).

          We will stay the night in Langar village, (not to be confused with the village of the same name just across the border in Afghanistan)

          Meals | Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          Overnight | Local guesthouse. Basic facilities. 
        5. Thursday August 22

          Vrang and Khorogh

          After breakfast and a short walk though the village, we continue along the Panj River and the border with Afghanistan following the Wakhan corridor.

          We will stop at Vrang village to see Osorkhonai Abdullo Ansori and its museum. This once-important site is well worth the visit to view the ancient cave dwellings of Buddhist monks who lived here in the past, at the fringes of Buddhist civilisation.

          As we continue onwards after lunch, we will tour the  Kahkaha Fortress — to view the remains of this 4th century A.D fortress. This once-great, clay-built fortification is said to be named after a legendary epic hero; a king of fire worshippers. Its ruins now offer views of the surrounding countryside as well as a history lesson.

          Our aim today is to make it to the town of Khorogh, the regional capital of the GBO area (Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region) with a population of 28,000. We will be able to squeeze in a chance to relax or soak in the outdoor Garm Chashma Hot Springs and the grave of Nosiri Khisrav Qabodieni.

          Meals | Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          Accommodation | Hotel LA'L, Khorogh. This newly built hotel offers us a welcome break on our journey, within a great setting and comfortable rooms. A little heavy on the decoration of carpets and rocks but it certainly has a quirky feel.
        6. Friday August 23

          Along the Panj River

          We continue our journey along the Panj River bordering Afghanistan, following the route of the old Silk Road and tracing in the footsteps of explorers such as Marco Polo.

          On our drive today we will visit the many small towns and villages that line this well trodden path. In Rushan, Dekh, Amun, and Kevran we will visit local family homes and catch a glimpse of life in this remote corner of the world. Local people across this region are very friendly and welcoming. We will not be there to exoticise them but to interact, the hear what their lives are like, to learn and experience even in brief moments a little bit of commonality – you’ll see when we are there what a treat this can be!

          Meals | Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          Overnight | Karon Palace Hotel, Karon. A jewel in this interesting gateway town. This hotel looks out of place with its gold trim and blue shaded windows. Although with its soft beds, warm showers and clean rooms it offers a relaxing stay.
        7. Saturday August 24

          Khation Province, out of the Pamirs

          As we continue to trace the Panj River, we eventually bid farewell to the Pamir territory and enter Khatlon Province - Located in the Southeast of the country and one of the least visited parts of Tajikistan.

          During the Soviet period, this was also one of the country's poorest regions, We will stop to view towns and cities along the way while looking out for the Soviet architecture dotted around this area. One of these towns is Shurobod, where very few changes have taken place since independence was achieved in 1991. Here we will stop here to see impressive mosaics of Lenin that remain on the side of the buildings.

          We will also stop at Kulyab, the center of Khatlon province and fourth biggest town in Tajikistan. Kulyab has a history stretching back over 2500 years and borders Afghanistan. We will walk around the city, stop in at the local museum, and visit the market (one of the best ways to mix with the locals and their culture).

          Meals | Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          Overnight | Khatlon Hotel, Kulyab. This hotel offers us a hotel designed during the period of the Soviet Union. Giving us the chance to relax after our long day in a traditional Soviet hotel.
        8. Sunday August 25

          Arrival in Dushanbe 

          Today is our final drive on the M41 Pamir Highway as we drive to towards the national capital, Dushanbe. En route we will stop to see the amazing Khulbuk Fortress, built in the 9th - 12th centuries AD and once a governor's palace. The fortress has been shortlisted at UNESCO as a place of "outstanding universal value to the world".

          Later, we will also stop to view Norak Basin - a large reservoir that was created in 1961 when the 300 meter Nurek Dam was constructed. The dam is currently the second highest in the world. Unfortunately, we cannot get right next to it, but we can view it from a distance.

          We make our final leg driving into the Dushanbe city for a well-deserved rest! We'll have dinner, and afterwards will have the opportunity to have a much needed drink in one of Dushanbe's bars – the first one is on us!

          Meals | Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          Overnight | Hotel Vatan, Dushanbe. a new hotel located within 5 minutes walk of the main city. this comfortable hotel has beautiful rooms located on a designated floor with free laundry facilities, kitchen area and reading room. Breakfast provided buffet style in the main restaurant area.
        9. Monday August 26

          Dushanbe City Tour

          This morning we begin our day with a city tour of Dushanbe. We will visit Victory Park on the hills above Dushanbe, where we'll have great views of the city. We will then stop on Rudaki Street to walk to Dushanbe's Central Park, stopping for photos at the Monument of Ismaili Somoni that is situated on the site of the old Lenin statue. Passing Rudaki Park, we will then walk on to the entrance of the National Museum where we will learn a little more about the beautiful country we have been visiting.

          After lunch we will drive to the Victory tank monument (“Oslinie Ushi” — “The donkey ears", the local name for this monument), and visit the botanical gardens, before finishing our day with a visit to the world’s largest tea house with its amazingly decadent interior.

          Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

          *Overnight:
          Hotel Vatan:




        10. Tuesday August 27

          Departure day

          Departure day! Airport transfers are provided for everyone regardless of the time of flight or where you are going.

          There is also the option of extending your room until a later date – contact us for more details and possible extension options. 

          End of Tour

      • What is / is not included?

        • Included
          Airport pick up and drop at the start and end of tour.
          Hotel accommodation
          Tajiki tour guides
          A driver per group
          A member or Koryo Tours
          All transportation in the country
          All entry fees for attractions and sights
        • Not included
          Flights to Tajikistan
          Single room supplement unless otherwise specified (US $50 per night)
          Early check-in US $50 per person
          Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
          Tajikistan visa fees this must include GBAO travel permit
          Tip for the guides, drivers, porters and local crew (US 150$).
          Not all meals are covered but we will make recommendations if needed
          We occasionally have the opportunity to visit a performance which is extra

      Please apply by 1st August, 2019.

      Next tour departure dates

      Tajikistan Buzkashi and Persian New Year Tour

      View tour

      Run Dushanbe Long tour

      View tour

      Run Dushanbe Short tour

      View tour

      The Mountain Crossroads Long Tour

      View tour

      The Pamir Highway Mountain Crossroads Tour

      View tour

      info@koryogroup.com | + 86 10 6416 7544
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