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.

info@koryogroup.com | + 86 10 6416 7544
27 Bei Sanlitun Nan (East Courtyard).
Chaoyang District. Beijing 100027. P.R China

中国北京市朝阳区北三里屯南 27 号 (东侧院),
邮编:100027
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