August 15 - August 25 2020

The Pamir Highway Mountain Crossroads 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, 2020.

The Pamir Highway Mountain Crossroads 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. From here, we 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. We stay 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.

    The tour will be led by 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 that Tajikistan is his third home (China and Mongolia being first and second)!


    • Bishkek to Dushanbe road trip of a life-time 
    • Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan, drive next to the Afghanistan border
    • Osh bazaar an amazing produce market which gives us our first chance of taking photos of local life
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 of 11
    1. Saturday 15th 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 the 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. While a short tour of Oak Park gives us the chance to view some local sculptures as well as the Open-air art gallery. Making our way to the final stop, we will make sure to call at Victory Square before reaching the state department store ZUM once located in most capital cities across the USSR.

      Meals: Lunch and dinner

      Overnight: 3-4 star hotel

    2. Sunday 16th August

      • 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 fantastic 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 central city sites.

    3. Monday 17th August

      • This morning we visit the Jaima Bazaar, a fantastic market that is one of the largest in Central Asia and sells everything you could 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. High mountains surround this backwater settlement, 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.



    4. Tuesday18th August

      • 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 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 it is considered one of the most accessible 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, was founded by the Russians in 1893 as their most advanced military outpost and it now remains the highest town in Tajikistan at 3,618 metres. This far-flung settlement 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 (time permitting), we will stop by a local herder's home to see what life is like in these remote regions.

      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. Some facilities may be shared in this Soviet relic.



    5. Wednesday 19th August

      • 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 town of the same name just across the border in Afghanistan).

      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

      Overnight | Local guesthouse



    6. Thursday 20th August

      • After breakfast and a short walk through 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 castle. This once-great, clay-built fortification is said to be named after a legendary hero; known as a king of fire-worshippers. Its ruins now offer views of the surrounding countryside with stunning vistas into neighbouring Afghanistan.
      • 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.



    7. Friday 21st August

      • 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 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 delightful 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 22nd August

      • 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 catch some final glimpses of Afghanistan along the way as well as pass a couple more high passes, impressive but not a reflection on our earlier adventures.
      • We stop at Kulyab, the centre 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). Kulyab is changing rapidly, but mosaics of Lenin remain along with some impressive Soviet architecture.

      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

      Overnight | Khatlon Hotel: This hotel offers us a glimpse of design during the period of the Soviet Union. We are giving us the chance to relax after our long day in a traditional Russian hotel.

    9. Sunday 23rd August

      • 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 fantastic 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 central city. This comfortable hotel has beautiful rooms located on a designated floor with free laundry facilities, kitchen area and reading room. Breakfast provided a buffet-style in the main restaurant area.



    10. Monday 24th August

      • 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 National Flag, 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 25th August

      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?


    • Airport pick up and drop at the start and end of the tour
    • Half-day tour in Bishkek Internal flight from Bishkek to Osh
    • Hotel accommodation
    • Tajiki tour guides
    • A driver per group
    • A member of Koryo Tours
    • All transportation in the country
    • All entry fees for attractions and sights


    • Flights to Tajikistan
    • Single room supplement unless otherwise specified ($50 per night)
    • Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
    • Tajikistan visa fees this must include GBAO travel permit
    • Tip for the guides (approx. $10 per day)
    • Not all meals are covered, but we will make recommendations if needed
    • We occasionally have the opportunity to visit a performance; this may cost extra.

Please apply by 1st August, 2020.

[email protected] | + 86 10 6416 7544
Room A409, Jucai Building. No. 76 Caoyuan Hutong.
Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100027, PR China

中国北京市东城区草园胡同76号聚才大厦A 座409 室,
Download contact card