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Wakhan Explorer

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"Wakhan Explorer"

Day 1. Bishkek
Arrive Bishkek. Meet agent and transfer to hotel. After some chance for rest we visit Tajikistan embassy to apply for visas. Free time to explore the environs or optional sightseeing. PM receive passports with visas. Overnight in hotel. Meals: BLD

Day 2. Bishkek - Osh - Sary Tash (190 km)
Transfer to airport for 40 min Bishkek-Osh flight. Sightseeing of Osh including oriental bazaar - one of the biggest  bazaars  in  Central  Asia,  Suleiman Too  - the sacred hill of local Muslims also known as Solomon throne and local history museum in cave. PM drive to Sary-Tash village (190 km). Here the mountains are Pamirs - the roof of the world. Overnight in homestay. Meals: BLD

Day 3. Sary Tash - Karakul - Murghab
Drive 50 km onwards Kyrgyzstan/Tajikistan border enjoying the views of Lenin peak (7,134 m) which dominates over the area. End of Kyrgyz section at Kyzyl Art pass (4,280 m) which forms the border with Tajikistan. Border formalities might take while befire we drive another 95 km to the shore of Karakul lake which at 3,915 m is too high to support aquatic life. Karakul is the largest of a range of about 800 ancient lakes in the Pamirs which were created by earthquake, tectonic activity and glaciers. By the lakeside, there are some mysterious stone circles. Drive to Murgab (135 km) over Ak-Baital Pass (4,655 m), the highest section of road in the former USSR. Murgab is a center of the most highest mountain region in CIS bordering China. The terrain here is becoming barren and rocky. This region is inhabited by nomadic Kirgyz herders. Murgab is located in a valley at about 3,000 m above sea level and surrounded by high peaks. Also from this point you can see Muztag Ata peak – the highest mountain in Pamirs of 7546m. At night the clear view of the Milky Way is unparalleled. Overnight in homestay. Meals: BLD

Day 4. Murghab - Bulunkul lake - Langar
Long day to approach Wakhan valley. Drive to Bulunkul lake thru picturesque Alichur valley. Bulunkul village of just a several families is a small settelment on the shore of Bulunkul and Yashilkull lakes. Fish lunch with local family following one hour hike to the shore of Yashilkul lake. Get back to main road to drive to Langar (126 km) over Khargush pass of 4,344 m. As we enter the Wakhan, there are amazing views of the Pamirs to the right and the Hindu Kush to the left. On the other side of the pass we cross thru another check point as we now drive along Afghan border. The view is stark and desolate. Arrive Wakhan in the evening. Overnight in Pamiri house. Meals: BLD

Day 5. Langar - Yamchun
In the cool of the morning we make a steep climb above the village and see the petroglyphs carved into the rock, depicting mountain goats, caravans, horse riders with banners, and the Ismaili symbol of a hand. Continue to Vrang where on a cliff-side pitted with caves, stands a Buddhist complex dating from 4th-7th centuries. In Yamchun we stop for Yamchun fort of Fire Worshippers. Further up the hillside are the hot springs at Bibi Fatima. The crystal clear water is full of minerals and very silty, it is possible to take a natural steam bath in a rocky cave. Overnight in homestay. Meals: BLD

Day 6. Yamchun - Ishkashim - Khorog
Drive north to Ishkashim, which stands at the mouth of the Wakhan River valley. This is where the 19th century Great Game ended, when Britain and Russia signed a treaty adding a strip of the Wakhan valley to Afghanistan to create a neutral buffer zone between their two empires. We stop here for quick lunch. Continue to Khorog (130 km) - the center of Gorny Badahshan. Optional stop to bath at the hot, mineral filled springs at Garmchashma on the way. Overnight in guest house. Meals: BLD

Day 7. Khorog
Full day in Khorog exploring the environs and visiting the most highest in the world botanical garden. If that day falls to Saturday morning visit Afghan market to buy traditional Afghan hats and scarfs. Visit small History Museum. Overnight in guest house. Meals: BLD

Day 8. Khorog - Kalaikhumb
Long day drive (240km) to Kalaikhumb – a small village on Pamir Highway. Follow the fascinating road along the Afghan border. On the Tajik side, the road is asphalted and buildings have metal and glass in their construction. On the Afghan side, about 100m away, everything is mud, wood and donkey tracks. Here the people are Pamiris, not Tajiks, a number of separate tribal groups with their own languages. Overnight in homestay. Meals: BLD

Day 9. Kalaikhumb - Dushanbe
Long day drive west from Kalaikhumb towards Dushanbe – the capital of Tajikistan. Today's drive is a sharp contrast to the first few days of the tour. This region is much more strongly Muslim and this can be seen in the conservative dress and beards. Over a mountain pass to Dushanbe and the scenery and people change again. Overnight in hotel (***). Meals: BLD

Day 10. Dushanbe
Full day in Dushanbe: See Rudaki square, Ismail Somoni monument, friendship palace. Anyone with an interest in archaeology will enjoy the Museum of National Antiquities. The exhibits in this museum are mostly from Tajikistan's pre-Islamic civilizations (Greek/ Bactrian, Buddhist, Hindu and Zoroastrian). The centerpiece is the 14m reclining Buddha in Nirvana. Since the tragic destruction of the Bamiyan statues in Afghanistan, this is the largest surviving Buddha statue in Central Asia. See history museum if time permits. PM visit nearby Hissor Fort, former capital of Eastern Bukhara province; the site has two fine 18th/19th century madrassas one of which is now a fine ethnographic museum. Overnight in guest house. Meals: BLD

Day 11. Dushanbe - Istaravshan - Khujand
Long day drive to Khojand as we drive over 2 mountain passes (380 km). From Dushanbe we start climbing to the top of Anzob pass 3373 m and then decent to Ainy. Continue drive to Istrafshan over Shahriston Pass 3,378 m. Istarafshan history has shaped the character of the people who live in the city. It's a fascinating place with some of the oldest and most intact Islamic buildings in Tajikistan where the traditional street layout of the old city has been preserved. Continue to Khojand. If time permits sightseein around city: history museum, Oxus embankment, Old mosque and bazaar. Overnight in hotel***. Meals: BLD.

Day 12. Khujand - Osh
Drive 130 km to Tajik–Kyrgyz border. End of Tajikistan section. Continue to Osh for another 300 km. Accommodation in hotel. Meals: BLD

Day 13. Osh - Bishkek
Domestic flight to Osh. Free time in the afternoon for shopping or sightseeing. Accommodation in hotel. Meals: BLD

Day 14. Bishkek
Departure day. You are free to leave your accommodation at any time concidering hotel check out regulations or otherwise extend your stay. Meals: B.

- Reverse tour: Travelling in opposite direction? "Wakhan Explorer" tour can be going in reverse. Please inquire.
- Extentions: Extend your tour over to Uzbekistan or return to Kyrgyzstan. Pls inquire.

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