• Afghanistan
    © iStockphoto.com / Christophe_Cerisier
  • Afghanistan
    © iStockphoto.com / Christophe_Cerisier
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Travel Afghanistan: tentative explorations of a war-torn land

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile
Terrorised by the ongoing war, which has lasted thirty years, Afghanistan has never lost hope in restoring peace, which has always been its most uncertain asset until now. Although the country has known more turbulent days, tourists are still prone to kidnappings, so those who do travel to Afghanistan must check all the latest advice before they go. In the past, crossed by the legendary Silk Road, 99% of Afghan territory is mountainous. The majestic mountain chain of Hindu Kuch has peaks towering into the sky up to 24,600 ft of altitude, sumptuous landscapes and is laced by deep valleys. Human folly has not even spared the priceless Buddha statues of Bamiyan. Sculpted directly into the mountain face in the 3rd and 5th centuries, even this crucial cultural heritage has not been spared from Taliban violence.

Our Editorial team's advice

For the time being; only members of international aid organisations and accredited journalists are allowed to enter Afghan territory. For all others, such as tourists eager for a thrilling experience, a trip to this high-risk region could be potentially fatal. So, be patient until this country reopens for tourism!

pros

  • +In times of peace, the population is extremely hospitable (one aggressive faction has tarnished the image of the entire nation).
  • +The panoramic views inspire awe and marvel with its totally uninhabited deserts and beautiful mountains.

cons

  • -Afghanistan is in a state of war.
  • -Kidnapping, banditism and land mines strewn all over the land make any excursions or trips very dangerous, almost impossible, even for the greatest adventure-lovers.

Food

The local dishes are usually made up of mutton and rice. The specialities here include kebabs, which are made with naan, a local kind of bread, and grilled mutton meat. The qabali palaw is 'the' local traditional dish made of grilled lamb pieces served with saffron rice, carrots and raisins. Another speciality is the sabzee chalao, which is spinach sautéed with garlic and shallots. The Afghans also eat a lot of cheese. Most of the desserts are made using a base of nuts and either fresh or dried fruit. Tea is the favourite drink
of the locals.

Souvenirs

You can find different pieces of local crafts at the bazaars here: carpets, jewellery, musical instruments and fabrics. The opening hours of the bazaars are quite irregular.