• Tajikistan,
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Travel to Tajikistan, into the heart of Central Asia

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO).
The government of Tajikistan has suspended travel permits for foreign nationals to travel to GBAO and advised that it cannot at this time guarantee the security of foreign nationals in the area.
Due to these restrictions, the British Embassy will not be able to provide a full range of consular services to British nationals currently in GBAO.
There was a shooting incident on the Tajikistan/Afghanistan border close to the town of Khorog, the administrative centre of GBAO on 10 June 2014, following earlier outbreaks of localised violence in Khorog in late May 2014. The government has increased security and there is a heightened military presence on the streets. Further violence is possible. (13 June 2014)

Tajikistan is a mountainous region like most countries bordering it. After its indepedence in 1991, the region lived through a civil war which made it the poorest country of the ex-Soviet Union. It was able to adjust the mark through international aid. Cotton is the country's authentic resource. The Pamir, this Tajik chain of high mountains, is among the highest in the world. Foolhardy adventurers could set out in search of the famous Yeti!

Our Editorial team's advice

Before travelling, get as much information as possible on the situation in the country. Tajikistan is unfortunately still too unstable, and the civil war has been taking place a long time. It is a risky destination, rather meant for informed visitors and cautious adventurers. In any case, it is highly unadvised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

pros

  • +The exquisite landscapes are breathtaking!
  • +Extremely hospitable people.

cons

  • -Perpetual political instability.
  • -Several administrative complexities (be patient and polite in all circumstances and possibly check all information given to you).

Food

Tajik traditional dishes are often made of mutton and assorted vegetables. Tajiks also love spices and aromatic herbs. Among local specialties is the nahud sambusa, a type of pea somasa. Each meal is served with the local bread, non, which is unleavened. You'll surely also enjoy the plov, rice dish served with cauldron-cooked meat and vegetables, and chachlyks, a type of lamb or beef skewers. Tajiks also love different kinds of soups, cheese and yoghurt. Among drinks served is the green tea "tchaï", which is drunk almost everywhere and at any hour. You wont miss the kumiss, a drink made from fermented mare milk, which is slightly alcoholic and very sour. The best alcohol is the vodka.

Souvenirs

Do not miss the spices, silk and silver jewels. You'll also find clothes. Shops have no set opening hours.