Online Guide to Trekking in the Wakhan and Afghan Pamir
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According to Bijan Omrani and Matthew Leeming in Afghanistan A companion and guide : “ [The region of Badakhshan] is the jewel in the crown of Afghanistan’s tourist attractions. The Wakhan Corridor[…], has always been regarded as one of the most romantic and inaccessible travel destinations in the world. Inaccessible because its position on the Soviet frontier made it a security zone, and could be visited only by the most exalted VIPs. Romantic because it contained the solution to one of the 19th century’s most vexed geographical problems: where did the River Oxus rise? […] It must rank as one of the most spectacularly beautiful areas of the world”.
More than for the beauty of its natural environment, the Pamir is outstanding for the cultural appeal and the unique hospitality of its human population of transhumance herders, the yurt-dwelling Kirghiz. Lost in the immensity of the Little and the Big Pamir valleys, weeks away from the rest of the world, the Kirghiz keep their ancestral way of life. Every year they manage to survive the lengthy and harsh winter thanks to their herds of yaks and sheep that provide them with their basic needs: wool to keep warm, felt to build yurts, dung for the fire, and meat. In the summer, Kirghiz are happy to welcome traders and visitors. It is the time of wedding ceremonies and buzkashi games. A trip to the Pamir is a journey to another world, where physical efforts and cultural exploration come together, and where traditional way of life and complete political freedom meet.
This web site aims to become the most comprehensive resource center about trekking in the Wakhan and Afghan Pamir. You will find all the information you need to organize a full expedition in Marco Polo's tracks to what has been referred as "the roof of the world". This web site has been compiled from a wide range of sources including a personal 5-week trekking expedition to the Wakhan and Pamir in the summer of 2005. Its objective is to provide basic practical details for whoever is planning a trip to Wakhan and Pamir. It is also to send a message to the world that it is again possible to travel in Afghanistan and to undertake trekkings without taking risks connected with political instability or attacks by bandits.
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