This is probably the first hotel review I ever do where I won’t mention the actual name of the hotel. There are security reasons for this of course and I was there on tour with a cool company and they sorted out my accommodation. I didn’t go online and book any hotels or hostels. In terms of backpacking hostels, there isn’t really a culture for this as yet in Afghanistan, so stick to the hotels you are given by your tour company. The hotel I stayed in was somewhere in the city of Masar e Sharif and it was an excellent base while touring the city, watching Buzkashi, trying the local Mantoo food and smoking shisha on a night on the rip. The hotel was relaxed and a nice cosy base. Here are 6 of the things I liked about my hotel room.
1.WiFi in my Room
After a brace of weeks pressing refresh a thousand times on Facebook and YouTube to no avail, I finally got online, here in Afghanistan! Yes, at night, I was able to get some work done in Afghanistan! I just had to be a bit cautious over a 2 week period about my whereabouts and also about Uzbekistan as I didn’t want to slag Uzbekistan off while I was still in it! I told some family and friends I was safely in Masar e Sharif, but not everyone who follows my blog knew about it until I posted my visa for Afghanistan article and the border crossing into Hayratan story.
For ridiculous reasons only the media knows, people seem to think that Afghanistan in unsafe. Well, it’s a friendly country, it’s not unsafe if you know what you are doing. I felt safe on the streets, safe in the restaurants, safe when I was sightseeing and safe at my hotel room. That’s the fact that the biased upper and middle class ill-educated media didn’t want me to tell you but it’s true. 95% of people in Afghanistan are nice friendly people and very happy to see you here. Very happy. You see my friends and I touring Tashkurgan?
But to keep you all at ease, yes the hotel room had a door that locked, there was an entrance gate for cars and 24 hour reception staff. So this was as safe as it gets for me.
I hate the word “western” used as if to signify a geographical part of the world – bullshit to that my friends. However it’s hard for me to explain the bathroom in another way to simpletons. Basically the bathroom had hot water and a toilet you sit on, so non-Asian. Incidentally my room was the only room in this hotel with a sit on toilet, the only non-Asian bathroom. But in no way is it “western”, “southern” or “north eastern”. Skip the simpleton crap.
My room was warm and cosy and in a cold Afghan winter, they also provided me with a heater! A nice touch. Cosy bed and 2 chairs to sit in.
Round the corner are some street markets, shops and even a snooker club. It was a busy time and I didn’t go into the snooker club. Plus the location is good for your tours, I visited the Hazrat Ali shrine, it was stunning.
6.Afghan Breakfast, served in your Room!
While there is no obvious bar or dining area for guests at this hotel, you get your breakfast served straight to your room! This was a first for me on my travels. The door was knocked at 7am and in came a delicious breakfast. A full flask of tea, Afghan bread (that resembles cricket attire), sour cream and a jelly and fruit mix.
As a bonus, I also had a television and the hotel staff treated me to some local snacks and tea during my stay.
If you want to experience a night in a genuine Afghanistan Hotel and do an epic tour to places like Balkh, get in touch with Untamed Borders:
Untamed Borders Ltd
FF134, Dean’s Trade Centre, 1st floor, Peshawar Cantt, Pakistan
Phones : +92 (0) 345 9397639, +92 (0) 333 9397639, +92 (0) 345 9400025
Untamed Borders, 12 Harnet Street, Sandwich,
Kent, CT13 9ES, United Kingdom
Phone : +44 (0) 1304 262002
Here is a hat-trick of videos from my hotel room in Masar e Sharif in Afghanistan: