Backpacking in Tajikistan, Gorno Badakhshan, Afghanistan And Uzbekistan: A Few Weeks Off Social Media

Backpacking in Tajikistan and A Few Weeks Off Social Media

Backpacking in Tajikistan and A Few Weeks Off Social Media

I’m posting this now, live, but it is subject to change and my blogs and Facebook and Twitter feeds are all scheduled to go out as normal so pre-written posts will still appear and I whacked out a few while staying at Apple Hostel in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. However I am now backpacking in a region which is a bit more remote, and not only bans some social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) but also has on and off electricity in remote villages and towns, especially up in the mountains. And no, I’m not going to get a “Private Network” or VPN just for the sake of a few travel photos. Besides, it’s lots of mountains and remote villages here, plus there is still security risks here due to the drugs trade and threat of terrorism. Plus the hangover in Tajikistan from the 2012 riots and the closure of the Gorno Badakshan region in 2014 for tourists at times.

Backpacking in Tajikistan

Backpacking in Tajikistan

Downtown Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Downtown Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Yes I’m on e-mail and will update when I can and after a month in Kyrgyzstan, I left early due to the tightness of the visa dates for Uzbekistan, so I am now in Tajikistan. I’m kicking things off in the capital city Dushanbe (pretty cool city here) and then I’m touring Hissar.

Rudaki Statue and Mosaic, Dushanbe

Rudaki Statue and Mosaic, Dushanbe

I’m working with tour companies in this region, Travel Tajikistan, Pamir Tour Service and I have most of my accommodation sorted including my stay at the lovely Marian’s Guesthouse in the capital. I’m working out my trip to Khorog, the bizarre and remote capital city of the Gorno Badakhshan region where I’m looking forward to my stay at Pamir Lodge. Khorog sits on the border to Afghanistan and with my Afghanistan and Uzbekistan visas in hand, I will work out my route from there and keep you all updated.

Touring Downtown Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Touring Downtown Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Parchan Column, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Parchan Column, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

These last few months of travel have been the most remote and obscure adventures yet, just the way I like it. Often I’m the only tourist on my marshrutkas, in cafes, in bars and in hostels and to be honest, I love it like this. Even parts of my sad yet important Chernobyl tour were remote – there were only 7 of us inside the CEZ that day.

With Shoukrou, my driver in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

With Shoukrou, my driver in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Touring Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Touring Dushanbe, Tajikistan

It’s time to crack into the sights of Tajikistan now. Dushanbe is an immense city, boasting the world’s largest flagpole (although the Saudis and Azeris try to claim a bigger one) and flag and the world’s largest tea house. I have visited them both and can’t wait to get my stuff written up on all these places, properly but this post has some cool photos from the city.

World's Largest Flagpole (allegedly), Dushanbe

World’s Largest Flagpole (allegedly), Dushanbe

World's biggest Tea House (allegedly), Dushanbe

World’s biggest Tea House (allegedly), Dushanbe

I flew into Dushanbe on a cheap last minute flight thanks to TEZ tours – in winter times the border crossing between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is ridiculously expensive!! It can cost a lot of money due to slow cars on the roads, poor weather, chopping and changing buses and with time a premium I’m glad I got the flight out for one even better reason – the views – this was the most magnificent window seat I have had since I flew to Patagonia six years ago!! Some photos for you all in the absence of social media!

My last night in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

My last night in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Last marshrutka in Bishkek

Last marshrutka in Bishkek

Best flight view in 6 years - over the Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan border!

Best flight view in 6 years – over the Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan border!

My bedroom view in Dushanbe

My bedroom view in Dushanbe

Arrival in downtown Dushanbe

Arrival in downtown Dushanbe

My room in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

My room in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

National Football Stadium, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

National Football Stadium, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Presidential Palace, Dushanbe

Presidential Palace, Dushanbe

A free beer in Public Irish Pub, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

A free beer in Public Irish Pub, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Backpacking in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Backpacking in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

First time to try Mastoba, Tajik tea and Simsim (Tajik Beer)

First time to try Mastoba, Tajik tea and Simsim (Tajik Beer)

Cheers from Chaykhone Rokhat Restaurant, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Cheers from Chaykhone Rokhat Restaurant, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

I’m off to shower, blog, have a cold beer and sleep. It’s a busy time coming up, thanks for following my story!

Safe and happy travels!

Jonny Blair

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