Thirsty Thursdays: Saturday Night out in Afghanistan – Shisha and Tea in Abshar Shisha Lounge, Masar e Sharif

Thirsty Thursdays: Saturday Night out in Afghanistan - Shisha and Tea in Abshar Shisha Lounge, Masar e Sharif

Thirsty Thursdays: Saturday Night out in Afghanistan – Shisha and Tea in Abshar Shisha Lounge, Masar e Sharif

I love a good old Saturday night out with the lads down the pub, and it’s the same world everywhere we go in that respect. It’s just that in some countries the entertainment and choice of drinks differs. Here in Afghanistan, the lads invited me for an Afghani style Saturday night out in downtown Masar e Sharif! I was buzzing, Afghan clothes on, Afghani in my pocket and off we went! By the way, I don’t mean to confuse you here but the series on my blog is called “Thirsty Thursdays” as I release it on a Thursday, but the actual experiences can be any day, in this case it was Saturday.

Abshar Shisha House in Masar e Sharif, Afghanistan

Abshar Shisha House in Masar e Sharif, Afghanistan

There is no alcohol, mosh pits or late night kebab and street singing in Masar e Sharif. It’s a lot more relaxed and civilised here. I was based in the city of Masar e Sharif which is a top notch Afghan stronghold, located not far from the Uzbekistan border and the town of Balkh which we also toured.

Driving through lively Masar e Sharif, Afghanistan

Driving through lively Masar e Sharif, Afghanistan

Our driver Sakhi parked us outside a place called Abshar Shisha Lounge. I couldn’t read the writing and I don’t speak Dari of course, but the idea was clear – myself and three Afghan lads were out for Saturday night shisha, tea and chat. This was rather epic.

Abshar Shisha House in Masar e Sharif, Afghanistan

Abshar Shisha House in Masar e Sharif, Afghanistan

We head downstairs into the basement of this place. From the street, unless you can read the writing, you’d have no idea there was a Shisha house here.

Reza and I in the Shisha House

Reza and I in the Shisha House

The rules are simple. Shoes off. Men only, no women allowed. You walk in and sit down in a booth. No actual chairs, you kneel and sit on your ass on the carpet, shoes off.

Smoking shisha in Afghanistan

Smoking shisha in Afghanistan

Within minutes we are brought a flask of tea and four cups. I’m with Reza, Noor and Sakhi. We share the tea and Noor decides to order mint flavoured shisha. I have tried shisha manys a time down the years in places like Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu, Tel Aviv, Palestine, Shahr-e Kord, Kerman and Bournemouth. But to be here as the only tourist in Masar e Sharif felt a bit more exciting.

The lads smoking shisha - Sakhi, Noor and Reza

The lads smoking shisha – Sakhi, Noor and Reza

The décor of Abshar Shisha Lounge is lime green, there’s a fountain in the middle and despite the fact that everyone is smoking, you can’t smell or notice the shisha in the air inside the room. We chat about life, business, football, shisha, girls. It was exactly the same sort of chat I have with  my mates in Bournemouth, Hong Kong, Bangor or Belfast. The only difference of course is no alcohol. The tea goes down a treat though, and it’s unlimited refills.

Sakhi and Noor in the Shisha House

Sakhi and Noor in the Shisha House

The “booth” hire costs 200 Afghani (so about $3 USD) and that covers all four of us for everything – tea, shisha and the place to sit. We just sat there for a few hours enjoying the night out before I headed back to my homestay. There was a police and army check at one point and I was introduced to the army members who reminded me to stay quite sheltered and hidden here at night, for security reasons and for my personal safety. Despite this, I felt much more relaxed here than in neighbouring Uzbekistan. You can also read how I got my Afghanistan visa and my experience eating Mantoo in Masar e Sharif.

Here is a video of my experience smoking shisha in Masar e Sharif, Afghanistan:

Join 15,017 Monthly Readers! If you enjoyed this article and LOVE travel and SAVING money, get e-mail updates from Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel! (It’s Free) 😉 Jonny

6 thoughts on “Thirsty Thursdays: Saturday Night out in Afghanistan – Shisha and Tea in Abshar Shisha Lounge, Masar e Sharif

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge