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Travel Notes: Asia - Tajikistan Travel Notes.

Tajikistan Travel Notes

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Tajikistan Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


With its Silk Road secrets, majestic landscapes, ancient heritage, and welcoming people, Tajikistan offers an adventurous travel experience unlike any other.

About Tajikistan

Tajikistan is becoming a popular tourist destination thanks to its stunning natural landscapes and a rich cultural history dating back to the Silk Road traders.

With its breathtaking scenery, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, Tajikistan promises a truly unforgettable travel experience.

Countries neighbouring Tajikistan: Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Afghanistan.

Travel Map Mapping Tajikistan

Map of Tajikistan

Map of Tajikistan

Tajikistan was a former republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Together with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan it forms a region known as Central Asia.

Tajikistan Overview

Tajikistan is a land-locked country located in Central Asia, bordered by Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east.

Tajikistan is a country with a rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and diverse ethnicities, but it also faces significant developmental challenges.

Capital and Major Cities

The capital city of Tajikistan is Dushanbe, which is also the largest city in the country.

Other significant cities include Khujand, Qurghonteppa, and Kulob.


Tajikistan faces several challenges, including poverty, political instability, and environmental issues such as water scarcity and natural disasters.

The country is also vulnerable to regional security threats, including instability in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Culture and Ethnicity

Tajikistan has a rich cultural heritage influenced by Persian, Turkic, and Russian traditions.

The majority of the population are Tajiks, who speak Tajik, a form of Persian.

Other ethnic groups include Uzbeks, Russians, and Kyrgyz.


Tajikistan's economy is primarily agricultural, with cotton, wheat, and fruits being major crops.

The country also has significant mineral resources, including aluminum, gold, and silver.

Remittances from Tajik migrant workers, primarily in Russia, play a crucial role in the economy.


Tajikistan is predominantly mountainous, with the Pamir Mountains covering much of its territory.

It is often referred to as the 'Roof of the World' due to its high elevation.

The country is also home to the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, which are important water sources in Central Asia.


Tajikistan has a long history, with evidence of human habitation dating back thousands of years.

It has been part of various empires and kingdoms throughout its history, including the Persian Empire, the Samanid Empire, and the Soviet Union.

Tajikistan gained independence in 1991 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.


The official language of Tajikistan is Tajik, which is a form of Persian.

Russian is also widely spoken and used as a lingua franca, especially in urban areas and among the older generation.


Islam is the dominant religion in Tajikistan, with Sunni Islam being the most widely practiced.

There is also a small Shia minority.

Visiting Tajikistan

Visitors to Tajikistan will have an enriching experience; enjoying a glimpse into its rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and warm hospitality.

Before travelling to Tajikistan, be sure to check visa requirements, travel advisories, and safety precautions.

Additionally, consider hiring a local guide or joining a tour to make the most of your visit and gain insights into the country's culture and history.

Tajikistan Highlights

Adventure Activities

For adrenaline enthusiasts, Tajikistan offers a range of adventure activities such as trekking, mountaineering, whitewater rafting, and skiing in the winter months.

Whether you're an experienced adventurer or a novice, there are plenty of opportunities to challenge yourself and explore Tajikistan's rugged landscapes.

Cultural Immersion

Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in Tajik culture by attending traditional festivals, sampling authentic Tajik cuisine, and participating in local customs and rituals.

Visit traditional Pamiri homestays to experience the warmth and hospitality of Tajik families firsthand.


Start your journey in the capital city, Dushanbe, which means 'Monday' in Tajik, named after its lively weekly market.

Explore the city's landmarks such as the National Museum of Tajikistan, Rudaki Park, and Navruz Palace.

Don't miss the chance to stroll through Dushanbe's bustling bazaars, where you can find traditional crafts, spices, and local delicacies.

Pamir Highway

Embark on a breathtaking road trip along the Pamir Highway, one of the world's highest and most remote mountain roads.

Marvel at the majestic peaks of the Pamir Mountains, pristine alpine lakes, and picturesque villages nestled in the valleys.

Along the way, interact with local communities, experience their hospitality, and learn about their traditional way of life.

Pamir National Park

Discover the pristine wilderness of Pamir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its diverse flora and fauna.

Trek through rugged terrain, spot rare wildlife such as Marco Polo sheep and snow leopards, and camp under the star-studded skies amidst towering peaks.

Sarez Lake

Journey to Sarez Lake, a stunning turquoise gem nestled in the heart of the Pamir Mountains.

Formed by a massive landslide in the early 20th century, the lake offers breathtaking vistas and opportunities for hiking, fishing, and camping in a pristine natural setting.

Seven Lakes of Tajikistan

The Seven Lakes of Tajikistan, also known as Haft Kul or Marguzor Lakes, are a series of interconnected mountain lakes located in the Fann Mountains near the city of Penjikent, in western Tajikistan.

The lakes are renowned for their vibrant colours, constantly changing due to their surroundings and are considered one of the most scenic places in Northern Tajikistan.

Despite their beauty, the Seven Lakes have remained one of Tajikistan's best-kept secrets and an almost surreal place to observe unspoiled rural mountain life in Northern Tajikistan.

It is possible to visit the Seven Lakes, on a day-trip from Samarkand.

Wakhan Valley

Explore the scenic Wakhan Valley, a narrow strip of land sandwiched between the Pamir and Hindu Kush mountain ranges.

Immerse yourself in the region's unique cultural and historical heritage, including ancient fortresses, hot springs, and Buddhist stupas.

Visit the village of Ishkashim to experience its vibrant market and cross the Panj River to glimpse into Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor.

Dushanbe (Stalinabad)

The capital of Tajikistan is in the Gissar Valley, to the east of the country.

Map of Dushanbe

Map of Dushanbe

In 1929 the village of Dyushanbe was made the capital of the newly created Tadzhik Soviet Socialist Republic and renamed Stalinabad.

With the completion of a rail link the same year, the growth of Stalinabad was rapid.

The city was expanded with the Soviet taste for wide streets and large squares. Trees were planted and in 1961 it was renamed Dushanbe; as memories of Stalin were being eradicated.

Hotels in Dushanbe.

Civil War

The outbreak of civil war between pro-Communists and Islamic-democrats, in 1992, forced many Uzbeks and Russians to leave the country.

Russian troops are still stationed along Tajikistan's southern border with Afghanistan.

Ethnik Tajiks

The ethnic Tajiks are an Iranian people, with a Sunni Muslim heritage. During the seventy years of Soviet rule, when mosques were closed and the practising of religion prohibited, Tajik Muslims continued to practise Islam in secret.

The revival of Islam has seen thousands of mosques constructed in recent years.

Communism Peak

Tajikistan, independent since 1991, is a mountainous country; its highest point being Ismoili Somoni Peak (7,498 m), re-named in 1998 to commemorate an early Tajik ruler.

The mountain, in the north-western Pamirs of north-east Tajikistan, was known as Garmo Peak until 1933, and Stalin Peak until 1962; when the name of the highest point in the former Soviet Union was changed to Communism Peak (Pik Kommunizma).

Khujand (Leninabad)

The country's second largest city, Khujand, was formerly known as Leninabad.

Tajikistan Travel Guides

Tajikistan (Bradt Travel Guides) Lonely Planet Central Asia (Travel Guide)

Tajikistan Travel Guides - Tajikistan Maps.

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