Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan holiday, The Pamir Highway
Description of Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan holiday, The Pamir Highway
For anyone anticipating a Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan holiday, the Pamir Highway is certain to stand out in a series of dramatic landscapes and cultural encounters to leave travellers in no uncertain terms as to the adventures that are still to be had in two of Asia’s lesser visited locations.
Encapsulating the rugged mountain imagery and remote nature of a Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan holiday, the Pamir Highway lets you travel across the roof of the world on a stretch of road that promises spectacular views to leave a long lasting impression on first-time passengers and old hands alike.
Aside from the trip over the Pamir Highway this 18 day Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan holiday also features many of the remote communities living within the Pamir Mountains as well as chances to spot the wildlife, including birds of prey, that call this eternally unchanged habitat, home.
Following the course of the River Panj, along the Afghanistan border towards Khorog, takes travellers to the relics of the Silk Road where former fortresses and Buddhist temples still signal the strategic importance of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and the Pamir Highway.
The chance to stay with a host family in Sary Tash is a real highlight of this Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan holiday with visits to the ancient citadel of Osh to watch the traditional ceremonies surrounding Solomon’s Throne bound to stay long in the mind’s eye.
Travel deeper into Kyrgyzstan and you’ll catch a glimpse of the huge alpine lakes, Son Kul and Issyk Kul, where herding families and nomadic tribes hunt prey with eagles, and chances to explore the area on foot is certain to be a really unique and special moment.
As you finally complete this 18 day Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan holiday, the Pamir Highway experience will still live in the memory however, you still have time for cultural sightseeing in Bishkek from where this exciting, and often challenging, adventure ends the following day.
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PlanetThis tour travels through some very remote regions, many of which have barely been touched by the presence of humans, and we strongly believe in maintaining their pristine nature. We strive to ensure that we leave these areas as we find them and our team have been trained in strict no litter policies, meaning that we take all refuse to either be recycled or properly disposed of in nearby towns. When exploring the landscape on foot we make sure that we stick to whatever tracks there may be, and when driving we stick to the dirt roads so as not to degrade the landscape.
Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as nations have only existed since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and up until recently have seen very little in the way of tourism. We believe it is incredibly important that at this early stage of tourism development we work with local service providers to set and implement best practice, so that this becomes the norm as tourist numbers increase. In conjunction with our local team we work with the guesthouses and hotels to help them to implement best practice in terms of environmental issues, from energy conservation to waste disposal. We also help to educate local guides and drivers about how not to negatively impact upon the areas visited. Western norms with regards to this are quite different from local concepts and also those instilled during Soviet times, so this can be a challenge but we are confident that we can help to develop environmentally responsible tourism practices within Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
PeopleAs with many of the trips that we offer, this tour has a strong focus on local culture and different ethnic groups. Where possible we try to ensure that local people benefit from our presence. This trip includes many nights staying in locally run guesthouses, which provide employment for people from the remote communities we travel through, often in areas where little alternative for employment exists.
In Kyrgyzstan we spend the night with a local family, which helps the financial benefits filter down to people who would otherwise have little opportunity to gain from tourism in their area.
We meet many different ethnic groups on this trip, all with their particular sets of customs. We are careful to ensure that we do not break any local taboos, and travellers are briefed on appropriate behaviour when visiting such groups.
We also visit a number of historic sites on this trip. Where entrance fees exist, the inclusion of these within our tour price helps to maintain them, not just for other western travellers but for local people for whom they hold far greater significance. This can be important in regions that have not always enjoyed much government funding for cultural monument. We also use local guides in such places – again where available – which helps to ensure that remote communities can gain from tourism, however small this may be in the grand scheme of things.