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Discovery Tajikistan travel guide #2/2010

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Khujand at the very entrance to the Ferghana valley, Khujand used to be a major stop and trading point along The Great Silk Road.
The city thus controlled the entire traffic and at the time used its prime location to its best advantage levying heavy taxes on the goods entering and leaving the valley. In modern times, a new road into the Ferghana Valley was blasted further north over the 2268m high Kamchik pass on the southern slopes of the Chatgal range.
It was Alexander the Great who originally laid the foundation of Alexandria Eskhate “Alexandria the Furthest” as he called his 9th city, in the IV century BC. Khujand thus marks the extent of his advances into Central Asia. In fact, Alexander did reach as far as Samarkand but his troops fell back again and Alexander decided to build a stronghold on the site of modern Khujand, strategically ideal for defense and conquest. more
Staying in the Pamirs in style
Traveling to some of the most exotic and remote places in the world and still be able to stay there in style and comfort? The Serena Chain has brought its tried and trusted successful concept to Tajikistan; design based on authentic traditional crafts combined with the best of service. It is no longer a secret that since recently, the place to stay when traveling around Tajikistan is the Serena Inn Khorog.

Khorog is your gateway to Badakhshan in the Pamirs. Daily flights (under ideal weather conditions only) and a road through some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the world link the heart of the Pamir to Dushanbe. The unique mountain-Tajik architectural style and handicrafts go back thousands of years. Serena Inn has captured their essence ideally in the hotel s interior design. more
My travel story: Trekking in the Fann Mountains

One of the truly best combination tours in Central Asia comprises the fascinating contrast between the Tajik urban culture of old Bukhara and Samarkand in Uzbekistan, both over 2500 years old, and trekking in the unspoilt natural environment of the Fann mountains in Tajikistan, where the way of life has not changed much over the centuries.

From Penjikent at the Uzbek/Tajik border near Samarkand a jeep brings you up to Alaudin alpine camp, a 150km drive East. The panorama is breathtaking, overlooking Lake Alaudinskie with its perfectly smooth surface and its backdrop of glistening eternal snow on the over 5000m high peaks, you have come a long way from civilization. Nature pure.

This is Lake Country. Fingers are pointed in all directions to indicate the major lake sides. What a choice there is for trekking routes.

Time to settle in and explore the environment. The river flows into the small Lake Pjala, with crystal clear waters. There are pastures, meadows, juniper trees, rock boulders covered with emerald moss. A donkey drinks from a small pool and cows are grazing while Tajik shepherds with their sheep dogs whistle a shrill tone and a distinct melody to call their goat herds back home, to be counted before they are to spend the night in an enclosure. more


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