Name: Susie and Jacob
Family: 4 kids (ages 16, 14, 12, 6).
Originally from: New York State
Current Location: Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Years in Dushanbe: 8
While staying at a homestay in the mountains of Tajikistan, we met a foreign family. Thinking this was quite an “off the beaten destination” which included numerous hours on a bumpy road with sheer cliffs on one side, I had to ask them how they found this place. During some down time between hikes and village explorations, I was able to sit down with them and ask a few questions…
And the spotlight begins….
How Often Do You See Tourists in Tajikistan: Occasionally we see tourists. It seems like we see more in Pamirs. Not so many in Dushanbe. It seems as though mostly people come for the mountains, kayaking, and hiking.
Where Would You Recommend People to Visit in Tajikistan:
1. Khujand the northern city there is a big lake people like to go to relax.
2. The beauty is in the mountains – especially here in the Pamirs.
3. The hotsprings (near Dushanbe). Tajikis go there for different health reasons: especially for the skin, eyes, and fertility.
4. There are also some historic forts.
Tips for travelers:
If you don’t know the language, find a guided tour.There are taxis that can get you most of the places in the country if you know where to find them.If you can find a friend or some sort of tour guide though that is the best. In Tajikistan there are some small ones (tour agencies) – that set up everything for you when you travel.
For foreigners coming – check out whatondushanbe.It is a newsletter that includes cultural things in Dushanbe – restaurants and tours that go out of the city.You can email for more information.
In Dushanbe there are a few museums to see, for example the National Museum and a fortress near Kulob that is nearly 3000 years old.
A few more tips:
1) If you stay more than 30 days make sure you register your visa. It needs to be registered through an agency or a hotel.
2) Tajiks are welcoming. It is okay to sit in their homes if they invite you to come. They see it as a blessing to see you here. Wait to be invited more than once though– this is very cultural. If they invite you more than once – then they really mean it. If you ask when and they say whenever they probably don’t mean it. At the same time if they invite you might be able to just go in at that moment.
3) Dress – make sure you have modest dress. Guys no shorts. Girls don’t show the backside. Wear longer shirts and leggings or longer dresses below the knee. No sleeve-less shirts and remember to cover your bottom.
Our two days in the mountains of Tajikistan had ended and it was time for us to say good-bye. I wish this family all the best in Tajikistan. Thank you for the stories and traveller’s advice!