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    Hiking The Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Loop (Italian Dolomites)

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    My Run-In With A Notorious Mexican Drug Cartel

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    Wild Kamchatka: Visiting Russia’s Nomadic Reindeer Herders

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    30 Photos From Afghanistan That You Won’t See In The News

    Traveling in Afghanistan Afghanistan Last summer I traveled into the mountains of Afghanistan for a two-week backpacking adventure. Not your typical summer vacation destination. Here’s what I witnessed. What comes to mind when you think about Afghanistan? War? Terrorism? Osama Bin Laden? The Mother Of All Bombs? Much of Afghanistan is still dangerous — but there’s also incredible beauty, hospitality and kindness that doesn’t get reported on. It’s far too easy to vilify or write-off an entire nation when you don’t have to look those people in the eyes. People with the same hopes and dreams as you — to survive, find happiness and provide for their families. I was able to experience the positive side of Afghanistan and its wonderful people, up close and personal, during my trip there last summer. It’s since become my most memorable travel adventure to date. Here are some of my favorite photos of people & landscapes from my 100-mile backpacking trip into Afghanistan’s remote and mountainous Wakhan Corridor. This is the “other” side of Afghanistan that you don’t see in the news. The Hindu Kush Mountains Traveling in the Wakhan Wakhan Corridor The Wakhan is a rugged and wild region of Northeast Afghanistan, part of Badakhshan Province. It’s a narrow piece of land, about 400 km long, surrounded on three sides by Tajikistan, China, and Pakistan. Two large mountain ranges dominate the area, the Pamir in the North, and the Hindu Kush in the South. The Wakhan Corridor was created by politicians in the 1800’s during the “Great Game” in an attempt to leave a buffer zone between British India and the Russian empire. Riding Yaks in the Wakhan Hitchhiking By Yak Traveling by foot with my backpack, I managed to take a break hitching a ride on a yak for a portion of the route. We ran into a group of Wakhi men leading their yaks through the mountains. While they stopped for tea, they let us borrow their yaks, which we led further into the valley until their owners caught up with us later. Yaks are the ultimate eco-friendly 4×4 in Afghanistan, able to climb steep rocky terrain and power through icy cold rivers. There are no trees above 10,000 feet, so locals are forced to trek for 3 days to lower elevations with their animals in order to gather firewood for cooking and warmth. Ruined Stone Shelter on a Vast Landscape Trekking in the Wakhan Ancient Silk Road The Wakhan was once part of the ancient silk road, an important trading route connecting China to Europe. Along with silk, horses, and other goods, it was a highway for armies and explorers too. Explorers like Marco Polo who is believed to have passed through here during the 13th century. Crossing steep mountain passes and high desolate plateaus, passing caravans of yaks and donkeys loaded with goods, spending the night in stone shelters with traveling merchants — I felt like I was getting a glimpse of what the silk road must have been like all those years ago. READ MORE: 17 Useful Travel Photography Tips Muslim Shopkeepers in Afghanistan My Compatriots in the Wakhan The Many Faces Of Islam Just like the many different branches of Christianity, there are many different branches of Islam, all with their own beliefs and values. Many people living in Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor are Ismaili Muslims, who practice a moderate form of Islam. They number 25 million worldwide, and despise the Taliban. Their spiritual leader is the Aga Khan, a successful British businessman and Imam who runs the Aga Khan Development Network, a super important charity organization that improves living conditions and opportunities for the poor in Africa and Central Asia. Footbridge Over the Wakhan River Untamed Blue Rivers The Wakhan River runs through the Wakhan Corridor, fed by the high altitude mountains of the Hindu Kush on the border with Pakistan. It snakes its way through the mountains and is a major lifeline for the people living in this harsh and unforgiving landscape. The bright blue color of this water is due to reddish hues of the rock formations around it, as well as the crystal clear source (a glacier). Water molecules absorb other colors, like red, more efficiently than blue. READ MORE: How To Pick A Travel Backpack Enjoying the Wild Landscape Snowy Mountains in August Epic Mountain Views When the weather was clear, I was rewarded with incredible views of the mountains like this! The trail was well worn, as it’s used daily by small groups of locals who travel in caravans of yaks or donkeys from settlement to settlement. The 10 day trek ranged in altitude from 10,000 to 16,000 feet, and we averaged about 10 miles per day of hiking. I began to feel the effects of altitude on my body around 12,000 feet with shortness of breath. At 16,000 feet hiking became even more tiring and difficult. Snow Covered Yurts Kyrgyz Settlement in the Wakhan Portable Yurts The Kyrgyz people of Afghanistan are semi-nomadic, moving from valley to valley herding their animals to different grazing pastures depending on the season. They live in cozy yurts made of sheep felt, which can be broken down and transported long distances. Each settlement consists of 2-3 families living and working together. Originally from the area around Kyrgyzstan, their ancestors were kind of trapped in the Wakhan after the Soviets took over Central Asia, forcibly settled nomadic tribes, and sealed off the silk road route. READ MORE: How To Visit The Afghan Wakhan Sheer Chai Milk Tea Salty Milk Tea Both the Wakhi and Kyrgyz people drink large amounts of salty milk tea, called Sheer Chai. It’s served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Basically, it’s a mix of yak and goat milk, boiled down for hours and dried into a portable block. It’s prepared by adding boiling water, loose-leaf tea, and rock salt. The salt is great for rehydration at high & dry altitudes — I called it my Afghan Gatorade. It took a while to get used to (salty hot milk anyone?), but by the end of the adventure my body was craving sheer chai for every meal. You can also dissolve raw butter into the tea at breakfast for extra calories. Petroglyphs in Afghanistan Afghan Petroglyphs Near the end of my 2nd day on the trail, we hiked past a set of ancient petroglyphs scrawled into a dark colored boulder overlooking the valley. My local guide, Yar, couldn’t tell me much about them, other than they think these markings are a few thousand years old. They depict hunting scenes, men armed with what appear to be bows, as well as large game like ibex and the rare Marco Polo sheep. This was just one of many petroglyphs that dot the landscape in these mountains. They are thought to mark ancient hunting grounds claimed by different tribes. Central Asia Institute School Kyrgyz Boys Ready for Class CAI Schools This simple 3 room school in the remote Afghan village of Bozai Gumbaz was built by Greg Mortenson and his Central Asia Institute. You may have heard of Greg before, he’s the author of the best selling novel Three Cups Of Tea, about building schools for girls in Pakistan. The school at Bozai Gumbaz, where I spent the night playing cards with Afghan army soldiers, was prominent in his 2nd book, Stones To Schools. The next morning a group of boys showed up on donkeys for class. I saw many CAI schools along the road from Eshkashim to Sarhad-e Broghil. Camping in Afghanistan Camping In Afghanistan As a big fan of the outdoors, one of the highlights on this trip was the opportunity to wild camp in the mountains of Afghanistan. Most nights we were able to stay at small Wakhi or Kyrgyz settlements in basic guest huts, but we also camped out in tents a few nights too. Normally I’m a camping hammock kind of guy, but because I knew there weren’t going to be any trees for most of this trek, I packed my super lightweight Nemo Hornet 2P Tent. It snowed a few times during the journey — in August! READ MORE: My Complete Travel Gear Guide Greetings From the Heart Friendly Shopkeeper in Eshkashim As-Salāmu ʿAlaykum I was constantly greeted with As-salāmu ʿalaykum which means “peace be upon you”. A shorter version of this is just salām. Shaking hands is common, and so is placing your hand on your heart, which simply means your greeting comes from the heart. Another important term I used during my journey is taschakor, meaning thank you. I always recommend trying to learn 10 of the most used words in a local language before traveling there. In the Afghan Wakhan, most people speak some Dari (Farsi) along with local dialects. Afghan Woman Wearing Blue Burka Wakhi Girl in Sarhad-e Broghil Women In Afghanistan Many people were asking if I saw women in Afghanistan. Yes I saw women during my trip, but most were extremely shy, especially if I had my camera out. Plus in their culture, talking with strange men is taboo. But shooting portraits of men or kids was not a problem. Near the border town of Sultan Eshkashim, with a large Sunni population, many women wear a full-length blue burqa that covers their face. In more rural areas of the Wakhan, it’s less strict. Women wear long colorful dresses with a simple headscarf. I was able to say hello and see their faces. Kyrgyz Tombs at Bozai Gumbaz Khajahbigali Family Tomb Shrines & Tombs I encountered a few ancient burial tombs during my time exploring the Wakhan Corridor. Near the Afghan military outpost of Bozai Gumbaz, there’s a collection of strangely shaped Kyrgyz beehive tombs, along with evidence of Soviet bombing (craters, bomb fragments) from the 1980’s occupation. At the settlement of Langar, we found a pile of ibex horns marking the burial place of a powerful big man. In Afghanistan, wealthy & powerful men are often called “big men”. It’s a bit like calling someone “boss.” The more animals, land, and wives you have, the “bigger” & more influential you are. Driving in Afghanistan Rough Roads Before I began the 10 day, 100 mile trek through the mountains, I had to hire a 4×4 van to drive me to the last village at the end of the road. We passed a few military checkpoints along the way, stopping for tea & candy with officials before continuing on. The drive took 2 days, and the roads were some of the worst I’ve ever seen. Dust seeped into the vehicle, covering us in dirt. We forded rivers, drove along the edge of sheer cliffs, and were frequently stopped by huge herds of goats blocking the road. The van suffered 6 flat tires during the journey. Cooking Lunch in a Stone Shelter Wakhi Settlement Wakhi Settlements While I entered Afghanistan alone, I decided to hire a local translator/guide and horseman to accompany me on the trek into the mountains. It would have been extremely difficult to communicate with others without their help. We spent a few nights at Wakhi settlements during the hike. Wakhi homes are basically stone huts with dirt floors, constructed using manure for cement. The roof is made of logs, grass, and more manure to keep it waterproof. Some shelters had stoves inside, others just had a fire pit. Either way it was pretty smokey inside with a fire… Young Afghan Girl in Sarhad Wakhi Family Living in the Mountains Children Of The Wakhan Life in the Wakhan is rough, especially for kids. About 60% of children here die before the age of five, the highest infant mortality rate in the world. If they do survive, they are put to work helping out with the family business — animal herding. There are a few schools out here, thanks to the Central Asia Institute, but it’s up to the parents if they go. In some communities, only the boys are sent to school. The morning commute can take a few hours by donkey due to the lack of roads and distance between settlements. Central Asian Bactrian Camel Wildlife In Afghanistan I was really hoping to see a snow leopard or Marco Polo sheep while I was traveling through the mountains of Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor. You know, Walter Mitty style! Unfortunately both of these endangered animals are extremely difficult to spot — but I did find camels! Luckily the Wildlife Conservation Society has staff in the area, often spending weeks in the field gathering data to protect wildlife in the Wakhan. They estimate there are about 100-200 snow leopards living in these mountains. Wolves and bears also call this wilderness home. The Country You Thought You Knew… The Other Afghanistan So there you go. A peek at the other side of Afghanistan that we never see on the nightly news. After traveling the world extensively for the past 6 years, I’ve noticed this is a common theme. Don’t let our media, which is primarily focused on negative & sensational topics, be your only window into the dynamics of a foreign country you’ve never been to. I’m not going to tell you that Afghanistan is safe. It’s not. Our troops who’ve served there can tell you. Afghans themselves are well aware of the dangers that plague their country too. But I think there’s another side to Afghanistan that deserves some attention. The rugged, scenic mountain landscapes. The friendly, hospitable local people. I’m hopeful for the day when Afghanistan’s problems fade away, and more travelers can safely enjoy the beauty this incredible country has to offer. ★ Travel Video! Backpacking Afghanistan Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for new Adventure Travel Videos! (Click to watch Backpacking Afghanistan – Wakhan Corridor on YouTube) READ MORE TRAVEL TIPS I hope you enjoyed my Afghanistan photos! Hopefully you also found this post useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next: How To Visit The Wakhan Corridor Top Travel Quotes For Wanderlust Great Compact Cameras For Traveling 40 Travel Jobs For Digital Nomads Enjoy This Post? Pin It! Have any questions about Afghanistan? What do you think about traveling there? Drop me a message in the comments below! SHARE TWEET PIN More

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    How To Visit Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor (Safety, Visas, Cost)

    How to Travel Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor Afghanistan In August 2016 I traveled through Afghanistan as an American for two weeks, backpacking across the beautiful Pamir mountains in the Wakhan Corridor. This is how I did it. DISCLAIMER: The US government warns against travel to Afghanistan. Just because I went, does not mean I think everyone should go. The safety situation changes on a weekly basis, and requires a good deal of research/planning. When I told family & friends I was planning a trip to Afghanistan, they thought I’d lost my mind. Afghanistan, the war-torn Centra Asian (or Middle Eastern, depending on who you ask) country full of terrorists, soldiers, car bombs, predator drones, and IEDs. Why the hell would I want to go there? Afghanistan has been on my bucket list for a few years after I met a fellow traveler and public speaker Shane Dallas who happened to share his experience with me at a travel industry conference. I learned that the version of the country most of us see each night on the evening news is simply not the full story… Parts of Afghanistan can be dangerous, sure, but it’s also full of beauty, hospitality, and history too. This is the Afghanistan I was on a mission to seek out and share. Exploring the Wakhan on Foot Map of Wakhan (Courtesy of Wildlife Conservation Society) The Wakhan Corridor Afghanistan’s remote and desolate Wakhan Corridor is called the “roof of the world” by the local people who live there. It’s located in the far North-East corner of the country, surrounded on three sides by Tajikistan, Pakistan and China. The Wakhan is incredibly cut-off from the rest of Afghanistan. There are no government services, large parts of the region have no roads, and people are basically living on their own in the mountains. The area is inhabited by two main ethnic groups, the Wakhi and the Kyrgyz. The Wakhi often have two homes, one for winter and one for summer months, made of stone. The Kyrgyz are more nomadic, living in semi-portable yurt tents made of felt. They move their homes and animals to different valleys depending on the season. A majority of the population raises livestock for a living. They trade sheep, goats and yaks to merchants from Pakistan or other parts of Afghanistan for clothing, food, and necessities they can’t produce themselves at these remote high-altitude locations they call home. The Wakhan used to be part of the ancient Silk Road, and explorers Marco Polo and Alexander the Great both passed through this part of Afghanistan on their travels around the world. Friendly Faces in Afghanistan Afghan Woman Wearing a Burka Safety In Afghanistan Travelers don’t have to worry about the Taliban or Al-Qaeda in the Wakhan. It’s one of the few places in Afghanistan that has remained relatively conflict-free over the years. The Wakhan is part of Afghanistan’s Badakhshan Province. While the Taliban does have a presence in parts of Badakhshan, the Wakhan region itself is terrorist-free (for now). The main road leading in is currently controlled by the Afghan Military, who keeps the Taliban out. Most locals living in Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor are Ismaili Muslims, who practice a moderate form of Islam. They despise the Taliban, and generally welcome foreign travelers. It’s become an important part of their economy. But that doesn’t mean the Wakhan is a tourist hot-spot. The area sees a total of about 100 tourists every year. This is partly due to the taboo of traveling in a war-torn country, lack of reliable travel information including safety tips and remoteness of the region. My Tourist Visa from Afghanistan How To Get A Visa There is a very specific process for obtaining a visa to enter Afghanistan’s Wakhan corridor, and it involves a trip to the neighboring country of Tajikistan and a town called Khorog near the border. But first, you’ll need a double entry visa for Tajikistan. You cannot get a double entry visa on arrival at the airport, so you must apply for one in advance at an official embassy or consulate. Why? After you travel into Afghanistan through Tajikistan, you’ll need to leave through Tajikistan too. Which counts as a 2nd entry into Tajikistan. But typical visas for Tajikistan are only single entry. With your double-entry Tajik visa, the next step is to travel to the town of Khorog, where it’s possible to apply for an Afghanistan visa at the local consulate. Keep reading to learn more… Dushanbe, Tajikistan Arriving In Dushanbe Flying into the city of Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, is going to be your first adventure. Tajikistan has a reputation as one of the most corrupt countries in the world — and you’ll soon know why. Dushanbe airport officials asked me for bribes on 2 separate occasions. If you refuse, they send you to the back of the line, or move you to another line, over and over again until you give up and pay them. Dushanbe Accommodation: Twins Hotel | Rohat Hotel | Green House Hostel I recommend spending at least one night in Dushanbe, but probably more. You’ll need to exchange cash, buy last-minute supplies, and get a local sim card for your phone. The best cell phone company to use is TCell for cell service in the Pamir Mountains. You’ll even have some service on the Afghanistan side for a while. There’s a basic outdoor shop in Dushanbe called “BAP3ИШ” where you can buy a knife, stove gas, and other camping supplies you might need in the Wakhan. Nothing high-end, just cheap Chinese made stuff. Khorog from Above Traveling To Khorog Khorog is a mountain town in the heart of Tajikistan’s remote GBAO region. To travel in Tajikistan’s GBAO region, you need a GBAO permit. This can be obtained either when applying for your double-entry Tajikistan visa, or in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe at the OVIR office. Now you must travel to Khorog and apply for the Afghan visa in person. This requires a rough, dusty, 20 hours long 4×4 taxi journey over the Pamir Highway from Dushanbe. While there’s also a short flight from Dushanbe to Khorog, it’s not easy to get a ticket and is often canceled due to weather. Khorog Accommodation: Mountain River Guest House | Delhi Darbar Hotel | Pamir Lodge Khorog is a major stop for trekkers/cyclists/motorcyclists who are exploring the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan. It’s also the last place you’ll find an ATM, there are 2 or 3 in town. Plan on spending a least a night or two here before heading to Afghanistan. Downtown Khorog, Tajikistan Visiting The Afghan Consulate Khorog is home to a small Afghan consulate that has a reputation for giving out Afghan visas in as little as an hour. As an American, this same-day visa service cost me $200 USD. Why so much? Because the United States makes it difficult for Afghans to get a visa. So they return the favor with a high visa fee for Americans. The woman at the consulate was trying her best to persuade me not to visit. Saying the visa is too expensive for Americans, that it won’t be easy to travel there, etc. I assured her I was prepared and had been planning this trip for years. At the consulate, I had to explain why I wanted to visit Afghanistan (hiking in the Wakhan), and write/sign a letter acknowledging I alone was responsible for myself and my actions in Afghanistan. Afghanistan Border Crossing Hanging with Soldiers at a Military Checkpoint Crossing The Border With my shiny new Afghan visa in hand, I traveled to the Tajik border town of Ishkashim. It’s a 3 hour drive South of Khorog. One or two shared taxis head to Ishkashim from Khorog each morning. The desolate Afghanistan border post sits on the right side of the road before you actually reach the town of Ishkashim. Tajikistan border guards have a reputation for requesting bribes, so just be aware. On the Afghan side of the border, they searched my bags and scanned my passport through the INTERPOL database to ensure I wasn’t a fugitive. After that, I was in! Welcome to Afghanistan. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling nervous standing on Afghan soil. The border post is a few kilometers away from the nearest Afghan town of Sultan Eshkashim, so unless you want to walk there, an overpriced taxi ride costs $20 for a 10-minute drive. Ishkashim vs. Sultan Eshkashim: These are two different towns, and it can be confusing. Ishkashim is the border town on the Tajikistan side, Sultan Eshkashim is the border town on the Afghanistan side. Marco Polo Guesthouse in Sultan Eshkashim Hand-Written Wakhan Permit Eshkashim & Wakhan Permits Sultan Eshkashim is the entrance to the Wakhan Corridor. Many travelers are happy to just hang out there for a few days to experience a taste of Afghanistan before heading back to Tajikistan. But if you want to go hiking in the Wakhan, you need to acquire additional permits. Sultan Eshkashim Accommodation: Marco Polo Guest House (no website) While getting these permits on your own is possible, it’s a huge pain in the ass if you don’t speak Persian/Farsi. Instead, I hired an English speaking local to help for about $50. The permit process involves multiple passport photos, paperwork, plenty of tea, and stops at a few different government, police, and military offices. You’ll have to explain yourself to local officials questioning why you are there, what you do, etc. The whole ordeal takes 3-4 hours, provided all the offices are even open. They sometimes close down on certain days (Friday/Saturday). I got lucky, but if something is closed you may have to return the next day. Local officials eventually gave me a hand-written letter granting permission to travel to the next village, where I’d have to request permission again to move on further. Driving in the Wakhan Corridor Ruined Mosque in Khandud Driving To Sarhad-e Broghil Now that I had my permits for the Wakhan, it was time to make my way 200 km up the valley in an expensive 4X4 taxi to the village of Sarhad-e Broghil, where the road ends and the true wilderness begins. I hired a local translator/guide to join me on the trek. For the next 2 days, Yar Mohammad Attahi helped me navigate additional checkpoints and permit stops as we drove into the mountains while giving me the opportunity to actually communicate with locals. The 4X4 journey to Sarhad navigates some of the roughest roads I’ve ever seen. Over boulder fields, into rivers, along the edge of cliffs, and through deep desert sand. Our beat-up Toyota van was equipped with crappy shocks, broken windows, and was repeatedly crippled by flat tires (5 times). It was one wild ride! But because so few cars travel out here, and the route is unforgiving to vehicles, the price of this “taxi” journey is high — $350 one way. Once we made it to Sarhad-e Broghil, Yar and I spent the night at a guesthouse. The next day we began our 100 mile trek across the towering, snow-capped Pamir Mountains. READ MORE: Epic Pictures From Afghanistan Camping in Afghanistan with my Nemo Hornet 2P Hiking in the Wakhan Hiking In The Wakhan While I’ll go into more detail about the trek itself in future articles, I just wanted to share some logistics here. I found my guide/translator Yar in the Afghan border town of Sultan Eshkashim. At the end of the road in Sarhad, we hired a pack horse accompanied by its owner Panshambe to help carry our food & gear for the next 10 days of hiking. The three of us were completely on our own in the wilderness after Sarhad. Only passing through tiny Wakhi or Kyrgyz communities made up of a few stone huts and yurts. No markets, no doctors, no roads. I’d brought a camping stove and enough freeze-dried meals for 12 days, along with energy bars and trail mix for snacks. My companions packed rice, tea, and bread for themselves. Over the course of the trip we mixed and shared our supplies with each other. Unless you bring your own trekking food, your options are going to be limited. Canned fish, beans, rice, and sugar are available to buy in Sultan Eshkashim. But that’s about it. You can sometimes buy flatbread from locals in the mountains. The 10 day trek maintained altitudes between 12,000 and 16,000 feet. The trails themselves weren’t terribly difficult, as they are used by locals on a daily basis, but it’s the altitude and the dramatic weather that can mess you up. Some of the trails were perched on the edge of 300 foot drops, and when it snowed (yes, in August), these became much more dangerous. There were many river crossings, but nothing deeper than your knee. We hiked a loop from Sarhad to Chaqmaqtin Lake, starting on the “high” route through the 16,000 ft. Garumdee Pass, returning on the “low” river route back to Sarhad. You can read more about these trekking routes here. How Much Did It Cost? I spent 2 weeks in Afghanistan, with 10 days of those trekking. It cost me about $1800 USD. That doesn’t include 1 week spent in neighboring Tajikistan before and after the trip. Because just getting to the border of Afghanistan is a separate adventure that takes 2-3 days! To keep things simple, prices are in US Dollars. Tajikistan Costs Double Entry Tajikistan Visa: $55 USD GBAO Permit: $4-$20 USD Dushanbe Hotel: $10-$80 USD per night (x 2) 4X4 Taxi to Khorog: $38 USD (x 2) Khorog Hotel: $20-$50 USD per night (x 2) Taxi to Ishkashim: $9 USD (x 2) Afghanistan Costs Afghanistan Visa: $200 USD (cheaper if you’re not American) Taxi to Eshkashim: $20 (x 2) Guest House: $10-$25 USD per night (x 8) Wakhan Permits: $50 USD 4×4 Taxi: $350 USD one way (x 2) Pack Animal: $20 USD per day (x 10) Guide/Translator: $30 USD per day (x 14) Camping: Free I’d say you want to budget at least $2500 USD and 3 weeks for a similar trip, not including flights. Stuff goes wrong, delays happen, prices change, and credit/ATM cards are useless once you’re in Afghanistan. It’s a tough place to travel in that respect. You need to plan at least a few buffer days, and bring plenty of extra cash for unexpected situations. My Horseman (Panshambe) and Guide (Yar Attahi) Warnings About Travel In Afghanistan Afghanistan is still a very volatile country. While the Wakhan Corridor itself is pretty safe, a foreigner did disappear there recently, and other parts of the province have seen kidnappings and Taliban attacks. Just because it felt safe when I was there doesn’t mean it always will be. Also, it’s important for me to point out that the Afghanistan/Tajikistan border sometimes closes without warning. Usually because of Cholera outbreaks, sometimes just because of bureaucratic arguments. If it closes when you’re on the Afghan side, you’ll be stuck there until it opens again. Which could be a few days, or a few weeks. You need to be prepared for that possibility. Traveling overland from Kabul to the Wakhan is not a safe option at the moment, as there are Taliban controlled areas located between the two. Entering & exiting from Tajikistan is the safest option. Helpfull Websites About The Wakhan Trekking The Pamir Other Areas Of Afghanistan Driving In Afghanistan Nomad Revelations Ultimate Afghanistan Travel Guide Lost With Purpose Afghanistan Travel Guide Uncharted Backpacker Wakhan Corridor Guide If you’re planning a trip to the Wakhan, you can reach out to Yar Mohammad Attahi as a guide and translator. Tell him I sent you! More From Afghanistan This was just a brief overview of the logistics for traveling in Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor. I’ll be sharing much more about the incredible trek itself in future articles. If you’d like a notification when I publish something new about Afghanistan, make sure to sign up for my newsletter here. ★ Watch Video: Backpacking Afghanistan Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for new Adventure Travel Videos! (Click to watch Backpacking Afghanistan – Wakhan Corridor on YouTube) Enjoy This Post? Pin It! READ MORE TRAVEL TIPS I hope you enjoyed my guide on Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next: My Photo Essay From Afghanistan Travel Backpack Review Guide Useful Travel Tips After 9 Years Backpacking Top Travel Scams You Should Avoid Have any questions about Afghanistan? Would you ever consider traveling there? Drop me a message in the comments below! SHARE TWEET PIN More

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    Trekking Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail (My Trip Report)

    Hiking the Arctic Circle Trail Kangerlussuaq, Greenland Standing alone on Greenland’s barren ice cap in silence, you’re hit with the reality of how remote it is. Smiling, I hike West on the Arctic Circle Trail as snow begins to fall. Before visiting Greenland to hike the Arctic Circle Trail, I mistakenly assumed the country was […] More