Sandwiched between two tremendous regions – Afghanistan and China, this ancient Persian settlement consists of a mêlée of clans. It has a towering and swashbuckling history attached to it.
Tajikistan is the land where Alexander the Great quarreled with the Scythians, where Russian and British envoys played cat and mouse, and, most recently, where civil war exploded. As a result, it is rich and abundant in travel experiences, bestowing stunning scenery and giant peaks.
Ideal for those who love some Adventure with capital A, this is a wild, rocky region where you’ll discover yurt-dwelling farmers, sparkling lakes, and the Pamir Highway; Tajikistan is one of Asia’s incredible road expeditions.
The ex-Soviet Republic of Tajikistan is a genuinely wonderful country that you don’t want to skip on your Silk Road trip.
In this short Tajikistan travel guide, you will find everything you need to know when planning to travel to Tajikistan: how to get a visa, essential things one needs to be aware of before going, and what one should pack for the upcoming trip.
So let’s begin.
How to Get an Electronic Visa When Traveling to Tajikistan
In 2016 the Tajikistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiated granting eVisas to inhabitants of most western countries to help facilitate the tourism and business visa handling procedure.
The Tajikistan eVisa remains valid for up to 90 days (three months) and permits all eligible travelers to stay in Tajikistan for up to 60 days (two months).
Most nationalities can apply for an eVisa online before their visit to Tajikistan.
Moreover, the Tajikistan eVisa can be issued as a single-entry or a multiple-entry visa.
There is also another type that bestows its holders the chance of passing into the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO)!
Apply for your travel permit from home or any other place following a quick and intuitive online application process and get the approved document delivered to your email inbox within a maximum 3 business days!
Six Essential Things to Know When Traveling to Tajikistan
- Keep Your Cash Handy
Tajikistan’s official currency is Samoni; however, if you are traveling to Tajikistan, it is advised to carry US dollars with you. As finding ATMs can be problematic in Tajikistan, even if you are lucky enough to spot one, there is no guarantee it will be in excellent working condition.
Therefore keep your cash handy to save yourself from not having any money while abroad. Many local guesthouses and stores easily accept US Dollars.
- Get to Know the Local Languages
Language can be a massive issue in Tajikistan as most local people are not familiar with English. Hence it will be wise to catch up with some local phrases to get going.
Tajik is the official language of Tajikistan, and because of the ex-soviet state status, many people are well conversant with the Russian dialect. Having a little knowledge of any of the two languages will make your Tajikistan trip more comfortable.
- Have a Strong Network of Guesthouses and Homestays
Infrastructure and development-wise, Tajikistan is not on the top list of wanderers; however, homestays are a great hit in Tajikistan.
Local guesthouses are the simplest way to get a glance at local life in Tajikistan. They’re famous all over the country, even in its most isolated corners. In addition, you can use Tajikistan’s homestay network to get insight into local people and their culture.
- Poor Hygienic Conditions
Hygiene standards are lacking in Tajikistan; getting infected by diarrhea and stomach issues are common problems for every traveler visiting Tajikistan.
Over the past years, there has been a slight improvement in Tajikistan’s hygienic conditions, but there is a long way to go. Clean water, basic toilets, and good hygiene practices are the leading factors for increasing health issues in the regions.
Make sure to keep a few essential items with you at all times, including a hand sanitizer, some tissues, water filters, and some stomach ache medicine.
- Transportation Accessibility
In the central and big city center Khujand, the availability of buses, minibusses, and taxis is quite extensive. Local trains run to some of the primary locations.
There is also a good facility of shared taxis and minibusses plying certain roads such as the run from Dushanbe to Khujand, and Penjikent and east to Khorog.
You can also rent a self-drive car although road infrastructure isn’t that great, petrol stations are rare and far between, and there are no automobile repair companies if your car breaks down. Thus, public transportation is far more reasonable to use in this case.
- Food and Alcohol Availability
Similar to all Central Asian countries, the food will be the highlight of your journey. In local restaurants, you will easily get your hands on local delicacies like shashlik, meat skewers; lagman, a noodle soup; manti, fatty meat dumplings; or plov, rice fried in lamb fat.
In some regions like Pamirs and various guesthouses, you are likely to find sherpa in every nook and corner, which is a type of meat broth.
As for alcohol availability, similar to all ex-Soviet countries, you can easily find beer and vodka everywhere around the region, so we guarantee you won’t sleep dry.
What to Bring for a Trip to Tajikistan
- Pack warm clothes: Weather conditions in Tajikistan are entirely unpredictable because most of the Tajikistan region is mountains.
Weather is likely to change at any hour in Tajikistan. If you plan to visit Tajikistan, make sure you check the weather conditions and keep some warm clothes handy to avoid getting cold. In this case, layering your clothes would be perfect!
- Carry Medicines: Altitude sickness is a severe issue in Tajikistan, especially if you are a first-time traveler. At these heights, altitude sickness is hazardous, and visitors need to take care of it. Therefore, it will be best if you carry your medical box along with you on your trip.
- Keep Hand Sanitizer: As stated above, hygienic conditions are not up to the mark in Tajikistan. For your health and hygiene safety, we recommend you carry your sanitizers and soap in a small handbag, especially amidst the outbreak of the pandemic.
Tajikistan’s landscapes are beautiful, its people a delight. If you are planning to visit Tajikistan, you’re about to embark on a huge adventure!
Though things may not always go as your plan, no need to fear; we are sure you will have the time of your life. Hopefully, the above-mentioned Tajikistan tips will help you prepare best for your trip to Tajikistan and make your journey a memorable one!