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

Travel in Afghanistan

How to Travel Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor

Afghanistan

In August 2016 I traveled through Afghanistan for two weeks, an American 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 recommend everyone should go. The safety situation changes on a weekly basis, and requires a good deal of research/planning beforehand.

When I told family & friends I was planning a trip to Afghanistan, they thought I’d lost my mind. Afghanistan, that war-torn middle eastern 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 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.

Wakhan Corridor

Exploring the Wakhan on Foot

Wakhan Map

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.

Afghanistan Safety

Friendly Faces in Afghanistan

Woman in Blue Burka

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, and remoteness of the region.

Afghanistan Visa for Americans

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 Monument

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 Tajikistan

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 hour 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.

Khorog Downtown

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

Afghanistan Border Crossing

Afghanistan Checkpoint

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.
Wakhan Guesthouse

Marco Polo Guesthouse in Sultan Eshkashim

Wakhan Corridor Permission

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 Afghanistan

Driving in the Wakhan Corridor

Khandud Afghanistan

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.

Tent in the Pamir Mountains

Camping in Afghanistan with my Nemo Hornet 2P

Crossing a River in the Pamirs

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.

Wakhan Hiking Guides

My Horseman (Panshambe) and Guide (Yar Attahi)

Warnings

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

Other Areas Of Afghanistan

Wakhan Corridor Guide

If you’re planning a trip to the Wakhan, I highly recommend 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.

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READ NEXT: Should You Go To School Or Travel?

Have any questions about Afghanistan? Would you ever consider traveling there? Drop me a message in the comments below!

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In August 2016 I traveled through Afghanistan for two weeks, an American backpacking across the beautiful Pamir mountains in the Wakhan Corridor. This is how I did it.

In August 2016 I traveled through Afghanistan for two weeks, an American backpacking across the beautiful Pamir mountains in the Wakhan Corridor. This is how I did it.

Any Questions Or Comments?

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73 Comments

  1. As an Afghan who lived in similar area there, I admire your courageousness. I am glad you were able to see the other side of Afghanistan. Also, thank you for being objective! Nice work!

  2. the ultimate guide, surely . there were 3 days of skirmishes in May. road out of Khorog was closed. thats the news from some bikers. am working in a hostel in karakol KGZ. i get all the up dates!
    regards

  3. I’m so very glad you made it to Afghanistan after our chat about the country back in 2014. The impact on you will remain for years to come – it was an important part on my journey to becoming involved full time in the travel industry. You will want to return for sure – there is something very special about the people and those astonishing mountains.

    Another option for the Afghanistan visa is Dubai. I obtained my visa on the same day in Dubai (in 2013) for a fraction of the cost you paid. The process was easy but I did need a Letter of Introduction.

    Excellent post!

  4. Thank you for such a great blogs !! fantastic details and info. hoping to visit this part this year but i dont have more the two week in hand. wish i can explore some of part. i had dropped words to guide waiting for responds! what do u suggest if i have 2 week for entire journey! ?

  5. Just wanted to post an update. There has been a lot going on in the Afghan town of Sultan Eshkashim the past few weeks. The Taliban took control of town for a while, but were just kicked out by Afghan forces.

    I’m not sure I’d recommend an independent visit to the region until things cool off and the front-line moves farther away from Eshkashim (the border town you need to cross into from Tajikistan).

    Click here to read more about the operation.

    My thoughts are with friends in Sultan Eshkashim, I wish you good luck and safety.

  6. Hey Matt !! Images are really cool.
    Im a Pakistani National Living in Karachi & I can evaluate that being an American this trip would`ve been an entire different experience for you relatively to any other national.
    I would strongly recommend the Northen Pakistan to you & anyone who wish to visit breath taking valleys with endless sceneries.
    It is much more cheaper when it comes to your budget for trekking.
    Despite the people of Northern Pakistan comprise very little for their living but are full of hospitality & would beg you to stay at their place & allow them to be hospitable to you.
    Top of everything these lands have zero violance with trustworthy & strong hearted people.
    Deosai-Skardu-Gilgit Balitistan , Hunza(Naltar & Gojal Valley)-Shimshal(Karakoram-K2) & also Yes you can access Wakhan Corridor & Pamir Mountains too Via Hunza on Road.

  7. Hi,Bro i myself wafiullah iam from afghanistan i travelled most parts of afghanistan and really happy to see your adventurus story.hope you come again and again and visit more beautiful places thanks

  8. Great post Matthew! I would love to go to Afghanistan one day. What are the chances that you may travel to Somalia and perhaps to Mogadishu or to Somaliland?

  9. Hi Matthew, your blog is excellent. Congratulations and thank you very much for sharing! I was in Tajikistan in 2012 with my GBAO permit to travel across the Pamir road and hoping to visit Wakhan corridor but, unfortunately, just before I arrived, they closed the road for security reason (troubles in Khorog). I was planning to try again this year. By reading your story, it gives me more reasons to do it. So I will :) thanks again.

  10. The Wakhan Corridor looks and sounds like great hiking/trekking country. I live in Scotland and like to hike the ‘Munros’ when I can. I flew over Afganistan in 2012 on my way to Nepal to trek the Annapurna Circuit. I don’t know if I’d take a chance on Afganistan but it looks lovely! Good post and good info.

  11. I would recommend northern Pakistan. Per day you need about $10 which covers food and hotel and endless amazing scenery. There is also a valley Chapursan near to Wakhan it is also populated by Wakhi people and the cost is WAY cheaper than this with pretty much same environment it is also Pamir mountains.. to hire 4×4 vehicle including fuel I paid $60 for 3 days you can stay with local families for free or there are a couple cheap guethouse for $5-10 per day.

    1. January 7, 2017
      Lucky in bumping into you Jason. I felt happy in your suggestion to trek Northern Pakistan Where you come across the largest glaciers in the world. You trek to K2 – the second highest peak in the world – known as the ‘Killer Mountain’. One can trek up the roof of the world – Dosai Plataue. If anybody is interested in a trek to Wakhan, then rightly Chapurson is the answer and if more, trek up to Brogol and with Govt. stamps, jump across the Pakistan Afghanistan border into Wakhan through Brogol pass at 3382m or Darwaza Pass at 4288m and hit Nirs on Wakhan river. The people specially on Pakistan side are awesomsely hospitable and ahead too. From there one can go to Sarhad-e-Brogal and choice of going left or right into desolate and virgin lands. Now I am 70 and I have had my hay days hunting and trekking and I wish to have another bounce at Brogol to explore the 22 small and big lakes in the region.

      1. Hi Hashmi!
        If you been in Chipursan, please share some pictures or videos if you have got. I am basically from Chipurson valley and gathering visitors memories for a local liabrary.If you are planning for a visit contact me.

  12. I really enjoyed reading this as i’m trekking the Wakhan Corridor this summer with Secret Compass and an really looking forward to the adventure and the experience. Looking forward to reading your further posts on the actual trek. Was also wondering if you’ve come across any travel literature, either fiction/non-fiction written about the Wakhan corridor to start reading up on before i go. Ritchie

  13. The logistics of working through corruption is fascinating from an American perspective. Here I am sheltered from concepts like corruption.

    I’m traveling to Colombia in February. I hear rumors that their local police are corrupt, as well as the legal system.

    Did you learn these skills on the road through experience?

    1. I hope your Colombia trip went as planned. I’m going back there (3rd time) in April. I saw no corruption while there. Theft and such in broad daylight, but nothing like being shuffled to the back of the line until you pay a bribe. On the other hand, I never got a speeding ticket nor otherwise interacted with local government, only customs.

  14. Wow, that’s a really amazing blog post. Love the fact you include the beauty and the exulting details along with the practical ones that can be really uncomfortable. Always great to hear about areas that really are off your conventional beaten track for travel and I love hearing something travel has taught me: that at the end of the day generally speaking people are hospitable, curious, and welcoming. Looking forward to reading more of your work!

  15. Hello Matt,

    Great blog! I am an American who previously worked in Kyrgyzstan and who currently works in Tajikistan. This summer I was in Khorog and the Khorog airport and the road to Iskahshim parallel the border with Afghanistan and are just in some places 20m from the Afghan border (the border being the Panj river that separates Tajikistan and Afghanistan).

    This is the border that the British and Russian empires settled on in the late 1800s.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Hey Daniel! Glad you enjoyed it. Yeah Afghanistan is very close to the road around there. In my photo above captioned “Khorog from Above”, Afghanistan can be seen on the right side of that river.

  16. Thanks for the post. I was there in 1975 before the you know what hit the fan. I would go back in a heartbeat if I didn’t want to live so much!! A magnificent country with truly powerful and gracious people. If you would like to chat, shoot me an email anytime.

  17. What an incredible adventure Matt. You will be remembering this one all your life, I imagine. I’d consider something similar if I was about 20 years younger, but I look forward to reading about the rest of it. Well, I have a long list of unexplored places right here in SE Asia to keep me busy for awhile. Cheers!

  18. I am a solo female traveler so obviously many countries are off the list, with Afghanistan being one. I would like to venture to countries that are off the “tourist map” but safety is one of my concerns. Many of those “backwards” countries may still be unfriendly towards women.

    1. I met 2 female travelers in Afghanistan, but they were traveling with men. I can’t say for other parts of the country, but the last I heard is that the consulate in Khorog won’t give visas to solo-women at the moment. Hopefully that changes one day.

  19. I am so interested in doing it again after my previous try was thwarted by the single enter Tajik Visa. Would like to know if there are other groups or companies which offer expeditions in the Wakhan Corridor.

  20. I stumbled upon your blog & I love readings all the tips and experiences that u have. I always wanted to start my own travel blog but I have no idea on how to. But your post on how to start a travel blog is really helpful !! Thanks :) Love from Malaysia!

  21. Matthew, this is an amazing trip and post. I’ve only heard about the terrible side of Afghanistan from my military friends. I had a chance to go there two years ago as a civilian analyst but turned it down. Have you every watched “Spies Like Us?” The road to Dushanbe features prominently in the movie. It’s pretty unbelievable to look at old pictures of Afghanistan (1960’s) and see how modern they were. To think we once hated Russia so much that we trained the current generation of Taliban fighting against us!

  22. Wow! This is totally inspiring. Sadly most news about Afghanistan is not so nice. The beauty of the mountains is incredible. Hopefully the country will grow safer over the coming years.

  23. Awesome post! I was just in Tajikistan in September and was so tempted to go over into the Afghan Wakhan but didn’t due to time constraints for needing to be in Kyrgyzstan by a certain date. I’m definitely planning to go back next summer because I loved it so much, but this time I plan to leave enough time to cross in into Afghanistan! So this is a great reference, thanks!

    1. I have no plans going to Afghanistan but I follow this blog and have always enjoyed Matthew’s photos.

      I can’t help but commenting when I saw you are planning to visit there next year. I commend you for being brave Nicole.

  24. Love your photographs, beautiful and they help us to know about Afganistan. Our mindset is that, Afganistan is war proned country, terrorist everywhere but this sterotype is false. Thanks for writing about Afganistan.

  25. Thanks for providing useful information about Afganistan, due to war, its beauty diminished and you are also brave man which picked Afganistan for your travelling.

  26. Well done Matthew! I really loved reading your story and thanks for depicting such an incredible natural beauty of Afghanistan which is unfortunately not much seen on Media.
    Btw as an Afghan, visiting this amazing valley is on my bucket list as well :)

  27. I am an Afghan and living in Afghanistan. I have worked for almost 4 years in Badakhshan province and Wakhan corridor is one of the places that I wish to visit one day. People of Badakshan are very friendly so I encourage anyone wishing to visit this place to do so. It is one of the rarest places on earth. The mountains there have beautiful snow leopards. Make your dream come true, life is very short.

  28. I am happy that you visited Wakhan and you like it. Since, I am from Afghanistan and currently living in here, I recommend to come to Afghanistan directly, no need to go to Tajikistan and from there to Wakhan cuz it will be costly for you. Instead, you can fly to kabul and from Kabul to Badakhshan province which is only an hour flight. From Badakhshan you can hire a 4×4 which will take you near to Wakhan with low price and from there you can hire horses and guide to continue your journey. Afghanistan, has been showed to the world as an conflict or war zone, but once you are here and if you have some local contacts then you are safe as you are in your home. Good luck with your more adventures trips. Thanks for visiting a tiny part of Afghanistan :)

  29. Matthew, what an experience, an exciting adventurous, demanding… experience! Admire your creativity, desire and ability to accomplish. Different that your travel , yet the same basic area, the “stan” counties. As one seriously interested in train throughout, any suggestions for a lone older female? Thank YOU

  30. This was so good! I can’t wait to read about the rest of your travels. You might be covering this in an upcoming post, but what was the sense around female travellers — were there any? From what you saw, would it be safe, or would it be best to travel with a guy? I’m particularly curious since a guide and translator seem necessary, and they’d likely be men, I’m assuming.

    Gorgeous photos too, btw.

  31. Wow, Matthew, that sounds such a crazy of a trip!! It must be the most risky so far! Reading about everything you needed to go through in order to cross the border, it makes me wonder-have you at any point felt like you’re not going to manage to do it? The other thing is-did you feel safe being so remote and alone with 2 strangers? Did it cross your mind for even a moment that they might hurt you? Or kidnap you for ransome? Or even sell you?? Am I exagerating?
    I must say, it is an impressive adventure this one! Not for many! I bet you’re so proud of yourself for doing it!
    Enjoy the next places, I wonder if you’ll find them a bit boring for a while :-)

    Best wishes from Georgeta-Romanian born, living in UK for the past 7 years and aspiring to become a traveler sometime in 2019 (I know, I shouldn’t be waiting!!)

  32. Matthew! You are bonkers…and that is why you are a top traveller! Thank you for sharing your story, what an adventure you had! Yes there are some truths about safety, but the people i am pretty sure are lovely. Afghanistan, we must admit, is not in the bucket list, but it’s great so see you venturing out there and telling us about it.

    Did you ever think….”maybe i shouldn’t go”. Or you were up for it straight away? Did you lie/hide about your nationality?
    Feeling curious now….

  33. I’d love to do a similar trip in the next few years. I’m searching for flights now, just to get an idea on prices. Question: Where did you fly from? How much did it cost? Thanks!

    1. Hey Scott:
      If you are flying from East or Southeast Asia, and additional option to consider is Air Astana, which is Central Asia’s only airline currently cleared by the EU ASC and ICAO. I flew with them from BKK to Dushanbe and the experience was seriously memorable and colorful, replete with endlessly flowing vodka, nude passengers, and a seriously pricey beer.