Blogs from Murgab, Tajikistan, Asia


Asia » Tajikistan » Murgab August 13th 2017

Months ago, we had read about a horse festival held the second week of August each year in Murghab. We were not certain if we would be in town on the right dates but as it turned out our timing was perfect and we were very fortunate to attend this local festival. As we entered the outskirts of this town, we turned to the right, went up a rather steep incline and there it was…..a gathering of locals and visitors alike….for the annual horse festival. We are not entirely sure how long they have been holding this festival, but it appears to be at least about 10 years since the first one. A website dedicated to the festival states that, the foundation named “Kyrgyz Ate” and the “Kirghiz NGO for the protection and the promotion of ... read more
Riding high in the saddle
Kicking up some dust
Narish accepted Tara's scarf

Asia » Tajikistan » Murgab July 22nd 2016

July 22 - Pamir Highway trip Day 11 - Murgab to Karakul Today we had breakfast at 8am and our new driver, Baatr, arrived in a flashy red jeep. We paid Dish and he took off home. He couldn't come with us because his passport expired. It will only take him six hours to get back to Khorog, while it's taken us about a week to get here from there. We had to wait for our new driver to come back, as he had gone home for something, I think. He picked us up around 9:15am and then we hit the road. We drove first on a slight detour to Pshart Valley, just outside of Mugrab. We drove in for about an hour, and it was quite beautiful. It was a dirt track, but it was ... read more
Sitting area at the homestay
Left door shower, right door toilet
View from homestay

Asia » Tajikistan » Murgab July 21st 2016

July 21 - Pamir Highway trip Day 10 - Bulunkul to Murgab I wanted to get up to pee in the night at 3:30am, but heard dogs barking and decided not to. I got up at 4:50am instead, and took the long walk. It was cold, but not too bad. It was light out, but the sun wasn't over the horizon. And the full moon was just setting over the mountains. It was beautiful. I grabbed my camera when I went back and tried for a picture, but it didn't work as well with the lighting as I'd hoped. Lack of skill. I didn't sleep that well overall, I think it's due to the altitude. We slept at about 3737m. I'm beginning to see and feel the evidence of bed bug bites from previous homestays. That ... read more
Moonset at sunrise

Asia » Tajikistan » Murgab November 4th 2013

PAMIR x 2! THE RETURN! Riding on the Pamir Highway from Alichur, Tajikistan, to Sary Tash, Kyrgyzstan. To make it short for those of you who don’t want to read the whole thing... I ended up riding on the Pamir Highway again, this time with a nice tail wind (except the last day to the border) and as you can imagine, it was fantastic, with blue sky, snow capped-mountains, clear streams, turquoise lakes, peaceful camping at high altitude and serenity all over! Loved the Pamir! I had been riding with Sacha (young man from Geneva) through the Wakhan Corridor and the area around Bulunkul for 6 days when we reached Alichur. Sacha’s friends were waiting for us in a yurt outside town. When we got there, the 2 girls (Maria and Manon, both from Switzerland) informed ... read more
highest point on the Pamir Highway
hello Karakul!

Asia » Tajikistan » Murgab November 1st 2013

Cycling around Bulunkul, in the Pamirs. The area around Bulunkul is one of the loveliest in the Pamir area. Most tourists call it the Lake Area. After 5 tough days on the Wakhan Valley with Sacha, we decided to cycle the loop within a day and made it but, once again in the Pamir, it was very challenging! We expected the 35km to be smooth and easy but it was all up and down with extremely sharp up hills in sand or gravel. We were kind of lucky because it didn’t rain or it wasn’t foggy in the morning, but unfortunately no blue sky, which would have completely enhanced the colors of the lakes. Next time? The best thing about the Bulunkul Lake Area was that we were absolutely alone. After stopping for tea, bread and ... read more
exploring, enjoying, relaxing
what can you see?
pretty cool, no?

Asia » Tajikistan » Murgab October 25th 2013

THE PAMIR HIGHWAY IN TAJIKISTAN Bienvenue au Tajikistan! (Francais en bas de la page) The second-highest altitude international highway in the world (4,655 m). THE PHYSICAL CHALLENGE: From Sary Tash, Kyrgyzstan, I climbed up to 4285m of altitude to reach the Tajik border. It was very tough. Of course I was on a dirt road, alone, and carrying heavy bags (more than 50kg) with 7 liters of water (too much since I realized I could drink the water from streams coming down from the surrounding snow-capped mountains). I had to stop every minute or so to catch my breath. I didn’t have any headache but it took me a long time to get to the summit. Many people had told me that once on the top, on the plateau, riding on Pamir Highway would be easy. ... read more
hello Pamir!

Asia » Tajikistan » Murgab June 7th 2013

The differences could not have been more stark. There are two towns within five kilometres of each other both called Ishkashim. The one in Afghanistan was dry, dusty with unpaved streets, ramshackled buildings, irregular electricity supply and the streets dominated by ambling men. In contrast, the paved roads of Ishkashim in Tajikistan were lined were elegant, tall poplar trees, neat buildings, and smartly dressed men and women were seen in numbers. The only similarity was the desire of residents to know about the Ishkashim on the other side of the border. It felt good to be back in Tajikistan. The next morning my driver, Mendibay, one of the many Kyrgyz living in the Pamir Mountains (the Pamirs), arrived at the guest house sporting metal caps on his teeth often found in the region. His Mitsubishi Pajero ... read more
Man of Murgab - Tajikistan
Trekking in the Pamirs - near Rang-kul, Tajikistan
Me admiring Yamchun Fort - Tajikistan

Asia » Tajikistan » Murgab July 4th 2010

Flip-flops and the Pamirs don't go together according to some, but I say there is no better combination. And to prove the point I have been using them in abundance while I visited the region. Most people called me crazy and if I had died and instantly preserved I am sure I would have caused quite a conundrum to future archaeologists. I can imagine the conversation going on: 'We thought these were mountains 2 million years ago, but here is a man in shorts and flip-flops, which would indicate the presence of a sea?' But of course I didn't die, instead I strutted around with purposeful strides through some of the most stunning sceneries I have seen. First we headed up Bartang valley, and with we I mean Danielle, Ricky and I, though only I was ... read more
Bartang Valley
Bartang Valley
Bartang Valley

Asia » Tajikistan » Murgab May 23rd 2010

Here we are setting out from Khorog again on our second attempt to get to Murghab. This time we're taking the Pamir Highway, built by the Soviets in 1931-1934 to facilitate troop transport into the remote region. It was off-limits to travellers until recently and its still a pretty remote road mostly used by Chinese trucks. We pass a couple of large truck compounds on our way. The first 70 miles or so is through the green Gunt Valley (sorry - no photos, they have gone missing) and then we start slowly and steadily climbing upto the Koi-Tezek Pass (4272m) and the Pamir plateau. At the top there's lots of the snow and the temperatures drop right down. But its nothing like the 'muddy pass' the other day, the road surface is good and we manage ... read more
Khorog market
wacky, art deco Khorog apartment block
the first car to travel the Pamir Highway

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