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Afghanistan FAQ & Security Thread

Since the demise of the old security thread, and the number of frequently asked I thought it might be a good idea to start a new 'Afghan FAQ' thread attempting to cover the most frequently asked questions and provide up to date information in one thread on not only security, but the most frequently asked questions about flights, travelling the Khyber pass and the classic 'is it safe?', since so many gems of information get lost in individual threads.

Hopefully everyone here, both our regulars…

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Border crossing Afghanistan - Iran

Good evening to all!

How are you doing??

Please does any one know if the border between Afghanistan and Iran is opened for foreigners??
My plans are going from Herat to Mashad by bus and / or taxi.

Thanks so much! Your opinions and suggestions are always welcome and very useful!!! :-)

All the best
M

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High Quality Gifts in Kabul

If you're looking to buy some really good quality gifts while you're in Kabul, let me recommend GANJINA on street #3, two blocks north of Shar e Nau Park. Very high quality, very reasonable prices, a good variety of items to choose from. Website: www.afghanartisans.com. Also check out the calligraphy at Turquoise Mountain Foundation.

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ATMs in Kabul

I tried to use several different ATMs in Kabul. They didn't accept international credit or debit cards. AIB Bank near the Etisalaat Building in Shar e Nau did accept my cards. Don't know if this is common knowledge or not; figured it might save someone some worry and hassles.

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Is it safe travel to Israel and Jordan after the last incidents?

My partner and me we're going to travel to Israel and Jordan from December 27 to January 5 .
After the last incidientes ( attacks , riots ... ) we're pretty worried. Has someone recently visited these two countries and can tell us how the situation is and if it's possible to travel safely?

We must decide soon what to do, so we will really appreciate your help.

Thank you very much .

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HAI PHONG ACCOMMODATION

Planning to visit Haiphong at the end of the year. Any recent info on centrally located hotels in the USD 20-25 RANGE WOULD BE GRATEFULLY RECIEVED. Good health !

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Governor's Guest House, Panjshir

Is the Govenor's Guest House in Panjshir still open? Any other official options?

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Travelers Checks / U.S. Dollars

Are there any places in Kabul where travelers checks are accepted? If so, what type? Also, now that the U.S. has been issuing new varieties of counterfeit-proof currency, are the money changers in the bazaars up to speed with the changes? I've heard rumblings about counterfeit U.S. bills in circulation in Afghanistan; are U.S. 50 and 100 dollar bills still considered good?

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Tour Review

Greetings, I trust all is well. I joined the Untamedborders (UTB) Melon and Grapes tour this year and I must say it was wonderful and fascinating. We had an excellent group of travelers and the guides were invariably helpful, knowledgeable and had great senses of humor (that later trait is especially important for me and this would be one of those countries where it helps). We really got to know each other and we became a compatible smooth group. There is nothing like being around experienced…

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Holguin Casa Particulares

Per my previous post(s), I am traveling to Cuba for a short 7 day trip and plan to base ourselves out of Holguin.

Any recommendation for casas in Holguin? My guide books lists several casas plus there are websites but any personal recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

In advance, many thanks