Pamir Highway touring
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Oct 27, 2013 10:20 AM Last Post By: KenI
Oct 10, 2013 3:36 AM
Pamir Highway touringAs part of a 6 week backpacking Stan trip in September 2013 I was keen to traverse the Pamir Hwy. All the advice suggested that local transport was thin on the ground and I decided that as I was only going to be here once I would book a jeep and a guide. My research revealed precious few outfits that offer the trip and, more disturbingly, even less information regarding the reliability and quality of operators. In the end I booked a tour. It was a leap of faith and there was a lot of anxiety on my part as to whether I would see anything in return for my substantial deposit. Hence this post as feedback for other travellers.
I booked online with Pamir Guides http://www.pamirguides.com/tours-treks and did the 11 day trip from Osh to Dushanbe (in reverse). I am happy to report that these guys are for real and the trip I did (with my son) was well worth the seemingly pricey $3000. The trip covered pretty much all that there is to see in the Pamirs. Lots of it was remote but beautiful off road stuff and the quality of driver, guide (Saidali the owner of the company) and vehicle was first rate.
After speaking with Saidali I can confirm that he can tailor make tours according to individual traveller's needs and at relatively short notice.
Oct 11, 2013 9:32 AM
Nice to hear some really positive feedback and that Saidali and Pamir Guides provided a great value tour and that your trust was rewarded. I bet you also got some great photos because you opted for a private vehicle rather than shared public transport.
It would be useful if you could outline your itinerary for others thinking of following in your footsteps.
A META supporter.
Oct 12, 2013 5:21 PM
2Rather than reproduce 11 days worth of itinerary here is the link: https://docs.google.com/a/pamirguides.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=cGFtaXJndWlkZXMuY29tfHd3d3xneDoxODQxZDViNzM4OTU3MmZk.
Yes the whole point of the exercise is to see as much as possible of this stunningly beautiful countryside. The Pamir Hwy is beautiful but in the end that comprised only 25% of the superb scenery that we saw for this trip.
The cost of the 11 days was cheap by western standards but well out of the standard backpacker range.
There is a dearth of information about tour operators in this area and I stressed about booking this tour and paying my deposit. I was mentally prepared for the possibility that no one would turn up and I would lose my money. As it turns out I got a magic 11 days with a really nice guide.
This was my reason for this post. Anyone else researching the Pamirs now has one company that has been vouched for online. That's one more than I had when I made my "leap of faith" paying my deposit.
Oct 13, 2013 1:35 AM
3Thanks for the link.
Yes, we took that leap of faith for the same road trip four years ago. We were simply asked to show up in Dushanbe and pay.
Since those days there are a few more resources on the web that provide some insight, without still ever getting remotely near an ABTA guarantee.
Oct 15, 2013 10:02 AM
Oct 18, 2013 10:50 AM
Oct 27, 2013 10:20 AM
6Pamir Guides quoted me a price of almost exactly 2000 dollars per person (2 people traveling) for a 13 day trip from Osh to Dushanbe via the Wakhan Valley, including some horse trekking. It sounds really steep to me, and I do not want to overpay. At the same time, if that is a reasonable ballpark figure for that good of a trip, we will be happy to pay it. We do NOT want to go all the way there from California just to sit in public transport missing out on the best the region has to offer.
Thank you Peter for reconfirming the impression I already had about that company. A very useful report indeed.
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