Welcome to Afghanistan

The most recent cycle of violence started with the Soviet invasion of 1979, a bloody 'David and Goliath' conflict, with the underdogs eventually besting the superpower. But the war's dividend wasn't peace, but a ruinous civil war – a morass that came back to haunt the West in the shape of the medieval Taliban. The subsequent ousting of the Taliban promised another new start, but Afghanistan's rebirth as an infant democracy has been troubled at best. Despite early promise, stability has proved difficult to find, with patchy reconstruction and the south of the country in particular bleeding from a deep-rooted insurgency.

Yet before all this bloodshed, Afghanistan had formed part of the original overland hippie trail, beguiling its visitors with great mountain ranges, a rich mix of cultures – and the Afghan people themselves, who greeted all with an easy charm and ready hospitality.

A battered, but beautiful and proud country, Afghanistan's road to recovery lies as strewn with pitfalls as ever, and the resilience of its people remains under strain.

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Afghanistan activities

$543 Cultural & Theme Tours

4-Night Kashgar Tour of Xinjiang

Day 1: Arrive in KashgarYour guide will pick up from Kashgar airport and transfer to your hotel.Day 2: Explore Kashgar cityExplore rich culture of the Uighurs in Kashgar. First, visit Livestock market which is the most interesting and traditional part of the Sunday market. Then, continue on to the largest bazaar in Central Asia at the Kashgar Sunday Main Bazaar. Later, spend time by Id Kah mosque, the largest mosque in China, and marvel at the intricate architecture of Kashgar’s historic Apak hoja tomb. You will also spend time in Kashgar old town and have dinner with a local Uighur family.Accommodation: 4-star Qinibagh HotelDay 3: Kashgar to Karakul Lake and stay at a local family yurtToday set out along the Sino-Pakistan Karakorum Highway on Pamir Plateau (the roof of the world) where you will see colorful Oytagh Kunlunshan Mountain range and Bulungkol Valley (White Sand Mountain) before visiting Karakul Lake (11,811f/3600m above sea level). The lake sits at the feet of the notorious, Muztagh Ata (24758f/7546m) and Gongur (25,3235f/7719m) Mountains. "Muztagh Ata" means Father of the Ice Mountain and is one the most beautiful and mysterious mountains in the world. Travelers from around the world visit here to experience the live of its own, which is why you must spend the night in a yurt of a local Kyrgyz family.Accommodation: YurtDay 4: Karakul Lake to Tashkorgan After breakfast, hike around Karakul lake. You can visit local villages and homes of local residents before driving to Tashkorgan after lunch. Cross through Subash Pass, from where, you can see more beautiful views of the valley and majestic peaks of Muztagh Ata and Konger. If you prefer, your driver and guide will make a stop at Tagharma Village surrounded by beautiful grassland and colorful trees for you to visit a local Tajik family before arriving in Tashkorgan in late afternoon to enjoy some personal free time. Tashkorgan, used to be an important hub on the old Silk Road, is an area borders Pakistan and Afghanistan with Kunjerab Pass connecting them.Accommodation: 4-Star Crown Inn HotelDay 5: Tashkorgan to Kashgar/departVisit Stone Fort, Tajik Village, Prairies, Tashkorgan Museum, and then drive back Kashgar. After breakfast, you will have an opportunity to see the ancient stone fort of the town, Tashkurgan, which is still standing after 1,800 years! Then, walk around Tajik neighborhoods and pay a visit to local Tajik families living in this historic town. After lunch, drive back Kashgar and you will be transferred to Kashgar Airport where this 5-day tour concludes.

$27.72 Cultural & Theme Tours

Walking city tour of Minsk

Learn the history of the capital and largest city of Belarus on a walking tour of the historic center of Minsk. Meet your local guide at the main entrance of the Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, and then take a stroll around the main highlights.Get a well rounded introduction to the history, buildings and events of the city from a guide licensed by the local ministry of tourism. Pass wonderful viewing points close to the cathedral to take souvenir photos. Discover the Music Hall that used to be part of a monastery in historical times, and experience its special atmosphere and architecture. Walk to Nemiga Bridge over the Svisloch River, and then explore the old town suburb of Troitskoe Predmestye. Learn how people lived in the city in the 18th century.Continue to the Island of Tears to see the memorial and hear stories of the Soviet soldiers from Belarus who died in the decade-long war with Afghanistan between 1979 and 1989.

$1710 Cultural & Theme Tours

Dushanbe to Osh on Pamir Highway

ItineraryDay 1: DUSHANBE TO DARVOZ (KALAIKHUM) 5–6 HRSStop At: Dushanbe International AirportDrive towards Kulob on A385 road. Enjoy the views of one of the world’s highest hydropower station Nurek in a distance. Visit 11th-century Hulbuk Palace before Kulob village. Head on to the Shurobod pass. After the pass, deep rocky valleys and gorgeous mountains open up. Drive along Panj River with amazing mountain views and through numerous local villages. Arrival in Kalaikhum village. Dinner and overnight in a homestay.Duration: 1 hourNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.Day 2: DARVOZ (KALAIKHUM) TO KHOROG CITY, 5-6 HRSStop At: Darvoz GuesthouseBreakfast. Travel to Khorog city. The road continues along the Afghan border with picturesque scenery and widens up in the Vanj valley with gorgeous mountain views along the river. Arrival in Khorog city. Accommodation in a hotel. Afternoon, do evening hike in a Botanical Garden that has various plants and trees to explore.Duration: 13 hoursNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.Day 3: KHOROG CITY - ISHKASHIM VILLAGE - YAMCHUN FORTRESS & HOT SPRINGS - LANGAR VILLAGE, 5-6 HRStop At: Khorog B&BBreakfast. Visit fortress Khaaka on the way at Namadgut village right after leaving Ishkashim village. It is worth a 10 minutes stop. Take another detour on the way at Yamchun to admire the 12th century Yamchun Fortress rising from a platform of natural rock. Walk up to the edge of the fort and you will have an amazing view of Wakhan valley. Further up the hillside are located the hot springs of Bibi Fatima with its crystal waters rich in minerals. Walk back to your car and drive to Langar village.Duration: 14 hoursNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.Day 4: LANGAR VILLAGE - PANORAMA RIDGE TREK ( 3-4 HRS) AT KARGUSH PASS – BULUNKUL & YASHILKUL LAKES – ALICHUR VILLAGE, 7-8 HRStop At: ヤムチュン砦Breakfast. Travel to Kargush pass, 2hrs. Road follows the river Pamir all the way to Kargush checkpoint with the chance to admire the Big Pamir of Afghanistan with nomadic Afghan Kyrgyz caravans. Arrival at the Kargush pass and start the 3-4 hrs trek to Panorama Ridge at 4800 meters. While walking up, two small lakes behind you at roadside open up to cheer you. Enjoy the stunning mountain scenery of Great Pamir on Afghan border on the top of pass. Walk back to your car. Take another side trip to see alpine lakes Bulunkul Yashilkul. Drive to Alichur village, 1 hr.Duration: 1 hourNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.Day 5: ALICHUR VILLAGE - OBSERVATORY HILL - MURGAB VILLAGE - KARAKUL LAKE , 6-7 HRStop At: Homestay AigerimBreakfast. We take a detour to Observatory Hill. You will see a nice view of Muztagh Ata peak of China on top of the hill if no clouds in the sky. Down the hill, there is a Soviet truck full of skulls of Marco Polo sheep inside. Once upon a time, it was a hunting camp. Back to the main road and go to Murgab village. Lunch in a local guesthouse or café. Travel goes on to Karakul lake with the highest pass Akbaital (4655 m) you will ever do in Tajikistan, 3hr. Take photos of glaciers on the pass. Arrival in Karakul lake. Overnight and dinner in a guesthouse.Duration: 14 hoursNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.Day 6: KARAKUL LAKE - SARYMOGOL VILLAGE – LENIN PEAK BASE CAMP, 4–5 HRSStop At: Lenin Peak, OshBreakfast. Drive to the checkpoint, 1hr. Cross the borders and head up to the Lenin Peak Base Camp via Sarymogol village, 3 hrs. Arrival in the yurt camp at the base camp and lunch in a yurt. Explore the snowcapped Lenin Peak in Pamir mountain range by taking a day hike from your yurt camp to the Traveler’s pass at 4130 meters, 3 hrs. Enjoy the beauty of glaciers while walking up to the pass. Rest at the top of the Traveler’s pass to gaze at glaciers tumbling off the massive peak. Back to your yurts, 2 hrs. Overnight and dinner in a yurt.Duration: 15 hoursNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.Day 7: LENIN PEAK BASE CAMP– SARYMOGOL VILLAGE - OSH CITY, 4–5 HRSPass By: Hostel CBT OshBreakfast. Drive to Osh city along the numerous Kyrgyz villages and shepherd’s yurts scattered in mountains slopes, 5 hrs. Arrival and be accommodated in your hotel. End of the trip.No meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.

$224 Multi-day & Extended Tours

2-Day Private Trip to Tashkorgan from Karshgar with Accommodation

Day 1: Kashgar - Karakul Lake - Tashkorgan (L, D) Your English speaking guide and private car will pick you up at 8:00am in your hotel's lobby.Then heading directly to the Karakul lake which is on the way to Tashkorgan. It will take about four hours. You will heading to the Karakul Lake via China-Pakistan Karakorum Highway.The Karakoram Highway, also known as the Friendship Highway in China, was built by the governments of Pakistan and China.It is one of the highest paved roads in the world.On the way you will pass through some small villages, the stunning scenery along the way almost completely unspoiled,site back and enjoy the sceneries along the way. Karakul Lake is the highest lake of the Pamir plateau.Surrounded by mountains which remain snow-covered throughout the year.The lake is popular among travellers for its beautiful scenery and the clarity of its reflection in the water, whose color ranges from a dark green to azure and light blue. While the lake and mountainside is very beautiful and picturesque, it was more the experience of meeting the local Kirghiz people who constantly moving from pasture to pasture. Your lunch will be hold in their yurt where you can enjoy all the charms of a nomadic lifestyle.Arrive Tashkorgan in the late afternoon and stay overnight in the per-arranged accommodation (inclusive).Day 2: Tashkorgan - Kashgar (B, L)After breakfast you will heading directly to visit the Stone Fort and visit Tajik villageTaskorgan County is located in the eastern part of the Pamir Plateau, at the borders with Afghanistan,Tajikistan and Pakistan.It was once an important hub on the old Silk Road.Because of its strategic importance, it was made the capital of Puli Country in Western Regions during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220). After the Western Regions were unified and ruled by the Tang Government, administrative offices were established here. Later in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) the Government repaired its old buildings and enlarged its area.It was in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) that the Government built a new city to the south and the Stone City was abandoned.Built on a mound of 20 meters high, all that remains of the Stone City today are some parts of the periphery of city, such as the gate, city wall whereas the buildings inside the city had all collapsed. However you can still enjoy the view of the ruined city, the surrounding snow-crowned mountains, grasslands, rivers and even the flavor of national traits of the Tajik people. Here you will not only enjoy the nature beauty of the area, but also to get to know better the life of the local Tajik people and their unique culture!After lunch, drive back to Kashgar, and you can make stops along the way if you want to take photos. Return to your Kashgar city hotel around 7pm.

$67.52 Cultural & Theme Tours

Pamukkale Tours From Turunc

What is Pamukkale?The surreal, brilliant white travertine terraces and warm, limpid pools of Pamukkale hang,like the petrified cascade of a mighty waterfall, from the rim of a steep valley side in Turkey’s picturesque southwest.Truly spectacular in its own right, the geological phenomenon that is Pamukkale, literally "Cotton Castle" in Turkish,is also the site of the remarkably well-preserved ruins of the Greek-Roman city of Hierapolis.With such a unique combination of natural and man-made wonders it’s little wonder that Pamukkale-Hierapolis has been made a Unesco World Heritage site.With over two million visitors annually, it is also Turkey’s single most visited attraction.Why go?There are dramatic travertine terraces dotted all around the globe, from China to Iran, the USA to Afghanistan.But nowhere else in the world can visitors enjoy exploring both picturesque travertine formations,built up over the millennia from limestone deposited by the abundant hot springs, and the colonnaded streets,temples, bath houses, necropolis and theatre of the remains of an idyllically located Greek-Roman spa city, Hierapolis.You can even bathe, as the Romans once did, in a picturesque pool filled with warm (around 36C), mineral rich waters and swim amongstsubmerged columns of great antiquity.

$186 Outdoor Activities

Kite Flying & Turban Tying Experience At Dera Mandawa, Jaipur

You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to Dera Mandawa, a boutique hotel located in a beautiful 19th century mansion. As soon as you enter the hotel, you are captivated by the luxury and traditional charm of the surroundings.Upon arrival you will be greeted in the traditional way by attentive staff who will help you tie a colorful turban around your head. Then move over to the terrace of the mansion and get initiated into the art of kite flying.Kite flying has been a passionate hobby in the entire Indian Subcontinent, stretching from Afghanistan to Bangladesh. The young and old alike spend hours in this favorite pastime. Learn how to harness the kite with the specially made string and watch your kite soar up in the sky. Spend the next few hours in gay abandon as you learn to handle the kite. You may even get to see some locals engaged in kite flying from the terraces of their homes.Enjoy a cup of tea and some light refreshments after which you will be driven back to your hotel.