Welcome to Kabul
Kabul has come a long way since the Taliban's 2001 ouster. Once a stop on the old hippy trail to India, then ruined by the civil war, the city has boomed in recent years, with endless new buildings being thrown up, fancy restaurants, busy bazaars and an air thick with the sound of mobile phones. But scratch the surface and things aren't always so rosy – the infrastructure creaks, electricity and clean water remain an aspiration for too many, and the background thrum of security alerts and road barriers remind you that Kabul's path to reconstruction continues to be rocky. As an introduction to Afghanistan it's exciting, frustrating, inspiring and shocking in equal measure.