A photographer's travel diary from Afghanistan's Bamiyan region

Photographer Laurence Tan from Singapore travelled to central Afghanistan during the summer to see the country for himself.  Although travel is not advised to the country, writing on his blog he explains, "I was determined to see Afghanistan for myself."

"Afghanistan is not your typical holiday destination. As I was planning my trip, the war had stretched into its 16th year.  Despite the elevated threat however, I found that there were still stable locations that were relatively safe for travellers to visit, one of them being the Bamiyan Valley."

Located in central Afghanistan, Bamiyan is situated along the ancient Silk Road. Bamiyan remains a unique travel destination for its historic Unesco sites, including the ruins of Shahr-e Gholghola and Shahr-e Zuhak, as well as the caves that were occupied by some 5000 monks during the town's heyday over 10 centuries ago. It is still a very popular place for Afghan people to visit.

The locals, no longer used to seeing visitors, were curious about Laurence's presence: "There was curiosity among the locals in meeting a foreign visitor, something which wasn’t common in their daily life. For them, it was also a rare opportunity to practice English which would be a useful skill in getting translation work," he explains.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to Afghanistan. Please check with your relevant national government.

A photographer's travel diary from Afghanistan's Bamiyan region

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