Shurabad Pass

The Pamir Highway

With any luck, there will be enough light left in the day after any delays crossing the Shurabad Pass to enjoy the first glimpse of the raging Pyanj River – a constant companion throughout a Pamir Hwy journey – at this viewpoint on the zigzag descent from Kulob to the Pyanj valley. The road eventually glides down to the water's edge and threads through the canyon-like landscape, with only the river dividing Tajikistan from Afghanistan.

There is something mesmerising about following the paths of people on the other side of the river as they lead donkeys along perilous tracks or coax tired vehicles through the angry riverside waters from one stone-and-adobe village to the next. There are plenty of places along the Pamir Hwy at which the river narrows enough to make these communities seem within reach but there's nothing quite as exciting as the first glimpse of the Pyanj corridor from this point.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Pamir Highway attractions

1. Mir Sayid Ali Hamadani Mausoleum

22.32 MILES

This mausoleum is the burial site of a much revered 14th-century polymath, Mir Sayid Ali Hamadani. Decorated with a golden dome and meticulous brickwork,…