The third largest city in Tajikistan, Kulob (sometimes transliterated as Kulyab) nonetheless feels more like a provincial town with wide open streets lined with hollyhocks and punctuated with polished civic statues. First referred to by historians in AD 737, the city celebrated a special milestone in 2006 – namely, its 2700th birthday, and several reminders of that proud occasion still decorate the town. There are a couple of sights in and around town, including nearby Hulbuk Fortress, that make for a worthwhile break on the long drive from Dushanbe towards the Pamirs.