Welcome to Western Pamir Highway
Threading through spectacular canyon scenery, with Afghanistan an arm’s stretch away, the western section of the Pamir Hwy (from Dushanbe to Khorog) is the more gentle, and relatively low-altitude twin of this characterful road. That’s not to say it is without its excitements. Running so close to the roaring Pyanj River that in parts the water snaps at the wheels of passing vehicles, the weather-battered road clings tightly to the cliff’s edge and falling rocks can delay progress for hours. But dotted along the length of this remarkable outpost of engineering are oases of civilisation – little villages whose neat and orderly market gardens could lie along any B-road in rural Central Asia, mindless of their apparent isolation. These villages, together with the amiable hub of Kalai-Kum, offer an intimate introduction to the Pamirs and to the Pamir Hwy proper that runs east from Khorog.