Dushanbe - Shah Mansur Bazaar

Tajik Adventures, Part 6: Dushanbe, Shah Mansur Bazaar

Now that we’ve explored Dushanbe’s cultural attractions, we’ll head to the central market. Shah Mansur Bazaar, also called the Green Bazaar, is easy to find: it’s a bona fide landmark, alongside club Port Saïd and the beer factory. “The heartbeat of Dushanbe trade,” says Lonely Planet. In a city literally named after a market, expectations are high. […]

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Dushanbe - Shaftoluzor Restaurant

Tajik Adventures, Part 5: Dushanbe, Chateau Loser

Dushanbe, population 778,500, capital city of Tajikistan. Our final stop on a journey that didn’t quite go as planned, before we cross the border back to Uzbekistan. “Dushanbe” means Monday in Tajik, allegedly because it started as a small village hosting a popular market on Mondays. When the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic was created in 1929, the metonymy was replaced […]

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Road to Dushanbe - Khushekat

Tajik Adventures, Part 4: The Painful Road to Dushanbe

At the close of my survival guide for Tajikistan, I promised you the world’s worst hotel. A place that puts to shame all of the first-world problems you might have encountered in the West, such as inadequate climate control, capricious hot water in the bathroom, or unresponsive TV — it offers none of those three luxuries. This place has […]

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Khujand - Panjshanbe Bazaar

Tajik Adventures, Part 3: Khujand’s Panjshanbe Bazaar

In my previous Tajik Adventures post, we looked at the more pedestrian attractions of Khujand, Tajikistan’s second largest city: decrepit hotel Leninabad, the ill-fated Lenin statue, and Café Rashvan. So far, none of these features really justify a journey to that remote part of an already remote country. Enter Panjshanbe Bazaar, regularly mentioned on lists […]

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Khojand - Lenin Statue

Tajik Adventures, Part 2: Khujand, Where Lenin Is Bad

Once upon a time, there was a country named Soviet Union. It was known, among other things, for its adoration of the great Vladimir Ilyich Lenin; its peculiar conception of art, known as socialist realism, and its insistence on making such art omnipresent in the lives of its citizens; its obsession with WW2 and its slightly distorted historical […]

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Tajik Souvenir

Tajik Adventures, Part 1: Survival Guide

Get ready for a series of travel stories from all over Central Asia, starting with Tajikistan! One could argue that this is really “Part 2”, as I’ve already recounted my lunch in a colorful Dushanbe restaurant here. Back then, the title of the article (“I Ate Dinner in a Tajik Hellhole”, which by the way was not chosen by […]

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