Region: North & Central Asia
Tajik, Russian, Uzbek and about half a dozen Pamiri languages
Area (sq. km):
143,100 square meters
GMT +5 hours
Mid-latitude continental, hot summers, mild winters; semi-arid to polar conditions in the Pamir Mountains. Summer (June to September) – 40 degrees in northern, southern and central Tajikistan. Spring (March-May) – mild temperatures, but heavy snow in the mountains. Winter(Nov – Feb) -20 to -45 degrees
April, March, September + October
Dushanbe Airport is located 4 kilometres south-east of the city centre and 5 kilometres from the Tashkent ring road. Taxis into town may cost anything between US$3 and US$5.
220 Volts – the plug is either two round pins or V shaped flat prongs
Tajikistan food presents a blend of non-vegetarian dishes with clear Iranian influences and fruits and vegetables, especially in the summer. Like other Central Asian countries appetizers and soups, meat especially shashlyk and specially cooked rice – plov rice with meat shredding with many other garnishing) make up a typical Tajik meal. Some specific Tajik dishes are: Nahud Sambusa (chickpea samosas), Oshi siyo halav (herb soup) Tuhum Barak (egg filled ravioli coated with sesame oil) Chakka (curd mixed with herbs) Kurtob (bread yogurt, onion and coriander in a creamy sauce) Tea is the most common drink among the inhabitants of Tajikistan, although many restaurants also serve wine, beer and vodka.
We travel around Tajikistan in 4-wheel drive vehicles. Please expect to encounter extremely poor roads and prepare yourself for bumpy journeys.
Shops have fixed prices, but bargaining in bazaars is expected. Tipping runs counter to many people's Islamic sense of hospitality and may even cause offence. Therefore it is not usually expected in Tajikistan. Some restaurants make a 10% service charge, which is added to your final bill.
If flying into Tajikistan, you can obtain visa on arrival at Dushanbe Airport. If entering at a land border, you need to apply for a visa at the Tajik Embassy in your own country or obtain it from a Tajik Embassy in central Asia (Bishkek, Tashkent or Almaty) before you travel there. Visas can be issued on the same day.
• Historical Dictionary of Tajikistan by Kamoludin Abdullaev and Shahram Akbarzadeh • Land Beyond the River: The Untold Story of Central Asia by Monica Whitlock • Tajikistan: Disintegration or Reconciliation by Shirin Akiner • Tajikistan: The Trials of Independence by Shirin Akiner, Mohammad-Reza Djalili and Frederic Grare • Tajikistan and the High Pamirs by Robert Middleton, Huw Thomas and Markus Hauser