A stop at the small village of Vrang in the Wakhan Valley is rewarded with an exploration of Tajik community life and the 4th century, sulphur-infused stupas close by. All round upheavals of geothermal activity have resulted in several hot springs, in which locals take their bath, and the perfect mountain escape for ascetic hermits who like to keep clean - amid the Wakhan Valley’s scenic splendor you’ll find a mass of hillside hermit caves. For thousands of years lone seekers have lived around here and not all of them Muslim or Buddhist - the stupas are said to once have been fire-worshipping platforms. However, you’ll be more taken with the view and perhaps suspect people have settled here for the mountains, high steppes and fecundity of the Wakhan, rather than its subterranean belly of fire. The wonderfully remote Wakhan is shared with Afghanistan and an ideal valley to feast on high mountain panoramas beneath even bigger skies.