“Afghanistan has been my yardstick for judging every country I go to—for beauty of
landscape, of people, of hospitality.”
--Elizabeth Chatwin, introduction author of
Afghanistan: A Traveler’s Companion and Guide
Whether for business or pleasure, Afghanistan offers countless adventures to the curious traveler.
From bicycle trips and boat rides, to museums and shopping, to overland trips through breathtaking mountain terrain, an Afghanistan experience promises to delight and inspire.
For a taste of Afghanistan, consider the Gardens of Babur and accompanying museum. For one of the oldest and most stunning sights, one could visit the ancient walls of the citadel Balai Hissar. The Valley of Paghman, an hour by road west of Kabul and, to the north, the gardens of Karez-i-Amir or a bit farther to Charikar are all well worth the visit. For those who make the journey, the mountains, valleys, and lakes provide dramatic scenery. Consisting of two huge mountain ranges, the Hindu Kush is a wild and remote region. Although traveling by car is possible, the Hindu Kush is best left for travelers prepared to rough it.
Ghazni, one of the central provinces, hosts many tombs of noted poets and scientists, such as Al-Biruni. The Bamiyan valley is lined with cave dwellings cut out of the cliffs by Buddhist monks. While the statues were destroyed by the Taliban, their enormous outlines remain one of the most visited sights in Central Asia. The area also has grottoes decorated with wall paintings in Greco-Buddhist styles. The Red City (Shahr-i-Zahak), 11 miles from Bamiyan, is home to the remains of another ancient citadel. The Minaret of Jam, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is located in Ghowr province. Ghowr was also the centre of the Ghurid dynasty in the 12th and 13th centuries. The remains of their capital Firuzkuh promises an unforgettable journey.
Afghanistan is an exciting place to be. Its eye-opening experiences and breathtaking sights can change a visitor's life. Regardless of how or with whom you come, traveling to Afghanistan is guaranteed to lead to a new adventure every step of the way.
Afghanistan: A Traveler’s Companion and Guide by Matthew Leeming and Bijon Omrani, June 2005. Available online at http://www.odysseypublications.com/publication.asp?publicationID=35.
An Historical Guide to Afghanistan, by Nancy Hatch Dupree, 1977. Internet version available at http://www.zharov.com/dupree/prefaces.html.