Taliban misrule dooms tourism in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. But for the time being, this forum discusses the still amazing sights this mountainous country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia has to offer.

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The most spectacular mountains of Afghanistan

  Though this beautiful country has again just fallen back into the clutches of the radical Islamist Taliban - with the likely collapse of the modest tourism which developed over the past 20 years - it's worth noting that Afghanistan's highlights have included cultural tourism, fascinating historical sites, and a staggeringly beautiful landscape, especially when it comes to mountains. In the east and northeast, the imposing Hindu Kush range offer find everything your mountaineering heart…

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Skiing in Afghanistan?? Check out this blog post...

When it comes to skiing destinations, you should rejoice because whether you choose to travel to Australia, Europa, North or South America, you will face the experience of your life. In fact, you have to initiate an extreme selection process because of the multitude of unique places across the globe destined for ski enthusiasts. Of course, you have to consider important aspects like your budget and your current location because you probably want to get there as fast as possible and remain with…

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A backpacker visits Kabul

The queue for Safi Air flight 248 from Delhi to Kabul looks like something of a loya jirga itself: businessmen and diplomats, village traders of lapis lazuli, scammers and schemers, all going back to the homeland for one reason or another, all with excess baggage—fridges toasters and microwaves, dreams hopes and expectations—wearing long tunics baggy trousers and funny hats, all speaking strange tongues and whispering strange sighs, body odors wafting from overcoats whose histories likely date…

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  • In 2001, the previous Taliban régime ordered the destruction of the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Buddha statues in Bamiyan, a two-hour-40-minute drive from Kabul, and after the Taliban was ousted, reconstruction efforts got underway (now ceased after the current Taliban took power in August 2021). But just yesterday the English-language Kabul Times claimed that domestic and foreign tourism at the site has recently been increasing "unprecedentedly." It seems counterintuitive, to say the least - could it be true? https://thekabultimes.gov.af/increasing-number-of-domestic-foreign-...
  • Well, unsurprisingly, the implosion of Afghanistan's economy under the calamitous dictatorship of the Taliban has pretty much wiped out what was a steadily growing tourism industry in this country. Germany's Deutsche Welle came out with an article recently outlining some of the details: https://www.dw.com/en/economic-collapse-wipes-out-afghanistans-tour...
    Economic collapse wipes out Afghanistan's tourism | DW | 28.01.2022
    Prior to the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, the country's tourism industry provided much-needed employment for tour guides, boat operators, and oth…
  • Have been operating tours to Afghanistan for several years - mostly on private basis. A fascinating country and whilst the logistics of setting up the tour arrangements are challenging, the people are very hospitable. There are certain arras in the country which are less risky than the other parts. The northern part along with the Kabul - Bamiyan and even Mazar e Shariff are amongst the most interesting and worthwhile to visit.
  • The people have a tremendous warmth and resilience....the architecture and rich history is astounding. Security is a challenge, and getting around is not easy. The best thing is reading up on these things.....I had published some articles in the New York Times and in Bloomberg News among other places on traveling here and experiencing the culture, so look those up. There is also an excellent Bradt guide to Kabul which gives a lot of detail on security and getting around here. In general, Kabul itself is the easiest to visit. The northern areas, in general, have been the safest, including Bamyan, where the Buddhas had been, which remains a beautiful area to visit.
  • Hi, Mike! Well, I certainly do remember getting that sense from the Afghanistan chapter of your book. Can you share with us here what were the factors that most pealed to you - and how to overcome the security challenges that visitors might currently face?
  • was last here 6 years ago, went 3 times and actually loved it...
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