Tajikistan is one of those countries that’s often overlooked by American travelers, and with some good reasons. It’s a relatively undeveloped country, and tourist facilities are often non-existent.
Still, if you don’t mind roughing it, a trip to Tajikistan can be an amazing experience. The scenery – golden steppes, towering mountains and isolated lakes – is simply breathtaking.
Visiting this week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage Site gives you a chance to take in the scenery and get a close look at the ruins of one of the country’s oldest settlements.
The city of Sarazm dates back to the 4th millennium BC, which makes it older than the Egyptian pyramids. It was abandoned in 2000 BC, but came to life again as a mining town about 500 years later. Many of the tools and structures unearthed by archaeologists were used for metalworking.
A visit to Sarazm is often included in tours of the Zeravshan Valley. Arranging travel through a tour operator or travel agent is probably the way to go, given the logistical difficulties that traveling in Tajikistan can sometimes present.
You’ll also need a Tajikistan visa. If you’re visiting as a tourist, you’ll need to obtain one before you leave the US. The following documents are required:
- 2 Tajikistan visa application forms
- 2 passport photos
- A cover letter addressed to the Tajikistan Embassy requesting a tourist visa. Alternately, if you have been invited to Tajikistan by a Tajik citizen or you are traveling with an organized tour group, the person/organization inviting you needs to provide you with a visa support letter. Your letter needs to include the dates you will be entering and leaving and a summary of your planned activities while in Tajikistan.
- Your US passport, which must be valid for at least 6 more months.
- A copy of your travel itinerary.
Most people enter the Zeravshan Valley from across the border in Uzbekistan, so you’ll need an Uzbekistan visa as well. Additionally, if you go through Russia to get to Tajikistan, you may need a Russian transit visa even if you’re only changing planes.
Finally, air service to Tajikistan is somewhat limited, so the State Department recommends that you also get visas to neighboring countries like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Russia, just in case you need to get out of Dodge quickly.
If you’re still confused, don’t worry. RushMyTravelVisa can help! We’ll research your itinerary and help you apply for any necessary visas so that you have in hand as quickly as possible.
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