Wakhan in 32-bit color

by Joshua Foust on 7/31/2007 · 3 comments

Ian, from friend-blog Beyond the River, has posted some photos of his trip to Wakhan, in far northeastern Afghanistan. As could be expected of such an unspoiled area, it is absolutely stunning to behold:

I must confess to a travel fantasy: as a part of pulling a Joshua Kucera (we have the same first name and, it appears, the same travel bug), I would dearly love to traverse all of Badakhshan from Dushanbe, head up to the tip of the Wakhan Corridor, where it meets Xinjiang, then slip into Gilgit to visit some Hunza villages. I would then want to go down through Chitral and along the road to Jalalabad and then on to Kabul. If I could possibly swing it, I would trace the major highway ring we’ve built that makes a big loop from Kabul to Mazar-i-Sharif to Sheberghan to Mehmana to Herat, then slip into Iran through Meshed and visit Isfahan.

Of course, none of this is really possible: aside from issues about dropping work (which I won’t do), Americans simply do not cross into Northern Pakistan without heavy bribes and some personal connections. Similarly, I wouldn’t risk visiting Iran right now, given their current penchant for locking up American tourists. But a guy can dream, can’t he?

Much more can be found at his Flickr stream, and at Beyond the River.

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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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Sebistan July 31, 2007 at 10:48 am

You see unspoiled, bucolic paradise, I see a superhighway, zoned for strip mall development, maybe a Wal-Mart or a Target, with acres and acres of exurban subdivisions…

Ian July 31, 2007 at 11:16 pm

A note about photo credits–I didn’t take any of the pictures, because I lost my shiny new camera while digging a marshrutka out of a flash-flood mudslide last month… The flickr pics are by my friend Khurshed, and the ones at BTR are by participants of the program I’m heading.

chicago dyke August 9, 2007 at 6:50 am

i wouldn’t stress so hard about travel in iran. i have two friends, white american men, who go there often. one just got back a few months ago, and reported nothing but welcoming people, and not so horrid gov’t minders. if you can swing it, go.

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