Wakhan Corridor

[旅行家Traveler] :瓦罕走廊天堂何处

  旅行家2015年4月期 阿富汗的风筝 说其遥远,其实并不准确。地图上,阿富汗甚至有一角领土与中国比邻,那一条狭长的通道就是本期专题的主打目的地——瓦罕走廊。     瓦罕走廊天堂何处 策划 | 本刊编辑部 执行 | 邓丽颖 程婉 特约撰稿人 | Agustinus Wibowo 翻译 | 黄文静 肖若琳   十 多年前,我第一次去阿富汗旅行,在这个战争的伤疤无处不在的国度,一位旅行者告诉我,在阿富汗有一处“隐藏的天堂”。那是我第一次听到瓦罕走廊的名字。翻 看地图,它像是海底深处一条狭长的裂隙,北抵塔吉克斯坦,南至巴基斯坦,东临中国。这是世界上最偏远国家之中的最偏远的地方之一。然而,在几世纪前,瓦罕 走廊却是连通中国和西域各国,那条繁华的丝绸之路的一部分。 [read more]

July 2, 2015 // 0 Comments

Jakarta Post Weekender (2008): Time Stands Still BEYOND BORDERS: Time Stands Still Sparsely populated and well hidden from the rest of the world, Wakhan Corridor is as medieval today as it was over 700 years ago when Marco Polo passed through. Agustinus Wibowo visits the region. The awkward tongue of Afghanistan, located at the northeastern tip of the country, is a 200-mile-long valley that stretches between Tajikistan and Pakistan. A strategic territory created by the once-reigning British Empire at the end of the 19th century, Wakhan Corridor was first attached to Afghan territory as a buffer zone between Britain and Russia. Though the battle for supremacy between the two giants has long ended, little seems to have changed since then. Time has been suspended for what seems like eternity. Deprived of the comforts of modern living, Afghans tend to paint rosy images of Tajikistan, where women are not required to wear the burqa and children receive the education they deserve. [read more]

January 25, 2008 // 2 Comments

Langar – Connecting Afghanistan

Yodgor family. Aga Khan portraits always decorate the houses of Ismaili families in Tajikistan Pamir. Three months ago, on July 31st exactly, I came to this little bridge. That time I was coming with the Shah (the King) of Panjah, district officials of Khandud, and Afghan soldiers. At that time, we were there to see the opening of the bridge and overwhelmed by the optimistism of the desperate Wakhi people from Afghan side, about the change of their future by this new border. Today, I am at the other side of the bridge, seeing the barren hills of Afghanistan with all of its hopes, from Tajikistan side, with Mulloev Yodgor Dildorovich, the khalifa (religious leader)-cum-teacher of Langar. Yodgor was among those who were overwhelmed by millions of mixed feelings when the border was opened, only for one day. On August 1, 2006, there was held an Afghan bazaar just next to the bridge in Langar side. The people from Afghanistan Wakhan Corridor were coming from all directions, from as far as [read more]

October 26, 2006 // 1 Comment

Vrang – Life in Vrang

Green, peaceful, and lazy … Vrang Travelling in Tajikistan side of the Wakhan Corridor was as difficult as in Afghanistan side. Public transport was rare, the oil price got higher as the altitude got higher. It was 3.50 Somoni per liter of petrol here. No one was sure when the coming transport would come. And even when it came, it was often full, no space to share. It was indeed luck to be able to travel according to what one has planned. I was patient enough even though I worried about my short visa. Dr Akhmed was a doctor in Tughoz. I was waiting for transport to Vrang, 5 km away from tughoz, in his hospital. As the main doctor in this village, he earned only 50 Somoni per month. You would go nowhere with that amount of money in Tajikistan. But everybody was optimistic with his life. Working with little income was still better rather than begging on the streets. I have heard beggars in Jakarta could earn at least 60 dollars per month, about 280 Somoni, or 4 times higher than [read more]

October 25, 2006 // 0 Comments

Krat – The Wakhi People of Krat

Wakhan Corridor is always far and mysterious “Zdravstvui tovarech” – a villager from Krat Freedom is what the Wakhi people are longing for. I never expected my visit to Chapursan, the Wakhi Tajik valley in northern Pakistan, brought me to learn deeper about the life of the same ethnic in Afghanistan side of the valley. In Chapursan, 7 months ago, I stayed in house of Noorkhan, a Wakhi Tajiki from Kil village, where sun doesn’t come at all in winter for 3 months. Who expected, deep in restricted area of Wakhan Corridor, I met friends and relatives of Noorkhan. Faizal-u-Rahman, 29 years old, is a cousin of Alam Jan Dario, a famous man from Zod Khon village in Chapursan, who pioneered tourism in the valley. I met Faizal in in Khandud. He was offering me a hitch on tractor to the village of Krat in Wakhan Valley of Afghanistan. He, together with other people from Chapursan are working for an American NGO, Central Asian Institute, and this moment they are building a school in the [read more]

August 3, 2006 // 2 Comments

Ghoz Khan – Bridge of Hope, Tajikistan Border

This is the fun of traveling in Wakhan Corridor “Now I can’t say it’s good or bad. Tomorrow I will see” – Shah-e-Panj Wakhan and Tajikistan are only separated by the Amu River. Tajikistan is visible everywhere from Wakhan Corridor. It looks like a wall of high mountains scattered by green valleys over there across the mighty river. Even the vehicles, camels, horses, and power lines of the country are visible from Afghanistan. But it’s as far as the sky, or at least, it’s double the distance to Kabul. In this side of the river, life is desperate. Qala-e-Panjah, named after the fort in the village, is a tiny village marking the beginning of the Wakhan Valley. It’s 110 km away from Eshkashem, or 2 day trip by vehicle. Motorable road is existent, but the unpaved road scretched from Ishkashim to Sarhad-e-Boroghil through Qala-e-Panjah is a heritage of the 1960’s. The road often washed by floods from the river and streams making transportation only possible by sturdy [read more]

July 31, 2006 // 0 Comments

Kabul – Permit to Wakhan

I really dream to go to the Wakhan Corridor The trip must go on, despite of the incident with money in Bamiyan, which was enough to slow me down and cancelled all of the plans previously made. I was determined to go to explore the unexplored part of Afghanistan, that one if you see the map of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the odd shaped ‘tongue’ of the country on its northeast. That is Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan, which separates Pakistan from Tajikistan, which separated the British emporium from the Russian one. During my stay in embassy, I have read many books about Afghanistan, from about the women’s life until the travelling in Afghanistan, and those books have burnt my spirit of travelling and exploring Afghanistan again and again. Wakhan corridor is still a wild area, unexplored, and it’s the off beaten track in off beaten track country of Afghanistan. It’s also sensitive area, bordering Afghanistan with Tajikistan, Pakistan, and the giant [read more]

June 28, 2006 // 5 Comments