The Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan

Wakhi Family

Note: This page was written in 2018 and the information is currently out of date. Please use due diligence and check current conditions in Afghanistan before traveling to the country.

Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to explore the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan. Contrary to what you might think, the Wakhan Corridor is an extremely safe and remote part of Afghanistan where terrorism is non-existent and everyday living consists of growing the wheat harvest, tending to the animals (sheep, goats, and yaks), and inviting your neighbors over for tea.

The Wakhan Corridor was created in the Great Game between Tsarist Russia and the British Empire in the 1800s as a buffer zone between British Pakistan and Russian Tajikistan. It is the narrow strip of land that juts out of the northeast of Afghanistan. Today, it is very isolated as there are no open border crossings except for one with Tajikistan at Ishkashem. From the border crossing, a gravel road runs further down the corridor until the village of Sarhad-e-Broghil, about a 10 hour drive. The only way to continue further is to walk.

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Applying for a new Tourist Visa to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia just starting issuing tourist visas for the first time ever! Naturally, I jumped on this opportunity as a chance to see a country that has been explored by very few travelers.

Saudi Arabia is probably the most conservative country on Earth, and the Kingdom’s rigid interpretation of Islam is strictly enforced throughout the country. Of course, non-Muslims are exempted from many of the religious requirements like praying 5 times a day, etc, but are still subject to cultural laws like no intermingling between men and women who are not related or married.

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Trip Report: the Altai Region of Russia and Mongolia

For the past week and a half, I have been traveling through the Altai Region. Located near the meeting point of Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and China, this region is home to one of the most beautiful and remote mountain ranges in the world, as well as vast grasslands and nomadic people who have retained their cultural tradition of hunting with eagles. In this article I will cover my trip to the Russian and Mongolian sections of the Altai Region.

Kazakh House in Mongolia

House of my host family in Deluun, Mongolia

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How To Buy Mongolian Train Tickets Online

I recently figured out a method to buy domestic Mongolian train tickets online without going through a travel agency. I am fairly sure that this information is not anywhere else on the internet, so I wanted to share it for the benefit of Wander Simply readers and other travelers. I have tested it for train travel from Zamiin-Ude to Ulaanbaatar and can confirm it works.

Gobi Sunset

Sunset in the Gobi Desert, as seen from my train

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Trip Report: A Spontaneous Norwegian Road Trip

It was a Thursday night, and I had just arrived into Oslo, Norway, by plane from Poland. I met my friend Bjørn in the city center and then we headed to his apartment to make plans- not just any plans, but a road trip. Robyn, another friend of mine who was studying in Oslo, came up with the idea, and Bjørn was able to take time off work last minute. All three of us were off to see Trolltunga, the rock formation made recently popular by Instagram photos and the like.



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Trip Report: Adventures in Wallonia

The last few days I have been exploring Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium. The largest city in Wallonia is Liège. (Brussels is also mostly French-speaking but is not considered part of Wallonia since it is administered separately as the capital, much like Washington, DC.)

Grottes de Remouchamps 1

Wallonia has many limestone caverns in the area south of Liège. The caves of Remouchamps, pictured here, have a river running through them.

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Albufeira, Portugal

Benagil Cave

Split between exploring caves and going to the beach? You can do both at the same time by going to Benagil Cave in southern Portugal, near Albufeira.

Albufeira is a lively town in southern Portugal and a popular vacation spot for Europeans.

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