Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Tajikistan

Tajikistan Flag



Why visit Tajikistan?
Ideal for the adventurous travelers previously visited Central Asia seeking an undiscovered gem for hunting, lakes, local markets, mountaineering, mountains, religious sites, and scenic vistas.


Khatlon Region, Tajikistan. Photo Credit: Makalu/Pixabay 



At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Carpets, ceramics, clay whistles, pottery, and tiles.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Damlama (stew). Fatir-Maska (bread). Hurbo-Nakhud (chickpea soup). Laghman (soup). Lubiyova (bean soup), Mantu (dumplings). Mastobai Gelakdor (meatball soup). Oshi Palov (meat dish). Sambusa (stuffed pastry). Shakarob (salad). Shurbo (soup).
  • Local Drink to Try: Baltica (beer). Cholob (yogurt), Shirchay (tea).


Khorugh, Tajikistan. Photo Credit: Makalu/Pixabay 



Fun Facts
  • Smallest nation in Central Asia.
  • Has only 1 major airline (Somon Air).
  • Sarazm means “where the land begins”.
  • The Dushanbe Tea House was gifted (1988) to Boulder, CO.
  • National sport is gushtigiri, a form of traditional wrestling.
  • Has 1 ski resort (Varzob).
  • Home to the longest valley glacier outside the Polar region (Tajikistan National Park).

Pamir Mountains, Tajikistan. Photo Credit: Makalu/Pixabay 



Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (March) Navroz, (April) Sayru Guli Lola, June) Atlas & Adras, (July) At Chabysh Festival, Roof of the World Festival, (September) Food & Balloon Festival, (October) Didor Film Festival, Music Festival, and (November) Festival of Pilaf.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, International Women's Day, Nowruz, International Labour Day, Victory Day, National Unity Day, Independence Day. Constitution Day. Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha.


Photo Credit: Александр/Pixabay 



Good to Know
  • Cash only economy.
  • USD before 1983 are not accepted.
  • Cuisine is a blend of Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Russian.
  • Lacks tourism infrastructure.
  • Credit cards are rarely accepted.
  • Avoid tap water consumption.
  • Traveler’s checks are not accepted.
  • Drug trafficking is considered a major source of income.
  • Popular for hunting for bighorn sheep.
  • Medical care is below our Western standards.
  • Landmines are known to exists along Afghan-Tajik and Uzbek-Tajik borders.
  • Has zero tolerance for alcohol related incidents. 
  • Carry your passport with you at all times.
  • Year round requires a sweater in the evening.
  • Avoid Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan border.
  • Illegal to photograph buildings, military or security interests.
  • Avoid exploring at night.

Botanical Garden, Khorugh, Tajikistan. Photo Credit: Makalu/Pixabay



This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with 3 months of validity upon return, two blank pages for entry and exit stamps.
  • Tourist VISA required for visits beyond 30 days.
  • Currency Restrictions for Exit: $3,000USD.

Subject to air pollution, avalanches, earthquakes and dust storms.

  • Best Time to Visit: March - May & September - October
  • Coldest Months: November - March
  • Hottest Months: June - September
  • Peak Season: June - September

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Proto Urban Site of Sarazm and Tajik National Park.


Vrang, Tajikistan. Photo Credit: Makalu/Pixabay 



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                                        All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.   

Monday, January 30, 2023

Syria

Syria Flag



Why visit Syria?
Best known for ancient history, archaeology, architecture, bathhouse, biblical historical sites, cafes, clubs, culture, desert scenery, medieval ruins, mountains, waterskiing, and windsurfing.



Krak des Chevaliers, Al-Husn, Syria. Photo Credit: Iyad Al Ghafari/Pixabay 



At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Arabic music, brocade, caftans, calligraphy goods, carpets, ceramics, embroidered tablecloths, hand blown glass, leather, metal goods, mosaics, mother-of-pearl inlaid wood, olive-oil soap, opal jewelry, silks, silver, straw goods, water pipes, wooden backgammon sets, and wood carvings.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Baklava (dessert). Khubz (flatbread). Kibbeh (spiced meat). Mujaddara (lentil dish). Labneh (yogurt). Shanklish (cheese). Shawarma (meat slices). Sujuk (sausage). Tabbouleh (salad).
  • Local Drink to Try: Al Shark (beer). Arak (spirit). Jallab (fruit Syrup). Qamar al-din (apricot juice). 

Photo Credit: Amani Sharaa/Pixabay 



Fun Facts
  • Damascus is the oldest capital in the world.
  • Archaeological finds (Palmyra) date back to the Neolithic Period (10000 BC - 2200BC).
  • Home to one of the most well preserved medieval castles (Krak des Chevaliers) in the world. 
  • Male USA citizens of descendants are required to complete military service or pay the exemption fee.


Apamea (Afamia), Syria. Photo Credit: Iyad Al Ghafari/Pixabay 


Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (July) Cotton Festival, (September) Arabic Book Fair, and Silk Road Festival.
  • Holidays: Independence Day, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha.


Photo Credit: Iyad Al Ghafari/Pixabay 


Good to Know
  • Has no tourism infrastructure.
  • Women can be arrested "under suspicion of immoral behavior", being alone in a room with a man who is not her husband or being in a residence where alcohol/drugs is being consumed.
  • Considered one of the best historical sites in the world.
  • Prone to dirt, dust, and litter.
  • Hotel bills are paid in USD.
  • During the Christmas Season, Christian Carolers perform in the winding alleyways in Damascus' Old City.
  • Retailers in Souks tend not to close for lunch.
  • Work week is Saturday - Thursday.
  • Known hardships surrounding housing, infrastructure, medical facilities, power, schools, and water utilities.
  • Traveler’s Checks are not accepted.
  • Currency can only be exchanged by licensed money changers.
  • Toilet paper is usually disposed of in a trash can.
  • During Ramadan (holy month) avoid drinking or smoking in public.
  • Due to surcharges, avoid charges for drinks and food to your hotel/resort bill.
  • LGBTQI+ is punishable up to 3 years in prison.
  • USA banks will not process ATM transactions, funds must be transferred through Western Union.
  • Americans pose a high risk of being a hostage or kidnapped..
  • Charges a Departure Tax at its land and sea borders.
  • Between December - March it is rainy.
  • Prevalent Diseases: Hepatitis A, Measles, Polio, Tuberculosis, and Typhoid.
  • Summer Season (June - August) temperatures can exceed 100F.
  • Dress moderately with arms and legs covered.
  • Due to theft, hand carry your shoes into the mosque.
  • Karnak buses require 1 day advance reservations.
  • In smaller towns, Microbuses only depart when they're full.
  • Requires an International Driver's License.

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.


Palmyra, Syria. Photo Credit: Pixabay

  • Best Time to Visit: April - June & September - November
  • Coolest Months: November - March
  • Hottest Months: June - September
  • Peak Season: March - April & September

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Aleppo, Ancient City of Aleppo, Busra, Citadel of Saladin, Damascus, Krak des Chevaliers, and Palmyra.


Citadel of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria. Photo Credit: Dianne Ket/Pixabay 


Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals


Stay connected, find us online: Alignable Facebook  LinkedIn  Pinterest  Twitter 

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine


                                        All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.  

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