Tajikistan

Central Asian Travel: The Longest Detour

Planning a trip through Central Asia is never easy, especially if there is a border crossing involved. The Soviet plan to integrate the many different nationalities and create harmony by displacing people and moving them around did not work. All five of the independent, post-Soviet, Central Asian countries are so different from each other that there is an abrupt change that can definitely be felt when crossing each border. Located in the southeastern part of this region, Tajikistan shares its borders with Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Afghanistan, and is culturally and linguistically more similar to Afghanistan than any of the others.

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 Full name: Republic of Tajikistan

 Population: 7.77 million (CIA, 2012)

 Capital: Dushanbe

 Largest city: Dushanbe

 Area: 143,100 sq.km. (55,251 sq. mi.)

 Major languages: Tajik, Russian

 Major religions: Islam, Other

 Monetary unit: Somoni

 GDP per capita: US $2,000

 Internet domain: .tj

 International dialling code: +992

 Source: CIA World Factbook