Kach Solo Travels in 2019: AFGHANISTAN, my 127th country!

I know I make my family and some readers worried as I’ve been receiving messages asking me to re-think my plan of going to Afghanistan... but as you guys know, I’m aiming to visit every country in the world so it was a must-go for me (and I don’t count stopping in airports)! You guys know how I travel - interact with locals to maximize the experience and I don't just go to check off the list quickly. But this time I had to compromise and did a lot of research on how I can enter the country safely and easily get a visa on my Philippines passport. 🙏🏽

I was initially planning on a 3-day trip in Afghanistan where I’d be traveling by land via Tajikistan where I had been traveling for 9 days (8 full and 1 day traveling to cross the border to Kyrgyzstan)... but Afghanistan is so EXPENSIVE!!😌

I contacted a tour operator but they were charging me 1,300$, so I said I would just DIY it but I didn't want to take unreasonable risks because even though Sultan Ishkashim is safe.. there’s still a group with guns in the mountains which is just 30 kms away (I don’t want to use other words on my page). So I thought that I could just go to the Bazaar and the border to the Wakhan Corridor but the local taxi driver was charging me $600 (negotiating down to $400)! So, I finally decided to just do a day trip to the town of Ishkashim which is a 5 km drive from the border and I paid $30 for the ride! 😆 This is the most expensive day trip I’ve ever done so far ($160 for the visa, $70 re-entry visa to Tajikistan, $60 for taxi) but hopefully when I’m done with my goal, I can come and visit again. But to be honest, only people who love extreme hiking would enjoy the Wakhan Corridor and I’m not one of them.🧐

Anyway, I spent a few hours at the bazaar, where I met again the two Chinese mountaineers who were shopping for their food for 2 weeks in the mountains. I talked to local people and while only very few of them spoke English, most of them wanted to have a photo with me! They would even pose, call me or go to me to take their photos! Haha! The locals are incredibly nice and they were asking if I could stay longer because there are local guesthouses there, but the rate is $50 per night.

I wasn’t able to take photos of women because they were wearing burqas (totally covered) and not keen on cameras so I had to be respectful of them. I was able to ride a donkey, talk to the kids (who speaks basic English) and even visited the local house of my taxi driver who also happened to be the border police. haha! I asked the military police if I should cover my head but he said that my cap was enough.

That’s it for now. At least I can officially say I made it there, although it was one of the most difficult travel arrangements I’ve dealt with. I was safe and went back to my Pamir Highway roadtrip with Paramount Journey 😍

Kach Solo Travels in 2019 AFGHANISTAN, my 127th country5.jpg
Kach Solo Travels in 2019 AFGHANISTAN, my 127th country10.jpg
Kach Solo Travels in 2019 AFGHANISTAN, my 127th country15.jpg
Kach Solo Travels in 2019 AFGHANISTAN, my 127th country20.jpg
Kach Solo Travels in 2019 AFGHANISTAN, my 127th country27.jpg
Kach Solo Travels in 2019 AFGHANISTAN, my 127th country31.jpg
Kach Solo Travels in 2019 AFGHANISTAN, my 127th country34.jpg
Kach Solo Travels in 2019 AFGHANISTAN, my 127th country38.jpg