Arrive in Dushanbe. Please note for anybody arriving on flights that arrive into Dushanbe in the early hours of this morning, early check-in will be provided for you. For anyone arriving before today please contact us to book additional nights accommodation.
The capital of Tajikistan shares little history with many of its great Silk Road counterparts, with most evidence pointing to the fact Dushanbe was a small village until the turn of the 20th century. The city gained prominence when Tajikistan became part of the USSR, with the Soviets establishing the city as a centre for textile production. It was then that the city began to grow, and more recently, it has reached the end of a 10-year intensive building programme bringing the city into the 21st century.
For those arriving on time today our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 11am for the welcome meeting and to take us on the Tajik Walking Tour. We start the tour with a visit to the National Archaeological Museum of Tajikistan, with its famous Buddha statue and rich collection of archaeological artefacts and collections of fine art. We then move onto the strikingly beautiful Navruz Palace. Hundreds of skilled artisans were appointed to work on the building, with it initially being planned to be built as the largest teahouse in the world. However, when its interior frescoes and mosaic walls turned out to be so impressive, it was instead turned into a palace. After lunch we continue onto the statue of Ismail Samani. This large monument commemorates the 1,100th anniversary of the Samanid State, which by many is considered to have been the heyday of the Tajik nation when science and arts flourished. From there we walk up to Rudaki Park, dedicated to the great Persian poet Rudaki, who also lived during Samanid time in the 9th century AD.
We end the day with dinner in a local restaurant serving traditional Tajik cuisine. A typical meal in Tajikistan would include vegetable salad starters, followed by a hearty soup similar to the Russian borsch, and a main consists of a meat dish like shashlik or chicken served alongside freshly baked bread.
If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Dushanbe International Airport (DYU), which is 10 minutes' from the hotel. For those arriving on flights in the early hours of this morning, we'll arrange for your hotel room to be available immediately upon your arrival. For anyone arriving before today please contact us to book additional nights accommodation.
Please note that if you wish to join the Tajik Walking Tour today, you must arrive at the hotel by 11am. If you are booking your own flights, we recommend giving yourself at least one hour to clear the airport. From the airport to the hotel is around 10 minutes' drive, so therefore the latest your flight can arrive is 9:30am. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information at 6:30pm this evening, or 7:45am the morning of day 2.