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Tajikstan Country Guide

  1. CountryFacts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Asia & Oceania
Full Name: Republic of Tajikistan
Capital City: Dushanbe
Language Spoken: Tajik (official), Russian widely used in government and business

Tajikistan Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

39 00 N, 71 00 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Syr Darya (Sirdaryo) 300 m highest point: Qullai Ismoili Somoni 7,495 m

Land boundaries

total: 3,651 km border countries: Afghanistan 1,206 km, China 414 km, Kyrgyzstan 870 km, Uzbekistan 1,161 km

Natural hazards

earthquakes and floods

Natural resources

hydropower, some petroleum, uranium, mercury, brown coal, lead, zinc, antimony, tungsten, silver, gold

Land use

arable land: 6.52% permanent crops: 0.89% other: 92.59% (2005)

Environmental current issues

inadequate sanitation facilities; increasing levels of soil salinity; industrial pollution; excessive pesticides

Climate

In Dushanbe, temperatures vary between a minimum -13°C (8°F) in December/January to a maximum 33°C (91°F) in July/August. Humidity is generally low. In the mountains, it can reach -45°C (-49°F) when the wind chill factor is taken into consideration, and rise to 20°C (68°F) in summer. In the Pamir Mountains, the climate is semi-arid to polar. Required clothing Warm clothing should be taken by anyone intending to visit the mountains. Those intending to visit the southwest in summer should bring light, loose clothing.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+5

Population

7,320,815 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 37.9% (male 1,396,349/female 1,375,168) 15-64 years: 57.4% (male 2,091,476/female 2,108,889) 65 years and over: 4.8% (male 154,162/female 194,771) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 20 years male: 19.7 years female: 20.4 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

2.19% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

32.65 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

8.25 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

-2.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 64.94 years male: 62.03 years female: 68 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

4 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Suit and tie should be worn for business meetings with senior officials. Business cards are normally exchanged. Some business people speak English, however Russian speakers are more common. Office hours are 0900-1800 Monday to Friday.

Crime

There have been occasional muggings and petty crime against foreigners but Dushanbe is a relatively safe city for travelers. Throughout the country there is little evidence of criminality directed against foreigners. In rural areas, however, single women should avoid going out alone at night, and may suffer harassment even during the day. Of those crimes committed against foreigners, most are crimes of opportunity, but travelers should be cautious, since they are perceived as affluent. Do not travel alone on foot or by car at night. It is also unsafe to be visibly intoxicated or display wealth (cash, expensive watches, jewelry, etc.). Some offices of international organizations have been targets of thefts and some of their employees have been injured. Often the local police will fire warning shots over the heads of people who fail to stop at highway checkpoints in Dushanbe. Travel after dark should be confined to major traffic corridors, in the company of friends, and within a vehicle. Always park near your destination and do not enter unlit doorways or stairways alone.

Hotels

Tajikistan is not well supplied with hotels outside the capital. Although there are no restrictions on where visitors may stay, hotels other than the main Intourist hotels, the Hotel Tajikistan and the Hotel Independence are not used to accommodating foreigners and all but the most insistent visitors may find it difficult to obtain a room in them. The main hotels are clean and friendly, although it is difficult to get a room in the Oktyabrskaya, which houses both the US and Russian embassies. At the time of writing, guests in the Hotel Tajikistan have to order dinner at least five hours in advance as the restaurant does not formally operate in the evening. Meals can be obtained in the Hotel Oktyabrskaya, but the restaurant stops serving at 1900. Outside the capital, accommodation can be hard to find. The Hotel Leninabad in Khojand is clean and relatively used to foreigners. Chikalovsk, a short drive south of Khojand, boasts the modern Hotel Khojand, but Chikalovsk is a closed town and anyone wishing to stay in the hotel must get permission from the local military authorities. It is possible to stay in the government dachas in Khorog, but do not expect Western standards of comfort, amenities or cleanliness.

Communications

Telephone IDD is available but services are unreliable. The country code is 07 (followed by 3772 for Dushanbe). International telephone calls can be made from telephone offices which will usually be found attached to a post office (in Dushanbe in Maidoni Dusti, formerly Ploshchad Lenina). International calls can also be ordered from some hotels such as the Hotel Tajikistan and the Hotel Independence. International calls have to go through the operator. Direct-dial calls within the CIS are obtained by dialing 8 and waiting for another dial tone and then dialing the city code. Calls within the city limits are free of charge. Fax services are available from major hotels for residents only. Post office hours: 0800-1800 Monday to Friday.

Electricity

is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round 2-pin continental plugs are standard. Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round, two-pin continental plugs are standard.

Plug Types

C,F

Food And Dining

Traditional Tajik meals start with sweet dishes such as halwa and tea and then progress to soups and meat before finishing with plov.
National specialties:
? Plov is made up of scraps of mutton, shredded yellow turnip and rice, fried in a large wok, and is a staple dish in all the Central Asian republics.
? Shashlyk (skewered chunks of mutton grilled over charcoal, served with raw sliced onions) and lipioshka (round unleavened bread) are often sold on street corners and served in restaurants: the Vastoychny bar restaurant in Dushanbe (on Prospekt Rudaki near the Hotel Tajikistan) serves particularly good shashlyk.
? Manty (large noodle sacks of meat), samsa (samosas) and chiburekki (deep-fried dough cakes) are all popular as snacks.
? Shorpur is a meat and vegetable soup; laghman is similar to shorpur, but comes with noodles.
? In the summer, Tajikistan is awash with fruit: its grapes and melons were famous throughout the former Soviet Union. The bazaars also sell pomegranates, apricots, plums, figs and persimmons.
? Strogan is the local equivalent of beef Stroganoff.
? Pirmeni, originating in Ukraine, are small boiled noodle sacks of meat and vegetables similar to ravioli, sometimes in a vegetable soup, sometimes not. National drinks:
? Tea or chai is the most widespread drink on offer and can be obtained almost anywhere.
? Beer, wine, vodka, brandy and sparkling wine (shampanski) are intermittently available in many restaurants. If the restaurant is unable to supply it, it is acceptable to bring your own.
? Kefir, a thick drinking yogurt, is often served with breakfast.

Nightlife
There are no restaurants operating in the evenings except for the one in the Hotel Oktyabrskaya which shuts at 2200. There is a dollar bar in the basement of the Hotel Tajikistan which is open some evenings. The Ayni opera and ballet theater on Prospekt Rudaki is still operating, albeit with a reduced program of matinees. The streets of Dushanbe are usually deserted by 2000.

Entry departure requirements

Note Passport and visa regulations for all the CIS states are liable to change at short notice. All travelers are advised to contact the nearest Tajikistan Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date details. Countries where Tajikistan has diplomatic representation currently include Austria, China (PR), Germany, Iran and Turkey.

Visa immigration information

Passports

Passport valid for at least six months after date of departure required by all.

Visas

Required by all except nationals of CIS member states (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Federation).

Types of visa and cost

Standard: US$41 for seven days; US$53 for 15 days; US$59 for 30 days; US$82 for 90 days. Express visas (processed on same day) cost double the given fee.

Validity

Dependent on purpose of trip.

Note

An invitation, either official or private, is necessary for visits to Tajikistan. The length of stay should be specified on the invitation, which must be endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tajikistan. A visa can then be issued by the nearest Tajikistan Embassy. Special visas must also be obtained by those wishing to visit the Gorno-Babakhshan region (the Pamir Mountains). Tourists can apply for a letter of invitation from the State National Travel Agency, 14 Pushkin Street, Dushanbe 734 095 (tel/fax: (372) 231 401).

Application requirements

a) Two completed application forms. (b) Two recent passport-size photos. (c) Valid passport. (d) A letter, telex, fax or other confirmation of acceptance of invitation (see above) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (e) Fee. (f) Postal applications must be accompanied by a large, stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Note

(a) All visitors are required to register with the authorities within 72 hours of arrival. Hotels will usually arrange this; however, independent travelers will need to go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the local OVIR office themselves. (b) An HIV test is required by all foreigners planning to stay longer than 90 days. Foreign tests may be acceptable.

Working days required

10 (for Standard visas). Express visas are issued on the same day.

HIV entry requirements

No Test Required

Departure tax

Embassies

Embassy of the Tajikistan Republic in Germany

Perleberger Str. 43, D-10559 Berlin
(previously Otto-Suhr-Allee 84, 10585 Berlin, Germany )
Tel: (30) 347 9300.
Website: www.embassy-tajikistan.de

Embassy of the Tajikistan Republic in the USA

1005 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA
Tel: (202) 223 6090. Fax: (202) 223 6091.
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.tjus.org
Travelers are advised to avoid all but essential travel to areas immediately adjoining the Afghan border due to the continuing threat from terrorism and unrest in Afghanistan. Travelers should take particular care in the Garm valley and off-road areas which may be mined along the Uzbek and Kyrgyz borders.
Travelers should be aware of the continuing threat from terrorism which Tajikistan shares with other countries in Central Asia.
The overall security situation in Tajikistan is currently stable.
The tourism, health and transport infrastructure of Tajikistan is poor and travel within the country requires careful planning. Travelers should observe strict hygiene practices and take particular care over food and drink preparation.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tajikistan

US Department of State

Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Tajikistan.html

Currency

Tajik Somoni (TJS) = 100 diram. Notes are in denominations of TJS100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1, and 50, 20, 5 and 1 diram.

Currency restrictions

The import of local and foreign currency is unlimited, subject to declaration on arrival. The export of local currency is prohibited except by Tajikistan residents and the export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared on arrival. All currency must be declared on arrival and a customs declaration form obtained.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1700.

Currency exchange

The preferred hard currency is the US Dollar, although other hard currencies are in theory also acceptable. All bills are normally settled in cash, and tourists must pay in hard currency for accommodation in hotels, although these are normally included in the price of organized tours. Owing to a shortage of change, a supply of small notes should be carried. International banking services are not available. All money should be changed at the official bureaux de change and the receipts should be kept. However, this law is not rigidly enforced.

Credit cards

Not accepted.

Travellers cheques

Limited acceptance.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Abdurakhmana Jami (former Khudjamaston)(8)3243+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Asht(8)3453+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Ayni(8)3479+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Bokhtar(8)3245+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Chkalovsk(8)3451+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Dangara(8)3312+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Darvaz (former Kalaykhumb)(8)3552+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Djilikul(8)3248+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Dushanbe(8)372+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Fayzabad(8)3135+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Gafurov(8)3442+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Ganchi(8)3464+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Hissar(8)3139+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Isfara(8)3462+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Ishkashim(8)3553+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Istravshan(8)3454+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Jabarrasulov (former Proletarskiy)(8)3455+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Jirgital(8)3132+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Kabodion(8)3251+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Kanibadam(8)3467+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Kayrakum(8)3443+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Khorog(8)3522+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Khovaling(8)331700+ 3 digit subscriber nr
Khujand(8)3422+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Khuroson (former Gozimalik)(8)3242+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Kolkhozabad(8)3247+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Kulyab(8)3322+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Kumsangir (C. Dusti)(8)3249+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Kurgan-Tube(8)3222+ 5 digit subscriber nr
M. Khamadoni(8)3315+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Matchinskiy (C. Buston)(8)3445+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Muminobod(8)3318+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Murgab(8)3554+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Nurek(8)3138+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Nurobod (former Darband)(8)3133+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Panj(8)3252+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Parkhar(8)3316+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Pendjikent(8)3475+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Rasht (former Garm)(8)3131+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Rogun(8)3134+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Roshtkala(8)3555+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Rudaki (former Leninskiy)(8)3137+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Rushan(8)3556+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Rydaki (former Leninsky)(8)474+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Sarband(8)3250+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Shaartuz(8)3240+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Shakhrinav(8)3155+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Shakhristan(8)3456+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Spitamen (former Nou)(8)3441+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Taboshar(8)3465+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Tadjikabad(8)3154+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Tavildara(8)3156+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Temurmalik(8)3314+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Tursun-Zade(8)3130+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Vakhdat (former Kofarnikhon)(8)3136+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Vakhsh(8)3246+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Vanj(8)3551+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Varzob(8)3153+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Vose(8)3311+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Yavan(8)3141+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Zafarabad(8)3452+ 5 digit subscriber nr
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Avoid dental treatment in Tajikistan as the standards of care are low and hygiene cannot be guaranteed.

Medication Availability

There is little medication available in Tajikistan

Blood supplies

Blood supplies should be considered as unsafe

Medical facilities

The medical infrastructure of Tajikistan is significantly below Western standards. Many trained medical personnel have left the country. Medical equipment and medicines are scarce.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood or rare meat. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Only pasteurized dairy products should be consumed.

Specific concerns

CDC reports a severe shortage of vaccines to combat diseases such as measles, polio, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis - along with increased incidence of those diseases. Diphtheria occurs. Cases predominantly occur in urban areas, but increasing numbers have been reported in rural areas. Shortages of vaccine, antibiotics and diphtheria antitoxin are contributing to the problem. While proof of diphtheria immunity is not required for travel, travelers to areas where diphtheria is occurring should be up-to-date for diphtheria immunization. AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured. Hikers should take protective measures against ticks.

Immunization

Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne illness: Hemorrhagic fever (Crimean-Congo) - occurs Leishmaniasis (visceral) - prevalent Sandfly fever - prevalent Tick-borne relapsing fever - common Typhus - common Food-borne and water-borne illness: many are common throughout the area, in particular cholera and other watery diarrheas, the dysenteries, typhoid fever, viral hepatitis, and helminthic (parasitic worm) infections. Brucellosis - common Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) - common Other hazards: Diseases such as measles and diphtheria are commonly reported, and cases of polio still occur regularly. Influenza risk extends from November to April. Trachoma - common

Entry requirements

AIDS: According to the Department of State, pending legislation would require testing for all foreigners staying longer than 90 days. Foreign test results would be accepted under certain conditions. Contact Tajikistan's embassy for details.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

N/A

Media

Press freedom is provided for in the constitution, but is not widely respected; independent journalists are said to come under huge pressure from the state. The Government controls the editorial policy of the state-owned media and state-operated radio and TV dominate broadcasting. There are over 30 local and regional private TV stations and more than 200 registered newspapers. Some are government-owned; others are connected to political parties and movements. There are no dailies. A few private radio stations exist. Dushanbe's first private station opened in September 2002, after waiting four years for a license.
Press: All the main newspapers are printed in Dushanbe and include Narodnaya Gazeta (Russian), Jumhuriyat and Tojikiston Ovozi (Tajik).
TV: Tajik TV is a nationwide state-run channel, while Soghd TV and Khatlon TV are state-operated regional channels in the south.
Radio: Tajik Radio is state-run and operates two national networks. Private stations include Asia-Plus (Dushanbe's first private station), Radio Vatan and Radio Tiroz.

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