Trip Start Aug 18, 2010
38Trip End Jun 13, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where does the money come from? It's not from the Tajik government. This region is neglected by the government, possibly because there's nothing to be gained. It spends most of its resources in the western part of the country. There are very few resources here except rocks and snow. There is a land border-crossing with China but it's very remote. There's potential for tourism but at the moment, it's a pain to get here, not to mention expensive
A lot of the development is funded by the Aga Khan, a leader of the Ismaili muslims. This town would be in much worse shape if not for him. Maybe the government doesn't spend money here because it knows the Aga Khan will take care of this region. Appropriately, the people here love him and you can see his photos all around. There are a lot of other charities working here. My hotel was built to fund a charity. I also met two German university students doing their internship here. They are helping the locals to rediscover traditional craftsmanship skill, such as how to make natural dye and traditional designs, so they can sell them to tourists for income.
A surprising number of people here can speak some basic English. I talked with one who spoke English quite well. He told me corruption is a big problem in the country and there are not enough jobs. You can only get jobs if you have good connections or have money to buy a job. Having an university degree doesn't mean much
I admired his sense of responsibility and caring for other people. Perhaps it might be easier to say this without experiencing the opportunities, freedom, lesser amount of corruption in the first world, He's definitely a rare breed. While it's fun to travel around here, I definitely would not want to live here. Maybe it's also easier if you're single. Is it just as selfish for someone to come back here and confine their families and descendants to this existence? I imagine all parents want the best for their children. It's an uphill battle with the environment, the government and the circumstances. It's a tough choice.