Trans Eurasia travel

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Obi Garni takes its name from the naturally occurring hot springs that are dotted across the area. The largest business in the town is the Soviet-era Sanatorium Obi Garm, which makes use of the water's supposedly curative properties. Rooms (which include all meals and treatments) start from TJS120 per day, and the doctors expect you to stay for at least a week to gain maximum benefit. Facilities include a variety of saunas and plunge pools, a fitness centre and, for reasons no-one could quite explain, a conference room.

Though one of the larger towns in the area, Obi Garm has no visible signs of a cafe and the shops stock only the most basic foodstuffs. Gharm has one main street, with a reasonable bazaar and some smart looking choikhonas, particularly one with fine carving and paintwork that stands on a bridge across a small river. There is a new silver domed mosque. The town is showing signs of some prosperity after the ravages suffered in the civil war, with a number of new and renovated buildings. A large part of the male population is abroad, working in Russia and sending home remittances.

If you are staying at the sanatorium, reception can arrange transport to and from Dushanbe. Alternatively, you can take the regular minibus service. Both the town and the sanatorium itself are clearly marked.