Trans Eurasia travel

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Tajikistan is, on the whole, a cheap country in which to travel. Yes, it is possible in Dushanbe to spend US$400 a night in a hotel, eat in expensive restaurants, and hire a car and driver to escort you to every last lamp post, but fortunately this is a lifestyle choice only, and in many parts of the country it would be an impossibility in any case as top-end facilities with top-end prices are simply not there.

In Dushanbe it is possible to get a dormitory bed for US$10, a clean, budget double room for US$40, and a mid-range room with breakfast included will set you back around US$80. Upwards of US$200 a night is not uncommon for the lop-end hotels. The price of meals is similarly varied: cafe snacks start at around US$1.50, and for a meal in a hotel restaurant with wine you can easily be looking at US$70.

Outside of Dushanbe your money will go noticeably further. Other than accommodation, transport and meals will be your greatest expenditures. If you are I ravelling on a budget you will survive on US$25 a day but this will restrict your sleeping options and require you to travel solely by public transport. A budget of US$50 would give you far greater flexibility.

Prices start rising dramatically when you make special arrangements. Car and driver hire is particularly expensive as it is generally charged by the kilometre and you will need to pay for both directions, even if you are only travelling one way. Trekking guides and pack animals are reasonably cheap by international standards, hut the costs quickly add up if you are trekking for a protracted period or part of a very small group.

Museum and theatre tickets are an absolute steal in Tajikistan, so even budget travellers should be able to enjoy plenty of culture and entertainment. You will rarely pay more than US$1 to visit a museum or cultural site, and seats at theatrical performances, including the opera and ballet, typically start at US$2.