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Ok, so let's not get too excited but yes, there is alchol available in Bamiyan -- in the bazaar in the black market (you must use the code names of famous people to identify which liquor you want) and in the recently re-opened Buddah Bar.
The first Buddah Bar was operated by ICRC and closed in 2003, after the last expat left. Now, Global Securiy, the gang of ex-soldiers and ruffians who give security to UNAMA's electoral registration teams, have re-opened a new Buddah Bar - complete with a brick mini rendition of the large buddah, masonry into the bar, itself.
There are carpets to lay on, a nice decorations. Drinks cost $3 a piece. No local Afghans are allowed inside, due to cultural and religious sensitivities.
The bar is open only on Thursday nights and really only gets going around 10pm. There is no curfew in Bamiyan, but most of the regulars come from the bar's own neighboorhood.
You heard it here, first.
Dress Code: No special dress, along as its conservative to Afghan standards. Be ready to chat it up with the usual cast of characters from the UN -- security guys, program officers, electoral workers, and folks from the various other non-governmental organizations and the occassional BBC journalist or vagabond from Kabul.
Written Sep 11, 2004
Address: In Sarasiyya area, near DDR complex
Pictured beside is our view from the back of the minibus from Bamiyan back to Kabul. The minibuses always leave very early in the morning, in Afghanistan. I think this one left around 4:30-5:00am or similar. Day buses dont really run. All minibuses get this cramped, and often 18 people can be squeezed inside. Tough going when the trip is 12 or more hours,and the heat is tremendous. Very dusty also on dirt tracks.
Written Sep 29, 2003
Luggage and bags: Bamiyan is the heart of the Central Highlands and is surrounded by the Hindu Kush mountains so it can get cold.
For day treks bring a sturdy day backpack and a water container.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Always have a sweater or a fleece jacket when you come, summer, spring - anytime.
In the winter you had better have a parka and protection from snow, like a good outter water proof jacket. Hat is essential and good sturdy shoes or boots
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Always have sun screen cream and sun glasses. Ladies bring your own tampons and such since you won't find anything here.
The air is dry so bring body lotion and a lot of conditioner for your hair.
Photo Equipment: A digital camera is great. No film is on sale in the bazaar, that I know of.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Sleeping bag and liner is a good idea and maybe a walking pole or two if you are going to hike around the Buddahs or Koh-e-Baba mountains.
Miscellaneous: Thuraya phone, GPS, altimeter would be handy. Plus, Guess what? Bamiyan now has mobile phone accessibility so bring your phone and buy your Roshan chip here.
Written Sep 11, 2004
Well, Buzkhashi is the national sport of Afghanistan and is a sight to behold.
Two teams run around, on horseback, fighting one another for the possession of the carcass of a dead goat, because they want to carry it to the goal line.
It can be very exciting to watch and the fans are also a eyefull. Mazar-e-Sharif is considered the best place to see matches but we have a few teams in Bamiyan who play at least once or twice a month.
Admission is free
Prizes like vehicles, rifles, money and such are given to the high scorers.
Equipment: No equipment needed unless you plan to join in the melee.
Then, if you speak Dari, you should have a strong, fast horse, thick clothes (since you will get beaten by the opposition with riding crops) and gloves so you can securely hold the carcass as you gallop to the goal circle.
Written Jun 18, 2004
Address: Bamiyan, by the field near PRT