Bamiyan Travel Guide

  • Afghan women walking across the mountain
    Afghan women walking across the mountain
    by Penelope4
  • Things to Do
    by Penelope4
  • Buddha site at present
    Buddha site at present
    by Cdnexpat

Bamiyan Things to Do

  • Sites to see in Bamyan

    Once you make it to Bamyan, you can check-in at one of two hotes there, then organize your sight seeing trips.There are a few nice places to visit.Obviously, the Buddha site is the most interesting. It is close to the city, ans one can easily walk there.The Red City is 20 minutes by taxi, from the city. Then it takes 15 minutes to walk to the top,...

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  • Hike or drive - look at the mountains!

    You will need the best hiking shoes. Stones, sands, slopes - they make hiking not easy. The sights of Grand Canyon-like mountains make you forget the difficulties.

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  • Don't mind the crowd

    Afghan people are kind-hearted although they are not wealthy. If you see crowds, don't be scared. Unlike in other countries where they would gather if guys are fighting or is being mobbed, in Afghanistan, they gather together if somebody's playing a musical instrument, if there's a film shooting, if guys are having fun dancing their steps "Atan"....

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  • Watching the lakes

    The Band-e Amir lakes are totally awesome! Surrounded by mountains which will remind you of Grand Canyons, the lakes are clean, bluer than blue and has so many fish in them!

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  • Go swim with the fish

    The Afghans are not allowed to fish in the Band-e Amir lakes and this applies to you as well. But good news - you can swim with the fish which come a plenty! The water is bluer than the sky and you can dip with as much pleasure as you like - in summer where temperatures are bearable. During the remaining seasons, the water will be too cold for you....

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  • Take a boat as a group

    The boats provided at Band-e Amir lakes are good for 2-3 passengers. If you are travelling with friends, I would recommend that you bring a "boat" with you to make the most out of your visit. Or you can ask your contact to find out where you could rent a bigger boat.

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  • Site of the large Buddha

    coming soon. i've to do research on the site. I know that very recently, there's supposed to be a 300-m long Buddha underneath the site.

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  • Site of the large Buddha

    coming soon. i've to do research on the site. I know that very recently, there's supposed to be a 300-m long Buddha underneath the site.

    more
  • Site of the large Buddha

    coming soon. i've to do research on the site. I know that very recently, there's supposed to be a 300-m long Buddha underneath the site.

    more

Bamiyan Restaurants

  • Kebabs at Band-e Amir

    Don't worry about food when you visit the lakes. There are many eateries there and even small shops for what-have-you. Just bring enough water or juice with you. Do not dare to bring alcohol. You will be in trouble. Kebabs smell so good in the mountains. Enjoy!

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  • the food of afghanistan

    when it comes to eating, eating in afghanistan could be very boring and unhealthy. there are not too much choices of food, just palao, kabab (grilled meat), and nan.it's better to avoid the kabab, as the meat is very very dirty. we got stomachache after eating it. the palao is really tasteless. and nan, no, they throw it on the floor. and if...

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  • Bamiyan Hotels

    0 Hotels in Bamiyan

Bamiyan Nightlife

  • mi5chelle's Profile Photo

    by mi5chelle Written Sep 11, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Singles
    • Archeology

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Bamiyan Transportation

  • hongmingd's Profile Photo

    by hongmingd Written Sep 29, 2003

    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.

    Compression
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

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Bamiyan Shopping

  • Nothing for tourists, but go buy...

    The shops are now about three hundred meters away from the lakes. Loitering is strictly prohibited to preserve the nature.The bazaar is mainly for locals. You will find here household stuff like pails, ropes, nuts, some tidbits to eat and a few (just a few) pieces of clothings. What you will notice are gold-plated necklaces with Arabic...

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  • bazaar is getting better every month

    The bazaar has really grown and expanded in the last year-- you can buy a food and general househould items, clothes, mobile phone, kebab, DVDs, or get a room at cheap hotel. Look in the 'antique' shops for some decent Hazarajat klims. $40-80 depending on size and bargaining skills

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  • Buy a rug, klim or carpet

    Afghan is synonymous with rug, so definitely roll up your sleves and get ready to bargain. Taking home a klim or rug is a must for any visitor. Since I live in the Hazara region, I have klims made in the area, but more elaborate, tighter knotted rugs can be found in Herat, Kabul and Mazar. I think its good to support this local craft trade and to...

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Bamiyan Local Customs

  • Smiles given is a smile gotten

    In addition to shaking hands and then placing your right hand over your heart, smiling is the best way to greet.Universally speaking, if you smile at someone they almost invariably will smile back and that's always a great ice breaker if you don't speak the language.

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  • The Hazaras

    Everybody gettig in on the act. Notice the 3rd guy on the right with the moustache. His eyes are crossed. We noticed this phenomenon all around many of the people in the Band-E-Amir area, and suspected it was a genetic thing being passed on to each generation.

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  • Afghan Tourists

    An Afghan family on a day out at the Lake. This lake is a favorit picknik spot for locals, but avoid to visit in winter time, as it could be extremely dangerous.

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Bamiyan Warnings and Dangers

  • Afghanistan not safe for backpackers yet

    As I said in the intro, Afhanistan is still a very unstable and unpredictable country and should not be visited by adventure seekers and backpackers. Will keep the VT family updated if there are any positive changes.

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  • Heritage of War (?)

    This must of seen some action during all the years of defending the valley from either Soviets, Taliban, or anyone else.

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  • Ammunition

    A typical scene around the cliffs of Bamiyan. Fired and live bullets lying around everywhere. Most places seem to have been de-mined. But we still watched where we put our feet all the time.

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Bamiyan What to Pack

  • mi5chelle's Profile Photo

    by mi5chelle Written Sep 11, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking

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Bamiyan Off The Beaten Path

  • Watch a rug be woven

    In any village, especially during winter time, you can pass by and ask to see a klim or rug being woven.You can even place orders with women to make a custom rug for you. Its a wonderful experience to sit and talk with the women about their cultural traditions in weaving.They are very proud of their designs, which vary from village to village and...

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  • Catch a live performance of music on the...

    Ever since the deposition of the Taliban, music is everywhere. Radio Bamiyan plays all the favorites from Pakistan, India and Iran, in additon to Afgan music.It is easy and cheap to rent a band, too. For about $25/night five musicians and a singer will come to your guest house and play for 2-3 hours.

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  • Watch a school be built

    Pretty much anywhere you go in Bamiyan district, you will find people rebuilding their lives and schools are an important part.Its backbreaking work, done by hand and rudimentary tools, but they are sturdy and a great pride for any village.

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Bamiyan Sports & Outdoors

  • mi5chelle's Profile Photo

    by mi5chelle Written Jun 18, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Buzkhashi player
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Horse Riding

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Explore Deeper into Bamiyan
Site of the large Buddha
Things to Do
Things to see in Bamiyan aside from the lakes
Things to Do
Take a boat and enjoy the Band-e Amir
Things to Do
take a dip in the Band-e-Amir lake
Things to Do
visit the Buddah, now destroyed
Things to Do
Beware of Mines!!!
Off The Beaten Path
First glimpse of the Lake
Off The Beaten Path
Footprints
Things to Do
Impressions of the Buddha
Things to Do
Play Time
Local Customs
Bamiyan Children
Local Customs
Innocence
Local Customs
The Empty Niches
Things to Do
Dusk at Bamiyan
Things to Do
Lovely Hazara Children
Local Customs
Bamiyan Cliff
Things to Do
Bamiyan Buddhas
Things to Do
Landmines in Bamiyan
Warnings and Dangers
The Pristine Band-e-Amir
Off The Beaten Path
Map of Bamiyan

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