the people, the stories, the experience
After year 1992 the view of Kabul has been changed totally, almost everything has been destroyed.
Hopefully one day a person can come here to see a new city
Clothing Suggestion:Warm woolens during winterLadies are required to cover the head, as per local sensitivities Health Concern:Use bottled mineral water onlySeasons: Summer (July - September) - Temperature 25 to 41°CAutumn (September - Nov.) - Temperature 12 to 25°CWinter (November - April) - Temperature -4 to 15°CThe temperatures shown here are...more
For a 360 degree view of the city, there is no better spot than the top of `tv tower hill'.I went up a few times to get the usual establishing city shot on each of my trips to Kabul. Its an interesting drive, up a dusty dirt track. Will take you about 20 mins of driving time to reach the top, but the views are rewarding. You can see on two sides of...more
After almost 4 years in Afghanistan, for a change, I thought of spending some nights in the most...more
Good for: Solo
I stayed in Park Palace Guest House in Oct 2010. There is no proper shop near the guest house. The...more
The Japanese Restaurant that is also called Red Dragon, is located at the Galleria, is a quiet and personal place. It has a very cozy atmosphere, Japanese decorations, friendly staff and warm ambiance. The food is great, fresh and delicious. And it is cheap!! $10 for a 3 course meal and bento box including 2 salads, 1 main course, 1 soup, sticky...more
The owner continues to improve the setting of his restaurant to help the foreigners enjoy their time in Kabul. Taverna Du Liban is much safer than before and the service is getting faster. Take your time in reading the menu so you can explore the Lebanese cuisine each time you visit the restaurant. The first time I went there, I did not know that I...more
Gone were the days where we'd look forward to going to this restaurant because a foreign band would be playing real good music! There are many reasons to come back to this restaurant. When you visit it in summer, you will know why it should be the number 1 address in Kabul after work. Guests sit in the beautiful garden and enjoy what they would...more
There are quite some international spots which are common to be visited by mostly expatriates. UN has always published recommended restaurants or bars which are considered as relatively safe (usually with armed guarded and thick tall walls). However following the security guidelines are the most important as "don't look any problem if there aren't...more
In the later evening the streets are basically empty, and often electicity is off around downtown. My first evening in Kabul I came back to my hotel at 11p, and the gate was locked, and we had to rattle it to get in. I thought at teh time there might be a 10p curfew in the city though I don't know the actual situation. Basically, there is not much...more
Traveling around Kabul is very dangerous. Find a car service that the hotel you are staying with trusts. As you call them make sure that the driver can speak your language well enough. Foreigners can make some people nervous as they think that they may be targeted if they seem like a spot where foreigners hang out. So make sure your driver knows...more
It is very difficult to find safe and secure transportation within Afghanistan.Le Monde Rental Services Company is the first dedicated vehicle rental company operating since early 2003, providing safe and secure, quality transportation to NGOs, National and International companies in Afghanistan. Le Monde is the only company in Afghanistan who...more
The Galleria is a beautifully designed shopping center where all all gift ideas and home needs are under one roof. It has a beautiful garden, polite and helpful staff and many things a usual tourist needs such as arts, crafts, jewelry, ceramics, etc. they claim that the Galleria is the largest private gallery in Afghanistan which maybe true. their...more
Turquoise Mountain intends to move to another location. As of this writing (31 March 2010), they are still in Kart-e-Parwan. The gate is beautiful if you pay attention to the woodcraft. You have to register before getting inside. The shop is at the entrance - you'll find jewelries designed by a well-trained Afghan lady (so I heard). The precious...more
Istalif Gallery has two shops in Chicken Street. They are frequented by diplomats and foreigners who keep coming back to Afghanistan. If you are a serious buyer (not just fond of looking for cheap ones but for real good products), you will be led upstairs where you will be shown a lot of things you'd wonder how they all fit in a small area. Yes, my...more
We used to carry sweets with us everyday, as we stepped out.Invariably, we would get to places where lots of children would be playing and would crowd around us, and there would be a great many takers for the sweets!Its quite a nice feeling, to be able see them smile and interact. The fact that some of the kids could understand Hindi, the official...more
Women begging on the streets... not an unfamiliar sight. The freedom from the Taliban has meant that women are more free now to step out, but it has not translated into a whole lot else just yet.This scene here was outside one of the main mosques in Kabul.Also, according to a recent survey, Afghanistan has more than 2 million widows. quite a...more
The ISAF (International security assistance force) is the body responsible for policing the area in and around Kabul and also assist in its reconstruction. They also operate Kabul airport and have operations in the norther and western part of Afghanistan. Its an international contingent of peacekeepers dawn from various NATO countries- of those i...more
* Carry communication equipment with full charge batteries. Satellite phone may be necessary in case the local networks do not work properly* Don't take pictures of military areas, bridges, dams, and airports. Ask permission to take pictures of local community especially women and beautiful view.more
During my first trip, in 2002, the scenario in Kabul was fairly unsettled. With all the warlords and various quasi- military outfits still weilding their influence over affairs, Kabul wasnt quite the safest city you could be visiting. That being said, our days in the city were largely trouble free except one particular evening when a car bomb...more
Jadde-ye morgh forooshi, known to foreigners as Chicken street, is best avoided for shopping. The prices are ridiculus and you will be cheated. The same things are available in other places at much better prices. Just look. Don't buy anything. Da Afghanistan bazaar. Genuine and cheap. Close to the Telecommunications house and Kabul Hotel.more
Afghan poppies may bloom again.With the Taliban gone, farmers are returning to the most lucrative crop.SORKH ROD, AFGHANISTAN - It is planting season in eastern Afghanistan, and a sharecropper named Katib is riding behind two oxen pulling a wooden plow, preparing his field for next year's crop. A few weeks ago, Katib (who uses only one name) had...more
Yes, they are sweet. Yes, they are certainly disadvantaged, but they can get very annoying! Usually accomanied by shouts of 'How are you?!' and 'Kakow' (food in Dari) they will pester any westerner. All I can say is please don't feed them as it will only encourage them and cause more of a problem for other westerners. If you do want to give...more
Bring some loose fitting and covering clothes if you don't want to buy the traditional Shalwar kameez (for men), long blouse, skirt (or wide dress) and scarf (for women). There are no good ladies shoes in Kabul. Just high heel party shoes and very simple plastic slippers.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Everything possible to buy in Kabul. Some places sell fake medicine though. It's better to buy Iranian drugs and not Pakistani.
Photo Equipment: Film not necessary to bring.
Miscellaneous: Most things are possible to buy in Kabul.
We managed to get access to shoot at a hospital for women- one of Kabul's main hospitals.Before i knew it, i found myself with the camera on my shoulder, in the gynecology ward. It was the most bizzare feeling to think where i was standing at that point- and that too in a country that until so recently, was under the Taliban.more
Debris from the decades of war in Afghanistan is strewn across the countryside. It was much more prominent on the earlier trips, especially 2002, but it seems to have been cleared up now to a large extent. However, there is one place, called `the graveyard of tanks' which i happened to visit, where all the rubble i`ve ever seen in Afghanistan and...more
A couple of hours north of Kabul... in the direction of Bagram lies Istalif. With its hills, streams, network of canals that irrigated the land, and plenty of green cover, it used to be a retreat for the royals and a favourite destination with tourists. A visit to the city today is a chilling reminder of the horrors of war...Istalif is reached...more
yes i did visit- albeit it was late in th evening and too dark for pictures. (i did get one though)
the place has been done up, and it now looks like a place where sport happens, and not taliban executions.
interestingly, i was there to attend a film- a `world premier' of an afghan-american co-production.
it was getting late by the time they actually started, and i left without seeing it...
Another member stated do not bring alcohol into Afghanistan or it will be confiscated. I do not know where that information came from as you are allowed to take in two x one liter bottles of spirit IE vodka, whiskey whatever. You can carry it in using the normal duty free bag quite openly, customs will look and it does not get confiscated and there...more
Afghanistan is a Moslem country. Do not bring alcohol into the country even though they come from a duty-free shop in the airport you've been to before coming to Kabul. Afghan Customs Officer will not only confiscate them but be ready for consequences. Please don't say nobody warned you.more
There are some Internet cafes in Kabul but I discourage you from going to one. A suicide bomber blew himself up in one of those cafes a few years ago in Kabul. Afghans are not used yet to seeing tourists in Internet cafes. I recommend that you check out your Guesthouse first before settling down. A good guesthouse should be able to provide Internet...more