Accommodation on Pamir Highway
Traveling across Pamir Highway is a long trip in the mountainous regions of Tajikistan, where due to remoteness from large cities, living conditions are deprived of some blessings of civilization. It is better to learn living conditions and what to expect before taking a trip to Pamir Highway that will take a week or more. Pamir Highway tour usually begins in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, where you can find a hotel of any level including luxurious five-star hotels. However, it gets worse, the further you travel from Dushanbe. In paragraphs below we have attempted to describe accommodation in every city and settlement on the Pamir Highway, where most stops are done (in 2017).
Accommodation in Kalai-Khumb
Kalai-Khumb is a small settlement along the river Panj, where most people travelling to Pamir Highway stop for overnight. Earlier, there was an option of only few guesthouses, traditional Tajik houses, where tourists could share a room. However, in 2015, Karon Palace hotel was opened with comfort level as great as in 4-, 5- star hotels in Dushanbe. This hotel offers everything necessary for a good stay and Wi-Fi available throughout the hotel. It is possible to book a room online whereas in the guestshouses in Kalai-Khumb, you need to make a deal on the place.
Accommodation in Khorog
Khorog is the only city in Pamir and the capital of Gorno-Badakhshan. You can find there cozy 2-star hotels, rather decent hostels and guesthouses. In general, conditions are not that comfortable but at least they have everything necessary for rest after a long drive from Qalai-Khumb to Khorog. There are also restaurants, shops and other infrastructure in the city. The major disadvantage is a slow internet sufficient only to check mails and messengers. One of the best options for accommodation in Khorog is The Lal Hotel.
Accommodation in Ishkashim
Ishkashim is the southernmost settlement on Pamir Highway located in the beginning of the picturesque Wakhan corridor. This small village has few guesthouses and a small hotel Anis. Guesthouses are like all others on the route of Pamir Highway. Hotel Anis has several double rooms with two single beds and a table. Bathrooms are shared, sometimes creating queues. There is a lawn where you can set up a tent. To sum up, accommodation reminds communal living. There is no internet, so the only alternative is to spend an evening communicating with other travelers; dozens of tourists flock there during the high season.
Accommodation in Langar
Langar is a genuine Pamir village where you can see and feel life away from big cities. There are several private guesthouses in traditional Pamir style. They are all the same: big and nice living room, where they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and small bedrooms. Shared bathrooms are quite nice, but it is to take into consideration that there may be queues during high time. Although you will not find there all blessings of civilization; harmony, fresh air and tranquility might make you want to take some time off there.
Accommodation in Murghab
Murghab is a settlement on the height of 3600 meters, where you can feel rather dizzy. There is only one hotel Pamir in Murghab and several modest guesthouses. Tourists mainly prefer to stay in the hotel Pamir. Staying in the hotel is as harsh as the local nature. Hot water and electricity are available only during periods of 7.00-12.00 and in the evening between 19.00-00.00. Living conditions are Spartan, but you won’t find anything better. Rooms are equipped with single beds, tables and sanitary utensils. Wi-Fi is not available, but mobile communication works and you can use mobile internet.
Accommodation in Karakul
Karakul is a settlement on the height of 3900meters at the shore of the lake. There are two guesthouses with very scarce living conditions: no water for hygiene, outdoor WC, electricity available only between 19.00 and 23.00 and others. The only advantage is an opportunity to experience a night staying on a great height, and see the life of local people on this rough land.
As described above, trips and overnights on Pamir Highway are missing the basic comfort as you go further Khorog. Travellers are usually aware of it in advance and set realistic expectations. There will be no internet, TV and other connection with the rest of the world on the route after Khorog. You will spend evenings with locals and other travelers. We recommend you taking a book, some music to listen, or some board games with yourself to enjoy long evenings.