A patchwork of influences and identities, Tajikistan is staking its claim as an important Central Asia travel destination; stable and scenic with plenty of history, it has a good case.
There aren't many cities of note to take in if you travel to Tajikistan but Khojand in the north is a good base and he gateway to the Fargana Valley; journey from here to the pretty capital of Dushanbe to discover high passes and stunning mountain scenery.
Instead, Tajikistan travel is all about exploring the country's natural wonders. The Pamirs, known locally as Bam-i-Dunya, the Roof of the World, are an attractive range of mountains boasting three of the four highest peaks in the former Soviet Union. Largely uninhabitable, they are home to the elusive snow leopard though. The Pamir Highway here is one of the world's great road trips.
The Pamirs incorporate the Wakhan Corridor, a gorgeous and remote valley with Silk Road ruins and ancient forts. They are also the setting for Lake Kara-Kul, formed by a meteor 10 million years ago.
Within the Pamirs, the Fan Mountains are a favoured place to trek and climb that is also easily accessible from Samarkand. Ecotourism is also on the rise here.