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First steps into Central Asia
February 2010

tajikistan Flag Tajikistan: Norak Flag tajikistan

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A hill at the entrance of Nurek, Tajikistan

We stopped for lunch at the town of Nurek, also spelled Nurak or... Norak, its official name in Tajik.

We had an excellent fried fish just caught in the morning at the huge Vakhsh River.

Norak is no ancient city, but it's a pleasant place. The city was founded around 1960, with the construction of Nurek Dam, which created the Nurek Reservoir.

A small mosque in the town of Nurek, Tajikistan

There are no big buildings in this town of some 18 000 inhabitants. Just a few houses on each side of the road, a couple of small mosques, and a few stores and restaurants.

There are a lot of shepherds along the road, so I guess most of them live in Norak.

The Vakhsh River, Tajikistan

The Vakhsh River, also known as the Surkhob River, is one of the most important rivers of Tajikistan, which produces most of his electricity thanks to Nurek Dam and the future Rogun Dam.

The Vakhsh river starts in the Alay Valley, Kyrgyzstan, where it's known as Kyzyl-Suu. It crosses the mountain of western Tajikistan and finally joins the Panj River on the Afghan border.

Ladies by the Vakhsh River in Norak, Tajikistan

The river is very large, and the landscape around Nurek is really impressive.

When we were over the bridge in Nurek, I though we were crossing a lake.

The main road going through Norak, Tajikistan

Nurek is also home of the Okno complex, a powerful space observatory and satellite tracking facility belonging to Russia.
As you can imagine, it's off limits to anyone not involved in research or the Russian Forces.

A nice place to have lunch!

We sat at a traditional restaurant, enjoying the great view of the river and the surrounding mountains.

The owner of the restaurant and his family were very hospitable, and also curious about my two home countries.
Of course, the conversation started by the classical question “Are You married”, and when I answered “no”, they replied with a “why not?”.

The cook and restaurant owner - Nurek, Tajikistan

He told me that he wants to have 11 children!

Well, I’ve got a cat and for now that’s enough!
I still want to travel a bit more and continue living this way before setting down and have my own family, but in any case I don’t plan to have 11 children!

Metal Traveller having a great Tajik lunch in Nurek



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Central Asia Travel Guide

Central Asia Travel Guide

Borat may not have been the most savoury of ambassadors, but at least he shone a light on Central Asia. With a history starring Alexander the Great, a landscape featuring snowcapped mountains in Tajikistan, and semi-nomadic Kyrgyz herders to hang out with, why wouldn't you go?

< Previous: Roads Tajikistan < Begin Trip > Next: Nurek Reservoir >
< Another place in tajikistan > < Another Country >
© 2010 Metal Traveller - all pictures and text owned by Metal Traveller