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First steps into Central Asia
February 2010

tajikistan Flag Tajikistan: Nurek reservoir, mountains, Dangara Flag tajikistan

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Nurek Reservoir, Tajikistan

The town of Nurek is known for its high dam, which provides electricity to Dushanbe and to a lot of places in Tajikistan.

With its 300 meters high, Nurek Dam is actually the world’s highest hydroelectric dam.

But this will change when China's Jinping dam will be completed, and may well change again by the completition of Rogun Dam.

Mountains surrounding Nurek Reservoir in Tajikistan

We didn’t stop by the dam, but the views of Nurek Reservoir are totally breathtaking.

With snowed mountains all around, it looked like a fjord. It reminded me a lot of the arrival to Longyearbyen, on my 2008 trip to Svalbard and Norway.

Nurek Reservoir as seen from the road

Nurek reservoir is the largest reservoir in Tajikistan, but this may well change soon... Again across the Vakhsh River the Rogun Reservoir is being planned.

Construction of the Rogun Dam began in 1976, but works were stopped by the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The dam will be more than 300m high after completed, so it will probably set a new record.

Snowy Mountain in Tajikistan

Rogun Dam is another matter of tensions between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan: The Dam will impact Uzbekistan's irrigation systems.

Anyway, this hasn't stopped Tajikistan to resettle populations living around the area which would be covered by the reservoir, even if the country still has to raise a few billion dollars to complete the project.

Restaurant in Dangara, Tajikistan

This is a restaurant in the town of Dangara, where we had luch on the way back.

There's not much to see in town, but this is the birthplace of Emomalii Rahmon, the current president of Tajikistan.

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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?

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