Difference between revisions of "Bamiyan"
Revision as of 17:57, 5 October 2006
Bamiyan is a province in Afghanistan.
About 8 hours or more from Kabul using a good 4-wheel drive vehicle. Public minivans take 12-14 hours over the extremely rough road and cross over a pass whether taking the Southern or Northern route. The minivans leave from a suburb in west Kabul at 4am daily.
The UN run flights for their personnel only. The ISAF contingent's (New Zealand) Hercules transport aircraft resupply the base there. Whilst it is very unlikely that they'll allow passengers it does provide a dramatic photo opportunity. The same goes when VIPs visit and bring along Apache/Cobra attack helicoptors for protection.
It is difficult to travel around the region unless with your own transport. Minivans going to/from Kabul might be able to drop you off part of the way. The young and friendly Police Officers may also be of help.
The Taliban destroyed the huge statues of Buddha on the grounds that they were 'Un-Islamic'. They also killed/displaced many of the local residents who belong to the Hazara ethnic group.
The best place to view the entire valley is to be on top of the ruins of a fortress behind the town. There is another fort some 20 kilometers back towards Kabul that requires a jeep to get to. Further to the west are the Band-i Amir lakes, said to be some of the most beautiful lakes in the world.
A chaikhana provides staple Afghani food such as plov (rice with seasonal vegetable and mutton) and also doubles as a simple hotel. A rooms above the food hall costs $10 or it is possible to sleep in the foodhall like most of the Afghanis do.
There are many mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Bamian despite a continued presence by ISAF. Stay on well used paths.
A fleet of minivans leave daily from the chaikhana at 4am to Kabul, costing around $8 per seat.