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“Trekkers paradise of Central Asia”
Review of Fann Mountains

Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Ayni
Attraction details
Reviewed 23 September 2016

Few hours drive from Dushanbe absolutely stunning scenery awaits you in Fann mountains. Typical trekking tours go from one mountain lake to another one over some passes, always with great view on snow-capped mountains and going through different vegetation zones. Compared to Pamirs, the average elevation is lower which makes it easier to walk and less cold, and you can see more villages and farms on the way. In a trek of around 5, 6 days you can see a good part of the Fann mountains. If you are interested in history I would suggest to include the town Penjikent in a tour to the Fann mountains. Pamirs and Fann mountains are very distinct in regards to nature but also culture, as Pamiri people are different from Tajiks, so it's definitely worth to visit both Pamir and Fann mountains. :)

4  Thank Kalpak_Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 8 of 16 reviews

Reviewed 4 July 2016

Fann Mountains in the west of Tajikistan are trekker's paradise. Very different to Pamirs and possibly more foot friendly. There are already well established (unmarked) trails and routes; those with camping equipment are in the best position to enjoy most of what mountains have to offer. Those without the equipment are limited to visits to Iskander Kul from Sarvoda on taxi; Seven (I think it was seven) Lakes south of Penjikent or making a trek or two out of Artuch. I had no time to do all three as my patience with Tajikistan's transportation was seriously running out. I would really love to be back and do two treks: 1. Artuch-Kulikalon Lakes-Alaudin Lakes-Iskander Kul and 2. Penjikent to the furthest you can go in the seven lakes region.

This is what I did in three days from Penjikent:

Day 1:
8am at the Penjikent bazaar for shared ride to Artush. Well, the morning marshrutka was cancelled and the next direct one was scheduled for sometimes around noon. I went for the first available one to Rudaki then a nice 5km trek to Artuch.

The LP says that homestay was available in Artuch, I had trouble finding anyone who speaks Russian. And once I found them they told me there are no official places to sleep in Artuch. Well, people were willing to take me in for nothing, "budesh nash gost", but I didn't want to be anyone's guest without paying for accommodation no matter how kind they seemed. So I had to trek further 7km to Artuch Alplager. Fine, had plenty of time and the villages and nature along the way were nice. And a chai stop as the villagers wouldn't take "spasiba balshoi" for an answer. They told me that I must have tea with them and only then I was allowed to say "thanks a lot".

Artuch Alplager has two types of accommodation: the main wooden building and lux/non lux chalets. The room in main building is USD10 for foreigners and 50 Somoni for locals. This "inostranets" price is most certainly made up as it wasn't displayed at the price list. Never mind. The overcharging almost certainly took place on food there too as the prices couldn't be agreed between members of staff. The beautiful woman with Turkic face features, kind of a boss there, loooves money, so obvious. Very keen to organise the transportation even though that every foreigner comes to Fan Mountains to walk and do many walks. The best thing about the Alplager was Ruksora, the cook, whose food and friendliness made my stay at that place enjoyable in the end.

Day 2:
The trek to Kulikalon Lakes took only two hours to complete. It was nice and the trail was super easy to find. The biggest lake is the most beautiful one so I spent 15 minutes admiring it from its shores.

You'd really need to walk around the area to appreciate the beauty of other lakes. Or head to the hills north of the lakes and try to find a good vantage point. I did this and saw maybe 8/12 lakes at one point. The surrounding mountains add to drama. Very beautiful. Back the same way to Alplager. All together some 5 hours including 1.5 hours spent at the lakes.

I did another trek what I thought it'd be a short trek to Kul Chukurak; the lake located right above the Alplager. Then I discovered that it was possible to make a circular trek to Kulikalon Lakes this way, so weed off! Met Dan and Ora from Israel and we all headed to Lake Zivrat some 5km up from Kol Chukurak. Warning: I wouldn't attempt to reach Kulikalon Lakes this way without a very good map! I think it was better I didn't know about this way earlier in the day; the path up to Zivrat Pass really can be difficult to guess without the map. The views, however, from the pass on a clear day must be spectacular.

I left my Israeli friends at Lake Zivrat to camp and went back. Shocked to see both of them at Alplager some 2 hrs later! Well, they found it not good for camping up there and went back to Alplager. I was hoping to see their pics of views from the pass, but this wasn't to be.

Day 3:
Woke up at 4am to catch transportation from Artuch to Penjikent. Walked to Artuch, no transportation and no surprise so I carried on towards Rudaki. I stopped the private car leaving from Artuch and secured the direct ride to Penjikent for 20 Somoni. There were plenty of transportation options from Rudaki for the usual 10 Somoni.

11  Thank GoranWembley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2015

We went trekking in these mountains with World Expeditions for 5 days. The scenery was stunning however the trek was hard going especially going over Alauddin Pass which is at 3680 metres. No problem for fit people. The Donkey men were great and invited us into one of their summer grazing huts as we passed which was high in the mountains . The people are so friendly and generous and others offered us fresh bread and yoghurt as we passed.

3  Thank RossCSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2014

We used ZTDA tourism (http://www.ztda-tourism.tj/en) for a 6 night/7 day trek. Our children are aged 7 and 9 and they loved it. The scenery was amazing and it was enjoyable to camp by a different lake each night. We hired an extra donkey for the kids to use when needed which was helpful on the longer days. The highest pass we crossed was 3850m and this did not present a problem for the children. We planned to stay two nights at the end of the trek at Artuch base camp but left after one as it was not as relaxing as we had expected (a lot of people and too much noise due to end of Ramadam celebrations).
There is a short window of opportunity to complete this trip due to the climate in the area. Plan on June, July or August.
I would definately recommend this trip.

2  Thank jarrodd1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 July 2014

We hired Mountain Adventure Travel to take 6 days to Fann Mountain in June 2014. We started from the Marguzor Lake and ended in Alaudin Lake. Specticular and awesome snow mountain and lakes all along the route. The weather is lovely with a little bit shower in the evening and at night. But it didn't do harm to our trek. We had encounter with local nomads. They were so friendly with hospitability and shared their sour yogurt with us, The kids are well educated and had shared our souvenrs with others. We trekked around 2000 - 3000 km something so high attitude sickness is only mild. Up and down for about 800 - 1000 km a day. Strongly recommended for trek and adventure lovers.

1  Thank pwau98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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