Ishkashim border crossing, Tajikistan Afghanistan border crossing

Tajikistan Border Crossings

Tajikistan Border Crossings was originally published in January 2021

Tajikistan has several border crossings with its four neighboring countries- Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, making Tajikistan an awesome destination for overland travel across Central Asia.

It’s worth noting that not all border crossings are open to foreigners and that some are not open at all. Here is an up to date listing of all the border crossings with Tajikistan.


Start planning here: The Tajikistan Travel Guide


Tajikistan Border Crossings

Kyrgyzstan Border Crossings

Open to Foreigners

  • Kyzyl-Art Pass-Bordöbö On the Pamir Highway (M41). Connects Karakul, Tajikistan to Sary Tash, and further onto Osh in Kyrgyzstan.
  • Isfara-Batken- For those in the Fergana Valley, this is the crossing to get between Khujand and Osh.
  • Ovchi Kalacha-Kulundu- This is an alternative crossing in the Fergana Valley between Khujand and Osh, via Isfana. This is an uncommon border crossing, but you can read more info on it here.

Bilateral

  • Jirgatol-Karamyk- Currently closed to foreigners. If tensions rise and Kyzyl-Art is closed it could re-open (as it did in 2012).
Kyzyl Art, Kyzyl Art Pass, Tajikistan
A Rainbow Mountain in the no-man’s land between Kyzyl Art Pass and Bordöbö

Need help planning? Pick up a copy of Bradt’s Tajikistan guidebook


China Border Crossings

  • Qolma Pass/Kalasu– Finally opened to foreigners in the summer of 2017. This is Tajikistan’s only border crossing with China that connects Murghab to Tashkurgan and Kashgar/Kashi. Knowledge of Mandarin is helpful with this crossing. I have now done the crossing in both directions in 2018. You cannot take your own transport or walk over the border. You must hitchhike with truckers headed over the pass. Border patrol on either side know this and will assist you in getting on a truck. Learn more about the Qolma Pass border crossing here.
Kashgar, China, Xinjiang
Kashgar

Afghanistan Border Crossings

*Note: You will need a visa in advance to visit Afghanistan. Read this post to learn how to get an Afghan visa in Khorog.  

Open

  • Ishkashim-Sultan Eshkashim The gateway into the Afghan Wakhan Corridor. This is the most common way to visit Afghanistan from Tajikistan. Note that this border will sometimes close in times of disease outbreak and if the Taliban forces push closer to Sultan Eshkashim on the Afghan side. This border crossing is also the site of the cross-border market on Saturdays held on an island on the Panj River that technically sits on the Afghan side. You do not need a visa for the cross-border market and you will only need to hand over your passport to the border officer during the duration of your visit to the market. This market hasn’t been held for quite some time, if you may be in the area on a Saturday, ask locals about the status.

Open, but not recommended

  • Panji Poyan-Shir Khan Bandar- This is the border crossing that will take you from Dushanbe to Kunduz. This border crossing is not recommended at this time due to the Taliban fighting with Afghan forces. It is intermittently closed as well.
  • Khorog-Shegnan- A bridge across the Panj River connects Khorog to Shegnan. This border is also called Tem. Note that crossing here has not been recommended in the last two years because of Taliban fighting in Shegnan.
  • Kokul-Darkod- This border crossing is located about 70 km east of the Panji Poyon crossing. Crossing at Kokul requires a ride on a rickety boat across the River Panj as there is no bridge. Crossing here is not recommended for the same reasons the border at Panji Poyan is not recommended.
  • Ruzvai-Nusai- Border crossing bridge over the River Panj located about 3 km east of Qala i Khumb. Crossing here could be of interest to those wanting to explore the rural Badakhshan Province that you will see along the M41 from Qala i Khumb to Khorog. Taliban forces may push up into this area as they gained more foothold in the Badakhshan in 2017, so this is not recommended.
  • Kupruki Vanj- Jomarji Bolo- Border crossing over a bridge across the River Panj from near the terminus of the Vanj Valley Road at the Pamir Highway. Similar notes can be said here about crossing at Vanj as is about crossing at Ruzvai. This crossing is not recommended as well for the same reasons.

Closed

  • Langar- Langar is currently closed to all traffic. If the border crossing at Langar ever does open it will prove useful for those accessing the Little Pamir in Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor.
Tajikistan-Afghanistan border crossing, Ishkashim border, Ishkashim
The Afghan side of the border at Ishkashim

Uzbekistan Border Crossings

Relations between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have warmed in 2018 and have seen the Panjakent-Samarkand border re-open after being closed for many years, as well as the Dusti-Pap border open.

*Note: Most westerners can either apply for an e-visa or can enter Uzbekistan visa free. Read more here to find out if you need a visa, and how to get one.

  • Buston-Oybek- This is the border crossing that will get you between Khujand and Tashkent.
  • Konibodom-Beshariq- Cross here for those wanting to travel between Khujand and the Uzbek Fergana Valley city of Kokand.
  • Panjakent-Samarkand After having been closed for several years because of bitter relations between the two countries, this crossing re-opened in 2018. This is a convenient crossing for those wanting to combine the Silk Road history of Samarkand with the stunning mountain landscapes in the Fann Mountains. Crossing here is smooth sailing and pretty hassle-free in my experience, read about it here.
  • Tursanzade-Denau- This is the border crossing that will take you between Dushanbe and little-visited southeastern Uzbekistan. This was an alternative route commonly used when the Panjakent-Samarkand border was closed.
  • Dusti-Pap- This crossing is a more direct route for those wanting to go between Namangan and Khujand. This is a newly opened crossing in 2018.

*Other crossings that may potentially open in the future: Kushtegirmon-Bekabod and Zafarobod-Khavast in the Fergana Valley, and Shahrtuz-Gulbahor connecting southwest Tajikistan to Termez.


Plan the perfect trip with my 10 day Uzbekistan & Tajikistan itinerary


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The Palace of Khudayar Khan in Kokand, Uzbekistan

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