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Afghanistan, A Controversial Country

Friendly and beautiful, Afghanistan was a famous destination, especially because of its hospitality, its fantastic food and why not, because of the legendary hashish. Unfortunately, things have changed dramatically lately. Over 25 years of war and leading of the Taliban left behind minefields and monuments in ruins. The poverty of the population encouraged the theft and the sale of the priceless wealth of the country.

After the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001, the Americans accused Afghanistan of harboring Osama bin Laden and bombed the country, destroying much of their infrastructure. Today the country is occupied by the peacekeeping forces, but fighting continues to erupt in the south. Due to the major threat of criminal and terrorist violence, the tourists are warned not to travel to Afghanistan. The minefields and the kidnappings taking place throughout the country, present a real danger.

Although approximately 40% of the buildings in the capital Kabul were completely destroyed in 2001, a few attractions for the visitors still remained – Babul Gardens, a museum and the ancient walls of the Citadel of Bala.

What can you visit if you want to see the main tourist attractions in Afghanistan? Well, you can take a tour of Jalalabad city, the capital of the Nangarhar province, which was once an attractive winter resort, with many cypress trees and flowers. You can also visit the Red City (Shahr-i-Zahak), at 17km of Bamiyan, the place of an ancient citadel. Go to Valley of Paghman, 90 minutes west of the capital, where the mountains are waiting. In the north, Karez-i-Amir, Charikar and the Valley of Chakardara are areas with stunning sceneries. Admire Hindu Kush, a wild mountainous region. Although you can go by car, the steep road can make your travel very difficult. Visit Bamiyan, the main town near Hindu Kush.

Outside Kabul city, Afghanistan is still a tribal society. The religion and the traditional habits have a big influence on the family, and the roles of men and women are well-delimited. Showing the soles of your feet is still considered an act of insult. It's good for women to wear clothes with long sleeves and pants or long skirts. Homosexuality, the alcohol, the narcotics and the pork products are illegal. The form of greeting is shaking hands, although the traditional method is a hug or touching noses. Avoid eye contact with the opposite sex.

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