Tips if you are planning the "Pamir Highway" by bike:
1.) Choose the route from Dushanbe to Osh (not the other way round), in the Pamirs blows often a really strong wind from the east!
2.) Roads, overnight stays and shopping in the Pamir: The route from Kalai-Chumb to Khorugh has become extremely hard and arduous due to Chinese trucks. After Khorugh (M41) the road is very good, ...asphalt road. There is an amating valley and there were only a few trucks! In Jelondi (between Khorugh and Alichur in front of Koitezek Pass) there is a hotel with thermal baths. The overnight stay including bath costs 40 som (4-5 dollars). On request you get a simple dinner in the restaurant, Russian soup, Plov, tea, etc. No beer! Breakfast is available, I had two fried eggs and small sausages with bread and tea. After Jelondi you will find off-road roads. Often "streets like corrugated iron; At the Koizetek Pass to Murghab, at the Ak-Baital Pass and later also at the Kizil-Art Pass. Take enough time for these routes, they are very difficult! Guesthouses are available in: Alichur, Murghab (there is also hotel) and in Karakul at the Lake Karakul. Shopping is possible between Khorugh and Sary-Tash in Murghab.
3.) If you are in Murghab, visit the "container market", it is unique and worth seeing. You can also find food and clothes, etc. In Alichur and Karakul there were only very small shops, here you`ll will only find Snickers, "Chinese packet soup", ..."maybe" water and bread, if you are lucky. In Karakul you should go to Lake Karakul, in my opinion, it`s one of the most beautiful place in the Pamirs, ... look at the great photos in the gallery! From Sary- Tash (Kyrgyzstan) to Osh, there are asphalt roads also various shops in the smaller towns.
3.) Basic recommendation:
- Good tires, e.g. "Schwalbe Marathon Plus".
- Water filter
- Power bank and a small solar panel. (No electricity in the Pamirs, people often only have a small solar panel for their own use.
- A Good sun protection. In the Pamirs, you protect just always yourself! On the one hand from the sun, on the other hand from cold or wind.
- Protect your whole body with clothes such as gloves, long-sleeved shirts, etc. The sun is very strong!
- A good sleeping bag is required. Even in summer there can be temperatures below zero at night.
4.) ATM in Khorugh, Sary-Tash or in Gültschö (85km before Osh). You can pay throughout the Pamirs from Khorugh to Sary-Tash with Kyrgyz Som or Tajik Somoni.
Kyrgyzstan by bike:
In Kyrgyzstan the streets, accommodation, etc. are very different, ... depending on the area. I drove about 2000 km crisscrossing the country. Kyrgyzstan is ideal for touring and exploring by bike with the right equipment. Fantastic landscape, see gallery! If you are interested, check out my blog and the gallery, I can also give you further tips or answer questions by the contact form.
Unfortunately, the blog is only available in German.