Not the best market for Gillette.

Technology: What to See

Three weeks will be enough to cover all mainstream destinations.

The country is linked by a horseshoe-shaped paved road built many years ago by the Americans. It starts near Mazar-i-Sharif, continues to Kabul and Kandahar, and ends in Herat. Major runs between these cities take 8–12 hours, turning into a whole day of travel. The ends of this horseshoe are linked into a circle by an unpaved road from Mazar-i-Sharif to Herat. It is serviced by Land Cruisers, and it takes three days of driving to cover it. Theoretically, there is another unpaved road from Kabul to Herat that goes through the center of the circle, touching Jam. There is no regular traffic there, and in one known case of hitchhiking it took five days to do it, walking on foot a lot.

You can get to the circle from Pakistan through Peshawar–Torkham–Jalalabad–Kabul, or through Quetta–Spin Boldak–Kandahar. From Iran it is Mashhad–Islam Qala–Herat. From Turkmenistan and Tajikistan you get to Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif correspondingly.

Most of your travel will be on the circle. In addition to the mentioned above cities, you can stop in Ghazni. Outside of the circle Jalalabad and Bamiyan warrant some attention, and, with doubt, Lashkargah can be mentioned.

Map of Afghanistan.

Kabul is the most interesting place. You can easily spend four days there. It is enough to schedule one full day for Mazar-i-Sharif and one more for Balkh. Herat — two days. Kandahar — two days. As for Ghazni and Lashkargah, it is better to come there, spend the evening exploring the modern city, next morning visit the old parts, and depart around noon. Jalalabad has nothing exciting, you can either skip it altogether or stop there if it is on the way to or from Pakistan. Schedule one full day for Bamiyan.

All this, of course, assumes that you do not have a lot of time and have to return home or carry on. Otherwise it is easy to spend many more days at these places or even add something else.

If time is the issue, Herat, Kandahar, and Kabul are a sufficiently representative set. Traveling between these cities and the border crossings will take about four days, and you will spend another four–eight days in the cities themselves.

With no time at all and being in Pakistan already, you can at least visit Kabul. Leaving Peshawar early in the morning, you will be in Kabul in the evening. Two days for the round trip, two days in Kabul.

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