Tajikistan — Visas and Vaccinations
Tourists intending to visit Tajikistan should consult the embassy in their home countries about the requirements and process. (Tajikistan embassy in America website is http://www.tjus.org/consular/visa-info). Citizens of almost every nation, including America, need a visa to visit Tajikistan, which often needs to be arranged before arrival. A simplified application process was introduced for some nations, including the United States, in 2003, which allows tourists to gain a visa on arrival without the need for a letter of introduction.
Health and Safety
Tajikistan is a generally safe country for tourists, although normal precautions should be taken to avoid becoming a target. Do not dress too extravagantly, keep valuables out of sight, and use a money belt or other method to keep cash out of sight. Carry a photocopy of your passport in case of police inspections, but also carry the actual document somewhere concealed on your person. The people of Tajikistan are generally friendly and hospitable; however, internal conflicts have occasionally erupted between various Tajik factions, so visitors are strongly advised to check the current situation and any home-government issued travel advice before departing. Avoid contact with animals, particularly stray dogs or cats, as they may carry rabies. It is generally advisable to remain indoors after dark. It is best not to travel alone, kidnapping happens occasionally.
Tap water should be avoided; drink only bottled water. Do not eat uncooked meat, fruit, or vegetables. Those traveling to high altitudes should be aware of the possibility of altitude sickness. There is always the possibility of volatile weather, so visitors should come prepared for all likely conditions. Medical infrastructure and facilities in Tajikistan are well below normal western standards, so visitors are advised to take out health insurance and carry a first aid kit and any medication that might be required on the trip. Use insect repellent and wear long sleeves to help reduce risk of contracting insect-borne diseases. It is strongly advisable that travelers take precautionary vaccinations against cholera, diphtheria, hepatitis A, and B, and typhoid. Also, consult a doctor before departing about whether or not to get inoculated against rabies, poliomyelitis, and tick-borne encephalitis.