Meet Your Tajikistan Trekking Guide: Maxim

the mountains are a second home for Maxim, having spent a lifetime exploring the mountains of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. In between trips he is a fledgling writer, planning to publish a series of short stories in Russian.
the mountains are a second home for Maxim, having spent a lifetime exploring the mountains of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. In between trips he is a fledgling writer, planning to publish a series of short stories in Russian.

Salam! I am Maxim and I am from Tashkent. I've been working in the tourism business since 2005, but much earlier I started to go to the mountains. Since my home country does not have very high mountains, I have been going to our neighbouring countries like Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Today I am a Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan trekking guide and lead trips for World Expeditions travellers.

I am 28, I'm single, but not lonely. I like biking and big cats and I am fond of studying languages (I speak Russian, English and Spanish) and exploring the world’s history and geography. I am also an aspiring writer (in Russian) and I plan to publish a book of short stories. I much enjoy meeting new people.

When did you decide to become a mountain trekking guide?

I decided to become a trekking guide after a successful one-day mountain trip with a group of Italians in 2007. It was my pioneering trip with foreigners and it assured me that I could be a trekking guide. Mountains are my second home, so in this role as a trekking guide I mix business with pleasure.
Throughout the year, I work with a local travel agency as tour manager, but in summer I usually go to the mountains as a trekking guide. I have a mountain guide certificate that was handed by our Ministry of Tourism after I completed a special training.

 

 

What are your responsibilities on a Tajikistan trekking trip?

Trekking in the Pamirs Fann Mountains is a great opportunity to explore the remote mountain area of Tajikistan and a trip like that is easy to combine with visiting ancient cities of Uzbekistan like Samarkand and Bukhara.

During a mountain trek, either to Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan, I usually accompany World Expeditions groups during their trip. Mostly, my role is that of translator and tour leader. I help travellers to cross the Uzbek-Tajik border, communicate with the Tajik and Kyrgyz support teams on the trek and I manage potential problems or difficulties that can occur. After all, mountains are mountains, aren't they?

I know the standards of service of World Expeditions and it is my responsibility as a guide to make sure that these standards are held during the trek.

What do you like best about your job?

I like the fact that one trek in the mountains can convert absolute strangers into good friends. Over the last ten years being a mountain guide, I've seen a lot of fun. Most of the funny moments occur because of the difference in our cultures, habits or points of view. For example, I remember seeing women travellers in miniskirts on a trek, or the one time on a trip in the Pamirs Fann Mountains when we had an enormous mule that roared like a lion - and frightened the travellers. I also enjoy to teach the tourists how to say words like ‘forward’, ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ etc in or Tajik language.

What is your favourite place in Tajikistan?

I have two favourite places in Tajikistan, both of them are actually included in the Pamirs Fann Mountains trek:

  • Panch-Shanbé Bazaar

This is the "Thursday" bazaar in Khujand city, which is known as the "Northern capital" of Tajikistan. I enjoy this place as this is one of the most colourful, traditional and interesting spots in Tajikistan. Of course there is quite a lot of noise and there are many people, but oriental bazaars are a great opportunity to meet the real people of Central Asia. It allows us to see how they live, smile, bargain or just talk, to admire the colours of their national clothes, and to have a look at local food & drinks they sell. Moreover, Panch-Shanbe bazaar is built in Soviet time and it looks quite monumental, it is an architectural monument itself.

  • Kulikalon Valley

Kulikalon Valley lies in the heart of the Pamirs Fann Mountains and is known for Big Wall, several celestial lakes and relict juniper. A pretty experienced traveller from World Expeditions told me on a past trek that he thought this place is as impressive as the best mountain views of Nepal. In summertime, there are some locals living in this valley so it is possible to look at how they survive, what they cook and eat, etc.

 

 

What, in your career as a trekking guide, is your best memory ever?

My best memory ever is when I witnessed the falling of semi-transparent rocks of ice from cornice glacier in Tien-Shan Mountains (Kyrgyzstan). The rocks were the size of a table and it was really impressive and quite dangerous at the same time. The rocks were falling down and rolling about 300 metres down the slope.

If travellers want to bring something to Tajikistan, what should it be?

Most people of Tajikistan are not used to see too many foreigners. However, you will notice on a Tajikistan trekking trip that they are very friendly and hospitable. When you meet locals in the Pamirs Fann Mountains, most of them will offer you a cup of sour-milk or fresh bread. What a tourist can give them back? The best thing is usually to donate to local schools or community centres so that they can distribute the goods evenly. Another way to support the locals is for example to buy something at the bazaars, in local shops, or to buy hand-made goods directly from the craftsmen. Also, your local trekking team will be glad to get tips at the end of the trek.

tajikistan-trekking-with-World-Expeditions_happy-group

What is your number 1 advice for people who are considering a Tajikistan trekking holiday?

I would ask trekkers to please read their trek description before departing to Tajikistan. If you like the view of snow-capped mountains, juniper-tree valleys and celestial-blue lakes - this type of trek is for you. However, you also should be ready for quite hot days (don't forget sun protection, swimming-suit and sandals), daily altitude drops of up to 500-1000m, and walking a considerable distance every day. If you aren't sure about the two treks in the Pamirs Fann Mountains, maybe you could consider one of the easier treks that World Expeditions offer in Central Asia (e.g. to the Tien-Shan Mountains)?

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Central Asia was a region formerly closed from foreign tourists; now it is opened & waiting for brave trekkers to explore it.
Please, coming to our land, respect our traditions, consider our differences and enjoy our similarity.

Welcome to Central Asia!

 

Meet Maxim or one of his fellow Tajikistan trekking guides on these hiking holidays in the mountains of Tajikistan:

 

>> Show me more Central Asia

Central Asia, mountains, trekking

Comment (0)

Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.







b i u quote


Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/SHX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Sherpa Expeditions</div>
Sherpa Expeditions is a specialist in self guided and guided walking and cycling holidays in the United Kingdom and Europe. Detailed route notes provide a definite guide to places in Europe for active walkers and cyclists.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.