Ishkashim border market, a strip where people of Tajikistan and Afghanistan come to market
The Ishkashim market is a strip of no man’s land where locals from both countries meet to buy and sell each other’s crafts.
The mountainous Panj Rive divides Ishkashim, Tajikistan, and the Afghan town of the same name on the other side.
The river is a neutral ground between the two countries, meaning any structure in the center of the river is easily accessible for both Afghans and Tajiks so long as they return to their respective countries after visiting.
The border bazaar Ishkashim is accessible to locals from both sides, and occasionally foreign tourists drop by too.
To enter the market, no long immigration process is required; an armed guard will take your passport preventing you from passing on to the Afghan side and instruct you to cross a bridge to the market.
Inside the Ishkashim Market, you can haggle for delicious food, Afghan trinkets, pakol hats, and Tajik souvenirs. In addition to handcrafted goods, foreign products can also be found, including cheap clothing and household items from China, and more.
The Ishkashim Market is open every Saturday. ■