- While much of Afghanistan has been roiled by near constant war since the American invasion in 2001, there are parts of the country that are still untouched by war.
- The Wakhan Corridor is a narrow strip of land in the far northeast of Afghanistan, bordering China, Tajikistan, and Pakistan.
- New York photographer Frédéric Lagrange fufilled a lifelong dream in 2012 by visiting the remote region. He found that it was even more beautiful than he imagined.
In the late 1990s, New York-based photographer Frédéric Lagrange became obsessed with traveling to Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor after reading "A Short Walk In The Hindu Kush," English writer Eric Newby’s travelogue of his adventures in the area.
He made plans to visit, but then 9/11 happened, and the American invasion quashed any plans. The trip was too dangerous.
In 2012, with the war cooling down, Lagrange finally made the trip he had been dreaming about.
The Wakhan Corridor is a narrow strip of land in the far northeast of Afghanistan, bordering Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Western China. The harsh, beautiful landscape, bounded by the Hindu Kush mountains on the south, was once used as a major trading route for those traveling the Silk Road to China.
For three weeks, Lagrange and a team of locals made their way up the Hindu Kush mountains to the shores of Lake Chaqmaqtin. Along the way, Lagrange photographed the local peoples, who survive on the edge of civilization by raising and herding cattle.
He shared some photos from his journey with us, but you can check out the rest at his website.
Lagrange began by flying into Dushanbe, Tajikistan, crossing into the Wakhan Corridor by Afghanistan's northeast border. If he traveled from Kabul, he would have had to pass through numerous Taliban-controlled areas.
After three days of driving with a guide, Lagrange reached the border. The army officer at the border told him that he was the first foreigner to cross that year.
He was greeted by his guide Adab (left, with Lagrange), a 23-year-old Afghani boy. Adab warned him of the dangerous reality of his life, saying that "If the Taliban ever comes to power [in Wakhan], I will probably be one of the first to be executed, having been around Westerners."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider