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Traveling in Afghanistan has not been safe for quite some time — it's long been a land of conquerors, from the time of Alexander the Great all the way through the U.

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S. invasion. And while it still sits at a Level 4 travel advisory, the country does have beauty we rarely get to see beyond the usual depictions of citizen soldiers and wailing, siren-sounding cities.

The mountainous country sits along the famous Silk Road, with notable architectural sites at Khyber Pass along the way. The Valley of Paghman was once the site of homes belonging to some of the wealthiest Afghanis, and the stunning scenery says exactly why. The capital city of Kabul is full of beautiful mosques, as well as the sprawling oasis of Babur’s Gardens. Then there's the “Red City" of Shahr-i-Zohak, where red-brick fortresses stick out from the rocky cliff faces like they’re part of the mountain itself.

What it’s like to be a military contractor in Afghanistan

A day with the Afghanistan women’s cycling team

The ‘Streets of Afghanistan’ photography project returns home

Photo essay: Filmmaking on the streets of Kabul

Crossing Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley by bike

“Streets of Afghanistan” cultural exhibition returns to Kabul

6 tips for safe moshing in dangerous places

How to rock a war zone


Traveling to (and living in) Afghanistan as a Western woman

The 6 mistakes I made when I traveled to Afghanistan

12 unexpected images from Afghanistan

An Afghan millennial in exile reflects on his country from the US

An exploration of Bamiyan, Afghanistan by bike

What I miss about being deployed in Afghanistan

3 unforgettable characters I’ve met in Afghanistan

On standing out in Afghanistan

The surf report from Kandahar

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