Afghanistan has been split up and transformed by various peoples due to its landlocked location at the crossroads of south and central Asia. Neolithic tribespeople from the Indus Valley arrived here in ancient times. Then came Alexander the Great's phalanxes, which spanned the bigger phalanx of mountains that is the Hindu Kush, putting an end to the old Persian dynasties. Then there were the Muslim Arabs of the Middle East, who came up against Genghis Khan's irresistible army. Then there were the Mughals, the Soviets, and the British imperialists, to name a few.
The fabric of this vast country in the heart of Asia is a palimpsest of its turbulent past and breathtaking location: Cities like Mazar-e Sharif and Kandahar are filled with filigreed mosques and breathtaking madrasahs; ancient trading routes cross opium fields; and the dusty desert gives way to snow-capped peaks and alpine glaciers. Of course, contemporary times have not been kind, and the tribes' and Taliban's war-torn territory is now largely off-limits.
Let's have a look at some of the top spots to see in Afghanistan: