On Tajikistan's westernmost tip, almost reaching into Uzbekistan, sits Pendjikent in Tajikistan's Sughd province. It was founded in the 5th century and was a historically significant center of the ancient Sogdian empire. A small but nonetheless important town throughout its long history, it was part of the achaemenid dynasty and was annexed by Arabian forces in the eighth century. The ruins of the old city, dating back to pre-Islamic, and even pre-zoroastrian times can be found nearby modern day Pendjikent and serve as a reminder of the town's interesting and varied history.
Today, Pendjikent is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery and flora and fauna. At the mouth of the Zeravshan valley and straddling the banks of the Zeravshan River, it's a matter of miles away from the Zeravshan nature refuge and, downstream on the river is Sarazm, a designated Important Bird Area. Visitors use the city as a base to explore the gorgeous surrounding area, as a pit stop between Khujand in the north or Dushanbe to the south or as a crossing point through to nearby Samarkand in neighboring Uzbekistan.