But it has failed to revive the heyday of tourism after decades of war, including the Taliban's 1996-2001 reign when they destroyed two massive Buddha statues carved into sandstone cliffs, labelling them an affront to Islam - an act globally condemned as 'cultural terrorism'.
But in an effort to lure tourists, especially from the sub-continent, Bamiyan was last month inaugurated as the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) cultural capital for 2015 - a move welcomed by local hoteliers and shopkeepers, though few are optimistic.'If you are an Afghan travelling by road, wear a ragged tunic, abandon all government ID and say your prayer,' quipped Umaidullah Azad, a tourist in Band-e Amir, widely known as 'Afghanistan's Grand Canyon' for its azure lakes and rolling limestone cliffs.'If the Taliban flag you down, you have a good chance of surviving if you look like a country bumpkin.
But no chance if you have government or foreign connections,' said Azad, 24, a telecom official who recently made the perilous journey from Kabul.
War, or at least military action, cannot be ruled out.
During the more than 20 years since the "Sawr Revolution" of April 27, 1978, brought a communist party to power, Afghanistan had moved from one stage to another of civil war and political disintegration, without seeming to get any closer toward peace, political order, or sustainable development.
But Zhang Xinyu and Liang Hong, a millionaire couple and full-time adventurers from Beijing, were so moved on hearing about the destruction of the ancient relics that they took it upon themselves to resurrect the statues.
A large replica of a candle lantern adorns the city square - a mocking symbol erected by activists to highlight that Bamiyan has no power grid, with students forced to study under solar-lit street lamps.
Read on for a brief history of oil painting, and how different artists perfected this medium.
Scientific research performed at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility shows that the earliest record of oil paint used in cave paintings from the Afghan region of Bamiyan dates back to the fourth and ninth century, almost a thousand years before Europeans started formulating oil paint recipes in the fourteenth century.
Before pigments and materials became widely available through trade, people from ancient civilizations used protein based materials and animal fat as a binder, and extracted color pigments from a diverse source of plants and minerals.