Tajikistan is extremely mountainous and serves as a connecting point for several of the world's highest mountain ranges. Massive ranges of the Tian Shan mountain system occupy northern and central Tajikistan, with smaller spurs extending across the northwestern portion of the country into Uzbekistan. Foothills and steppes occupy the western third of the country. The majority of people in Tajikistan have a rural way of life, and many live in traditional rural villages. Those villages situated near rivers or irrigation canals usually contain several hundred single-family houses, but those located on the steep mountain slopes are much smaller. After the civil war in 1992, sporadic fighting continued, largely in remote areas. A comprehensive peace accord was signed in June 1997, which finally allows you to visit this country, albeit tourist facilities are undeveloped, and many goods and services taken for granted in other countries are unavailable.