Pakistan is the hub of the cultural and historical heritage of South Asia. It is often called as the cradle of civilizations. A home to Mehrgarh, Neolithic, and Indus Valley Civilization. It is the ancient trade route of Asia.
Pakistan shares its history with India as they combined create most of the subcontinent. It was a part of the India till 1947. It is when the country came into existence after the independence from the British empire. It was a result of the partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan. Since then, the two are running as separate states having cultural and historical similarities.
Pakistan is located in the West of Afghanistan separated by Durand line, Northeast of China, West of India, Southwest of Iran and North to the Arabian Sea.
Things To Do in Pakistan
The beauty of Pakistan lies in its geographical diversity which is astounding. Ranging from glaciers, mountain peaks to desert sands and island. You can find everything you want to see in this one country.
Being a home to huge mountains K2 and Nanga Parbat along others, it provides a fascinating and dreamy stop to the mountain climbers. K2 is the second highest mountain after Mount Everest. It is said to have a higher difficulty level than the former.
Along side, the beautiful mountain ranges of Himalaya and Karakorum is the Karakorum Highway or Pak-China Silk Road. This road connects Pakistan’s Gilgit -Baltistan Region to the China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Region. It is the highest paved international road in the world.
Apart from the adventure sites, Pakistan has a lot to offer in term of scenic beauty. The Gilgit-Baltistan Region of Pakistan administered Kashmir is a high green valley. This region is termed as the Paradise on Earth because of its scenic beauty. Hunza and Skardu are its largest tourist attractions. The Attabad Lake formed after a landslide dam in 2010 is literally a treat to visit there.
Along with Kashmir, the Naran-Kaghan Valley, Swat Valley, Malam Jabba, Nathiagali and Murree are the other scenic beauties of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa Province in Pakistan. The Mahodand lake of Kalam and the Lake Saif-ul-Malook are a must to watch there. Also, we will suggest not missing out the Aansoo Jheel (Tear-drop Lake) in the Manoor Valley. They are located at a height and require an effort to reach. While they are totally worth it!
Also, we will suggest not missing out the Aansoo Jheel (Tear-drop Lake) in the Manoor Valley. They are located at a height and require an effort to reach. While they are totally worth it!
The country offers some great historical beauties. Lahore being the home to amazing architecture and history has the oldest Anarkali Bazaar (Anarkali Market. The famous food street, Tomb of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, Lahore Fort and the very important independence memory Minar-e-Pakistan.
There are other Forts of extreme historical importance, Qasim Fort in Multan, Baltit Fort in Gilgit-Baltistan, Attock Fort and Balahsar Fort in Peshawar as well.
The historical importance of Civilizations is evident from the fact that these sites are preserved, cities and their belongings. The Gandhara Civilization of Taxila and Peshawar, Indus Valley Civilisation of Harappa and Mohenjodaro are of extreme importance in the history of this region.
Haven’t the Beach been discussed till yet? Oh! Karachi is not only the commercial hub but it is the city of Pakistan that borders the Arabian Sea. Hawksbay Beach and the Manora Island are the most beautiful sites there.
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and is the city with most greenery on the plains. It has beautiful localities like Lok Versa, Pakistan Monument, however, Monal is a cherry on top. You have to visit it to see the beauty. Beautiful during Day, Beautiful during Night. The whole city is in front and the view is awestruck.
Gawadar, Ziarat and Quetta are the locations worth seeing in Baluchistan. Gawadar being the newly constructed deep sea port is a beautiful sight.
The form left is desert sands, Pakistan has them as well, Cholistan, Thal, Tharparker and Kharan. The land is not developed but has some historical and cultural significance.
Pakistan being the Muslim majority country has some really beautiful and fascinating mosques. They are in abundance everywhere. The most famous ones are the Badshahi Mosque Lahore, Faisal Mosque Islamabad, and Grand Jamia Masjid Lahore. Visit them anytime and experience the religion, culture, architecture, and beauty.
No, You necessarily need not to be Muslim to visit them. Enjoy!
When to Go
The various terrains in Pakistan make the climate of the country different from each region. You will experience freezing temperature in the north, hot and dry weather in the plains while humidity at the sea ports. The temperature expectations depend upon the area one is planning to explore.
The climate of the country is adverse like its neighbors. Its summers are extremely hot above 50 degrees Celsius. While it winters, it drops below freezing temperature, -2 degrees in some cases. The ideal time to visit Pakistan is from March to May and September to November.
What to Wear
Well, the clothing choice in Pakistan will be more on the basis of place you are planning to visit and the temperature there. Though Shalwar Kameez with Dupatta is the national dress of Pakistan, wearing Jeans and Top is totally fine. However, the exposure of skin is something not welcomed in Pakistan, it is not as big a deal as it is in Arab countries, Iran or Afghanistan.
Though the National dress is preferred in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa and Balochistan.
Side Note: Pakistani’s Love it when some Foreigner wears their National Dress 🙂
Pakistani’s are fond of speaking local languages. Punjabi is spoken in Punjab, Pushto is used by the people of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa, Sindhi by people living in Sindh while people of Balochistan speak Balochi.
The National language of Pakistan is Urdu, however, people are well familiar with English as it is the Official language of Pakistan. It is taught since preschool in Pakistan. You can deliver and receive the message, at least almost everywhere.
The currency used in Pakistan is Pakistani Rupees. $1 is equal to Rs 105.38. The currency can be exchanged in Pakistan in currency exchange shops. The currency notes range from Rs 10 -Rs 5000.
The currency exchange is available in banks. US Dollar is the preferable currency for exchange. Credit cards are generally acceptable, American Express being the preferable one. Also, there are ATMs all across the country.
Wi-Fi and Sim Card
In Pakistan, Airports and Metros are installed with Free Wi-Fi. There are some Restaurants and food spots as well that provide the facility. However, the country provides Sim 3G and 4G services while 5G is in the process. The major Telecom Industries are Jazz-Warid, Ufone, Zong and Telenor.
The Pakistan not only offers geographical diversity but the cultural diversity makes it an unbeatable comparison. It consists of four provinces and one administered are. Every province has its own cultural values and favorites.
Biryani, ever heard about that?
Biryani is the staple food of Pakistani’s. And it speaks for itself. You must try it while being there. Available almost everywhere. It is a bit spicy so be warned.
If you are in Lahore, try Halwa Pori and lassi, the breakfast staple of Lahoris. Nihari and Payee are on the menu as well.
Peshawar serves the World’s tastiest beef, according to Jeremy McClellan, Chapali Kebab. They are the yummiest of the cuisines there. The Charsi lamb beef is another dish you can never say No to. Do try them out.
The Dampukh and Balochi Sajji are the cultural dishes of Baluchistan but are equally famous around the Country.
Deserts of Pakistan includes Kheer, Carrot Halwa, Gulab Jaman. There is a long list of desserts but these are the ones that are loved across the country.
Traveling around the country can be achieved with the help of local transport services, Daewoo, Careem and Uber. The transport system has improved greatly in the recent years. Metro, Careem and Uber are the latest additions available almost in all the big cities.
Private cabs can also be hired.
Pakistan has a number of Airports as well. They are in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Quetta, Multan, Skardu, Chitral, Gilgit and Swat. They provide National as well as International Facilities.
Condition of Roads
The main road chains like Motorway and National Highway provide better quality with the motorway, the best. Along with these, the cities are provided with a number of overhead bridges, underpasses to aid in movement.
However, the interior and ancient city sites are not well paved. Be prepared for that!
By international standards, the fares in Pakistan are cheap. Pakistan is an affordable country to travel to, at least by a European standard. Accommodation, however, is not up to mark. The prices you expect to pay will be as per the service. If you want to hire a car, you can do it in all major cities, and most major airports.
Right or Left Driving
Pakistan follows the Left driving rule. You must be watchful if you are not used to it. Driving in Pakistan is challenging. The roads are chaotic and dangerous, particularly outside the major cities. We would suggest hiring a driver for it.
Pakistan Trip Cost
Pakistan is a relatively cheaper country when it comes to money as compared to the other tourist destinations. The travel return ticket from US to Pakistan costs around $1200 (if one is not being lavish). A day hotel or rest house room would cost around $30 to $60 depending upon location. The rates are higher in higher altitudes and famous tourist destinations like Swat Valley, Gilgit and Kaghan.
Meal for a whole day is not an expensive deal. The food is comparatively cheaper in Pakistan and of good quality, espacially the local food. A day would cost you around $10 to $15. Isn’t it cheap? Chai (Tea) is the thing here instead of Coffee.
Feul and fares for transport are not that expensive either. A cab with driver would cost you around $1 for 2km-3km. You can find cheaper public transports as well. Don’t miss out there Metro!
How Many Days for Pakistan
You know, now you have a list, Swat Valley, Kaghan, Naran, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi. This is long, really long. A trip of minimum 15 days is a must. You want to calm your thirst and view atleast more than half of them, Won’t you?
Plan in ease and don’t miss out, this once in a life-time chance.
Electricity and Plug Type
As for electricity, Pakistan uses types C and D sockets. You need to bring a travel adapter to fit the proper socket type. Check out the above-linked page to see the photos and other useful information. The standard voltage is 230 V.
How to Reach
To visit Pakistan, one must get the visa right after planning. As getting the visa of Pakistan is a difficult and time taking process. Apply for visa in the Pakistani Embassy in your state or country.Follow the procedure and get along with it.
Warning: Never ever try to enter Pakistan without the visa. It is a serious offense and crime there. You will be sent back along with facing serious legal complications.
Where to Stay
Pakistan is being toured around the year and so the rest houses and hotels are easy to spot and can be booked on spot. However, the tourist places like Northern Areas, Hill Stations must be booked prior to avoid any difficulty later on.
There are rooms ranging from $30 to couple hundred dollars depending upon the status and facilities. You can choose from a wide range depending upon your budget.
How Safe is Pakistan
A few years back, Pakistan faced a number of terrorist activities. Being the target of terrorists, Pakistan is a victim of terrorism. However, after the two major intra-country operations, Pakistan is now a safe place to visit with a very reduced rate of such activities.
However, there are a few places in interior Balochistan and FATA in Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa, which are not recommended even for the locals. They are not bad, but not good either.
You are advised to read the travel stories of different famous people like Jeremy Meclellan Comedy from the USA for experience reference to Pakistan.
August 15, 2016 12:00 am Leave your thoughts