Travelling in Pakistan is a truly unique experience, it can be frustrating, enlightening, life-changing and, more often than not, surprising. Pakistan is the ultimate backpacking destination, and if you are a fan of a real adventure, it’s time for you to travel to Pakistan!
Here are some of the reasons why you should pack your bags and travel to Pakistan…
People are simply amazing.
The Pakistani people are, without a doubt, the most hospitable, kind and welcoming folk that you can ever encounter. From the bustling streets of Lahore to the mountain towns of Kaghan Valley, you will always find someone welcoming you to their home to share their food or offer a place to rest.
The world’s most beautiful country might just be Pakistan.
A passing glance at the map shows that Pakistan is famous for its mountains, valleys, rivers, glaciers, and forests… This is a country with more than its fair share of genuinely wonderful sites and tourism in Pakistan is just waiting to take off.
Five of the world’s fourteen highest peaks, including the famed and deadly K2, are found in Pakistan. If you are into your climbing, rafting or trekking, Pakistan is the country for you.
Pakistan is safe
As long as you steer clear of the Afghanistan border regions, Pakistan is a safe place to travel.
Indeed, Pakistan does sometimes get hit by terrorist attacks, but that can happen in any country in the world, and you are no safer sitting at home. The media feeds on fear and prejudice, don’t let yourself be influenced.
The Historical Silk Road
To travel in Pakistan is to step back into the pages of history. Marco Polo was one of the first European explorers to tackle The Silk Road, an ancient trade route that spanned the Orient, linking the treasuries of the Roman Empire to the Imperial Dynasties of China.
At the trade route’s heart lies the Karakoram, a pivotal crossroad between The Indian Subcontinent, The Middle East, and Central Asia.
Today, the unendingly impressive Karakoram Highway runs the length of the country and offers stunning views, epic motorbike adventures and the chance to follow in the footsteps of history.
You get to travel on the highest road in the world.
The Karakoram Highway is a high-altitude road that connects Pakistan to China. It is the highest paved road in the world and is a vital artery of Pakistan’s economy. Trucks regularly ply this route and transport goods between the two Asia countries.
The Karakoram Highway is also breathtaking! The road itself goes straight through the heart of the mountains and offers unrivalled views of them.
Travelling in Pakistan is cheap.
It’s possible to visit Pakistan on a budget of just £100 a week – this will cover food, accommodation, transport and plenty of awesome activities.
If you have Pakistani friends or family, they will almost certainly insist on treating you to everything. Pakistanis are unbelievably generous, and will never allow you to pay.
Accommodation in Pakistan can be expensive, but there are multiple cheaper options, and it’s easy to find a host.
Trying to organize solo adventure tours in Pakistan can be a bit of a hassle, but there are numerous Pakistani tour companies.
The food is incredible
Pakistani cuisine is just spectacular – rich, spicy, sweet; all that and then some. There are savoury curries, grilled skewered meats, fresh fruits, biryanis, and much, much more in Pakistan.
Lahore, in particular, had amazing (and spicy!) food, particularly on Food Street, and recommend that everyone visit Haveli Restaurant.
There are still untouched communities.
One of the most exciting communities is the Kalash. Within the province of Chitral, the Kalash tribe is a very distinct tribe of Dardic indigenous people, once thought to be descended from soldier’s of Alexander The Great’s army – deserters who had disappeared into the hills and now live in legend.
The Kalash people practice their own religious beliefs and are very fond of colourful festivals. Women are treated as equals to men, and people enjoy libations more than most Pakistanis usually do.
You can easily visit the Kalash people through a local tour operator in Pakistan, and they will organize everything for you.
The Mughal Architecture
The Mughals were one of the greatest dynasties of the Indian subcontinent and built many famous monuments like the Taj Mahal and Red Fort in India. Lahore was the capital of the Mughal Empire for many years, which means it hosts some of the empire’s most brilliant architecture!
The Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort are two of the most impressive buildings in Asia and are great to visit. Both of these structures are beautiful and look almost like a fairytale.
There are lots more Mughal structures in Pakistan, including Rohtas Fort, Shalimar Gardens, and the Tomb of Jahangir.
There are lots of beaches.
People often imagine Pakistan to be pure desert or super mountainous and forget that it shares a border with the Arabian Sea too!
There is over 1000 km of coastline in Pakistan, and most of it is empty. Imagine desert beaches with hardly any development and only the waves to contend with. There are sea stacks, arches, white cliffs, and fine sand, all of which are perfect beaches.
Granted, a lot of Pakistan’s coastline is off-limits because it is a part of Balochistan. Balochistan is a semi-autonomous tribal area and is often quite hectic. We’d recommend visiting the area with a Pakistani tour operator.
The beaches outside of Karachi are excellent though – beautiful and popular with the locals.
It’s exotic and eccentric
Pakistani culture is so different than any other – they’re welcoming, unique, proud, and a little wacky, all at the same time.
There is no way to tour Pakistan without being impressed at some point. This country hits you with everything it’s got and leaves you just speechless. Pakistan is truly a unique place.