Pakistan does conjure up thoughts of military coups, political assassinations, political instability, Islamic extremists, suicide bombers, war against the Taliban, drone strikes, war with nuclear neighbour India, but that’s all that makes the news. These things have shaped peoples overwhelming view of Pakistan; tourism has suffered greatly since 9/11 and as a result despite Pakistan’s natural and historical riches its become a destination for only the most intrepidly minded.
The northern region, transected by one of the world’s most epic mountain roads – the Karakoram Highway – is home to the magnificent Hunza Valley, the snow-capped summit of Nanga Parbat and K2, Fairy Meadows and the rustic towns of Gilgit and Passu. The wild mountainous north is a wild frontier that hasn’t changed much over the centuries with canal feed agriculture from snow melt water creating a unique landscape.
Despite, maybe more accurately ‘in spite’ of the safety issues, the locals are incredibly friendly and surprisingly hospitable. It’s a land of contradictions that no doubt harbours simmering tensions at many levels, to the point in some regions foreign tourists (Balochistan) must travel with an armed escort nevertheless those that take the plunge, following reputable security advice, will likely experience one of the most amazingly intrepid destinations there is.
It didn’t start well, but it ended well so all is well that ends well… The bus ride back from Gilgit (to Rawalpind) in the north of Pakistan along the Karakorum Highway was advertised... Read more >>