Pakistan is already turning the eyes of backpackers and hikers from all over the world, towards itself. Having been ranked amongst the top travel destinations for 2018 by the British Backpacker Society, the world is changing its views about Pakistan. While Pakistan has always had enormous tourism and adventure opportunities to offer, a lack of infrastructure earlier and the security concerns in the recent past have held the country back in terms of becoming a destination of choice for the global adventure and tourism audience. The government has made significant efforts on both the infrastructure and security fronts in recent years and the change is getting Pakistan noticed. Internationally renowned travel bloggers are raving on social media after witnessing the incredible hidden natural beauty that Pakistan has to offer. Here are a few reasons why Pakistan needs to be on your Bucket List.
Pakistan is still largely a traditional society and hospitality and the esteem of a guest are significant aspects of the culture. Being good hosts is a matter of pride and honor and the warmth and hospitality are unmatched. What makes your journey comfortable is the generosity and warmth of the native people. The smiles, the offers to host, the uncanny willingness to go out of the way to help a traveler, are just some of the ways Pakistanis will make you feel welcome in their country. When you do decide to visit, be ready to be bombarded with offers for dinners and lots of chai.
The Mountains and Valleys
A little known fact about Pakistan is that the country is home to some of the largest mountains in the world. 5 of the 14 eight-thousanders are situated in Pakistan, meaning to say that of the only 14 mountains in the world that have an elevation of 8,000m or more, 5 are found in Pakistan. That also means that Pakistan has many many more 7,000+m, and 6,000+m peaks, making the North of the country a climber’s paradise. The 3 mountain ranges Hindu Kush, Himalayas and the Karakoram provide some of the most pristine and unexplored treks, hikes and expedition opportunities in the world. For the extremely motivated and prepared, Pakistan is home of the mighty K-2, second highest mountain in the world, and one of the most dangerous mountains in the world. For comparison, Mount Everest has been submitted over 8,000 times, while K-2 has only been conquered about 300 times!
Trace the footsteps of Marco Polo
The Karakoram Highway now goes through the ancient Silk Route. The same historic route that the Chinese used for trade with the Arabian Peninsula. Today the road is a thriving route for International trade. The highway winds and climbs around some of the most beautiful mountainsides and provides the best locations for motorbike adventurers. With many a hidden village and some of the most breathtaking panoramas, one can ever experience, a drive up the Karakoram Highway is an experience of a lifetime.
Hidden Temples of Beauty
Pakistan is a country rich in terms of natural beauty. From snowy mountains to thriving rivers, to lush plains, beautiful forests, vast deserts, pristine beaches, and everything in between. If it’s off the beaten path you are after, Pakistan provides a multitude of options and the locals no matter where you are in the country are eager to guide you along the way. There is so much that has yet not found its way to the popular travel blogs and Instagram profiles of adventure travelers. So, escape from the urban hectic lifestyle and discover the soothing energy of nature in Pakistan and you never know, what adventure awaits you around the next bend.
The Melting Pot
Pakistan is as ethnically diverse as a country can be sitting at the historic crossroads of multiple cultures and ancient empires. From the Greeks, to the Arabs, the Mongols and the Central Asians, to the British have all been part of the history and the culture of the land. All these diverse influences have left a lasting mark and created interesting fusions with the various local cultures in terms of language, cuisine, traditions and more. In fact, the widely spoken and official language of the country ‘Urdu’ is a fusion of Arabic, Persian, Turkish and local languages, that were spoken by the ethnically diverse military regiments in times gone by.
Ancient Heritage of Pakistan
There’s just so much to explore in Pakistan. There are even remnants of ancient civilizations that flourished along the banks of the river Indus, and tell tales of a society long forgotten, waiting to be rediscovered for all its glory. The world’s oldest civilization on record developed in what is now Pakistan, in the region of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. The level of sophistication that people of the Indus Civilization achieved in terms of urban planning, infrastructure, including roads, bathhouses, temples and a fully functioning sewerage system, nearly 5,000 years ago, belies belief. A little north, one finds the remnants of the Gandhara civilization and the ancient city of Taxila, where Buddhists first started to teach people in Asia nearly 4,000 years ago. Mankind has come very far in the last few millennia, but the roots lie in the hard work and the ingenuity of the earliest civilizations. It is a humbling experience to stand among the ruins of cities that were flourishing hubs thousands of years ago. It is also an ultimately enriching experience.
Lying on cold sand and seeing a mesmerizing sunset; that’s how a perfect holiday needs to end. Karachi, the City of Lights, offers the most amazing collection of beaches, from the well frequented to the serene. Being the heart of Pakistan, the city has loads to offer and if you are planning your holiday to Pakistan, you have to experience Karachi. For the best offers, amenities, peaceful environment and convenience, consider Zifan Hotel & Suites.