Pakistan — Overview
Many think of Pakistan as a perpetual conflict zone but do not realize that the country has so much more to offer. With a history as old as time itself, Pakistan is filled to the brim with sites waiting to be explored and adventures waiting to be had. With a culture so rich and diverse and a geographical environment so breathtakingly beautiful, it is no wonder that Pakistan is becoming a popular travel destination.
Pakistan is certainly not short of things to do and many of them involve the country’s stunning natural environment. Whether it’s mountaineering or canoeing, there is something for every adrenaline junkie. There are also a few traditional activities which provide a great deal of fun, including being an audience-member at an authentic English-style polo match.
Pakistan’s sights are just as captivating as the activities it offers. Most of them are closely linked with the country’s history, such as the Lahore Fort but there are also some, like Shah Faisal Mosque, which are simply an integral part of modern-day Pakistan should definitely not be missed.
There are a host of accommodation options available for all needs and budgets. Accommodation, especially in the larger cities, ranges from five-star luxurious hotels and resorts to simple backpacker lodgings. The cuisine is definitely worth a try with the staples of kebab (grilled meat and vegetables on a stick) and naan (a traditional flat bread) are found in most establishments. There are, however, a range of international options on offer for the less adventurous traveler.
Pakistan is geographically quite varied, ranging from the mountainous regions in the north to the coastal beach areas in the south. This makes for an exciting and diverse trip, with unique experiences to be had in all regions. The country’s neighbors, China, India, Iran and Afghanistan are highly appealing and are definitely worth a visit either before or after the trip to Pakistan.
The main modes of transportation between cities are either rail or bus. The national rail system is quite extensive, reaching most cities in the country. There are a range of seating options and air-conditioned carriages are available. A cheaper option is the local bus system, but vehicles can become quite hot and congested, especially during summer. There are a few private bus companies, which are more expensive but offer a far more comfortable trip. Inner city travel is best done by hired taxi or even the automated rickshaws. Car hire is possible in the country, with most of the major international companies represented but independent driving is not recommended as conditions on the road are generally quite dangerous.
- Hike one of the tallest mountains in the world
- Challenge the white water rapids of Pakistan’s northern rivers
- Watch a traditional polo match at one of the country’s authentic English polo clubs
- Visit Shah Faisal, the largest mosque in Asia
- Travel across the historic Khyber Pass
- Walk through the ruins of the ancient Mohenjodaro civilization