Pakistan Unveiled


The country which cop a lot of flak in the media

This is where I would write about Pakistan, to clear misconceptions of outside world and would try to give a rational picture. Something more about how I feel the world should know my homeland and a nation of 200 million awesome human beings minus religious fanatics.

Sophee Southall, An australian travel blogger, famously described her experience of visiting Pakistan in these words.

Ultimately, while Pakistan offers enough experiences to entertain short-term tourists, this complex country isn’t a holiday destination, it’s a unique classroom offering a sharp, character-building education for adventurous nomads. A trip to Pakistan will not only change your perspective on Pakistani and Muslim culture, it’ll also challenge how you view the rest of the world especially countries which cop a lot of flak in the media.

Tourism : Visit Pakistan


New Options for International Tourists

  • The guys from The Broke Backpacker are planning a small operation with a focus on cultural experiences and real, off-the beaten path, adventures. They will take a group of International tourists to Pakistan in September 2017. If you are interested than you should checkout the details of the trip in this document.
  • Dawn has published a nice article on the idea of SUMMER’S HERE: FIVE TREKS TO DO UP NORTH. Pakistan is a mountaineer’s paradise. This makes the possibility of the sheer variety of treks among these giants nearly endless. They’ve shortlisted five once-in-a-lifetime treks for you to take this summer, in order of difficulty. The main trekking and mountaineering season ends in September and so there is still time to head for an adventure in the north.

Travel Documentaries

  • 3 months. 100 sites. 220 seconds (Made by Agam Saran) : Come, be a part of a journey of a lifetime to celebrate life in a solo cross-country tour and live… all those dreams.
  • Karakoram Highway, The world’s best roadtrip : The Karakoram Highway was one of the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century. Take the most stunning roadtrip in the world.
  • “Rediscovering Pakistan - The Untold Tale” : 9 riders from across the oceans came to Pakistan to explore the beautiful northern areas with Moin Khan. Here is the full film to showcase our small exploration of the gorgeous north.
  • Gwadar to Khunjerab : An epic compilation of shots taken by drones to offer aerial videography of all famous landmarks and beauty in Pakistan.
  • Skardu : A videography on Skardu, Pakistan.
  • Trekking to Fairy Meadows : The Fairy Meadows is one of the most stunning places I have ever been and when you go to Pakistan be sure to visit.
  • 4 friends, 9 days, 1000 miles, and countless memories. Thanks to 37Production Team for capturing the trip to Khunjerab Pass via this video so brilliantly!
  • Documentary on Norther Pakistan : A group of 4 travelors (originally from Karachi) went from Babusar Top to Khunjerab Pass touching almost all the famous touristic spots in North. This video is a beautiful compilation of their visit and is worthy to be used as a bucket list.
  • Global Perspective : A nice initiative of presenting collection of documentaries and pictures to promotes culture and tourism in Pakistan.
  • Ho Jao Aazad : This is actually not a documentary but a music video by super talented Zoe Viccaji and shot brilliantly. I thought about mentioning it because it shows a lot of famous touristic landmarks in Northern Pakistan. I am damn sure those places look more beautiful than shown in this video.
  • This timelapse video is a gift for the lovers of Hunza Valley & Nanga Parbat. It took almost a year for the photographers from Moojoz to capture content for this video.
  • Checkout this video to find out 17 gorgeous places that are NOT in the North of Pakistan.
  • Megan Smith from MeganoTravels spent two weeks (Oct/Nov 2016) traveling about 3000 km in Pakistan (with Travelore Adventures), discovering what it has to offer in beauty, culture, diversity, history, and religion. This is a video which she compiled and shared on her facebook page.
  • A team from Britain representing Power of Youth and WeAreCampfire visited Pakistan in Nov 2016. They compiled a video which beautifully captures the most realistic and raw moments of a normal city life in Pakistan. It eloquently answers the question, “Have you ever wondered what Pakistan is like?”.
  • Video titled “Glimpses of Pakistan: Call of the Sublime” highlights some of the most scenic and iconic landmarks in Pakistan from a unique perspective. The video briefly covers the old city of Lahore and Islamabad.
  • Travel film titled “Among Giants”, shot over Deosai National Park, Baltoro Glacier and K2 Mountain. It’s hard to believe that Pakistan holds such wonders the rest of the world simply isn’t aware of.
  • Video about Road Trip from Naran > Gilgit > Ghizer > Chitral and showing some breathtaking scenery.

Collection of Breathtaking Photos

Agencies/Portals to help you in planning trips

Instruction Manual for Foreign Tourists

  • Backpacking Pakistan - Travel Guide is a very useful article for foreigners who are planning a trip to Pakistan. It shares some really useful information about the challenges like visa, border crossing and how to cope with security forces. It also outlines famous spots for adventurers and tourists alike to visit and make the best out of their trip.
  • Carvanistan have compiled vital information about visa application for Pakistan, border-crossings.
  • Pakistan Outdoor Map can be used to find Lakes, Peaks, Waterfalls, Hill Stations, Forts, Parks, Hotel & Resorts by using left panel on the map.
  • Tati, a Spanish travelor who stayed in Pakistan for 45 days during September and October 2016 write a Guide which gives a nice perspective of Do’s & Dont’s from a foreigner perspective. She covered topics like Security, Society, Clothing, Food, Visa, How to Reach, Lodging, Transportation and Budget. Only problem is that she wrote in Spanish but I’m sure it’s easy to translate :)
  • These tips, if followed, will result in an enhanced experience while you travel from one location to another. You will enter the field prepared and ready to take on any challenge that the travel in Pakistan can throw your way!
  • Hopefully, this guide to female travel in Pakistan will encourage the next generation of kick ass solo female travellers to hit the road and travel to Pakistan. Shoutout to Will Hatton for the amazing article.

Quality Travelogues with detailed plan

  • Silent Traveler is created and managed by Sher Ali Saafi as his personal travelogue where he shares his travel experiences. You can also checkout his facebook page.
  • FFK Travel Blog shares a lot of valuable information about guides, travel ideas, detailed plans and informations on what to visit in Pakistan.
  • Arslan has shared the details of his journey from Islamabad to Skardu in his blog post. In his own words, “This blog post is about the trip. Destinations covered, the difficulties we faced and why you should do it too if you are a nature lover.”

International Tourists who visited Pakistan

2017

  • Afiniti’s International Team of more than 12 visited Pakistan and enjoyed an insane heli-skiing experience this year in September in the northern snow-capped peaks of Pakistan. You should watch this mind-blowing video and maybe read more on Bloomberg post.
  • Australian Biker behind AtTheHandleBars visited Pakistan in Feb 2017 and described it as a nature lovers hidden paradise, left mostly untouched by the rest of the world. Totally loved how he used the most common misconceptions as the headlines in his blog post and then brilliantly explained why they are all just plain wrong. He also posts regularly about his adventures on his facebook page. Thanks mate for visiting, exploring and sharing your experiences from such a personal and human factor.
  • Johanna Michel, french traveler visited Pakistan in Feb 2017. She summed up her experience in these words, “In my time spent in Pakistan, all I saw was amazing hospitality, landscape, food, music, and the most welcoming people. Everyone was kind and loving, and they would do everything to make you feel at home. I haven’t come across such generosity anywhere else in the world (and I have travelled quite a bit)”. She even wrote an article in Dawn and gave an interview to Jovago which is much appreciated.

2016

  • Sophee Southall (Australian) travelled to Lahore, Islamabad and Northern Pakistan and described her experience as “I carried a reinvigorated sense of hope and optimist with me. It’s the best souvenir I could’ve asked for. Thank you Pakistan”. She also wrote a detailed blog post and I believe it’s the best I have read so far.
  • Surprising Pakistan : A german couple visited Pakistan and drove to famous Karakoram Highway on bike. This is their blog post sharing their amazing experience (sorry, it’s in German!).
  • Alex (Netherland) & Sebastian (American) reached Pakistan from Iran through the taftan border and travelled from southern most point to northern Pakistan. I came to know about them through the article in dawn and found out they have a brand, “Lost with Purpose”. They shared their experience with this video, beautiful instagram pictures and series of blog posts including 5 serious dangers of traveling in Pakistan & Total cost of backpacking in Pakistan.
  • Cynthia D. Ritchie, a former Goodwill Ambassador to Pakistan has traveled around Pakistan and meticulously navigated the country’s social, political, and cultural layers. She is now on a mission to produce a docu-series that will capture “the true spirit of Pakistan,” by showing its beauty, vibrance, and devotion to hospitality. Recently she addressed questions and changed perceptions - all through Twitter.
  • Antoine Girard is a world famous paraglider from Franch who completed 1260km bivouac fly solo in Pakistan in 19 days. Something he refers as “A great experience in a wilderness land. Beautiful encounter with the Pakistanis people!”. He recorded a short video sharing breathtaking views of Himalayas.
  • Emily Hauze is an American blogger & professional photographer. She frequently visits her loved ones in Pakistan but confidently says that there are many other reasons of attraction to the culture and curiosity about the Pakistani way of life. But for her, the question of a “reason to visit Pakistan” is almost irrelevant, because the truth is that Pakistan has given her a reason to do almost everything that she does. Recently her interview with Jovago got published and that’s how I came to know about her. She is quite active in maintaining a blog and sharing her experiences in Pakistan. We can just say a heartiest “Shukriya” to her for the effort :)
  • Will Hatton who is more known in the world as the guy behind The Broke Backpacker. He has done a backpacking trip to Pakistan and described it in his words, “I thanked my lucky stars for taking a chance on Pakistan; this country is the most incredible place I have ever been.” He was kind enough to write about 10 reasons to travel to Pakistan. You can follow his adventures on facebook page.
  • Clara Arrighi visited Pakistan on an official trip and stayed 7 months in 2016. She described her experience in a Facebook post but the highlight were these amazing words: Luckily, someone also told me: “When you go to Pakistan you cry two times: when you are sent there and when you have to leave”. Seven months afterwards I indeed have cried two times.
  • 11 Images That Will Change Your Perception About Pakistan : This article includes reference to several international travelors/photographers/mountaineers who visited Pakistan in 2015.
  • Youth Outreach Ski Camp in Pakistan : Two Austrian ski guides (Andreas Gumpenberger and Stefan Ager), the photographer and filmmaker Jan Eric Euler, Mirza Ali and our very own mountaineer Samina Baig were behind this project.
  • Matthieu Paley is a National Geographic photographer who has been visiting Northern Pakistan since 1999. He wrote this article describing how things changed in Passau in past 15 years.
  • Will Meara visited Pakistan in Oct-Nov 2016 and loved every bit of it. He wrote a very moving post titled “7 reasons why Pakistan needs to be your next holiday destination” sharing his most rewarding travel experience ever.
  • Petr Jan Juračka, a Czech scientist at Charles University of Prague and an amateur photographer travelled to Pakistan to break the world record in altitude photography. On June 30, 2016, Petr flew his drone at the altitude of 6,334 metres above sea level on K2’s Camp One for three minutes under freezing conditions — a likely world record and the video is just breathtaking.
  • Tati, a Spanish Adventurer stayed 45 days in Pakistan and travelled from South to North in September and October 2016. She wrote a very comprehensive guide based on her wonderful experience and shared details ranging from society, safety, clothing to food and visa procedure. In her own words, Pakistan is a country that will put your travel rod too high, because you can not help but compare every country with it and still you’ll keep it in a special place in your heart.
  • Globetrotter Cassie de Pecol arrives in Karachi in pursuit of Guinness World Record. The 27-year-old American was in Karachi on 14.12.16 for a bit of sightseeing as part of her daring journey to set a Guinness World Record of becoming the first female to travel to 196 countries of which Pakistan is 191st. It was covered by Dawn.
  • Megan Smith (American citizen) from MeganoTravels spent two weeks (Oct/Nov 2016) traveling about 3000 km in Pakistan (with Travelore Adventures), discovering what it has to offer in beauty, culture, diversity, history, and religion. She shared a video and also a blog post about her experience.

Social Media Accounts To Follow


Positive Vibes


Platforms/Organizations

  • Mera Passion Pakistan : MPP ultimately aspires to become a platform where all the well-wishers of the country can come together and become harbingers of hope, optimism and change.

Music


Playlists

  • Best Pakistani Music on Soundcloud (Curated by me)

Platforms

  • Patari : Pakistan’s largest Pakistani music streaming platform.
  • Coke Studio : Pakistan’s biggest music television franchise which features live studio-recorded music performances by various artists.
  • Nescafe Basement : A creative platform that nurtures the talent and drive of a group of gifted unknown youngsters and their love for Music.


Feel free to give any kind of feedback. What categories should I add? Is there any amazing resource, documentary, travelog or travel agency you would like me to add? You can easily reach out to me via twitter or email. If you want to contribute yourself then feel free to create a PR :)