English is the official language in Pakistan. Most people speak English, and you can always easily find people speak with. The most common language is Urdu, but it is not compulsory to learn for every traveler. However, if you wish to learn some basic words locals are open to teaching you. There are a few examples in the local language:
“Salaam Alaikum,” the Arabic greeting meaning “Peace be onto you,” is the standard salutation among Pakistanis. The greeting is routinely deployed whenever and wherever Muslims gather and interact.
“Kia Haal He?” How are you?
“”Me Teekh hon? I am fine
This border is subject to the security situation in the area. When the situation is favorable, you can visit with special permission which needs to be obtained from the government. If it is not possible to explore this border during the time of your visit, there are alternative activities.
This border is seasonal and both countries have an official agreement when it will open/close. The official dates for opening Khunejrab border are 1st April to November 31st every year. The said border remains closed from 1st December till March 31st due to extreme weather conditions.
The most common foreign currency in Pakistan is USD, GBP, and Euro. Try to bring bills of the 50s and 100s. Small bills have very low conversion rates in Pakistan. There is no restriction on the amount of cash as you want to bring, but we do not suggest that you do not bring a huge amount of with you. If you are short of cash, there are many ATMs available everywhere in Pakistan. Money can be changed at airports, in the banks and through authorized money exchange companies in markets. The best way to change money is through money exchange companies which are buying the currency at reasonable rates. Any unused balance of Pakistani rupees can be re-converted at the time of departure.
Pakistan is a treasure house of exquisite handicrafts. The artisans here pass down the expertise from one generation to another. Weaving, pottery, tile-work, inlays in metal, wood, and stone, are all found here. Pottery here is a living art, with its origins dating back to 3,000 B.C. Today, each region of Pakistan claims its own specialty in jars and jugs, from sturdy terracotta to paper-thin ceramics, in vivid colors of mustard yellow, deep green, brick red and sky blue. For those who are keen shoppers, the prices are quite reasonable. You will find yourself returning home with hand-woven carpets, marble pieces, copper and brass items, woodwork, embroidered “Kurtas” and “Khussas” and countless objects d’art.
Lightweight, cotton clothes suffice all over Pakistan, except in the north during the winter months. Men wear western suits in urban areas at official occasions or at social events. Otherwise, casual shalwar kameez is commonly worn by one and all. We encourage and recommend that women visitors should dress modestly in loose shirts and trousers to respect the culture and as well as to avoid any bad attentions. We also suggest that women bring a scarf for visiting Islamic monuments or shrines.
Water is essential during your tour, and it can refresh you or make you sick. We strongly recommend to take Nestle brand water and try to avoid tap water or any other local bottle water. There are also many kinds of juices. We recommend you buy Nestle brand and keep away from any local juice.
Pakistani food is normally high in proteins. Having inherited the culinary traditions of the Moghuls, the Turks, the Central Asians and the Iranians, eating out in Pakistan is a rich experience. Most local restaurants serve authentic Pakistani dishes straight from the oven, with the sights and sounds of a bazaar in the background. Meat, fish, and vegetable dishes are seasoned with spices. Particularly palatable are the grills and barbecues; Seekh-Kabab (minced meat grilled on a skewer), Shami-Kabab (minced meat), Tikka (barbecued mutton, beef or chicken) and Saji (barbecued leg of lamb). Pakistani mutton and chicken curries and the oriental rice dish called, Pullao, are also popular with natives and foreigners alike. In the meantime, you may need some precautions in going to local restaurants and avoid quite low standard local restaurant for hygiene reasons.
Pakistan offers a unique mix of attractions, including adventure tourism in the Northern Areas; cultural and archaeological tourism as found in Taxila, Mohenjodaro, Harappa and Swat; and early Muslim and Mughal heritage of Multan, Lahore, Thatta and Peshawar. From the mighty Karakorams in the North to the vast alluvial delta of the Indus River in the South, Pakistan remains a land of culture and high adventure. Trekking, mountaineering, white water rafting, wild boar hunting, mountain and desert jeep safaris, Camel and Yak safaris, trout fishing and bird watching, are a few activities that entice adventure and nature lovers to Pakistan – apart from an all embracing hospitality, found everywhere you go.
Pakistan is a land of contrast. Visiting the country depends on weather conditions and your interests.
North Pakistan: The best season to visit North Pakistan (the areas of Gilgit-Baltistan; Swat, Naran and Chitral Valleys; Murree; and Kashmir) is from mid-February until the end of November. Although winter is the best time to visit this area for hunting, winter climbing expeditions, and skiing.
Southern Pakistan: The best season for southern Pakistan is Mid October till Mid-April because the southern part of Pakistan remains quite pleasant during this time of the year. We will not encourage you to visit in summer due to heat and humidity.
There are health risks in Pakistan, as there are in all developing countries. We recommend that you visit your health provider to get their recommendations for vaccines or other preventative medicines. You may want to consider water purifying tablets (for trekking), anti-malarial tablets, pain medication, allergy treatment, diarrhea tablets, antiseptic ointment, or band-aids.
By Air: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is the national airline operating direct flights to and from some countries, but there are many international airlines operating flights to major cities of Pakistan (Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore & Karachi).
By Road: Pakistan has an extensive network of roads and highways, linking every large city and small town. There are several highways like the Grand Trunk Road (G.T. Road) between Karachi and Peshawar (N-5), Super Highway and National Highway linking Karachi with interior Sindh and Punjab, Indus Highway (N-55) linking Peshawar with Southern Punjab, RCD Highway (N-25) linking Karachi and Quetta and on to Taftan (N-40 Pak-Iran border) and the Karakoram Highway (N-35) joining Islamabad with Kashgar (China) through Abbottabad, Gilgit, Hunza and Khunjerab Pass. A landmark has been achieved with the completion of the Islamabad-Peshawar (M-1), Lahore-Islamabad Motorway (M2), Karachi-Gwader (N-10) and the Faisalabad-Pindi Bhatian Motorway (M3), which has opened some of the remote areas of Pakistan for visitors.
Group traveling is often the most cheap and fun way to travel for tourists. If your budget is limited, we suggest that you consider travelling in a group. Group travel allows for splitting of large costs, such as hotel rooms, transport, and guides. However, some tourists just want to travel by themselves because they want flexibility in their trip. It is true that group tour program are more difficult to alter because of one traveler.
Our company does issue letters of invitation (LOI), and our procedure of issuance of visas are guaranteed. However, our company will only issue an invitation letter once you have booked at least partial services from our company. These services may include an experienced guide/interpreter or trip leader, transport, and/or hotel room bookings. The reasons that we require you to use are services to receive an invitation letter is because; we inform the embassy that our company is hosting you and we assure the embassy that we will be responsible for your safety and security. The Government of Pakistan holds any person or company who issues an invitation responsible for safety of the person(s) they have agreed to host.
Visas can be arranged from a Pakistani Embassy in your country. The list of Pakistan Missions abroad can be find at http://www.mofa.gov.pk/content.php?pageID=missions . For your application, you will need supporting documents including a letter of invitation. A local tour operator can issue you a letter of invitation once you book a tour.
Yes, all foreigners coming to Pakistan need a visa and a valid passport to travel to Pakistan. There are several kinds of visas, and you have to apply for the right one. We suggest visiting the nearest embassy website, visit the embassy in person or talk to a visa officer on the phone.
To find a reputable tour operator, we suggest deep study of any ground tour company before you sign up for a tour. Topics to explore include whether the company is genuine and staff of the company is truly professional. Also, try to get a referral from friends, colleagues or relatives. It is also possible to ask the company for some contact details of their past clients. It may be best to talk to past clients on the phone.
Pakistanis are generally known as warm welcoming and friendly people. Therefore, we believe that it is safe for solo females to visit Pakistan, but we still encourage solo females to go on a guided tour with reputable company. Furthermore, women must be mentally prepared that staring is common in the country. We advise against going out late at night and visiting the homes of strangers. We advise that any traveller be in their hotel room after dark.
Unfortunately, most state advisories and media (print or electronic) have advised against visiting Pakistan. These negative reports have caused tourists to believe that Pakistan is an unsafe destination. However, many of the criticisms of Pakistan’s safety are not accurate, and it is a safe place to travel. While there have been shootings in Pakistan, this problem is isolated to the area along the Afghan border. This area has been declared a ‘no-go area’ for foreign nationals to travel. All travel involves some degree of risk, but Pakistan in no more dangerous than other developing countries. People of Pakistan are typically very hospitable, friendly, warm welcoming and peace-loving.
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