travel tips visiting Pakistan

Travel Tips for Visiting Pakistan in Corona

These are useful travel tips for people visiting Pakistan like Visa procedures, documentation, and even Corona Virus issues. 
 
This blog will give you a basic idea of what to expect when you get here. This post will also not help the Pakistani-Americans or the Pakistani-British from the USA & UK, wishing to visit the land of their parents, because they already know they have to carry their NICOP cards if they want visa fee waiver.

Basic information about Pakistan. 

Officially known as The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, this ‘land of pure’ have a very diverse and rich culture. The total population of Pakistan is 210 million and is located in South Asia. 98% of the people are Muslims here. Statistically, it is the 6th most populous country in the world. Earlier the land was part of the sub-continent ruled by various dynasties like Greek, Huns, Persians, Turks, Mughals, and lastly ruled by the British. 

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, through a political process, won a Muslim majority state out of India. 

Top 10 travel tips to know before visiting Pakistan are :

To get around the country, pre-planning is essential.

Try to get a tour operator to that for you.

  • Learn some basic phrases like ‘kitnay ka’ (how much?), ‘Islamabad jana hai’ (I have to go to Islamabad), and ‘bottle wala paani peena hai’ (I need bottled water)
  • Don’t approach women on the street, unless they approach you themselves and try to wear fuller garments, that are not too revealing or too tight. The jeans are fine.
  • Pack light and keep the luggage easy to carry.
  • Keep some cash with you at all times but keep the rest in the safe in your hotel
  • Pakistani are genuinely hospitable, to a fault
  • bargain away to reduce price up to 80 % sometimes
  • Carry a Xerox or photocopy of your documents (passport / visa / identity)

Frequently Asked Questions for traveling to Pakistan NICOP.

Yes, if a Pakistani dual national has a NICOP card, you don’t need a visa to travel to Pakistan. Dual citizens can even travel on an expired NICOP. You can get your NICOP card online in 7 working days. As far as the passport is concerned, it stays valid till midnight of the day you are scheduled to reach the immigration counter. Do note that you’d need to mention your passport number, on your NICOP application.

FAQs travel to Pakistan from the USA.

US citizens must have a valid Passport and Pakistani visa to visit Pakistan. Visa on arrival is not for the USA. Pakistan is generally a safe country to travel to, but due to political differences, the USA and western allies have restrictive travel advisories against it. This is not the case with Asian countries or Pakistan’s allies in other continents. All in all travel to Pakistan is not banned, neither it is dangerous. 

[FAQ] Corona Virus and Pakistan.

As far as the Corona Virus is concerned, Pakistan is nearly Corona Virus Free. This was mostly due to extreme temperatures in the month of August that have sterilized the outdoors completely. 

So, foreigners should not fear catching Corona Virus here, as people have developed herd immunity already.

My travel tip for people visiting Pakistan and concerned about Corona Virus or COVID-19 that for the time being (September 2020) the Government still has a 14-day mandatory quarantine enforced for Corona-affected countries, especially in the West. 

[FAQ]The flight ticket from the USA to Pakistan

averages around $540 – $830. 

[FAQ] Travel to Pakistan requirements.

1)Valid Visa; 2) Valid Passport; 3) NICOP for dual nationals. It takes 7 days to process a visa request, so you cannot get a visa in one day. You can get a 7 days, 3 months, 6 months or higher stay visa if you meet certain requirements. The requirements are :-

  • A Valid Passport
  • Passport Photos
  • Hotel Confirmation
  • Proof of entry/ exit
  • Host’s ID card’s copy
  • Visa application correctly filled
  • Money order

[FAQ] Vaccines & Immunization required for travel to Pakistan.

Although not mandatory by the government of Pakistan, Centre of Disease Control USA and WHO recommend certain vaccinations like Hepatitis A/B, Typhoid, Cholera, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, anthrax, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, TDAP, chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza. Before departing Pakistan, if you have stayed for more than four months, you’d have to provide proof of polio immunization.

[FAQ] Travel from Philippines to Pakistan.

It’s a seven hour flight from Philippines to Pakistan and cost $ 960 – $ 990 per person. The visa fee for Pakistani visa is $ 8 – $ 60 depending on country of origin. For Philippines, it is $ 25 (single entry), $ 37 (one year), $ 50 (five years) .

[FAQ] Travel to Pakistan from Canada.

Donot travel to pakistan without a valid visa, unless you are dual national. Nature of visa cannot be changed while in the country, so donot overstay.  Your passport has to be valid for six months at least. The requirements for Pakistani visa are more or less similar to other countries explained above.

[FAQ] Which countries have visa free arrival in Pakistan ?

30 countries have visa free arrival privilege for Pakistan travel. These are Cambodia, Maldives, Nepal, Timor-Leste, Cape Verde, Comores, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu and Qatar.

[FAQ] Which language to Pakistanis understand?

Urdu is the national language of Pakistan but innumerable other languages are also spoken in the country. But interestingly, most people understand basic english.

[FAQ] Which countries are friends with Pakistan?

Pakistan considers China, Turkey and Malaysia as genuine allies. The larger muslim world is too an ally, considering Pakistan is one of very few of it’s champions, but to a lesser extent.

[FAQ] Is Pakistan safe for Indian tourists?

Pakistan is absolutely safe for Indians. Just that you’d not be allowed to venture off outside the larger cities like Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Pakistanis are very hospitable people, for everyone, including indians’. This is due to diplomatic reciprocity for similar treatment of Pakistani tourists in India, not out of dislike of Indian citizens.

My travel tip for Indians visiting Pakistan is not to praise Mr. Modi and talk trash about Islam.

Pakistan has varied culture, delicious food, jaw-dropping nature, and above all diverse cultures. To get an idea of the heritage, check out this VLOG

Weather Updates

Do check weather updates from Accuweather.com for reliable weather updates for Pakistan before getting here. 

Languages

Apart from two official languages i.e. Urdu and English, other dialects are spoken like Punjabi, Siddhi, Balochi, Potohari, Wakhi, Pashto, Shina etc. 

Food

Famous Pakistani dishes include; Karahi Gosht, Haleem, Roast, Siri Paye, Naan, Byriani, Dals etc. Though Pakistani Food is delightful and varied yet it is not necessarily healthy because it might be spicy and fatty. So it would better while wandering in different localities, avoid to eat such spicy meals and salads. Also use mineral water instead of tap water.

Money

Standard currency of Pakistan is PKR and the State Bank of Pakistan issues currency notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000, and 5000 denominations. Apart from it, coins are also in vogue but these have lost value owing to escalated prices of commodities. ATM machines are available everywhere but scarce in mountainous areas. So it would be better that you carry sufficient cash with you , just in case.

Transportation in Pakistan

There are innumerable options of transport n Pakistan. For long distance you could have plane, train, or bus and for short distance you can have the facility of rickshaw, taxis, jeeps etc. You also have UBER and CAREEM travel Apps that work perfectly fine.

Connectivity in Pakistan

Cell Phone Connectivity in Pakistan is mostly available all across the country. In the cities, there is excellent 4G service for cell phones. In the northern areas, you’d have to go to a Government-owned Service centre to get your SIM card, using your Passport and visa copies.

Bon Voyage!

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