travel tour questions pakistan

Travel and Tour Questions on Pakistan

Foreigners and Pakistanis travelers alike deserve to have clear and truthful answers to their travel and tour questions regarding Pakistan, which I personally couldn’t find on the internet. So, here is my contribution to this cause, after decades of traveling the length and breadth of the country, so that everyone enjoys their travel like I did.

Let me go straight into the Travel and Tour Questions and Answers on Pakistan:-

 

Is Pakistan safe for travel?

Pakistan was embroiled in a game of geopolitics played out inside bordering Afghanistan in the decade 2010-2020, but has now is thankfully recovering from the devastating effect of powers funding proxies inside the country. Peace is visible on the streets in Pakistan.

The adverse travel advisories issued by western countries have eased off a bit and equally positive advisories of China certainly point to the fact that things are fine for travel and tour inside Pakistan.

travel tour questions pakistan

Pakistan is now safe for all travelers, male or female, local or western in all four provinces Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, Gilgit Baltistan, and even Azad Kashmir.

By being safe, I mean there is very little risk to your life in random terror or violent acts. Mugging, rape, and gang crime never took root here in Pakistan.

A minor grenade attack, a few shots fired and disturbances at the Afghan border and the Line of Control with India still do take place, but they are very few and far in-between and hardly noticeable in a country of 210 million people.

The best thing that would help you feel safe is that Pakistanis consider all tourists men and women, a gift from God, and that includes western tourists and even Hindus. They would never break this ingrained cultural-religious covenant, as that would be dishonorable.

How do I stay safe with scammers/thieves/terrorists?

  • For scammers, don’t buy expensive items like carpets without a local Pakistani friend with you to haggle.
  • For thieves, keep your money in your travel belt cavity at all times. Do not leave money in your room
  • For terrorists that you come across, just lie and tell them you are Muslim, 9 times out of 10, they will let you go.

What are the key things to keep in mind to stay safe and out of danger in Pakistan?

  • Befriend a local to guide you around the city
  • Don’t flirt with women, while their men are around
  • Don’t wear revealing clothes that show the outline of your body
  • Don’t say demeaning things about Islam or Pakistan Army
  • Don’t try to defend the USA’s wars
  • Keep a smile all the time
  • Women to engage men only when necessary; you don’t have to be overly friendly.
  • Don’t drink or smoke hashish in the open

travel tour questions pakistan

Is Pakistan Safe for single western women?

Modestly dressed Western women are treated with respect and are protected by random strangers if they feel threatened. Chivalry is huge in a patriarchal Pakistan. So, book a tour with a renowned tour operator and come over without a worry in your mind.

Single women have also been doing couch surfing in Pakistan and have had their complete stay free of charge, security and protection charges included.

Pakistani guys generally try to defer to wishes of white western women, like all once-colonized countries in South Asia, so that is a plus.

While wandering in crowded markets in Pakistan, it would be better if you travel in a pair or take some male acquaintance with you, just to keep the pesky beggars at bay.

So, there is no threat to the life of single women traveling in Pakistan, but you do have to learn to haggle while buying stuff. That is considered a given.

Do I have to wear a Burqa in Pakistan?

No, but dressing up modestly in a T-shirt and baggy trousers is a better idea. A headscarf will protect you from the sun and unwanted attention your blond hair attracts.

How many tourists visited Pakistan recently?

The year before Corona lockdown in 2020, upwards of 1.8 million foreigners came to Pakistan. Indeed, this number was mostly of Pakistani origin foreigners that had family in Pakistan, but about 5% were white-westerners, which is a benchmark of real tourism nowadays. Turkey had 35 million tourists during the period.

Considering Pakistan has just recovered from the disastrous War OF Terror, this number does not reflect the massive 300% increase of domestic tourism, which says that if it’s enjoyable enough for the locals, it must be of some value to foreigners too.

Are Flights to and from Pakistan open now?

Because of the extreme summer heat, the Corona epidemic in Pakistan died out quite rapidly and there are now only 20,000 active cases with hardly any new ones coming up.

The Government of Imran Khan has announced opening off all sectors, including flights, entertainment, travel, and education. Incidentally, all four are linked too.

All flights domestic and foreign including Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have been given permission to resume operations in Pakistan to reflect a full recovery from the COVID-19 lockdown.

To get the latest on Civil Aviation Authorities announcement on fight operations in Pakistan, do go over these instructions.

Can I fly directly to Pakistan and on which Airline?

Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has direct flights in and out of the country towards the West and then there is the option of Qatar or Emirates Airlines coming in direct to Pakistan. All three are reasonably priced, but if you book early, you get a huge discount in the Gulf Airlines. You can also reverse on back from New Delhi, India by using British Airways and drive over to Lahore through the Wagah Border in the evening and check out the flag ceremony where a mini-war is going on.

When is the best time to visit Pakistan?

February to April and then July to September are ideal to explore the mountains, visit shrines, run on the beaches and enjoy traditional cuisines. These two-time slots are like springtime coming twice in a year because wintertime Kharif crops flower in September out in the beautiful fields. August is a little damp, but thanks to Global warming, and the droughts, the weather is now manageable.

Which city is the most beautiful in Pakistan?

Islamabad is the cleanest city, Lahore is the cultural, architectural and heritage capital and Karachi is bustling bazaar city. Then you also have ancient arts and crafts of Multan and history of Peshawar.

I would say the most beautiful city would be Islamabad, just because it was designed to be neat and clean all year round.

Is everything free in Pakistan?

No, in fact, 30% of the population lives below the poverty line. It’s just that Pakistanis are hospitable to a fault and would never ask for money for hospitality. But that does not mean you shouldn’t pay or tip them for the services they give you.

Most of the shop vendors outside the main cities would customarily ask to give you services free of charge. Mind you, you are supposed to say “Shukriya (thank you)” and pay them anyways.

travel tour questions pakistan

Is Pakistan Safe for Hindu or Indian Tourists?

You’d be surprised to know that the general Pakistani population has very little animosity towards Indians despite what all political hate has come this way.

Pakistanis give Indians extra attention, just to break the stereotype of Pakistan-India hate.

Just don’t try to defend Mr. Modi and his crazy racist policies that no one really appreciates around the world.

Which language do they speak in Pakistan?

Urdu is the local language of communication in all across Pakistan, but English being the official language of correspondence, a legacy of colonialism, you can communicate with just about anybody in rudimentary English.

Learning a few simple words of Urdu will definitely help you get things done quicker.

Is it easy to get Visa to Pakistan?

Pakistan has resolved the main gripe foreign tourists had about visiting the country, that is, visa procedure. Now the government has given an e-visa facility to 175 countries and visa-on-arrival to 50 countries.

What else to foreigners complain about in Pakistan?

Foreigner travelers to Pakistan do complain about unnecessary and repetitive holdups in checkpoints while traveling to various destinations. They say these holdups are not scheduled are random and sometimes have no recourse.

The security agencies say this is necessary to keep the visitors safe from trouble makers.

The government now says they have abolished the No Objection Certificate requirement and unnecessary checkpoint entry holdups in the Northern Areas, but after COVID-19 lockdown, I am not sure.

In any case, these holdups take up a small portion of your total travel time only.

Do you have any positive testaments for skeptical travelers that thinking of visiting Pakistan?

In 2010 Lonely Planet termed Pakistan as tourism’s ‘next best thing’. Eurasian Times ranked Pakistan “the best holiday destination for 2020”. In the 2018 British Backpacker Society called Pakistan “the friendliest place on Earth with mountain scenery that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination”.  In 2019 Forbes called Pakistan “the coolest places” to visit. World Economic Forum (WEF) places Pakistan in the top 25 percent of global destinations in heritage sites, some of which have not been excavated yet.

What are the things to do in Pakistan?

You can choose from trekking hiking in the several mountain ranges in Pakistan’s North, curate your culinary and cultural tastes in Lahore, swim in the Arabian Sea on the beaches of Karachi, brush up history on the Khyber pass, see Forts & temples, Party like there is no tomorrow in Islamabad and smoke the finest hashish in Peshawar. If you want to see a real Oasis in modern times, go to Quetta, Baluchistan. Did I mention air safari, base jumping, rock climbing, shopping, handicrafts, and mosque architecture?

Also, the gorgeous women in Pakistan love foreigners, except they don’t want to be seen tight with one.

What should I wear in the streets in Pakistan? Can I wear shorts?

My advice would be to dress up in Shalwar Kameez as Pakistanis do. One Shalwar Kameez dress or suit would only cost Rs 1500 ($10). This way you can pass off as a Pakistani and wouldn’t attract unwanted attention going about your business. This applies to women as well. Why stick out like a sore thumb wearing worn-out tights?

You can wear shorts but would look odd when no one else does in the bazaars.

What kind of shoes should I bring along?

I would recommend breathable running shoes to be appropriate for first-time travelers because there is a lot of dust and heat in the streets and formal boots or sandals would not cut it.

How much money should I bring along to Pakistan/

For a 10 days visit, $200 would be sufficient, provided you have already paid for the tour. A tour could cost you something around $1500 per person for a group tour. The major cost is accommodation, if you can get a reasonable couch surfing or AirBnB option, your trip cost can come down to $50. There are several international banks in Pakistan like Standard chartered that accept foreign cards, but charges are very high. Try to keep cash with you, as most of the payments in the streets will be in cash.

How is the internet and Wi-Fi service in Pakistan?

There are several broadbands and mobile internet service providers in Pakistan and it is a lot cheaper than many western countries, thanks to the runaway population. It would be advisable to get Zong, Telenor mobile connection for yourself with a hefty data package of 2GB. You can get this for Rs 1500 ($10) Most of your travel, banking and communication woes can be solved on your smartphone. For the Northern areas, you’d require a SCOM mobile connection.

How can I get clean water and food for myself?

Always drink bottled water and try to stick to non-spicy food, like lightly prepared vegetables, fruits, eggs, bread, and peanut butter to keep your belly working fine.

Where can I get my wine and women?

Tinder and Grindr work perfectly fine in Pakistan but the booze has to come from bootleggers mostly if you want quick service. Otherwise, there are alcohol shops around 5-star hotels that serve you drinks of all kinds. Pakistan also has a local brewery called Murree Brewery and their Millennium Lager beer tastes pretty good chilled. Try Muree Brewery products once, after all, how many people can claim to have tasted the ‘forbidden fruit’ produced in a Muslim country?

How do I move about inside Pakistan?

To travel within the cities, local ride-hail App Careem and Uber are the best choices. You also have a metro bus service in large cities like Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, and Peshawar. For the rest of the cities try rickshaw and haggle with the prices. A minibus or a bus would be too crowded for comfort but is the cheapest means of transportation.

To travel within cities, you have bus services like Daewoo and Faisal movers. Then there are cheaper variants as well but are not recommended. You can take your ride-hail to other cities as well. 

Can I drive on the roads in Pakistan?

The Pakistani roads are metaled and the highways are engineered and maintained properly. Pakistanis drive on the left side of the road and if you have an international driving license and are used to the chaotic traffic of third world countries, sure, go ahead.

Do drive on the landing-strips-like highways of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and then tell me if CPEC is bad for Pakistan.

Is the tourism industry in Pakistan like India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka?

No, decades of unrest have starved the Pakistani travel and tourism sector of vital investment. Pakistan is several notches short of the way the tourism industry is like in Nepal. 

Where can I get a reasonably priced travel guide for the city in Pakistan?

Internet and especially Instagram has several local guides that take you around the city at a reasonable fee. Rs 2000 ($15) for a few hours’ work would be appropriate.

travel tour questions pakistan

What are the kinds of tourism packages they have in Pakistan?

Religious Tourism – Pakistan is the birthplace of the Theravada sect of Buddhism, Gorakhnath sect of Hinduism, and the Sikh religion. Also, Pakistan holds an annual Muslim preacher convention at Raiwind, Lahore that some compare to Haj. Lots of foreigners like to see these spiritual centers.

Adventure Tourism – hiking, trekking, skiing, gliding, and climbing in the Northern Mountains.

Hippie Trail         – in the 1960s, Pakistan was an important step in the marijuana puffing hippies trail of that time, it still has the marijuana.

Beach and water sports – Several Pakistani dams and the vast coastline have sports facilities like boating, fishing, diving, etc.

Heritage and Architecture – Pakistan has inherited the ancient sites and customs of the Indus Valley people that have lived around this rive for millennia.

Culture Tourism – Pakistan is the only democracy that has experimented with a religion Islam given public space. It is an open laboratory in anthropology and sociology

What are the recommended Travel and Tour packages for Pakistan?

Walji travels are a good option, but I’d have to research more for that.

So, Khush-amadeed, Jee Ayan Noo, Pa Ma Khade Kha (Welcome) to Pakistan!

Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. Really informative.. for the tourist travellar..
    I notice you have extensively travelled , which guide did you use?
    Or do you guide yourself ? And how to contact you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *