The charming city of Quetta in Pakistan attracts tourists because of its unique features. One of the best things about Quetta is that accommodation for all price ranges is available here. Serena Hotel Quetta is the most expensive place to stay but the service and amenities are worth every penny. Lourdes Hotel is the second best option in high end hotels. There are many moderately priced hotels which provide clean rooms and good service such as Qasr-e-Naz, Fab’s Hotel, Marina Hotel, Shees Hotel, Hotel Al=Naem, Islamabad Hotel, Hotel Maryton, Deluxe Hotel, Qasr-e-Gul and Zulfiqar Hotel. Hotel Bloom Star and Gardenia Resort also provide decent service and accommodation at a mid-price range and are located in a bit of a secluded place so if you are looking for some solitude, these hotels are definitely for you. Those on a budget can stay at the Azad Muslim Hotel.
There are two museums worth visiting in Quetta; the Geological Museum and the Archaeological Museum. A great collection of rocks, gems, minerals and even meteorites is on display in the Museum of Geological History. An interesting collection of fossils of prehistoric animals and plants have also been put up for exhibition some of them dating back to 500 million years. A comprehensive history of the place can be studied from the wide variety of historic items exhibited in the Archaeological Museum. Pottery, coins, weapons and other items belonging to the early Islamic era are also found here.
The main attractions of Quetta are Hanna Lake and the Chilton Hazar Gangi National Park. Hanna Lake is located five miles from Quetta. The beautiful man-made lake is a striking contrast to the rugged mountains that surround it. Hanna Lake is one of the most picturesque picnic spots of Pakistan. There are activities such as chairlift rides and boating and people can also go for hiking.
Hazarganji Chiltan National Park is located 20 km outside Quetta; it is a must see place if you are a nature lover. This place is a sanctuary for wildlife species and some rare trees are found here.
Some great places to shop in Quetta are the Kandhar Bazar, Suraj Ganj Bazar and the Liaquat Bazar. Yu can buy traditional handicrafts, clothes and shoes for men, women and children and a host of other items.
The amazing Pakistani city of Peshawar is known for its traditional Pashtun hospitality. Guests are treated with reverence and respect and this spirit is found everywhere whether you stay in a five star hotel or in a low priced one. The high end hotel in Peshawar is the Pearl Continental Hotel and is obviously expensive. Other places where you can experience the awesome Pashtun hospitality are Khan Club Hotel, Green’s Hotel, Rose Hotel, Emaraat Hotel, Hotel Grand Peshawar and Tourist Inn Motel. Hidayat Hotel is a budget Hotel but the service and general ambience is excellent. Other budget hotels are Hotel Spogamy and Khani’s Hotel Peshawar are reasonable other budget hotels. A number of decent bed and breakfast and inns are also available in Peshawar with Shiraz Inn being the most recommended.
The old city of Peshawar has retained its charm and feel of old times. The narrow lanes of Kissa Khawani Bazar bring up images of travellers sitting around the fire and telling kissas (tales) of travels. The Bazar-e-Kalan, Ghanta Ghar (clock tower), Chowk Yadgar, Tehsil Gorghatri are some interesting places in the old ciy that you must visit. You must also visit the Sunehri Masjid and Masjid Mahabat Khan. Masjid Mahabat Khan is worth the visit as it is one of the best examples of Mughal architecture.
The main attractions of Peshawar however remain the Bala Hisar Fort and the Khyber Pass. Bala Hisar Fort was built in the 16th century and has seen the rise and fall of the Mughals, Sikhs and the British. It is a heavily guarded place. Bab-e-Khyber is the imposing gateway to Khyber Pass. Khyber Pass is situated 20 km from Peshawar and is the passage through which invaders, travellers and traders entered South Asia. Jamrud Fort and Kohat Pass are other historical places located outside Peshawar city.
If you want to go shopping in a fancy area, then Hayatabad is the place for you. Otherwise best shopping (both items and price wise) can be done at Saddar Bazar, Khyber Bazar, Namak Mandi and Bazar Shah Qabool Olia.
Nathiagali is a hill station in Pakistan; aptly described as “pretty as a picture” the place looks right out of a postcard from a European country. There are some good hotels in this small hill station such as the Hotel Amore, Hotel Elites, Red Onion and Kashmir View are some good hotels with neat and tidy rooms, excellent service and impressive food. These hotels are suitable for families. Summer Retreat Hotel and Green’s Retreat Hotel are other hotels which come with strong recommendations. All these hotels are set in the most beautiful and scenic surroundings.
Nathiagali and its adjoining hill resorts are interconnected through treks and so trekking is the most common activity in the area. Tourists can trek from Nathiagali to Mushkpuri and Miranjani Peaks. The striking scenery makes hiking most enjoyable and you can also help yourself to the wild strawberries growing there. Horse riding is done extensively in Nathiagali; you can go for a short ride or for a long one. Horse riding and trekking are not the only activities you can enjoy in Nathiagali, skiing can also be done at Green Spot situated at a distance from Nathiagali.
There is also an old church in Nathiagali that you can visit. The church was made by the British and is made of timber. It is quite well maintained and the lush green park in its vicinity adds to its beauty. The Governor House in Nathiagali is also worth seeing. You can buy local handicrafts from the mini bazar in the hill resort.
Two things you must bear in mind when visiting Nathiagali; first the weather is extremely unpredictable, there can be sudden cloud bursts and the weather is mostly foggy and the second thing is the monkeys that are in a habit of dropping by to pick up any leftover snacks.
The historical city of Lahore is an ideal place to visit especially if you are a history buff. The city is full of historical buildings, gardens and scores of interesting places waiting to be explored. Some fabulous hotels where you can stay are Avari Hotel Lahore, Pearl Continental Lahore, Holiday Inn Hotel, Bravo Suites, The Residency and Lahore Country Club. Mirage Hotel and Hospitality Inn are moderate price hotels while National Hotel and Hotel One are budget hotels.
Lahore is known for the rich Mughal legacy left behind in the form of Shahi Fort Lahore, Shalimar Gardens, Badshahi Mosque, Anarkali’s Tomb, Kamran’s Baradari, Jehangir’s Tomb and Masjid Wazir Khan are some tourist attractions from the Mughal era. Hiran Minar and Mubarak Haveli are other historical places not to be missed. Wagah Border, Minar-e-Pakistan and Lahore Museum are other must see places in Lahore. Lahore Museum is especially highly recommended for those interested in history as its four walls contain centuries of history. Besides gems from history, Lahore city is full of beautiful parks such as X Park, Sozo Water Park, Bagh-e-Jinnah and Jallo Park. While the rest are amusement parks, Bagh-e-Jinnah is the place to visit if you are looking for some time with nature. The tomb of Data Gang Baksh is a very inspiring and a spiritual place to visit.
Shopping in Lahore is an experience not to be missed; souvenirs can be bought inside the Shahi Fort. Anarkali Bazar is a popular shopping place among people on budget. Women and children’s clothes and accessories can also be bought from the Fortress Stadium at moderate prices. Men’s apparel, leather items and carpets are available at Panorama Center. Liberty Market, Pace and Defence Colony are also good places to visit for shopping. While in Lahore do visit the Fort Road Food Court it has been recently inaugurated and is reputed to be the best place to eat in Lahore.
Islamabad the capital of Pakistan is a fairly modern, beautiful and well-planned city. There is no dearth of accommodations which would suit ever pocket. The high and mighty can stay at five star hotels such as the Serena Hotel, Marriot Hotel and the Raddisson SAS Hotel. The Best Western Hotel and the Envoy Continental Hotel, Crowne Plaza, Margalla Hotel and Ambassador Hotel are some mid-priced range hotels. Islamabad Regency, Cape Grace House, Four Seasons Hotel and Pak Palace Hotel also provide clean and tidy accommodation with decent service. Islamabad also has guest houses where people on budget can stay; Riviera, Royal Manor and Jasmine Guest House are recommended to tourists.
There is never a dull moment in Islamabad; the nature lovers can head for parks such as Japanese Garden and Rose and Jasmine Garden. Those who seek physical activities will find many hiking spots right in the lap of nature such as Margalla Hills; para-gilding can also be done here. The Fatima Jinnah Park is especially known for recreational and sports activities. Chattar Park and Shakar Padiyan are other parks worth mentioning. Daman-e-Koh is located in the hills of Islamabad and gives a beautiful bird eye view of the city. There is golf course nearby and a restaurant which serves excellent food. Further from Daman-e-Koh is another picturesque and peaceful spot Pir Sahawa. Faisal Mosque is one of the biggest mosques in the world and is a beautiful specimen of architecture. Rawal Lake situated in the outskirts of Islamabad is a major tourist attraction in Islamabad. It is a hub of various activities such as boating, kayaking, sailing, fishing and bird watching.
To get acquainted with the culture and history of the place you can visit the various museums. Lok Virsa and the Pakistan Museum of Natural History are highly recommended. Islamabad also has majestic government buildings such as the Aiwan-i-Sadr.
The history of Pakistani Airlines started with the merging of Orient Airways with international airlines cooperation of Pakistan. At that time Pakistan International Airlines was the only operator that provided travelling facilities to passengers. Meanwhile private airlines emerged and started their services in Pakistan. However, currently there exist only three main Pakistani airlines which include PIA, Air Blue and Shaheen Air.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), only airline owned by the Government of Pakistan, provides its travelling facilities to 42 international destinations and 27 domestic flights are operated by it. It has an employment rate of 18,043 according to the survey (2008). The main bases of PIA lay in three big cities of Pakistan namely Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.
Air blue is the privately owned Pakistani airline which is the second largest domestic airline of Pakistan. It provides its services to five international destinations and four domestic places. Besides, another main Pakistani airline is Shaheen Air that is the private-based cooperation. Like Air Blue, it operates among main cities of Pakistan and schedules international flights to five or six destinations. The main base of both of these privately owned airlines exist at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi.
In addition to the currently serving airlines described above, there were few others that do not serve anymore due to some reasons. They include Aero Asia International, Pearl Air, Pakistan Airways and some others. Some of them closed their services long time ago and some had been suspended prior to poor management issues.
A park is a way of providing recreational facilities to a number of people. Not only it acts as a tourist point but also it helps the person to enjoy himself of the greenery prevalent in the surroundings of national parks. Pakistan is abundant in terms of possessing beautiful national parks that are a source of constant attraction for a large segment of people living inside and outside of Pakistan. The national parks in Pakistan are preserving natural beauty and also at the same time protecting the wild life living in these national parks of Pakistan. The significance of national parks increases in terms of securing the animals from becoming vanished entirely. It is because of the fact that many animal species are endangered in Pakistan and national parks provide a home for these animals. There are many national parks in Pakistan but here only quite a few are mentioned. A list of the famous national parks of Pakistan with the top ten names is given below:
1) Kirthar National Park
2) Lal Suhanra National Park
3) Khunjerab National Park
4) Hazarganji Chilton National Park
5) Deosai National Park
6) Margalla Hill National Park
7) Hingol National Park
8) Chitral Gol National Park
9) Ayubia National Park
10) Machiara National Park
As portrayed by the Western media that Pakistan is a state of Islamic hardliners and fundamentalists, who promote training camps for terrorism and with an image of a male dominated society with no women rights and cheating is a common trait, Pakistan looks as if it is a tough sell to the prospective tourists en masse. Though the West has not heard of Pakistan’s diverse culture, breathtaking scenery, sprawling deserts and splashing rivers, enthralling mountains and sandy beaches with plentiful archaeological sites, it has a lot more to offer to the tourists who visit Pakistan.
Tourism in Pakistan is still in nascent stage due to the geo-political conditions, social and economic constraints; despite that, The Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) has played a key role in promoting tourism in Pakistan. PTDC was incorporated in 1970 and since then it is striving to attract tourists from every corner of the globe. However, the frail tourism regulatory framework since 1947 and lack of prioritization by the government towards the tourism industry has battered this beautiful land with ancient historical places and enchanting flora and fauna.
Tourism in Pakistan has seen a decline through decades as now Pakistan is being considered as one of the most dangerous destinations to visit. The military operations in Pakistan’s scenic sites viz. Swat and other areas of Khybar Pakhtoonkhwa have dealt an enormous thump to the tourism industry. Not only this is the reason, the low tourist volume is also blamed for the weak marketing strategies to attract tourists along with a constricted perception about Pakistan’s tourism. In a pre-military operation era, Pakistan was earning a revenue of Rs 18 billion though tourism, however, currently the tourism industry is incurring a loss of Rs 3.5 billion.
Government of Pakistan seems oblivious to the great potential of the tourism industry with is currently on the verge of a collapse. Measures should be taken for the survival of this industry as Pakistan has plentiful tourist destinations where rich culture, excellent cuisine, enchanting metro life and captivating green fields and golden sandy beaches are waiting to welcome the tourists.
|400 yrs back||Salt range||Saltish||800m abovesea level|
On the south of salt range in the Soan Sakaser valley, in its higher cliffs are three very beautiful and attractive lakes. One of them is Ucchali lake which is surrounded by a vast cultivated land and vegetation and provide a worth watching scene. The lake originated due to no drainage in the salt range. It gets water mainly in spring with the seeping water from the salt ranges and drains from the near by area. The water is saline and saltish.
The rare bird called Oxyura Leucocephala which is a white headed bird migrates here in winters from Central Asia.
The lake water is believed to have cure for many skin diseases and gout. Locals also believe that there is a volcano underneath the lake due to which the color of its water keeps on changing. The highest peak of the salt range having 4993 ft looms over Ucchali lake. Though the saline water makes this a lifeless lake yet its scenic beauty and locals beliefs about its curing qualities attract quite a number of tourists. They can also enjoy boating as boats are available on the lake.
The Hunza river-beauty at its best
Hunza River is the main river in the Hunza valley and it is the source of life for the Hunza valley and its surroundings. There are a few hanging bridges over the Hunza river which make it a must to see river. These hanging bridges are very old and they are at a great height hence they present a very eye catching scenery.
The Hunza valley depends upon river Hunza for water. The river finally flows into the Indus River which then discharges itself into the Arabian Sea near the port of Karachi. The Gigot River and Naltar River also fall into the Hunza River and hence join the great Indus River.
This river flows from north to south and cuts the great and mighty Karakoram Range. The Karakorum highway also crosses the river before it enters the valley of Hunza. At the point of crossing a bridge is built which is known as KKH (Karakorum Highway) bridge.
Khunjerab Pass-the highest paved path in the world
The Khunjerab pass is a mountain pass in the North of Pakistan along with the Pakistan-China border. The Khunjerab pass is famous for its height as it is the highest point on the Karakoram highway and not only that; it is also the highest paved crossing in the entire world. The Khunjerab pass is 870 km away from Islamabad, the federal capital of Pakistan and it was completed in 1982.
If you are planning a tour then make notice of the fact that the pass is closed between November 30 and May 1 due to heavy snow fall. The path is covered with snow during these months.
There is a national park in the vicinity known a Khunjerab National Park. This park has the Snow Leopard which is an endangered species. This climate is ideal for the leopard and the Government is trying to preserve the species by taking care of it.