Pakistan is a special interest destination. Its main attractions include adventure tourism in the Northern Areas, cultural and archaeological tourism as found in Taxila, Moenjodaro, Harrappa, and early Muslim and Mughal heritage at Multan, Lahore, Thatta, Peshawar, Swat. Besides this, birds watching Jeep safaris, desert safaris, trekking and mountaineering are readily available tourist specialized products.
Pakistan is a treasure house of exquisite handicrafts, made by a people who grew up to weave, to pot, to work metals, wood and stone, to decorate, to build things small and great. Pottery here is a living history, a traditional craft that became an art, with its origins going back to 3,000 years B.C. Today, each region of Pakistan claims its own special jars and jugs, from sturdy terracotta to paper-thin ceramics. In vivid colours of mustard yellow, deep green, brick red and sky blue. For those keen on shopping, the prices are still quite reasonable. You will find yourself returning home with hand-woven carpets, pieces, copper and brass items, woodwork, embroidered “Kurtas” (shirts) and “Khussas”(shoes) and countless objects d’art.
Having inherited the culinary traditions of the Moghuls, the Turks and the Central Asians, eating out in Pakistan is a rich and unique 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 skewer), Shami-Kabab (minced meat), Tikka (barbecued mutton, beef or chicken) and Sajji (barbecued leg of lamb). Pakistani mutton and chicken curries and the oriental rice dish called, Pullao, are also popular with natives and foreigners alike.
Lightweight, cotton clothes suffice except in north in winter. Men wear suits for business meetings, social events. Casual shalwar suits are worn by all women and most men in public. Women should dress modestly.
Pakistan is a paradise for trekkers. Most of the trekking routes lies in the northern mountains of the Hindukush, the Karakorams and the Himalayas. For most of the treks, trekking season is between May to October. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of Pakistan, has defined trekking as walking below 6000 m. It has designated three zones for trekking; open, restricted and closed. Foreigners may trek anywhere in open zone without a permit or services of a licensed mountain guide. For trekking in restricted zone, foreigners must pay a fee of US$ 20 per person per trek to obtain a trekking permit from the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of Pakistan Islamabad. It also requires to hire a licensed mountain guide; buy a personal accident insurance policy for the guide and the porters and to attend mandatory briefing and de-briefing at the Ministry of Tourism, on the beginning and end of the trekking trip. No trekking is allowed in closed zones which are the areas near Pak-Afghan border and near the Line of Control with Indian-held Kashmir.
Northern Pakistan has the greatest concentration of the highest peaks of the world. It has 05 peaks over 8,000 metres including the world’s second highest, K-2 (Chogori, 8611 m), 29 peaks of over 7,500 metres and 121 of over 7,000 metres. Hundreds of peaks are still lying un-climbed. This, is a great challenge for the mountaineers and mountain climbers the world over.
All peaks/routes for mountaineering have been designated as open zone or restricted zone. Permits for climbing peaks in open zone, are issued by the Ministry of Tourism, within 24 hours of the receipt of application. However, for peaks/routes in restricted zone, permit is issued within 14 days form the date of receipt of the application in Ministry of Tourism, Government of Pakistan (Operation Section) Pakistan Sports Complex, Shahrah-e-Kashmir, near Aabpara, Islamabad. Tel:+92-51-9203509 Fax:+92-51-9202347). Pakistani Liaison Officer would accompany all mountaineering expeditions. The Government of Pakistan has fixed following rate or royalty for climbing peaks in Pakistan.
|S.||Heights||Royalty in US$ up to 05 Climbers||Additional fee for each Climbers|
|1||K-2 (8,611 m)||12,000||3,000|
|2.||8,001 - 8,500 m||9,500||3,000|
|3.||7,501 - 8,000 m||4,000||1,000|
|4.||7,001 - 7,500||2,500||500|
|5.||6,000 - 7,000||1,500||300|
|S.||Peak||Height (m)||Int. Ranking||Range|
|22.|| Tirichmir NW|| 7487
|28.||Teram Kangri II||7406||82||Karakoram|
|33.||Ultar Sar I & II||7388||88||Karakoram|
The wild and roaring streams and rivers of the Northern Pakistan possess great potential for white and wild water sports. The rapids of these streams and rivers provide the ultimate adventure and thrill in mountain water sports and lend themselves to canoeing, Kayaking and white water rafting. The rivers of Pakistan are spread like a net through its length & breadth. Right from the heights of Karakoram's. The Himalayas and the Hindukush, Pakistani rivers change courses and flows until they all meet the mighty Indus, at different points which ultimately falls into the Arabian Sea. These rivers are ideal for all kinds of water sports like rafting, canoeing, boating, & sailing. Following rivers in Northern Pakistan are open for water sports besides the Indus, the Ravi, and Chenab, in NWFP, Punjab, & Sindh provinces:
Indus (from Jaglot to Thakot)
Kunhar (from Naran to Kaghan)
Swat (from Bahrain to Saidu Sharif)
Pankora (from Dir to Batkhela)
Hunza (from Aliabad to Gilgit)