To say Pakistan is shut to our hearts could be a grasp understatement. It was right here within the late 90s that the entire concept for Wild Frontiers took place, and it was via these superb mountains that we ran our first journey. Of course the world and our enterprise as moved on a great distance since then however we nonetheless really feel this can be a nation that gives the adventurous traveller a unprecedented expertise.
Pakistan is a big nation, from Karachi within the south to the Khunjerab Pass main to China it covers stretches over 2,000 kilometres and is dwelling so some 200 million individuals. And though we now have not too long ago placed on a brand new tour that focuses on the south and particularly the superb websites of the Indus Civilisation that blossomed in these components some 5,000 years in the past, for probably the most tourism to Pakistan will deal with the north.
A fantastic entry level to this area is Lahore. As the cultural capital of the nation it’s a fascinating city, steeped in historical past with a plethora of nice websites to go to, together with the well-known Lahore Museum, the Moghul fort and Badshahi Mosque, the previous city and the Wazir Khan Mosque.
Four hours’ drive north of Lahore is the nation’s new capital Islamabad – with its spectacular Faisal Mosque – and from right here the mountains start.
And what mountains they’re. The three largest mountain ranges on earth converge right here, setting a backdrop to probably the most spectacular journeys you’re ever seemingly to take as you swing from the Hindu Kush, via the Karakorum’s to the Himalayas.
The first place of curiosity is Chitral. An historical mountain kingdom, till very not too long ago lower off from the remainder of the nation for six months of the 12 months, this area is a good place to kick off your journey to the north. The city boasts the well-known previous fort, scene of the British siege of 1895, a spectacular mosque and video games of frontier polo, a sport locals will let you know originated right here.
The area can also be dwelling to the Kalash, and historical those who inhabit three slim valleys that buttress up towards the Afghan frontier. As the final of the pagan tribes that inhabit the Hindu Kush the Kalash, a race that declare decedents from the armies of Alexander the Great, the Kalash are identified for his or her festivals of dancing and singing and symbolize a real spotlight of any journey to the nation.
From Chitral Town you may take probably the most spectacular roads anyplace on the planet, across the towering type of Mount Tirich Mir, which at 7,500m is the very best mountain within the Hindu Kush, to Mastuj and on over the Shandur Pass. As a watershed between Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, this can be a excellent spot to stroll and revel in a picnic, or if you’re right here in early July get pleasure from a gathering of hundreds for the very best polo sport performed anyplace on the planet.
From Here you’ll drive on via Gilgit the place you may see relics from the areas Buddhist previous, earlier than driving on up the well-known Karakoram Highway – or KKH because it’s regionally identified – to probably the most lovely locations anyplace on earth, the Hunza valley. Besides simply taking within the epic views, right here you may go to the UNESCO restored Baltit Fort, and the neighbouring Altit Fort, and go for walks each via native meadows and on close by glaciers. There can also be the brand new lake at Attabad, shaped by a large rockslide in 2010, on which you’ll be able to take a ship experience.
And from right here, if not travelling on to China over the Khunjerab Pass, you may head nonetheless additional east, following the Indus, to Skardu.
If you need to go trekking this area affords the very best hikes anyplace on the planet, starting from 3 to 4 day walks to the epic K2 Concordia trek. And conversely the area additionally boasts among the norths finest inns at Shigar Fort and Khaplu Place. It can also be the place the Wild Frontiers Foundation construct its first faculty.
There are after all many different fascinating websites to go to similar to Peshawar and the Khyber Pass, Fairy Meadows, sitting within the lee of the large Nangar Pharbat, the purpose at which the three nice mountain ranges collide and the gorgeous Dosia Plateau.