The multiethnic Islamic Republic of Pakistan encompasses diverse geography from the foothills of Himalayan Mountains to the Arabian Sea. Despite political turmoil and cultural clashes, Pakistanis are united in appreciation for the land’s magical beauty. Its fertile river plain rises to plateaus and mountain ranges of stark beauty. The remarkable archaeological site of Mohenjo-daro, one of the cradles of civilization, attests to the republic’s ancient ties with the rest of the Indian subcontinent. The name “Pakistan” is an acronym for Punjab, Afghan Province, Kashmir, and the Persian word for “pure.” Plan your travels to the Land of the Pure. Check out our list of the best things to do in Pakistan.
A trek is an arduous journey on foot. A 23-day trekking tour is the best way to see the second-highest mountain in the world up close. K2 is in the Karakoram Range at the borders of China and Pakistan. With a professional guide, you will trek to Base Camp of K2 or also known as Savage Mountain that is known to be more dangerous than Mount Everest. The trek to K2 Base Camp takes you to Concordia, Baltoro Glacier, and Baltistan Valley. Prepare yourself for spectacular scenery in this adventure of a lifetime.
K2 Base Camp 3-Week Guided Trek
Duration: 20 days
2. Spend a magical night at Fairy Meadows in Diamer District
There is a lush grassland bordered by a conifer forest at one end of Rakhiot Glacier. It’s located near one of the base camps of Nanga Parbat (Naked Mountain), the world’s ninth-highest mountain. Fairy Meadows National Park is an idyllic mountain pasture at an elevation of 3300 meters (10826 feet) above sea level. From April to September, a camping site emerges where you can spend the night looking at the stars. From Raikhot bridge on Karakoram Highway, you have to reach Tato. Be warned the 15-kilometer (9.3-mile) road is a tricky and dangerous route and the only way of getting to and fro. From the village of Tato, take the four-hour trek to Fairy Meadows.
Fairy Meadows in Diamer District
Address: Diamer District, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
3. Marvel at the World's Highest ATM in Khunjerab Pass
A solar-powered automated teller machine (ATM) stands high above the clouds in Pakistan. Recognized by the Guinness World Records as the highest ATM, its location along Khunjerab Pass puts it 272 meters (892 feet) higher than Mt. Whitney in the United States. National Bank of Pakistan has a few reminders for people who intend to use the machine. Drive safely on steep roads, wear the right clothes to keep warm, and watch out for signs of altitude sickness. Don’t tarry when withdrawing money at 4693 meters (15,397 feet) above sea level. Lastly, since Khunjerab Pass is closed on weekends, do your high-altitude banking on weekdays.
World's Highest ATM in Khunjerab Pass
Address: Khunjerab Pass, Gilgit–Baltistan Hunza-Nagar District, Pakistan, on the southwest border of the Xinjiang region of China
4. Go on a road trip through Karakoram Highway in Punjab
Formerly known as China-Pakistan Friendship Highway, KKH is now called China National Highway 314 across the border. The elevation of Khunjerab Pass at 4800 meters (15748 feet) makes the 1300-kilometer (810-mile) Karakoram the highest paved road in the world. From Hasan Abdal to the Pass, you will pass by the Himalayas, Karakoram Range, and Hindu Kush. Your journey becomes even more meaningful when you stop along the way to meet locals in the regions connected by the legendary KKH or National Highway 35.
Address: Punjab, Pakistan
5. Pay a visit to Pakistan Monument in Islamabad
Pakistan Monument, which is a symbol of unity, is situated at an elevated location for all to see. Mughal architecture served as the inspiration for the modern design of the seven flower petals constructed from reddish-brown granite. The four larger petals represent the Punjabi, the Balochi, the Sindhi, and the Pakhtun. These are the four cultures of Pakistani people. The small petals stand for the Minorities, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan. Other inscriptions and symbolism featured in Pakistan Monument are tributes to national unity. Adjacent to the national monument is a museum honoring leaders of the Pakistani Movement.
Address: Shakarparian Hills، Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan
Website: Pakistan Monument
6. Go boating and fishing on Attabad Lake
In 2010, a landslide in Attabad Village blocked the flow of Hunza River for months. The disaster resulted in fatalities, flooding, displacement, and food shortage, which affected more than 25,000 people. Today, the turquoise mountain lake resulting from the tragic event has become an important tourist attraction in Hunza. Attabad Lake is 13 miles (21 kilometers) long and 300 meters (984 feet) deep. It is open to locals and foreigners who wish to engage in outdoor activities such as fishing and boating when the lake is not frozen. Outfitters provide the equipment for various recreational activities. From Islamabad, you can reach Attabad Lake by taking a flight to Gilgit.
Address: Attabad, Gojal Hunza Nagar, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan
7. Visit the world's second-largest salt mine, Khewra Salt Mine
There’s a story that Alexander the Great’s horse stopped to lick the ground, which led to the discovery of Khewra Salt Mine in 320 BC. Its reserve is believed to amount to 82 to 600 million tons. The second-largest salt mine in the world produces red, white, and pink salt. Owned and operated by the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation, the mine is situated along the Salt Range in northern Punjab. Khewra mine has its own Badshahi Mosque, Minar-e-Pakistan, Chaghi Mountain made from colored salt blocks. Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) features shiny, transparent salt and water ponds. Tourists are welcome to see these wonders up close and bring home glowing souvenirs made entirely from the salt rock.
Khewra Salt Mine
Address: Pind Dadan Khan, District Jhelum, Punjab Province, Pakistan
Website: Khewra Tourist Resort
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: From 10 USD
8. Conquer your fear at Hussaini Hanging Bridge in Upper Hunza
When in Pakistan, face your fear and dare to cross Hussaini Suspension Bridge over Borit Lake in Upper Hunza. It’s a narrow bridge made of wooden planks and cables. It is said that a monsoon washed away the older rope bridge, and the broken parts are still hanging by a thread. The newer bridge is quite safe to cross but for someone who is afraid of heights, there are gaps between the planks revealing the chasm below. The crossing become even more exciting as the bridge sways when the wind is strong. In many parts of Northern Pakistan where the terrain is unforgiving, people still use cable bridges like Hussaini Bridge to reach their destination.
Hussaini Hanging Bridge
Address: Hussaini glacier, Upper Hunza
9. Hike Ranikot Fort in Jamshoro District
Ranikot Fort (Rannikot) in Talpur, south of Hyderabad, is considered to be the largest fort in the world. Also known as The Great Wall of Sindh, this megalith connects several peaks of Kirthar Mountains. The total wall circumference is 32 kilometers (20 miles). Aside from its sheer size, other points of interest are the charcoal carvings embedded on the mortar of Sann Gate and the ramparts that are likened to The Great Wall of China. Ranikot Fort dates back to the 17th century, with sections from the Talpur dynasty (19th century). Enrich your travels to Pakistan with a hike on The Great Wall of Sindh.
Address: Ranikot fort Wall, Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan
10. Shop for souvenirs at Anarkali Bazaar in Lahore
Anarkali Bazaar in Lahore is a maze of shops, residences, and public buildings. Believed to have been founded 200-400 years ago, this bazaar on Mall Road is one of the oldest marketplaces in South Asia. For traditional Pakistani food, find your way to Old Anarkali and sample some of the treats. Then head to New Anarkali where you can buy almost anything, including imported goods from neighboring India. There’s no other place in the country where the indigenous bazaar atmosphere is more palpable, so spend time exploring the main markets and side streets of Anarkali, outside the walled city of Lahore.
Address: Mall Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Website: Anarkali Bazaar
Visit the beautiful Pakistan
Pakistan has a wealth of historical sites and cultural experiences to share with the rest of the world. With its incomparable mountain scenery, Pakistan is widely considered one of the best adventure destinations in the world. Some luxury trains in Pakistan offer memorable experiences and stunning views as well. Visit Pakistan and get to know its towering mountains and friendly people.
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