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 happened, and it was via these superb mountains that we ran our first journey. Of course the world and our enterprise as moved on a good 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 house so some 200 million individuals. And though we now have just lately placed on a brand new tour that focuses on the south and specifically the superb websites of the Indus Civilisation that blossomed in these components some 5,000 years in the past, for essentially the most tourism to Pakistan will concentrate on 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 one of the vital spectacular journeys you might be ever probably to take as you swing from the Hindu Kush, via the Karakorum’s to the Himalayas.
The first place of curiosity is Chitral. An historic mountain kingdom, till very just lately lower off from the remainder of the nation for six months of the yr, this area is a superb 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 inform you originated right here.
The area can also be house to the Kalash, and historic those that inhabit three slim valleys that buttress up in opposition to 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 recognized 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 one of the vital spectacular roads wherever on the planet, across the towering type of Mount Tirich Mir, which at 7,500m is the 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 good spot to stroll and revel in a picnic, or in case you are right here in early July take pleasure in a gathering of hundreds for the best polo sport performed wherever 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 recognized – to one of the vital lovely locations wherever 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, fashioned by an enormous rockslide in 2010, on which you’ll be able to take a ship journey.
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 provides the perfect hikes wherever on the planet, starting from 3 to 4 day walks to the epic K2 Concordia trek. And conversely the area additionally boasts a number of the norths greatest resorts 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 attention-grabbing websites to go to equivalent 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.