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Old November 2nd, 2008, 04:56 PM   #221
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I know, but they should have added more trees!!!
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Old November 9th, 2008, 06:59 PM   #222
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The top five tourist sites in Pakistan | Travel | guardian.co.uk

Pakistan's top five

Taxila
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The ancient Buddhist religious monument of Dharmarajika Stupa in Taxila, Pakistan.

Just a short drive from Islamabad, this is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. There are 18 locations in the area which are world heritage sites, but only 5% have been excavated.

This is the region from where Buddhism travelled to the far east - and Persians, Greeks and Hindus all subsequently left their mark. You can watch the sun set from the remains of a Buddhist monastery or wander through the streets of an excavated Persian city in the knowledge that there are two older ones buried below.

Lahore
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Lahore Fort, built in 1566 by Mughal emperor Akbar.

Every Pakistani you meet will remind you of the old adage that if you haven't been to Lahore you haven't lived. The old city looks like a medieval costume drama, with horses, donkeys and ox-drawn carts transporting everything from stacks of hay to blocks of ice. In the narrow streets of the spice market, huge hessian sacks contain all manner of extravagant herbal cures, including died hair from corn on the cob for kidney pain, gum crystals for back pain and tree bark for flu. There are also mounds of chalky green henna and blue clothes dye "to turn white shirts into school uniform."

The incredible Mughal buildings of Lahore Fort and Badshahi mosque - one of the world's largest - are must-sees; eat dinner on the terrace of the converted Haveli Cocco's Den for a floodlit bird's-eye view. Meanwhile, New Lahore, with its Liberty market and numerous coffee shops (albeit serving Nescafe), presents the vibrant, modern face of Pakistan.

The Karakorum Highway


Opened in 1986, the KKH, as it is fondly referred to, is the highest road in the world, winding through the Karakorum mountain range and connecting to China through the Khunjerab Pass at an altitude of nearly 5000 metres. It is the only way to the tourist attractions of the Northern Areas, but negotiating its twists and bends around unprotected sheer drops is an adventure in its own right.

The road connects many villages whose only sign of modernisation is the sponsored paintwork of Pepsi and Nestle that decorate the shops. Along the way you also pass several hundred spectacularly painted Bedford trucks. These are one of the defining features of Pakistan, costing up to three years' wages to adorn and featuring intricate designs of birds and trees. Several hundred metres below, the Indus thunders past grey silt beaches.

Karimabad
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Baltit fort

In the lush Hunza valley, the sleepy village of Karimabad is a tourist oasis. The street that winds up to the old Baltit fort is crammed with shops selling local handicrafts such as shawls and carpets, along with local dried fruit, antiques and gemstones.

The people here are Ismaili, which means they welcome music and dancing, and are partial to Hunza water - a spirit made from mulberries - or their homemade Hunza wine. There is also a cafe-cum-bookshop called Café de Hunza that serves real espresso: a treat for caffeine-starved visitors.

Come in spring for the blossom, or autumn to see the rooftops lined with huge rush trays of apricots, tomatoes, apples and spinach drying in the sunshine. A four-hour trek along the irrigation channel that winds up through the village and hugs the rockface up the mountains will take you up to Ultar meadow, where a small makeshift campsite offers views of Ultar peak and glacier.

Lake Saiful Mulk
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An exhilarating jeep drive from the resort town of Narran (bear in mind that "resort" in Pakistan means a village with a few hotels), lie the still waters and snow-capped mountains of Lake Saiful Mulk.

It is no surprise that there is a story of fairies and princes associated with the area that can be recounted by a shawl-wearing guide for a few hundred rupees. And do give in to one of the horse-trek touts: it only costs a couple of pounds for an hour and you will feel as if you have been transported into another world.

Way to go

Antonia travelled to Pakistan courtesy of TravelPak, with support from Signal Master Satellite. Travelpak offer cultural and adventure experiences of Pakistan, including trekking holidays. Their next trips depart between May and October 2007, although tailor-made small group trips are also available, and can be arranged to coincide with events such as the February desert festival or the Multan Sufi festival in March. A 14-day experience costs around £675 excluding flights. TravelPak; tel: 07961 169 045.

And here I've marked them on a Map



Rest of the article if anyone's interested:

Out of the rubble

One year on from Pakistan's devastating earthquake, Antonia Windsor wanted to do her bit to help the country's tourism industry get back on its feet - and discovered a friendly and beautiful country in the process


Like a painting ... Lake Saiful Mulk and a painted truck in Pakistan. Photographs: Antonia Windsor

Often depicted in the western media as a country of hardline Islamic fundamentalists, terror training camps, subjugated women and cricket cheats, Pakistan could seem a hard sell to the potential tourist. We rarely hear of the country's fascinating diversity, its well-kept Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist shrines, the dizzingly high mountains or the impressive sheer glaciers.

As a white, British tourist I was not ignored because I was a woman, or hissed at because I was a westerner. I was greeted with courtesy, respect and curiosity by Pakistani people, who welcomed me into their houses with a constant refrain of "you are my guest".

"We are trying to combat the negative image people have of the country," the country's tourism secretary, Salim Gul Shaikh, told me over dinner at the Marriot, one of Islamabad's five-star hotels. "It's time we told the world of the potential Pakistan holds for the tourist. Next year will be Visit Pakistan year: we are launching advertising campaigns: we are branding Pakistan. We should have done it 10 years ago, but at least we are doing it now."

There is already a small, established tourism industry to build on. The Northern Areas, where the great mountain ranges of the Karakorums, Himalayas and Hindu Kush meet, have long been popular with climbers and trekkers. Meanwhile, the beautiful Kaghan valley in North West Frontier Province had also begun to build up a loyal local clientele before last year's devastating earthquake struck, blocking the road to the main resort, damaging more than 100 hotels and threatening to kill off the tourism in the area.

Rebuilding livelihoods

However, the Pakistani people are extremely resilient and now that the roads have reopened they are looking forward to tourists returning to the area. As my British Pakistani guide Sohail Azhar explained, "the best thing you can do to help these people is to come here as a tourist, pay for jeep drivers, pay for porters, stay in hotels, eat in restaurants. By doing these things you will help the local community to re-establish their livelihoods."

And being a tourist in Pakistan is no hardship. The current underdeveloped state of the Pakistani tourist industry means you won't find swarms of people following you around trying to sell you things or pick your pockets. Of course, you may have to cope with the occasional blackout, road blockage, or distasteful toilet, but such small sacrifices are well worth making to see some of the most stunning landscapes in the world. Meal times, meanwhile, are a celebration and a gift: wherever you go, from a tent camp of earthquake refugees, to the multi-million pound houses of upmarket Islamabad, you will be invited to a simple but hearty dinner of dhal and chicken or goat curry with chapattis.

Pakistan is a country of contrasts: expansive dusty plains and high snowy peaks, the sombre browns and creams of the male Shalwar Kamez and the brilliant colours of the painted trucks, the aromatic scent of rose, apple and apricot and the pungent smells of diesel, donkey dung and decaying debris. The delights of Pakistan speak for themselves once you are there, and it seems surprising that the Mugal forts and mosques, colourful bazaars and high-altitude treks are not thronging with the adventurous travellers who frequent other parts of south Asia.

Safety in numbers

Although most people in Pakistan do speak a little English, the country is not yet used to a high volume of independent travellers and organising guides, porters, jeeps and drivers can be time consuming if you don't know the language and terrain. For these reasons, I travelled as part of an organised trip with TravelPak - the only way to visit areas such as the Khyber Pass on the Afghan border where armed guards are a necessity. And in the company of an Urdu-speaking guide, I was able to communicate and build relationships with the drivers and be welcomed into local homes.

My tour took me from the wide boulevards of Islamabad to the isolated villages of the Hunza valley. I watched the sun rise over the snowy peak of the 8000 metre-high Nanga Parbat from a tent pitched at the aptly named Fairy Meadows; I saw the massive, crevice-ridden Passu glacier; I ate Iftar (the Ramadan evening meal) on rooftops with fasting friends, and took jeep rides that made my heart stop. Not only did I return to London with beautiful handmade bedspreads and shawls, but a balanced view of Pakistan and tales to share with my Pakistani neighbours.

Last edited by Intoxication; November 11th, 2008 at 08:01 AM.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cntower View Post
I know, but they should have added more trees!!!
I don't mind it to be honest. Each to his own I guess.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 09:59 AM   #224
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Taxila is #1? Would have never thought...
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Old November 28th, 2008, 03:32 PM   #225
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nice photos.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 01:44 AM   #226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l'eau View Post
nice photos.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cntower View Post
Taxila is #1? Would have never thought...
Why do you say so??? Just curious. Sure we have loads of Beautiful Places spread around the country. So coming up with a Top 5 can be extremely difficult. But Taxila, imo, has an Historical edge over others due to its Amazing History.

Anyways some pics:

Noor Mahal Bahawalpur

This beautiful building was first brought to my attention by fellow forumer -SchizoPhrenic. Probably the most famous building of Bahawalpur.

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The Noor Mahal is a beautiful palace built in 1872 in Bahawalpur, Pakistan like an Italian chateau on neoclassical lines, strangely at a time when modernism had set in.

There are various stories regarding its construction. According to one belief, Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan IV had the palace made for his wife. However, she was there for one night, only as she happened to see the adjoining graveyard from her balcony, and refused to spend another night there and so it remained unused during his reign.

Now the palace is under Pakistan Army and is used as a Mess and Tourist Spot.

Location of Bahawalpur in Pakistan:



Near the South End of the Punjab Province.

Last edited by Intoxication; November 29th, 2008 at 01:51 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #227
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Mesmerizing sunset on Karomber Lake

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Swinje Valley

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View from Beyal Camp

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Shahjahan Mosque in Thatta. Built during the reign of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.

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Location of Thatta, near the South end of Pakistan:



Naltar valley

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Fairy Meadows

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Sunset at GT Road

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Whispering Hill Lake Bahawalpur

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Stair Way in Murree

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Badshahi Mosque Ablution area, Lahore

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Hiran Minar

Hiran Minar is set in peaceful evirons near Lahore in Sheikhupura, Pakistan. It was constructed by Mughal Emperor Jehangir as a monument to Mansraj, one of his pet deers

The structure consists of a large, almost-square water tank with an octagonal pavilion in its center, built during the reign of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan; a causeway with its own gateway connects the pavilion with the mainland and a 100-foot-high minar, or minaret.

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Shrine of Bibi Jawindi, Uch Sharif (75 km from Bahawalpur)

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Murree

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Playing the game of Polo

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Mughal Emperor Jahangir's Tomb outside Lahore

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Near Faisalabad

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Shalimar Gardens, Lahore. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Manora Beach, Karachi

Manora is a small island (2.5 km²) located south of the Port of Karachi, Pakistan. The island is connected to the mainland by a 12 kilometer long causeway called the Sandspit.

Manora is also a popular picnic spot because of the long sandy beaches along the southern edge of the island, which merge into the beaches of the Sandspit and then extend several kilometers to the beaches at Hawkesbay. At the southeastern end of Manora island is the tallest lighthouse in Pakistan.

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Bagh-i-Jinnah (Jinnah's Garden), Lahore

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Dusk in Major Qila Village, near Peshawer

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Sorry if some of the pics have been posted before in this thread.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 05:13 PM   #228
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Balochistan Express
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Old December 7th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #229
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Clifton, Karachi



Potental future banner...
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Old December 21st, 2008, 10:58 PM   #230
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northern pakistan

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Old December 21st, 2008, 11:19 PM   #231
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Quote:
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Looks very European. (Oops....didn't read the description)
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Next two years the economy will crumble and the stock markets will crash thanks to demon.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 12:53 PM   #232
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Karachi
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Old December 25th, 2008, 11:23 PM   #233
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Karachi



by ~uecho at DeviantArt



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Bahria Icon Tower[PK] Motorways & Highways

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Old January 2nd, 2009, 06:45 AM   #234
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The Last Sunsets of 2008 in Pakistan:


A view of the last sunset over the skies of Faisalabad on Dec 31


The sun sets for the last time in 2008 in Hyderabad on Dec 31


The sun sets for the last time in 2008 in Multan on Dec 31


A view of the last sun set of 2008 in Peshawar on Dec 31


A view of the last sun set of 2008 in Quetta on Dec 31


People enjoy the last sunset of 2008 at Daman-e-Koh in Islamabad on Dec 31


An elderly man prays in the background of the last sunset of 2008 in Lahore on Dec 31


Fishermen are seen at sea during the last sunset for 2008 in Karachi on December 31, 2008


A man rides his bicycle over a bridge during the last sunset of 2008 in Lahore on December 31, 2008
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 10:09 PM   #235
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Sadaf Plaza, Rawalpindi (now burnt down )
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Old January 4th, 2009, 08:14 PM   #236
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I loved the photos of the sunsets! And Noor Mehal is just <3
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Old January 6th, 2009, 09:19 PM   #237
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Patang (Kite) flying in Pakistan.

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Source: aliraza from Flickr
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Old February 6th, 2009, 11:48 PM   #238
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Aiwan-e-Sanat-to-Tijarat Road, Islamabad

Taken by fellow forumer Abid Siddiqui:

Feb 3, 2009

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Old February 6th, 2009, 11:55 PM   #239
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the guy on the horse was not playing polo. he was playin tent pegging, a commonly played sport in punjab.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 12:05 AM   #240
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Quote:
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the guy on the horse was not playing polo. he was playin tent pegging, a commonly played sport in punjab.
I just copied what it said on Flickr.
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