General Northern Areas of Pakistan Travel

Ultimate Guide to Public Transport in Pakistan

This article about public transport in Pakistan is not totally based on my personal experience instead it is a collection of information which I have observed during my travels, researched or gathered from fellow travelers. The information shared about public transport in Pakistan through this article may not be accurate as things change over time. I will try to update this information as much as possible.

Leepa Valley, Azad Kashmir

I myself have never traveled in public transport to Leepa valley. But on my visit to Leepa valley I saw many buses going to Rashian from Muzaffarabad. Rashian is the last village in Rashian Nar while going to Leepa valley. The road is paved till Rashian. You can go till Rashian either in public transport from Muzaffarabad or in your own car and then hire a local 4×4 jeep to go to Leepa valley. Keep in mind that the road from Rashian to Leep valley is totally off-road and very steep so don’t make a mistake of taking your luxury cars beyond Rashian.

Chham Waterfall, Chinari, Chakhoti

Public transport is available from Muzaffarabad to Chanari. From Chinari you can hire a local jeep or taxi to take you to Chham waterfall. The road for Chham waterfall turns left over a birdge on Neelum river. So if you want to go to border area (civilians are allowed after entry at the checkpost which comes few km before the border) then you will have to continue straight on the Srinagar road.

Neelum Valley, Azad Kashmir

From Pir Wadhai, Rawalpindi coaster goes directly to Kel. The departure time from Pir Wadhai, Rawalpindi is 7pm and arrival time at Kel is 5pm. Another option is to go to Muzaffarabad in coaster from Skyways Qadri Travels at Faizabad in Rawalpindi and then go to Kel in another coaster. From Kel local 4×4 jeeps go to Taobat after every hour so you can book your seat to go to Taobat. Twice a day local jeeps go to Upper Domail village in Shounter so you can go there as well in public transport.

Hunza Valley, Gilgit Baltistan

Though Natco bus service has been operating between Rawalpindi and Hunza for decades but with time their service has gone poorer and poorer day by day. As of 2019 Natco charges ~Rs. 2,100 for a seat from Rawalpindi to Hunza without AC and snacks.

Luckily Faisal Movers have finally started bus service for Hunza valley. I have personally traveled in their bus from Rawalpindi to Gilgit and I have good words for their service. They charged Rs. 2,700/seat as of August 2019 in which they offered AC bus, entertainment on individual basis, snacks and cold drinks. The staff was friendly. The good thing about Faisal Movers’ bus service is that that you can book seats to various locations for varied prices e.g. you can book seat to Naran for something like Rs. 1,700 or Rs. 2,400 for Babusar top. I am personally liking this service because I don’t have to pay full Rs. 3,000+ ticket price of Hunza if I wanted to get off at Naran or Babusar top.

I highly appreciate Faisal Movers for their valued contribution to the public transport in Pakistan. I hope Faisal Movers’ competitors will also start operating their buses on this route because competition will keep all the service providers on their toes to provide better services to the commuters.

An alternative to Natco and Faisal Movers bus service is the shared taxi service which runs between Rawalpindi and Gilgit. A taxi can be shared among 4 persons for which the person sitting on the front seat usually pays Rs. 1,000 more than the 3 persons sitting in the back seats. As of 2019 the rates for full taxi car varied between Rs. 14,000 and Rs. 16,000. For a small group of 3-4 people this is an excellent choice because you get a car with driver and have the freedom to make stops at your choice on the way. If you want to visit Hunza using the shared taxi service then you can do so by using this service till Gilgit and then going to Hunza either in Hiace or booking a private tax to take you to Hunza.

Adventure Lakes Pakistan Treks

Chitta Katha Lake Trek – Explorer’s Paradise

Chitta Katha Lake Trek - Explorer's Paradise

Everyone has a favourite place which he/she wants to visit again and again. Chitta Katha lake trek in Shounter valley happens to be my favorite and I like to go there as at least onceΒ  a year. I call it “Explorer’s Paradise” because it offers me all the elements, from green grass to wild flowers to horses to streams to snow-clad mountains to lakes, which I seek in a trekking destination.

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Northern Areas of Pakistan Places Treks

Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat Base Camp Trekking Trip

Fairy meadows to Nanga Parbat base camp trek

Fairy Meadows is a heavenly place in the lap of killer mountain i.e. Nanga Parbat (8,126 m). Fairy meadows is a lush green meadows surrounded by pine trees. It is truly a piece of heaven.

I have been only once to Nanga Parbat and that too in the start of my trekking career. It was 13 days long trekking trip which also included Rupal side of Nanga Parbat and beyond till Mazeno base camp. The trip was organized by my Nature Explorers and we were total of 13 people.

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Adventure Northern Areas of Pakistan Treks

Backpacking Trip Around Nanga Parbat

Backpacking trip around Nanga Parbat

Backpacking trip around Nanga Parbat is a two part series article and I have already written about Fairy meadows side of Nanga Parbat at Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat Base Camp Trekking Trip.

My first big trip to northern areas was a backpacking trip around Nanga Parbat in 2013. The trip was organized by Nature Explorers. We were 13 members from different cities. The first leg of the trip was on the Rupal side of Nanga Parbat in Astore valley. The second leg was the Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat base camp trek on the Diamer side.

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Bashkargol Lake Trek via Thallo Pass

Bashkargol Lake Trek via Thallo Pass

Bashkargol lake is one true hidden gem of district Chitral in Khyberpakhtunkhwa. It is big, it is beautiful and it has different modes for different times of the day. By evening it seems like a shore a sea and by morning it seems like a giant still mirror.

Bashkargol lake is situated 24km away Sor Laspur village. The trek is very rough, tough and steep. For couple of hours the trek goes along the river which comes from the Bashkargol lake. After crossing a stream, coming from Manial pass, the trek suddenly gains lots of altitude. The trail on the left side of the river is the one which we followed during our trek. We could see a smoother trail on the other side but not sure if there was any option to cross the river.

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Hunza-Xinjiang Bus Service Started From Sost Port Pakistan

Hunza Xinjiang New bus service

Hunza-Xinjiang bus service started up from Sost port Pakistan to tashkurga. Significant move between China and Pakistan & its fare is just 225Rmb & Rs3300.

A much appreciated effort but bring the people to contact between the countries even closer but I wonder why the people of Pakistan are going to benefit from this initiative? It is very difficult for Pakistanis to individual visa to China. Also the very first visa to China costs around Rs. 100,000.

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Lakes Northern Areas of Pakistan Trekking Treks

6 Trekking Destinations to Consider for Summer 2019

6 Trekking Destinations in Pakistan for Summer 2019

There is no shortage of trekking destinations in Pakistan. There is a trek for all level of trekkers. Whether you are just getting started into trekking or a seasoned trekker, there is always something to explore in northern areas of Pakistan.

Some trekking destinations are lesser know than others. Since social media and Google maps has made it very easy to gather or share information regarding different treks so travelers are now venturing into the unknowns.

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Adventure Lakes Northern Areas of Pakistan Trekking

Trek to Rush lake in Nagar valley

Rush lake trek, Hopper valley, Nagar valley

I had my eyes on Rush lake trek for a long time but for some unknown reasons I never opted for this adventurous trek. I had studied about it numerous times that how dry and difficult trek is this but at the same time it offers unmatched views of some of the famous peaks e.g. Spantik/Golden peak. Not just views instead crystal clear reflections which is what makes Rush lake hot favourite trek for landscape photographers.

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