News

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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Adventure Northern Areas of Pakistan Trekking

The Challenge of Chillinji Pass

Chillinji pass (5,335 m) was the trek I had chosen for year 2017 as my annual trekking trip. Chillinji pass was not only a challenge as a trek but also a challenge to manage permission, from both civilian and as well as army, for going beyond Ziarat in Chapursan in Hunza valley and crossing Chillinj pass towards Ishkoman valley.

We were 4 friends i.e. myself Sher Ali Saafi, Abdullah Saleem and Mustafai Subhani. My duty as always was to create a public Facebook event in order to gather 4-5 people for the trek, Abdullah’s duty like always started as soon the trip started to manage the logistics during the trip. Amjed bhae prior to trip made sure that we all are in and don’t backout at last minute.

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Places Travel

Chamb Waterfall – a hidden gem in Azad Kashmir

Chamb waterfall view from road

Chamb waterfall is real small hidden gem of Azar Jammu & Kashmir. It is located 200km away from Islamabad in Chinari, Hatian Bala district.

The road to the waterfall is partly good and partly in real bad condition. You set out from Islamabad towards AJK via Murree Expressway. This means the start of the journey is on one of the best roads but once you reach Murree then the poorest portion of road journey begins until Kohala bridge on river Jhelum which connects Punjab with AJK. The next phase of road journey from Kohala bridge to Chinari is real smooth.

Once you reach Chinari then you have to hire a local 4×4 jeep or old 80s model Datsun, which are in abundance there and cheap compared to 4×4 jeeps. The Datsun cost Rs. 1200 for round trip but if you plan to spend around couple of hours there then you might end up paying as much as Rs. 3,000.

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Adventure Lakes Trekking

The Unexpected Adventures of Karomber Lake Trek

The Unexpected Adventures of Karomber Lake Trek

Karomber lake trek is one of the most diverse treks in northern areas of Pakistan and has many entry and exit points to the lake. It is also one of the most beautiful treks. Karomber lake lies on the boundary of Broghil valley in Chitral and Ishkoman valley in Gilgit Baltistan. The easy and shortest route to Karomber lake is from Chitral side (via Mastuj, Broghil valley).

In 2015 my yearly long trekking plan was to do Karomber lake trek. I had assembled a strong group of 16 members from different cities of Pakistan. All of us had done many treks together except 2 who were friends with one of the member with whom I had done K2-Gondogoro La trek in 2014.

The initial plan was to take the usual route that is to take the Islamabad to Chitral route via Lowari pass. We were supposed to start our trek on 3rd day of Eid-ul-Fitr. Unfortunately as the days of trek came close the monsoon season started picking up and then there were severe flooding in Chitral region which cut off the road communication at many locations between Lowari pass and Mastuj.

Couple of days, before the start of the trek, I decided to cancel our plan because it wasn’t feasible anymore but most of the members had taken leaves from offices so we had to do something at least. I gave few alternate options to the team members but most of them were determined to do the Karomber lake trek. We discussed the alternate routes of Karomber lake trek and decided to do it totally the opposite way of our original plan. The original plan was to explore Broghil valley up to Karomber lake and then exit via Darkot pass (aka Darkut) into Yasin valley. So now we had to start our trekking from Darkot village to cross Darkot pass into Broghil valley.

Day-1: Islamabad to Gilgit

We started our journey around 9pm from Islamabad towards Gilgit in a booked vehicle. We reached Gilgit right before the sunset. We spent our first night at “Life Adventure Guest house” hotel in Gilgit city.



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Adventure Lakes Pakistan Trekking

How to Explore 20 Lakes of Pakistan in One Week?

How to Explore 20 Lakes of Pakistan in One Week?

Are you a lakes’ lover and want to explore as much as 20 lakes of Pakistan in one week?

In 2014 a friend, Talha Umair along with Adnan Gulfam prepared an itinerary for Nature Explorers tourism company based on Google maps to explore 19+ lakes in one week. Some of the lakes were famous and routes were known while others were just guess work as the maps had been prepared from Google maps website. The lakes were located in Kaghan and Neelum valleys.

As a lakes’ lover and explorer I didn’t want to miss exploring so many lakes of Pakistan in one week so I signed up for the trip. The trip was lead by Usama Shah, a young energetic and ambitious trekker who already had lots of experience working with Nature Explorers.

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Northern Areas of Pakistan Travel

Best Mobile Network Operator for Travelers in Northern Areas of Pakistan

Best Mobile Network Operator for Travelers in Northern Areas of Pakistan

Which is the best mobile network operator for travelers in Pakistan? There are many options to choose from but when it comes to frequent traveling in remote areas then one must do some research and choose the one which works in most of the areas with good signal strength.

Usually I avoid using gadgets, except dslr cameras if you include them in the list of gadgets as well, while I am traveling because I want to enjoy the nature to the maximum level but sometime I really need to connect with the world.



I have been a postpaid Mobilink user for almost 10 years. In the mainstream cities like Islamabad, Lahore etc. it works very well but in remote areas especially northern areas of Pakistan I have found Mobilink to be the worst mobile network operator. You can simply say that Mobilink doesn’t exist in the northern areas of Pakistan.

For example I would expect Mobilink to work fine in a city like Gilgit but it doesn’t. You cannot even make phone calls let alone using Facebook, Twitter and Instgram apps with Mobilink in northern areas of Pakistan. As a backup I use Telenor for making calls back home to let them know about my status and it works almost everywhere. Zong and Ufone also work very well but these two doesn’t work in Chitral side.

Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir

In Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir the winner is SCOM but Zong works well too. Since SCOM is a govt owned mobile network so it enjoys full monopoly and offers 4G services. As of 2019, rest of the mobile networks are still waiting for approval from govt to launch 3G/4G services. If you are a frequent traveler to northern areas then I suggest that you buy an SCOM SIM.



Chitral

When I went to Chitral first time in 2015 to cover Chilum Joshi festival then I found out that only Telenor works in majority of the areas over there.

Swat valley

Telenor works best in Swat valley. In 2017 I went to Desan meadows and Kandol lake after Eid Ul Fitr. I was surprised that that I got a call from home while I was at the top of Desan meadows.

Upper Dir Kohistan

Upper Dir Kohistan is a valley of upper Dir district. Upper Dir Kohistan has many tourist attractions. Most of the people know about Kumrat valley and call this whole major valley as Kumrat valley but that is not true. Kumrat itself is just a sub-valley of Upper Dir Kohistan valley. Surprisingly the worst mobile network i.e. Mobilink in northern areas work better than all other networks in Kumrat valley. Since Kumrat is mostly forested area with very little population hence Mobilink’s network work in patches.



Other major tourist attractions of Upper Dir Kohistan include Jahaz Banda Meadows. If you haven’t been there then for your understanding it is like Fairy Meadows. Once again it is the Telenor network which works best in Jahaz Banda Meadows.

SCOM is best alternative but it only works in Gilgit Baltistan. If you are an avid traveler then it is best to carry SIMs of at least two different mobile network operators. And those two SIMs will be SCOM/Zong and Telenor.

So in short Telenor is my first choice for Swat, Chitral and Upper Dir Kohistan regions while SCOM comes at 2nd number when I am traveling to Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.



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