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.

If you have any recent personal experience of using public transport then you can share useful information with me through the comments section below.

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