My move to Pakistan three years ago, was a mix of anxiety and excitement. Mostly framed by perceptions from news coverage, that was often biased and one-sided. Pakistan is often portrayed as a danger zone rife with militias running amok. While in reality, most parts of the country are relatively safe and make for an epic adventure. Very little is known about the postcard-like scenery of its northern areas, that have earned it top spots on coveted global travel hot-lists. Forbes included Pakistan in its top 10 cool places to visit in 2019 and CNN travel named it one of adventure travel’s best kept secrets in 2018.
My friend and fellow curious traveler, Belinda (find her on Instagram @atibwanji2000) and I spent three days exploring the un-spoilt beauty of one of Pakistan’s hidden gems, Hunza Valley, in the northern part of the country. Read our top 10 reasons why Hunza Valley should be on your travel bucket list published by Travelnoire.
Our photo travelogue is highlighted below:
An adrenaline filled experience flying so close to some of the world’s tallest peaks, like Rakaposhi and Diran, standing at over 7 feet tall. While breathtaking, the flight is probably one of the most scariest we had ever been on, as you literally feel like you can touch the mountains. As a bonus, the route is often piloted by the famous Pakistani lady captain Mariam. Tip: Make sure you get a seat on the right side of the plane to make the best of these magnificent views.
Calling the views epic is an understatement. The jaw-dropping rugged mountains make for the perfect backdrop for a road trip.
First up on the sight-seeing list are the Altit and Baltit Forts. For those that are culturally inclined, these heritage sites have a lot to offer in terms of local history.
The sacred rocks of Haldeikish are marked with ancient graffiti dating back as early as 400 AD
The Passu Glacier, dazzling with deep crevasses, is a site to behold as it appears to be part of an unfamiliar planet
The landscapes are marked by contrasts that are hard to imagine. The pastel tones of grey and brown surrounding most of the valley are testimony to this.
Life should either be a daring adventure or nothing else. This could not be a more poignant reflection when you swing trough the Hussaini bridge. It instantly imbues your primal pleasure, mostly because you are surrounded by the most spectacular landscape.
As the weather changes rapidly, so does the impeccable view of the mountains leaving you wide-eyed and exhilarated
The deeply alluring Attabad lake is emblematic of when nature gets things right.
Northern Pakistan is increasing in popularity for solo as well as group travelers. Tip – while it is easy to gallivant around the valley on your own, local guides can be quite handy in showing you the off-the beaten track spots.
If you are there for shopping, then do not miss the entrepreneurial women of Hunza selling stunning hand-made carpets from a centuries old house in Gulmit area. It is worth noting that the literacy rate in the area is estimated at 98% which is no wonder that tourists are easily welcome to the area.
To cup it up is the warm hospitality and collegiality of the locals who are always already to offer a cup of chai
Read more tips on how to get to Hunza valley and where to stay on this@travelnoire article.