Pakistan: South Asia’s hidden pearl
Take a vacation to Pakistan with CultureRoad. Why? Because has it all: culture, nature, hospitable people and unbelievably tasty food! Pakistan is the sixth country in the world in terms of population. Yet for tourism it is a fairly unknown destination. The country has a lot to offer in the broad sense of travel, partly because it is sandwiched between India and Afghanistan. In the north you’ll have the Himalayas in the south the great Thar Desert. In between you will find everything from the cultural city of Lahore to the impressive Karakoram Highway. Pakistan has something to offer for every traveller. So check out our tour offers and book your group or individual tour now.
Name: Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Population: 205 million
Surface area: 796,095 km²
Language: English, Urdu, Punjabi
Neighbouring countries: India, China, Afghanistan, Iran
Lahore was supposed to be the capital of Pakistan, but because it is so close to India, they decided to make Islamabad the capital. Yet for many people, Lahore is the most impressive city in the country. You will find well-known places such as Fort Lahore, Badshahi Mosque, Lollywood (Pakistani Bollywood ) and the Wagah border ceremony with India.
The highest highway in the world is located in Pakistan. Do not expect a four lanes highway but two small lanes through beautiful valleys, along high mountain peaks and incredible tribes. The Karakoram Highway, abbreviated as KKH, officially runs from Rawalpindi to Kashgar, in China. Most travellers, however, choose to end at the Khunjerab Pass, the highest border post in the world at approx. 4700m.
The impressive, 18th Century Derawar Fort is located in the middle of the Cholistan Desert along the border with India. The square fortress with semicircular towers has a circumference of 1500m. At various places the walls are up to 30 meters high. The fort is not easily accessible, but once you get there you will easily be impressed by this huge structure.
Different ethnic groups
Pakistan is a great mix of different ethnic groups. You have large groups like the Punjabis and Pashtuns, but if you go further from the big cities you will also encounter remote tribes such as the Wakhis, Kalash and the Burusho. All this makes Pakistan unique. In a city like Peshawar it feels like you’re in Afghanistan, while in the north you meet more people in traditional clothes and with deep blue eyes.
After the separation of India in 1947 and the (bloody) war with East Pakistan (Bangladesh) in the early 1970s, West Pakistan became an independent country. The war resulted in a complete migration of Muslims who moved from India to Bangladesh or Pakistan. One of the most affected areas was Kashmir, which was divided into a Pakistani and Indian part.
Even today it is still a region where tensions between India and Pakistan regularly recur. After independence, a turbulent period with dictatorial rule followed. In addition, the country became involved with the Russian war in Afghanistan. Only in the 1990s things calmed down in Pakistan.
Tensions with India and the war in Afghanistan still define domestic politics. There are also regular changes of presidents, though with the last few times the elections were democratic. Pakistan also got really bad publicity when it became known in 2011 that Osama Bin Laden was hiding in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. In recent years, however, things have calmed down in Pakistan and work is being done on safety and stimulating tourism.