As a female backpacker, security and safety are two most important things to look back on before setting up the places on your bucket list. And if you break the news that you are visiting Pakistan as a female tourist, you are likely to get a demoralizing response. One of my close friend said “Pakistan, no way”, and it’s something very knackering to set your sights on specifically if the place is Pakistan.
There are a bunch of reasons behind what media is going in raptures about such as the political instability, right-wing religious groups, deteriorated state of law and order in the country and lack of the internal campaigns to improve the image of the country. All these things gave a huge blow to the tourism industry in Pakistan. Be that as it may, this place has got some serious beauty and hospitality and to be brutally honest, the benefits of visiting this sensational place are thin on the ground.
Turning a deaf ear to what media was putting Pakistan in the picture for, I finally decided to get a glimpse of this rich land and after my first visit to Pakistan, I can make my even-handed approach; Yes, I met with the most beautiful people and places on earth out there.
Pakistan, a land of picturesque heritage, drop dead gorgeous spots and spectacular sceneries, that’s what Pakistan is popular amongst the tourists around the planet. And the aforementioned things are what it has been in lime light for from the decades. And don’t forget the rich culture and mouth-watering cuisines of Pakistan. By and large, Pakistan is one of the most delightful places to hang your hat in. Here, I have made out a list of the top 5 places and some beneficial tips that you shouldn’t miss out on while visiting Pakistan as a female backpacker. Let the cat come out of bag. Off you go!
Tips you should give a once-over to before you pack your rucksack as a female backpacker
The first and foremost thing you must keep a close weather on is dressing modestly. Having said earlier, Pakistan is a country with stinking rich culture and traditions. That being the case, dressing up in an adequate manner would be a great idea. Especially, if you are getting into religious places like mosques, shrines etc., cover your head up with a scarf and taking off your shoes will hit the nail on the head. No kidding.
Pack accordingly. I mean, just keep necessary stuff on you and avoid packing too much. Be that as it may, if excess luggage is doing your head-in, go for a reputable Cargo to Pakistan Company to take care of your extra stuff. With that, pack clothes in accordance with the place you are paying a call on and the span of your stay.
Well, visiting Pakistan means you are about to jump in a flavour-packed world. Try out the delicious street food of Pakistan, if and only if, you stomach puts up with the spice.
Don’t eat from open sources and always drink bottled water. Call your doctor prior to your packing and ask them for any medications, if needed. And you are ready to go!
Yes, it might seem a bit weird to you but I suggest you to bargain whenever purchasing from the local shops and hiring a ride. It’s a pretty common in Pakistan and you will find plenty of people bargaining on the things. Consider doing the same in order to find a few bucks. Local shopkeepers tend to make extra money if they found you a foreigner. With the help of little bargain, you will be ending up saving quite a lot. I kid you not.
Now, let’s have a look at top 5 must-see places in Pakistan as a female British backpacker. Let’s get into this:
#1 Naltar Valley
Naltar Valley has been in limelight for its dramatic mountain scenery and crystal clear water lakes. Alright, accept my apologies. Yes, this list is never going to end, in fact you can’t wrap up this list. Whoa. Thriving wildlife, lush-green mountain vistas, eye-catching scenery and so on. Still and all, this is one of the most sensational places that you must pay a call to.
If you spend a moment just talking about the whereabouts of this amazing valley, it’s located at 40 km away from the Gilgit province of Pakistan and you can get in there by jeep. Naltar valley has got heavily wooded forests of pine, birch, juniper, spruces and rowan trees and if you are pinning your hopes on spending few moments to stretch your legs out, this is an ideal place to offer spots more than you can shake a stick at.
Mohib Baig [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
You can do a handful of activities during your visit out there such as participating in a ski tournament each February organized by Pakistan Ski Federation. Naltar is also the starting point for two longer treks; one across the Naltar Pass (about 4,600 metres) to Ishkoman and the other across the Daintar Pass (4,636 metres) to Chalt.
You are visiting Naltar Valley and you are not lending your eyes to the magical Naltar Lake? You got to be kidding me, right? An easy on the eye lake that you must feast your eyes on, is located at 10,590ft above the sea level.
Another great place, that’s much publicized for its thriving wildlife, picturesque scenery and aesthetic Mountain View and these are the spots, Naltar valley has been in lime light for. Naltar is an easy on the eye valley near Gilgit, Pakistan you must feast your eyes on. It’s unequivocally, the dream place for nature lovers. What do you think about the snow-capped mountains of Naltar Valley?
#2 Siri Paye
If you are in northern areas of Pakistan and fixing your gaze on a place having a self-calming life free from the hustle and bustle, let me put an end to your quest. Yes, it’s indubitably Siri Paye.
The next place in our list is Siri Paye. Arresting landscapes, lush green tourist spots, snow-capped hills, friendly locals, adventurous roads; all these things define this magical destination. There are no two ways about the fact that you won’t be able to take your eyes off the beauty of this magnificent hill station. True blue waters coupled with lush woods and eye-catching scenery will make you leave a piece of your heart out there after your first visit. Every man jack will be knowing why tourist beat the drums loud for this stunning hill station. Yes, you heard it right, Vola!
Adeel ur Rehman Mughal [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Having said that, Siri Paye is a small hill station, getting into Sri Paye won’t be possible without taking the services of a jeep. The road is uneven, very narrow at some points and steep too. That’s the reason why it is considered to be one of the most dangerous motor able roads in Pakistan. Siri Paye boasts a kind of magic in its air, environment is great.
Be that as it may, the intense cold can get a pebble in your shoes sometimes due to heavy snow falls and landslides. I mean, little things can add up causing more difficulties for you to move out. On that account, in depth research before wending your way to Siri Paye and putting on warm clothes specifically in night time will hit the nail on the head.
#3 Shangrila Resort
The Shangrila Resort Skardu, often called as the “Heaven on Earth” is another aesthetic place in Gilgit Baltistan. The Shangrila resort is at close quarters of few of the highest peaks of the globe. Absolutely mind-boggling.
Shangrila resort is hedged in flower packed gardens and fruit laden orchards. You know the best thing about this wonderful resort? It’s its whereabouts. You will simply fall in love with the beauty this place offers to anyone appreciating the nature. A lake named Kachura Lake can be spotted in the heart of this resort that can blow your mind away. And an appealing restaurant build on the fuselage of an aircraft that had collided nearby simply puts the cherry on the top. Absolutely mesmerizing, isn’t it?
In order to make my case, if I would be singing the praises for this resort in a single world, that world would be “Magic”.
#4 Lake Saif ul Malook
Situated at the north end of Kaghan Valley, this majestic lake, Lake Saif ul Malook is a spot you shouldn’t miss out paying a call on. Just drop around this Lake and get a chance to talk to the Mother Nature. If you ask me, the Saif ul Malook is one of the foxiest lakes one can picture to exist on the surface of this earth. Whoa! Words even fail to appreciate the beauty of this picturesque lake. Facility of boating across the lake is available too but I won’t suggest it due to the reason that the lake is extending far down and its depth has not been measured yet. For this reason, consider avoiding it. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Watching pristine pure water while having a cup of coffee in your hand, just imagine. It’s truly hypnotizing, isn’t it?
#5 Kalash Valley
Well, to be brutally honest, the exotic and colourful dresses and dancing to the traditional music was something I liked the most. The people of Kalash Valley live a remote, peaceful and very much traditional life regardless of the development made in the areas nearby. The Kalash Valley is situated in Chitral district in northern Pakistan and people living out there have rich culture.
No matter what time of the year it is, the Kalash women use to put on some fancy traditional dresses and that was something really exciting to know. And the traditional cap was very lovely. Pristine pure, untouched life, I just loved it.
Shah Tahsin Anwar [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Directly after that, I can’t forget the hospitality of the natives. Everyone will offer you tea, (local black tea with milk), just accept it and try out having a conversation with the locals. If you are a female backpacker, try out the local dress at least once, and you will feel appreciated.
So, which of the aforementioned places of Northern Pakistan you are going to give a hand on?