Guest Blogger – Why should Pakistan be your next destination this summer?
Pakistan has lately emerged as a prominent yet controversial country on the globe. Lot of people have developed interest about the people and geography of Pakistan but unfortunately, much of this is designed to frighten the tourists off. I have had a chance to visit Pakistan last year in December and I believe that for a different yet exciting vacation, Pakistan should definitely be given a try. I have been to various places of the world and each one inspired me with its unique horizon, shade of sun light, architecture, and different yet familiar faces. Same has been true for Pakistan and my quest to find Talibans, roaming around in streets of Pakistan and whipping men and women in public, failed. If you are expecting to read something similar in here then this post will not serve that purpose.
Variety of weather
I landed in Lahore on 19th of December at 4 in the morning and I literally felt the serenity of sleeping city absorb inside me. It was a cold, windy and foggy morning and watching the airport’s yellow light in fog was not a very good sight but as soon as I moved away from the airport and travelled deeper into the city, it all transformed. The grey turned golden, the silent turned into music, the movement became dances, Lahore woke up with sunrise. My host, a beautiful young girl named Shaista, told me that winter is the best time to visit eastern and southern part of the country and for travelling around in the northern and western region, April till August are the appropriate months.
In mid December, it was 14 °C in Lahore and I was thinking of my homeland Copenhagen where it is −0.5 °C on average in December. I learnt that the temperature in the northern part of Pakistan drops to -12 °C in winters and stays between 10 to 20 °C. Just when it is too hot in southern and eastern provinces of Pakistan, Northern and Western Regions tone down their harsh weather to embrace the tourists and vice versa. The diversity in weather and topography of Pakistan can support tourism throughout the year.
Beautiful friendly people
The people in Punjab and Sindh have beautifully tan skin and nicely cut features. I have hardly come across a country where people are good looking over all and at the same time very humble and hospitable to the foreigners. The men and women respect you alike. I have been to the countryside in Punjab and Sindh and was surprised to be treated as the official guest of the village where everyone wanted me to spend some time in their house and be their guest. The women of Punjab and Sindh are very attractive and have those curves and angles that would freeze many men of the west.
Since I live in the colder region, I have some idea about how should people from north look like. But the Pashtuns, Kashmiris and Pothoharis I met in Pakistan are not like how I imagined them. Freckle free fair skin with steel blue and olive green eyes and strands of red hair falling out of the thick shawls, I was in the forbidden land of Pashtuns and they could very well tell that although I have coloured eyes and brown hair, I don’t belong here. I was afraid as my embassy had told me to not step in the northern and western region of the country since tribal conflict and civil war has made those areas red zones for the foreigners. If you wish to see the true and complete colours of Pakistan, missing on the northern and western cities and valleys is out of question. All you need is a good family who has connections in those areas and can thus facilitate you properly.
Language of no two areas of Pakistan is similar even in the developed cities. The diversity is so deep rooted that I have seen cultural classification in different parts of the same city. It sometimes amazed me how a country can hold so much variety of everything. There are pretty men and women of Kalash who look godly from distance and appear barbarians when you listen to their folk stories. Then there are women in Pashtun families who might have never stepped out of the house without a thick veil covering them from head to toe. When I asked them if they feel forced to wear such thick fabric over them all the time, they would tell me with conformity that this veil is their armour against the possible corruption as well as a symbol that they belong to decent families.
I have met the modern men and women from the theatre, media and business industry of Pakistan and I have interacted with women from the far of villages of Punjab and interior Sindh. I talked to the farmers working in wheat fields, I have met the engineers in the best engineering universities. I have been with the billionaires and the gobblers too. None of them waved me off or looked at me with fear-filled eyes, they just wanted to leave the very best impression of themselves and their country.
Perhaps food is one of the best things that I remember about Pakistan. From simple to spicey and from cooked to raw, everything in Pakistan tastes good. I have been to top restaurants of the country and also ate lunch with various families located in small towns and villages of Pakistan. It is hard for me to forget how everyone in Pakistan believes that food is the main thing a guest has to be treated with. Simple homemade chapattis to overnight cooked “Paaye”, I loved how keenly Pakistani families cook and serve meals to their guests.
Pakistan has everything that you would want for a perfect vacation, especially in summer because the hills and valleys of Azad Kashmir, Sawat, Gilgit and Baagh and Ziarat bloom to the fullest during that time. Next time you plan a vacation, pick Pakistan.
William King is the director of Pakistan real estate and mainly deals in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore real estate. Being an entrepreneur and passionate blogger he likes to share his knowledge and expertise with the industry people by writing for various related blogs.