Tag Archives: travelling to pakistan

Traveling to PAKISTAN: Everything You Need to Know

Hi guys I’m Ava and I’m a travel blogger
and I love Pakistan I am currently in
Islamabad on my second visit to this
amazing country and I thought I’d make a
little vlog to tell you a bit more about
traveling here it’s not one of the
easiest countries in the world to travel
to and if like me you have a foreign
passport there’s a few things that you
need to know before coming here and if
like me you have traveled in Asia before
but never to this particular region
there’s also a few things that you
should probably know about the local
culture and customs just to enjoy your
stay 100 percent now just before I get
started with all my tips I want to
preface this by saying that Pakistan is
not at all what you expect it to be at
the end of the video I will make one
really important point that every single
traveler coming to Pakistan absolutely
needs to know about so make sure you
hang around right until then alright
let’s get started the number one thing
that you need to know about traveling to
Pakistan is your visa conditions every
single country has slightly different
set of visa requirements so make sure
you check those before booking your trip
I have an EU passport so what I needed
to provide before coming here was a
letter of invitation also known as the
LOI this is a letter provided by someone
in Pakistan a tour company or a friend
if you have one here attesting that you
have been invited to come here that they
will be taking care of you at all times
yes it seems a little bit strict and it
is a piece of formality that you may
need so make sure you check beforehand
with your local embassy the LOI I had to
provide has to be a physical original
copy of the letter which had to be
mailed to me from Pakistan to Europe via
DHL so that took a little while make
sure you give yourself enough time
to plan you will also probably find
yourself filling out extremely long visa
forms mine had 11 pages and it included
all my personal details as well as the
details of all the countries I traveled
to in the last two years as a travel
blogger I’ve traveled to a lot of places
once you have your LOI and once you’ve
submitted your documents to the Embassy
it really just depends on that
organisation how long it’s going to take
to process your visa mine took 2 weeks
and from what I heard that’s pretty
standard anywhere in the EU number two
once you’re over the hurdle of the visa
application you will also need to check
which areas in Pakistan you can travel
to you should know that some areas in
Pakistan are restricted which means that
you might not be able to go there at all
or you might need to apply for special
permits in order to go there
for example as at Kashmir also known as
occupy Kashmir I mean it’s an area of
very high tensions here in India and
Pakistan azad kashmir is one such area
before going there you may need to apply
for an NOC which is basically a noncom
NOC non non Objection Certificate excuse
my ignorance for the bureaucratic lingo
you may need to apply for an NAC from
one of the ministries here before going
that note that this could take a week or
more to process a lot of the most
popular tourist areas however don’t
require you to have an NOC for example
if you go to gilgit-baltistan where
holmes’s and Skardu probably you won’t
require an OC but this could change so
make sure you check before going places
like Lahore or Karachi or some about of
course you don’t need an NSC however as
I said these things change so make sure
you check before coming just so you have
all the right permits to go to the areas
you may want to check out related to
NoCs and restricted areas sometimes in
some places you might be assigned a god
if you’re not traveling with a local
what does that actually mean I’ve
actually never personally been assigned
to guard because I’ve always travelled
people from here from Pakistan but I
have heard stories of travelers who got
on buses from Islamabad to
gilgit-baltistan up in the mountains of
Pakistan and on the bus they were signed
to God or in their private car they had
to provide a space for the God
now these gods I usually assign that
military checkbox so you don’t need to
do anything before coming here the God
will just be given to you it may not be
the best travel experience but
unfortunately that’s how it still is in
some areas of Pakistan however if you’re
in the city is like laho like Islamabad
or Karachi you won’t be assigned to God
so you can travel freely in those areas
of course number 4 this is something I
struggled with when I came here for the
first time and I still sometimes
struggle with as well it’s what to wear
any Pakistan now guys you don’t you
listening to this part the girls this is
probably for you what I am wearing right
now for example is a relatively edgy
kind of t-shirt for much of the
Pakistani population now the thing is
you can technically wear anything you
want in Pakistan however you might get
stared at or looked at in the wrong way
so in order to feel comfortable here is
a few tips I’ve picked up along the way
number one wear trousers that are loose
so no leggings and jeans should be okay
shorts are a no-go for women again it’s
not illegal to wear them per se but you
will get a lot of strange looks so long
trousers number to wear a shirt that’s a
little bit longer maybe covers your bum
three sleeves I walk around in a t-shirt
a lot of the time but if you want to
feel really comfortable if you’re
traveling in more remote areas I would
suggest something that’s a 3/4 sleeve
however having said that in places like
Islamabad I feel perfectly comfortable
walking around in jeans and a t-shirt so
it’s really up to you and it really
depends on the situation and
location basically like a tunic style
outfit with loose trousers should do the
trick do you need to wear a headscarf in
Pakistan no you absolutely don’t it’s
not like Iran which I know is quite
strict about those things in Pakistan
you don’t need to wear headscarf and
many women especially in cities choose
not to wear one number 5 nightlife and
alcohol if you’ve done a bit of research
about Pakistan you will know that it’s
an Islamic Republic which means that
alcohol is illegal for the most part
here no bars no clubs no parties as you
may know them in the West and definitely
no alcohol in shops so try and enjoy
juices chai the local cuisine and have
fun without the parties actually my
question before coming here was so is it
really impossible to get alcohol in
Pakistan the honest answer is no it’s
not impossible in fact it is quite
possible especially if you’re not a
Muslim if you’re a foreigner it is
possible to obtain alcohol here but as I
said just come here to enjoy the culture
without necessarily subscribing to some
of the things that you might know from
back home in the West number 6
food one of my absolute top favourite
topics to talk about here in Pakistan so
Pakistani food culture is absolutely
incredible and there are so many
different subtypes of local cuisines
sweets and those I see things now get
ready there’s a few things that you need
to know about Pakistani cuisine before
you try it first of all it’s spice
see a lot of it is really quite fragrant
aromatic and actually quite hot so if
you’re not into hot boozy make sure you
tell your hosts or your chefs that you
need it a little bit milder now I love
my food a really really spicy so I can
just gobble it all up but it really just
depends on your personal preferences
another thing you should know is that
Pakistani cuisine is very rich and

hearty so one serving is usually going
to be enough if you have it with a roti
or chapati which is the local type Fred
it’s gonna fill you up for a good few
hours as opposed to India which has a
lot of options for veggies Pakistan is a
meat lover’s paradise really so while
you can’t get things like pork here
because it’s considered Haram which
means sinful in Islam there is so many
other types of meat that are very
popular here in Pakistan chicken mutton
lamb beef really pretty much anything
you want cities like Lahore and Karachi
are really famous for their Street food
scenes so go and check those out if your
true foodie in terms of the way you eat
and watch eat there’s a couple of
different schools I subscribe to the
first which is I’ll try anything at
least once even Street food restaurant
food home-cooked food anything I’ll give
it a go however I appreciate that not
everybody is blessed with a very strong
stomach or a very strong God so a lot of
people say that if when you come to
Pakistan you should be a little bit more
careful with the food that you consume
and make sure that all of the fresh
fruit or fresh vegetables you’re eating
are washed with Nestle water and by the
way Nestle water is more or less a
generic term to refer to mineral or
filtered water that’s definitely saved
in Pakistan the food is just insane it’s
so good it’s too good actually that
reminds me where is lunch let’s keep
going with this list of things that you
need to know before coming to Pakistan
getting to point number seven now
sightseeing there’s a few museums here
they can visit a lot of beautiful
mosques some old forts there’s so much
history here
you’ll be spoiled for choice and most
places are absolutely fine for you to
visit no matter where you’re from who
you are female or male but there’s a
couple of rules that you should probably
follow in visiting places of worship
like mosques for example women should
out of respect put on a headscarf when
visiting a mosque usually you also take
off your shoes for both men and women if
you’re not sure about any of these rules
just ask a passerby or the person in
charge of the place you’re visiting and
ask them they’ll give you all the tips
that you need number eight getting a
record Pakistan is not as developed in
terms of its public transport
infrastructure as many countries in
Southeast Asia for example or in Europe
so you may need to do a little bit of
digging a little bit of research there
is a pretty decent bus Network running
across most of the country that can get
you to some of the most popular spots in
Pakistan especially the touristy places
it doesn’t cost that much to hire a
private driver either and it’s going to
cost you much much less than it would in
the West so don’t be afraid to ask for
prices the great thing about having a
driver of your own is that you really
have a lot of freedom of movement some
places in the mountains or in the Swat
Valley really require you to have a car
it’s very difficult to get around with
that one it remind me a bit of a pain
what about driving on your own
in short if you’re not used to Pakistani
traffic which you’re probably not if
you’re watching this video I just
wouldn’t recommend it just just get a
driver another obvious way to get around
in Pakistan is by flying there’s a bunch
of airlines here that operate flights
between all the major cities and even
some of them more mountainous regions
usually prices are quite elevated I’ve
seen upwards of $200 for a one-hour
flight
so consider whether going overland might
be a better option number 9 we’re
getting close to the end boys and girls
number 9 is all about hotels this is an
interesting one there’s a couple of
luxury hotel chains here in Pakistan
such as this arena or the Pearl
Continental or even the Marriott and
those hotels really give you the highest
levels of security while you’re in the
country then they’re usually quite
barred away from everything around them
with big fat walls and those hotels can
cost you 100 200 300 dollars a night
quite easily if like me you prefer more
of the local flavor and you want to
support the local economy then have a
Google search now a lot of these hotels
are not going to be on booking.com
or TripAdvisor especially if we’re
talking about more remote areas like
Windsor or Seurat you will probably find
a lot of hotels on those sides for
cities like a whore in Karachi
so go for that but it’s not the same for
the remote areas usually it’s better to
look through blog posts
or Facebook pages even recommendations
from locals in fact a lot of the time
you might be able to just drive up to a
hotel and inquire whether there’s room
available and usually there is
especially if you’re coming here out of
season in some of the more mountainous
regions you shouldn’t be paying more
than $20 per night for a simple hotel do
note that Pakistan’s tourism industry is
very much in the emerging stages right
now so there’s gonna be a lot of hotels
that are under development but that
perhaps don’t yet provide the best
service they could because they’re very
young and very fresh so you may need to
find yourself having to forgive a lot of
fools
but Pakistanis are so hospitable and so
welcoming that you will very quickly
forget about all the imperfections
number 10 and this is something I still
see every single day I haven’t Pakistan
every single time I leave the house
pretty much you have to get ready to be
the center of attention
not many tourists visit Pakistan of
course the industry is now increasing
and growing but still it’s not
necessarily an everyday occurrence to
see a foreign tourists especially in the
more remote areas of Pakistan whenever
you show your face in some of those
areas you will probably get quite a lot
of tender love and care and probably a
lot of requests for selfies in the past
I’ve also found myself receiving
invitations for tea for chai for coffee
for dinner people’s homes so it’s really
lovely makes you feel very very welcome
in this country but yes not everybody
loves attention so just get ready for an
onslaught of that when you’re here and
now I’m coming to the last point which
is actually the most important Pakistan
is not at all what you know it to be
it’s not at all how the Western media
portray it it is not a desert with
camels running around it is not a
horrible terrorist State with bombs
going off at every single corner
Pakistan is a beautiful
country with the most welcoming people I
have come across anywhere in the world
so before coming here make sure that you
just forget all of your stereotypes all
the biases that have been instilled in
you by Western media and just open your
heart to the love the kindness that
you’re gonna receive and the beauty that
you’ll see all around you I still find
myself astonished every single day at
the small gestures of kindness and
generosity that I receive here every day
I’m still baffled by all the natural
beauty in Pakistan and how it’s just not
known anywhere outside of the country
even if you have an idea of Pakistan
right now and you’ve never been here get
ready for that to be dashed and I hope
that you’ll be positively surprised by
your visit here just like I was the
first time around and that’s why I came
back for more thank you so much for
watching this video I hope you found it
informative and I hope that it’s helped
you make a decision whether to come to.

Credit to :
Eva zu Beck

Most COMMON MYTHS About PAKISTAN, is pakistan safe ? – Are They True?

Hey guys I’m Ava and over the last seven
or eight months I’ve been traveling
Pakistan pretty thoroughly I’ve seen
pretty much the entire country from
north to south and east to west I’ve
been to quite a lot of places whenever I
tell my friends from abroad about
Pakistan they are almost always
surprised because when you think
Pakistan you don’t immediately follow up
that thought with all my next perfect
summer destination in fact you probably
think hmm it’s pretty dangerous out
there isn’t it I’ve made this vlog to
prove you wrong because in this vlogs
speaking from experience speaking from
the experience of having seen so many
places here from having met so many
people here and having gathered so many
stories I want to debunk some of the
most common myths that surround Pakistan
and through that I want to give you a
more accurate picture of what Pakistan
is actually like so without much further
ado let’s get started come on myth
number one it’s just sand and there’s
nothing to see oh you’re so wrong I mean
let me just start by saying that
Pakistan is one of the most diverse
countries in terms of landscape from the
beaches by the Arabian Sea in the south
of the country to some of the world’s
highest mountains up north the world’s
second highest mountain k2 is in
Pakistan in fact they have so many
mountains that are between 4,000 and
5,000 meters that they stopped even
naming them now if you think that Mont
Blanc is a big deal in Europe come to
Pakistan it wouldn’t even have a name
here but on a more serious note Pakistan
has served the most diverse and
beautiful landscapes I’ve seen in fact
one destination called swat is often
compared to Switzerland and often called
the Switzerland of Asia but those of us
in the know know that Switzerland really
is the sort of Europe but beyond that
there’s also all the cities you know the
bustling metropolises Karachi in the
south with over 20
million people who lived there then
you’ve got Lahore a cultural capital
with mosques and architecture dating
back to the Mughal era it’s that’s a lot
to see there’s a lot to see it’s not
just an in fact there is not that much
sand here just come and see it for
yourself
common myth number two the people are
violent and hostile and hate Americans
not true just simply not true the people
of Pakistan are some of the most
welcoming and hospitable people I’ve met
on all of my travels I can’t even tell
you how many times I have been offered
chai tea or to come for dinner or to
stay at someone’s place or to be helped
out or to try something or to do
something or to go somewhere together I
receive invitations to do stuff from
people that don’t know me on a daily
basis just because I am a tourist and
just because I am a guest here I think
Pakistanis often pride themselves on
being the most welcoming nation in the
world and in fact one of the ethnic
groups that live here and that make up
much of Pakistan society the patterns
they have something called the Pashtun
Valley which is a code of honor and this
code of honor it says that guests should
be treated well come on myth number
three women are all oppressed here look
during my time here I have met so many
incredible strong-willed independent
ambitious women in fact all of my
friends are either entrepreneurs own
their own companies work in big
corporations or content creators or
artists women who have their opinions
and who are not afraid to voice them
women who work for themselves I know of
course that in certain parts of the
country if you go to some of the more
rural conservative areas you might
encounter more patriarchal attitudes
towards women of course that’s true but
that is also true of many other
countries not just Pakistan the one
thing that for sure you need to remember
is that the women of Pakistan are the backbone of the
country and trust me they won’t be
afraid to tell you that themselves all right
common myth number four when you come
here you have to cover up even if you’re
a foreign woman that’s simply very very
untrue okay I’ll admit I mean I probably
wouldn’t wear shorts in Pakistan but
that really goes for any other country
in this entire region when you come to
Pakistan all you need to remember is
dress relatively modestly but nothing
special it’s not like you have to wear a
head covering it’s not like you have to
wear a long abaya or anything like that
I know buddy just go out wearing jeans
and a t-shirt or a shirt as for the
question of whether you should wear a
headscarf whether you have to wear a
headscarf no you don’t I would only wear
one out of respect when I go to a place
of worship like a mosque or perhaps if
I’m in a seriously conservative area
which normally you wouldn’t go to anyway
as a tourist so yeah
we’re pretty much whatever you want

within the bounds of reason
misconception number five if you come to
Pakistan you won’t get a visa to India
well it’s true Pakistanis do have a
problem entering India and vice-versa
but if you’re a foreigner and you have
nothing to do with the India Pakistan
conflict then you have nothing to do
with the India Pakistan conflict I have
previously entered India Pakistan India
Pakistan and I never had any issues I
was never asked any questions you can
even cross from one country to the other
via a crossing in Lahore come on myth
number six people don’t know how to
party here very very wrong people do
know how to party here oh yes I’ve seen
people party like crazy now if you’re
talking alcohol because I know that a
lot of people wonder about this before
coming to Pakistan you know the alcohol
ban isn’t 100 percent yes Muslims are
not allowed to buy or sell or consume
alcohol in Pakistan but if you are a
foreigner or if you’re Christian living
here then you can actually get your
hands on some beer or whatever it is
that you want there is even a local
brewery here which operates legally
and which sells alcohol in cities like
Lahore and Karachi and Islamabad
perfectly legally to foreigners and to
Christians but you know I’ll advise that
if you come to Pakistan you kind of get
into the ordinary way of life and you
respect the customs and you get into the
culture so yeah that information was
only if you’re particularly desperate
but moving on to call myth number seven
and this is a big one Pakistan is not
safe this is a pretty difficult one but
it’s probably the most commonly asked
question that I get are someone who has
struggled here quite a lot people
message me all the time on Instagram
asking this very question is it safe or
is it not safe my answer is yes it’s
safe it is actually safe Pakistan is a
very safe country to visit which goes
against probably what you have heard and
probably what you have been fed but I
was through media because you know the
only news in the West that we hear about
Pakistan is when something blows up or
when people die but the reality of the
situation on the ground is that this
country is safe for tourists and
traveling around Pakistan I never felt
unsafe there was only one moment I
remember when I traveled to the southern
province of Balochistan and we were
driving up to this beautiful beach it
was nobody around us suddenly I turn
around and I see that there is another
car behind us that wasn’t there before
and as we turn we make different turns
that car followed us all along the way
and kept it very very close eventually
we stopped by the beach and the car
stopped with us I get out of my car and
I see another person getting out of that
car and by that time I am nervous I’m
not sure who this is this isn’t a person
that I know that any of my friends knew
and a person comes up to me and he looks
me in the eye and he says thank you
thank you for being here I feel so
stupid I was like oh that’s what it is
again another Pakistani person coming up
to me
and being simply welcoming because I’m
then I’m one of the very few tourists
that so that’s what happened
on a personal note in terms of you know
day-to-day safety as a woman especially
as a foreign woman I guess you get the
kind of attention and concern that many
locals even themselves don’t receive
whether that’s fair or not I’m not sure
but I just love being able to experience
someone else’s life and then say thank
you for their hospitality at the end all
right we’re coming to a close boys and
girls and there’s only one more point
that I want to make and this is 0.8 myth
number eight that I want to be debunking
right now in front of you right here and
that myth is that Pakistan is a
terrorist country you probably had this
before I certainly heard this one many
many many times and now first of all I
don’t even know what a terrorist country
is what is exactly isn’t meant to be
like a terrorist government or a place
swarming with terrorists or people are
terrorists I don’t know but Pakistan is
none of those things Pakistan has had a
very difficult history primarily because
of its geographical location but that
doesn’t make it a terrorist country if
you ask an ordinary person on the street
really anyone about their views about
what they think about terrorists and
terrorism they will tell you exactly
what your people back home will tell you
that it’s wrong and that it’s terrible
and that it doesn’t fit in with the
ideals of their religion so no Pakistan
is not a terrorist country Pakistan is a
country of beautiful kind welcoming
people with great Souls and deep hearts
and people who deserve to have their
image and their nation represented in a
fair way so I hope that if you’re
considering to visit Pakistan that you
come here that you take your time
exploring that you agree with me on all
of these points and that you bring back
home the same vision as I know I will
thank you so much for watching if you
have any questions about
to Pakistan don’t hesitate to DM me on
my Instagram right here and if you have
any other myths or misconceptions that
you feel I should address anything about
Pakistan that I should debunk.

Credit To : Eva zu Beck