A journey to the roof of Pakistan

A journey to the roof of Pakistan.

Many tourists see Pakistan as an unsafe and isolated country held under oppressive religious laws. As I learned on a recent Road trip to karakoram, however, this country is filled with wonderful surprises. Join me discover the life of people on the ‘roof-top’ of the country through my trip to Pakistan blog: Pakistan travel blog A journey to the roof of Pakistan.

 

Pakistan is the Karakoram, a magnificent mountain range spanning the borders of Pakistan, India, and China, inspiring thoughts of the arduous camel caravan journeys along the Silk Road. Pakistan is a rich and distinct culture that can be seen through the character of its long-haul trucks. Pakistan is the simple, peaceful lifestyle of its people in the enchanting Hunza Valley. I went to Pakistan to discover these wonderful things and ended up discovering myself as well.

The Karakoram, a great challenge on the Silk Road

The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes established during China’s Han Dynasty. It originated from the Chang’an Citadel present-day Xi’an and stretched to the Roman Empire. Camel caravans had to transport heavy loads from China to other nations by traversing the frigid and treacherous Pamir Mountains and the isolated Karakoram Range, which connects Pakistan and Kashgar an oasis city in Xinjiang, China. Traveling the Karakoram highway today remains a dangerous challenge. Its location at the height of 4,730 meters above sea level makes it the highest paved international road in the world. This mountain road is sometimes unsafe, full of zigzagging curves and easily affected by flash floods. Flash floods and landslides have claimed thousands of lives on this road.that’s why i prefer to take a road trip to krarakoram.

In order to experience traveling a branch of the Silk Road, I bought a one-way bus ticket from Rawalpindi to Hunza Valley. They do not sell return tickets at the same location because the weather in Karakoram is unpredictable and affects scheduling. The bus departs at 9 pm every day and arrives at Hunza at 6 pm the next day if the weather is good the road is nearly 700 km. I had to make ten copies of my passport and visa to submit at security posts, as this road belongs to the sometimes unstable Kashmir autonomous area. As the bus was preparing to depart, a man in civilian clothing used a small camera to take a picture of each passenger’s face. A local friend explained that due to insecurity in the country, drivers or police will keep passengers’ images to ensure their records in case of unexpected events. I started sweating when I saw the driver place a gun beside the steering wheel. It seemed to demonstrate how unsafe the area could be.but that road trip to karakoram has made my journey special

 

The bus ran relatively fast until dawn, then stopped for two hours by a roadside inn to allow the driver to rest. In the morning we got back on the bus to undertake the difficult-to-access Khunjerab stretch of mountain road. It began to rain lightly. Drivers in Kashmir are afraid of heavy rains, as they can cause landslides and block buses. Fortunately, we arrived at Hunza on schedule.our Road trip to karakoram was surprised us in the bus

 

The way back, however, did not go as smoothly. The Karakoram was blocked by hundreds of huge rocks falling down the road. I had to stay in Hunza an additional two days until the snow and rain cleared.

Road trip to karakoram

 

 

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