Both Islamabad and Rawalpindi have many wide modern roads with large grassy medians, better than a lot of Western cities. However the medians are often filled with people walking or picnicking, the roads contain a huge mix of vehicles from horse-drawn wagons, to motorcycles, tiny vans packed with people, and giant jingle trucks. It is all a bit chaotic to say the least.
Recently modern air-conditioned radio cab service has been started in Islamabad. 1300 CC cab will charges Rs. 13 / km, 1000 CC cab charges Rs. 10 / km and 800 CC cab charges Rs. 8 / km. Around 300 radio cabs ( by six different companies) operate strictly within the limits of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. But they are allowed to drop their passengers to cities in Punjab and NWFP provinces as well as Azad Kashmir. The digital fare meter is installed inside each cab and prescribed fare structure is displayed prominently.
You can also call them to pick you up for which they charge Rs. 50 ( USD 1 appox) extra. They are very expensive as far as yellow cabs are concerned. But the plus points are that they are comfortable, air conditioned and use fixed meter system meaning that foreign tourists would not be ripped off.
The best way to go around and travel in Islamabad is by car, if you can afford rent a car with driver (around 1500 Roupies + 150 Roupies for the driver / day, petrol is not included) your journey will be more confortable. Do not forget to discuss the price of the car with the company.
Take care with drivers, if you give him 1000 roupies to fill your tank, he will probably put 700 roupies of petrol in the tank and 300 in his pocket. Go with the driver at the petrol station when you need to fill the tank.
If you need to go North near Naran, you will need a 4 wheel drive in winter and spring.
I would definitely recommend that people hire a vehicle and driver while in Islamabad for at least one day of sight seeing. The city is big and spread out, and while there are cheap taxis, sometimes having a $10-$15/day vehicle is just so much more convenient and faster -- especially if you want to go up to the Marghalla Hills and see Daman-e-Koh and view points.
Islamabad International Airport:
20 km east of Islamabad, Taxi takes 25 minutes (approx.US$ 7 to the city centre). Airport Van No.111 brings to Islamabad central and charges approx.US$0.25 per pax for a 01 hour ride.
Islamabad is spacious, however, the transpotation is a necessity. The distances are too great for it to be much fun otherwise. In Islamabad there are no scooter rikshaws, tongas or any donkey rides(like in Lahore)-traditional Asian forms of transport. Options are Suzuki vans, Transit vans, taxis and hire cars...
Pakistani on a bike. All the pictures in this section were taken on a traffic junction near the Taxila museum which is situated on half the way between Islamabad and Peshawar. Taxila, a former center of buddhism, is known for its ruins.
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