Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) offers a comfortable bus service for Naran. Their luxury bus leaves from Flashman Hotel, Rawalpindi daily at 9 a.m. and reaches at PTDC Motel, Naran at 5:15 p.m. One-way fare per person is Rs.500 (US$ 9).
The bus stops at Mona Liza Restaurant, Abbotabad ( next to Red Onion, near PTDC Abbotabad ) for 15 minutes tea break. The last stop is PTDC Balakot motel at 2 p.m, from where a coster van (known as flying coach) takes you to Naran.
On our way back from Naran to Rawalpendi, we decided to try PTDC bus service instead of using local transport which are some times overloaded and are quite a hassle in case you are loaded with camping equipments or are with family. We went to PTDC motel in Naran two days before our departure to make reservation. For one way trip they charge 1000 Rs, just a little high as compared to local transport but not too high to be unbearable.
On travel day we loaded our luggage and camping stuff on buss at 0845hrs and left Naran at sharp 0900hrs, which was quite a perfect time. Bus conditions were good enough and overall journey was quite comfortable. Our first stop was for 15 min at a PSO pump station in Balakot for refueling and quick refreshments followed by a lunch break at a hotel in Manshera. Our arrival time was 1745hrs which was 45mins late from expected time but given the fact we took a little longer lunch and prayer break (due Friday), it was digestable.
It was a good experience and PTDC deserves some applause for this special arrangement. They should extend it other cities as well like Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan.
i just came back from naran on the 31st of july 2011,i have to disagree with all those people who are writing here that there is no road beyond balakot or that its a mud road that you cant drive on,folks its all B.*** the road from islamabad to naran is as good as the new highway from islamabad to murree except a few patches for a total of about 15 mins that is bad but still driveable.i recommend that whoever is planning to visit naran and are thinking should we take our car or not,i would say stop thinking and just drive on its heaven on earth and the people there are very freindly not those badtameez people like nathia or murree if you want a good family vacation plan a trip to shogran and naran and then you will never think of going to murree or nathia.
there are various ways one can choose to go to naran. buses, cars, vans they all can make it to naran easily. Experienced drivers should do the job. Drama queens who easily get scared please dont go. The road does get rough and uncomfortable. But its all worth it to see the heaven on earth. The beautiful lakes in naran and the ever green shogran is a must see for nature lovers and tourists. I guess those people who constantly spend there lives in their boring cities get easily scared or maybe they never tried having an adventure in their lives.
No pain no gain. so if your up for an amazing exciting n sumtimes hair raising :) experience naran and places around it should do it for you. Happy n safe journey inshallah ! ! !
I planned a trip to the kaghan valley last weekend with my family and two close friends. I went to the TDCP office in Rawalpindi, was given a map and was told lovely stories about the valley and how safe the journey will be.It was exactly the same as listening to the rulers of the country about the excellent state our country was in.
We started our journey in three cars, everything was fine till balakot and everyone seemed to be enjoying. As soon as we crossed the re built balakot bridge, we realized that the road had disapeared and instead we were driving on a narrow path made of loose mud, ready to slide. We remembered the discussion with the TDCP guy and kept on moving.
The Narrow path now had become so dangerous that we were driving at a speed of 10 to 15 Km/hr. We covered 25 Kms like this waiting for the road to appear but it became worse. So much so that we had to stop because our brand new 1800cc cars could not handle the road.
The road was blocked by a trailor for the last few hours nad there was a line of vehicles stuck on both sides. We Decided to go back. As soon as we turned it started raining and what made the matters worse was the road started to slip. Rocks of all sizes began coming down at high speed. My car was hit by one and we narrowly escaped a huge one.It took us one hour to come back to balakot and I can say without any doubt that it was the worst drive of my life.....a near death experience.
So the moral of the story is that first dont believe a word of what the TDCP guys tell you or advertise, pack of lies. Second The chairman TDCP, Secretay tourism and in the case the chairman of Earthquake relief should be asked if they had made a single road trip to naran after the earthquake. The 35 KM road from balakot told us the whole story of where the relief fund had vanished.We should all plan para jumping in france rather than going to Naran.