For most poor families of Peshawar their only choice of getting around town is by walking. This can be a harsh reality, as we have to remember what the heat can be like in a Peshawar city. Often times I like to walk in the bazaars in Peshawar with my husband, and is always a scenic way of viewing the city.
You will have to be very mindful of where you step, pedestrians often have more control than the drivers in a city like Peshawar. The Cantt area near the Pakistan Army Base is probably the most pleasant place to walk in Peshawar. The streets actually have sidewalks and some areas are quite lush with lots of vegetation around the boulevards.
Always keep an eye on the ground if you are walking. The roads are very unpredictable, and seemingly unsafe if you are unable to see the ground directly below your feet.
Auto-rickshaws are individually-owned 3-wheeled vehicles which can carry approximately 4 adults each. The green ones are the modern, more roomy version known as "CNG Rickshaws" because they run on Compressed Natural Gas rather than Petrol.
If you are on a tight budget in Pakistan or simply want to be one of the locals, an auto-rickshaw is an awesome experience. They are often parked on the side of the roads in all sorts of areas waiting for a prospective traveller. Due to their small engine, they are not powerful and most can make it across town at best - they are certainly NOT meant for travel between towns or cities. Their fares are much cheaper than that of a taxi, and are verbally predetermined based on your destination choice.
Best word of advice - hang on tight! With the structurally-poor roads in Peshawar, an auto-rickshaw ride is often a rough one as they barely make it on an uphill bridge, and can sometimes get stuck in a pothole.
If you are planning to make a long trip between main cities, or choose not to drive yourself a wise decision to make would be to travel by bus. The main area to catch one is at Haji Camp through 2 locations (one in Hayatabad, one on the far east of GT road). Although these buses are often packed, unsecure, and with poor ventilation.
The best experience travelling by bus in Peshawar is through the company SAMMI DAEWOO. The terminal is located directly across the street from Haji Camp on GT Road. The prices are steeper than that of an independent company, for example the fare from Peshawar to Rawalpindi is approximately 350Rs./adult. The service is well worth it as they have an on-board hostess who provides you with a drink, and a box with chips and cookies. There is also a film playing on the journey.
The reason why Daewoo is so renowned is that they have an individual armed security-guard on board for the trip. They do a body-pat before boarding, open and check all luggage, and video-tape the faces of every passenger before hand- God forbid something would happen. The price is quite high for the average Pakistani family but most are willing to pay extra for the ensured security only found on Daewoo buses.
The most convenient way of travelling in and around Peshawar and the city is by taxi. These are often unmarked 4-door cars that are parked on the sides of streets. The noticeable ones are the common taxi-yellow colour and the drivers are willing to escort you around town (all day if necessary). Fares are predetermined by verbal mutual consent based on departure and arrival destinations.
If you are hiring your driver for the day, they will most likely be waiting for you in the parking lot while you shop - often meaning sitting in a 40C car. Please be courteous and show your driver appreciation by purchasing them a cool drink for the ride.
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