Bonjour mon ami,
Let me make some corrections in the responses and posts above by fellow posters.
There's a train from Zahedan to Quetta, operated twice a month, you could check the schedules at their website.
The best and safest option for you to take a train from Quetta to Lahore, avoid the bus trip not safe, it takes some 22 to 24 hrs from Quetta to Lahore.
Please avoid any detour to Karachi, it is one of the most dangerous cities in Pakistan since January more than 1500 people have been perished in the unrest and target killings.
Dress properly, your attire is your safety, wrap yourself in a shawl, wear local dress (Shalwar, Kamees and Shawl).
In the train, try to sit with a family, it is safer and families in Pakistan are caring.
Avoid the busy markets, places due to chances of groping.
For stay please follow your guide book (lonelyplanet, footprints)..
Zahedan, Taftan, Quetta, Sukkur, Multan and Lahore, that is your route through the train.
I welcome your queries..
Bonjour from Chitral,
Take a bus or coach from Mansehra to Besham or Chilas, buses are the only mean of transport on KKH, as responded on thorntree.
That is the easiest option for you.
For domestic travel, you have an option to travel by 4 airlines: PIA, Air Blue, Aero Asia, and Shaheen. All (except Shaheen) operates regular flights to major cities in Pakistan, and have travel agents/offices all over Karachi where you can book flights. Now PIA and Air Blue also offer e-ticketing via internet.
In PIA you can get a chance ticket for 50% where you can just purchase a ticket and go to the airport to see if you get a seat, senior citizen discount of 25%. In addition there is also a 20% discount on normal fare, but you will not recieve any inflight service ie meals.
Air Blue offers discounts (can go up to 75% on fare, excluding taxes) if you purchase tickets in advance, and if there are seats available on the next flight. check their website for details on this.
Aero Asia and Shaheen are budget airlines (cheaper then PIA and Air Blue), and on most occassions their flights are usually delayed or cancelled.
Salut Mes Amis,
From Rawalpindi Saddar, take a Daewoo bus to Peshawar 3 hrs.
Or go to Karachi Company bus stand and take a coach 3 hrs.
For Daewoo please make a reservation before 2 ,3 hrs and you can make it by phone.
Enjoy the marvels of Pakistan
Between Lahore and Rawalpindi / Islamabad, the roads are very good, and there are even service stations that the buses stop at occasionally. The only real difference between travelling on a bus here and in the west is that the bus driver continuously blasts out Bollywood/Lollywood film soundtracks!
Further north, heading towards Gilgit and beyond, the roads get a bit more hairy, and once past Karimabad, there are quite likely to be detours around landslides. The bridges too are rather flimsy affairs - don't be surprised if people get out and walk across (not that we, as tourists, were allowed to do that, although I think I would have preferred it!). The buses here are much smaller though!
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Bonjour from Chitral Hindu Kush,
We can divide it into 2 parts now, Kashghar/Tashkorgano to Sust and Passu wherefrom take a chopper across the lake.
2nd part, after Karimabad to Gilgit and KKH.
A 30 days VOA is granted at Sust to the over-landers coming from China.
KKH is under maintenance these days so from Gilgit it takes some 20 hrs to Islamabad.
Keep a few tips with you
Dress modestly, wear a local dress, Shalwar/kamees and dupatta or a pair of jeans with a long sleeved Kurta shirt.
Always try to get a credit for your cell phone through a scratch card, don't give your number at anybody.
There is a NATCO bus leaves for Mastuj (Chitral) from Gilgit, early in the morning, some 12, 14 hrs journey across Shandur pass, that is another option.
In Chitral stay at
Coaster service from Chitral to Islamabad is also in progress these days.
Photos o my adventures in Pakistan
In the recent past, there has been a lot of infrastructure developments in Pakistan, and one of them is the recently built 635 km, pleasure to drive, Makran Coastal Highway (National Highway N10) which links Karachi - the commercial hub of Pakistan and arguably the world's most populous city - to Gwadar - the recently developed port city.
Situated in the province of Balochistan, the highway runs in East-West direction along the Arabian Sea and shies only few kilometers from the South Eastern border of Iran from its Western end. It is a fully metalled road (with some exceptional patches) with no speed limits, long beaches run along one side of the highway, and the other side is full of diversity; rocks, mountains, sand, etc. The highway cuts across virtually inhabited areas mostly consisting of deserts, rock formations, and the eye-catching coastal line thus making it a perfect choice for nature lovers. Ormara and Pasni are the only major cities on the highway while there are also islands and mud volcanoes, famous among scuba divers and adventurers, near these cities. Interestingly, these active mud volcanoes are claimed to be world’s highest and largest of their kind. One of the most amazing things is the natural rock formation along the road carved by the coastal breeze and can be observed while passing by without much effort. These formations are so spectacular that it is hard to digest that they are not man made. And the other is the long and crystal clear beaach especially near Khand Malir, approx 100 km from the Eastern Toll.
The only flip side is the absence of road side facilities (fuel, food, first-aid), hence adequate planning is a must.
In future, it is hoped that this highway will be extended to enter into Iranian, but not in the near future, hence making overland trips between Pakistan and Iran a lot safer as compared to Tuftan border.
So, if you are tired of the schedule and wish to have a break, then fill-up your motor tank and embark on the long and pleasure drive. And I dream of driving a superbike all the way to Gwadar…
You can go by road to China over the Khunjerab Pass. To cross into China, you will require a Visa. I am not sure if you can take your own car, but there is a bus service between Pakistan starting from Sost into China. Plus the pass is open from early May to November. Rest of the year it is snowbound.
Accessing Northern Areas of Pakistan requires adequate planning and informed decision making. Although these areas are famous for their natural beauty and attract tourists from around the globe but access to these areas is still subject to natural phenomena specially the weather. Karakoram Highway (KKH) links other parts of Pakistan to Northern Areas and go all the way to China (Xinjiang).
There are various transportation companies which run this route, which is an experience in itself and takes no time to turn into an adventure. Out of these companies NATCO, Northern Areas Transport Company, offers reliable and comprehensive service. Mashaburum and Slik Road are among the other companies which competee among theselves.
Being the government owned company, NATCO has the privilege of access to public infrastructure making it more reliable than the other second choice companies. NATCO has got, among other things, a comparatively modern fleet of buses, experienced drivers, and the ability to respond quickly in emergency situations, which emerge on frequent basis. Unlike other operators, drivers of NATCO buses wear uniform, speak a little bit of English, are well behaved, and helpful. The fact that the journey to Northern Areas itslef takes 20-30 hours makes the selection of appropriate transportation option more critical. The experience and capacity of NATCO even outperforms private transportation arrangement on this route.
NATCO runs daily to Gilgit, Hunza, and Skardu from the Pir Widhai Bus Terminal of Rawalpindi and vice versa. Make sure that your (taxi) driver knows exactly the location of NATCO terminal as Pir Widhai is big enough a place to get lost forever. One can book their seats via telephone and then reach a bit early, say one hour, to avoid cancellation by paying for their tickets at the ticket counter. One way ticket costs around PKR 1200 (approx USD 15) as of today. Fare varies, but not much, depending on the level of service and destination. Fares of full size buses is lower than that of luxury Coasters, although the difference is not that significant.
A typical journey starts from the Pir Widhai bus station and soon joins Karakoram Highway KKH, or the Slik Road, via Mansehra. After 5-6 hours of travelling, the bus takes its first stop at Besham, a small town which connects KKH to Swat Valley through Shangla Pass. Other enroute stops include Janglot, Chilas, and Dassu. Typically the bus stops at a pre-designated road side not-so-hygenic restaurants with not-so-pleasant toilet facilities. Therefore, it is highly advisable to drink bottled water and avoid food at these restaurants wherever possible.
This is a high altitude journey with all sorts of possiblities of natural vagaries, most notably the not-so-famous land sliding. A typical land sliding takes 6 hours to be cleaned up so one should be prepared of staying on the road till the road gets cleaned up, keeping some light food items and extra clothing layers for unexpected cold weather is wiser to avoid undue fatigue.
As a word of caution, foreign tourists, specially women are advised to dress as per local traditions covering shoulders and knees. Although people in these areas are helpful and tourist friendly but unnecessary mingling with people during the journey can only be done with due caution.
There is little doubt that this journey is one of its kind and a must for an avid road traveller, atleast once in the lifetime.
So, enjoy your visit and have a great time!
Public buses are common in big cities like Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi. The rate for a ride is somewhere between 7Rp-15Rp around the town. The passagers are separated by gender, female in front and male behind. Female passagers will not feel too uncomfortable with the ride.
Public buses are a good way to get around in cities in Pakistan. People can usually point you a correct bus to the destination you want to go. But if you have a local friend, they will probably tell you not to go with public buses especially if you are a female. Female in Pakistan dont go to public without a male companion.
Most of the time I am in public buses, no complain so far although sometimes the driver can be really reckless.
Peshawar, some 175 Km from Islamabad,2 hrs drive and 495 km from Lahore, 7 hrs drive over motorway.
Grand hotel, almost 10, 15 minutes drive from the old city, a very nice and plushy place but there're some other places like
Khyber Bazar, old city
As it's been mentioned in the similar posts, better option to take a Daewoo bus from either Lahore or Rawalpindi, but better to make a seat reservation a day before the departure, there's always much burden on these buses.
Terminal at, Kalma chowk Lahore
042 111 007 008
near Khinoor mills
051 111 007 008
Trains are slow and always take much time.
Have a nice trip,
Photos of beautiful Pakistan
More than 25 airlines fly to Pakistan from over 40 countries. Most of the flights arrive at Karachi, but many flights also arrive at Islamabad and Lahore.
PIA is the national flag carrier of Pakistan and their slogan is 'great people to fly with'. For domestic flights it is the most reliable airline. The flights to Northern Areas (Gilgit, Chitral and Shardu) through mighty mountains especially Nanga Parbat and Rakaposhi are life time experience. However the flights to Northern Areas are heavily dependent on weather
The railway system in Pakistan was built by the British, and the lines laid at that time still exist, with few additions added by Pakistan railway. Tracks total length is approx. 5000 miles (8000 km). The system is a life line for mass transportation of people and mail from Punjab/NWFP to Karachi and other cities. Special trains also run during long holidays, such as Eid. Unfortunately commercial aspect is not capitalized to the max whilst majority of the goods are still transported via trucks/roads.
Pakistan railway is government owned with Ministry of railway running its affairs. The rail system transports more that 70 million people annually. There have been talks of building fast-bullet trains, especially to cater Lahore-Islamabad cities.
The highlight of the train system is the Steam Safari train, pulled by two steam engines on each end, that runs from Peshawar to Landi Kotal, criss crossing various gourges and passing through several tunnels. I believe this is the only rail line that intersects a major international airport runway (at Peshawar). This train journey is an experience well worth exploring!
There are daily trains from all major cities connecting to different satellite towns and villages across Pakistan. For more details check Pakistan railway website.
Salut mes amis,
For the convenience of the tourists and travellers, here I post the addresses and phone nos of the Daewoo bus terminals in Pakistan.
There're few tips for travelling on Daewoo, better to make a reservation, at least a day prior to your departure to any intended destination in Pakistan.
Opp. GBS near KFC, Sialkot. Ph: 052-111-007-008
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