To Pakistan or not to Pakistan. That is the question that have been lingering in our minds. We are planning to go on a holiday to Pakistan this coming June School Holidays but we are not sure what to expect with all the news the mainstream media seems to portray Pakistan as a breeding ground for terrorists. This June is also the Holy Month of Ramadan for Muslims and we are not sure it is the best time to go.
The nearest we have been to Pakistan was on our last motorcycle trip in India where we spent half a day at the Wagah Border watching the flag lowering ceremony show. And so we decided to ask a local Pakistani for advice. Here is a post from our contact in Pakistan.
Written by: Afzal Salam
Over the last few decades, Pakistan has found itself stuck in controversial wars which it fought to help its allies but all those wars only increased terrorism and terrorist activity in the country itself. International media would have you believe that ‘travel to Pakistan’ is a phrase that points towards an inevitable mistake but the truth is far from it. Since the early 2010s, the country with its majestic mountain peaks and stunning scenery has once again become a hot tourist attraction.
Tourism is once again in full swing in Pakistan and travelers are preferring to visit this beautiful country. But like any country, you must do your research on the essential things you need to know about Pakistan. So to help you out and supplement in your research about Pakistan, in this post, we have compiled an interesting list of “7 Things You Need to Know before Travelling to Pakistan.”
- Avoid Travelling in the Day during Ramadan: Yes, this is important. During the month of Ramadan, shops and other activities usually stay closed or slow down in the daytime. Because most people fast while people of other faiths observe the fast as a form of respect to the Muslims. Therefore, if you are visiting Pakistan during the month of Ramadan, be prepared to witness the closure of shops, restaurants, and many businesses in the day time.
- Pakistanis Love Their Language: Knowing the local language of any country can really help you communicate and understand its citizens better. Pakistan is no different. Although a good majority of Pakistanis speak fluent English with a bit of an accent but there would be times when you might be stuck among those who don’t. Urdu is the official language of Pakistan and most Pakistanis would be delighted to see you speak it to them while asking for directions or any sort of help.
- For Anything, Ask Locals Thrice: In Pakistan, a no doesn’t always mean a no. People in this country might say no to an offered sweet, candy or gift at first but if you would insist they would change their mind. Therefore, a rule of thumb is to ask locals at least three times while offering anything to them.
- Avoid Visiting Important Monuments on Sunday: Sunday is a holiday in Pakistan like most countries. People wait for the weekend to take their families to important monuments and have a good time. Thus, you must avoid visiting such locations on the weekend or else you would witness large crowds and unwanted attention due to being a foreigner.
- Avoid Wearing Tight Clothes or Shorts: Pakistani local dresses for men and women cover the whole body and are usually quite loose and comfortable. So it’s a good idea if you avoid wearing revealing clothes or shorts to avoid unwanted attention or offending anyone else.
- Lights Can Go Out Anytime: Load shedding, as the people in Pakistan call it, are the power outages that happen in selected cities of Pakistan. Yet, in summers they become a common occurrence all across Pakistan so the lights can go out anytime which is why you must be prepared with chargeable LEDs just like the locals.
- Avoid Flying to Areas between Islamabad and Northern Areas: The flights between Islamabad and Northern Areas are the worst since they are almost always canceled due to bad weather and leave you waiting for hours for the next available plane.
So here are some of the things you need to know before heading to Pakistan. Have anyone of you been to Pakistan? Let us know about your experiences and the problems you faced. Have Ann and I decided on going? We are still on the fence.
Till next time.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s and in no way reflect the views and/or opinions of Fat Starfish.