5 Best Places To Visit In Pakistan In Summers
Pakistan is a wonderland for tourists. The land has been blessed with immense beauty of all sorts; from icy mountainous terrain to glorious flat plains, from scorching deserts to valleys along flowing rivers, we have it all. The northern areas, which are most popular for tourism in the country, experience quite harsh winters, but they are heavenly getaways in summers for the heat-stricken people of the urban areas.
The northern areas of Pakistan are rich with natural beauty and every destination seems more worthy to visit than the last, so let us have a look at a few top picks for the perfect summer vacation:
Neelum Valley, Azad Kashmir:
Neelum (translated as Blue Gem) is one of the most beautiful valleys of Azad Kashmir in Pakistan. It sits just north of the capital Muzaffarabad, stretching across 240 kilometers. The valley boasts of many fresh water streams, brooks, lush mountains and green forests. It gets its name from the River Neelum which flows through it. The mesmerizing sight of milky white water flowing from the lush mountains through the bow-shaped valley and into the Neelum river is truly one to behold.
The Shangri-la valley in Skardu is also known as the ‘roof of the world’ because of being nestled between some of the world’s highest mountains at a height of 2500 meters. The natural resources here goes back thousands of years, including the wildlife, historical places, icy glaciers and the finest valleys. It is one of the areas easily accessible through road and air, if the weather permits. The major tourist spots accessible from the area are:
- K-2 – the 2nd highest peak in the world
- Deosai plains – the highest, widest and longest plateau on earth
- River Indus
Fairy Meadows is a plateau situated near one of the base camps of the Nanga Parbat peak in Gilgit-Baltistan. Fairy meadows is not for the faint of heart as it is only approachable by a 12 KM long tricky jeep track, followed by 3-4 hours on foot. The site provides access for trekkers and climbers to the Raikhot face of Nanga Parbat. The 2 acre camping site experiences a tourist season from April to September, after which the weather does not permit access to the grassland.
Siri Paye, Shogran:
Home to the infamous and ethereal Lake Saif-ul-Mulook, Siri Paye is a plateau situated in SHogran valley stop the Hindu Kush mountain range. Often covered in clouds and fog, the liush green plateau offers beautiful wild flora, fresh water ponds and beautiful wild life. With the Makra peak as the backdrop and the legends of fairies coming out at night in search of the Prince Saif-ul-Mulook, Siri Paye is indeed a place to visit.
Gorakh Hills, Sindh:
Gorakh Hills is one of the highest points in the southern province of Sindh. It is one of the places which prove that the north is not the only summer-worthy destination in Pakistan. Gorakh is a beautiful plateau located at a height of over 5600 ft. in the Kirthar mountain range. Although Sindh is mostly covered by deserts, Gorakh experiences pleasant weather in summers and even snow in the winters, which makes it a perfect summer destination for tourists looking for a way off the trodden path.
Tips for the trip:
Since a lot of these places are quite remote, it is advisable to have cash handy for any purchases one might want to make in the trip. However, because of the same reason, carrying such amounts of cash is also risky. Therefore, making advance bookings and utilizing credit cards where possible is a smart move. All major hotel and resort chains in the northern areas, such as Pearl Continental, Shangri-la resorts, etc. accept credit cards. Air travel arrangements can also be made through cashless transactions.
For Local Tourists:
For local tourists, the best credit card options in Pakistan are:
HBL Platinum VISA credit card:
It provides free access to CIP lounges on domestic and international airports and a competitive reward system for money spent on local purchases. It also provides emergency services in case of card loss/theft, replacement and emergency cash services in need.
UBL Credit Card:
Being the first chip based credit card in Pakistan makes UBL an extremely safe option. It offers free CIP lounge access to make your travel comfortable. It also offers free travel insurance of upto PKR 3.5 million/PKR 7 million (depending on the card category) upon purchasing either air, train or bus tickets, which makes it a good option for domestic travellers.
SCB Titanium Credit Card:
The standard chartered titanium credit card offers instant cashback on fuel and supermarket purchases, perfect for travel and stocking up on travel essentials. It also offers a 30% cash advance on your credit limit, which can be of great help in a travel emergency.
For Foreign Tourists:
Foreign tourists can take great advantage of the type of credit card they hold regardless of the banks. For example:
VISA signature credit card offers access to many hotel and airport benefits across the world such as free upgrades, privileges in duty free shopping, and concierge services for minimal charge. A huge benefit for tourists with VISA credit cards is inbuilt travel insurance, which kicks in if you pay your travel expenses through your VISA credit card.
Mastercard offers VIP access for tourists to luxury hotels, and, if you are using an Elite level credit card, there are invitations to VIP events, promotions and special offers thrown in as extra. In some Mastercard categories, you not only get a concierge service, you get an upgraded one at the personal assistant level who can plan your trip for you and take care of all hassles before they occur.
The Mastercard World Elite credit card also offers discounts on airfares and car rental services, which is a plus if you are visiting remote locations where having your own conveyance will be necessary. This card also has some great vacation packages on offer, so check them out if you’re planning your next trip to Pakistan!
Pakistan has been working towards increasing tourism in the country by providing better facilities to tourists. Our success is evident in the increase of both local and foreign tourists to Pakistan’s most popular tourist spots and also an increase in discovery of new spots which can be developed further. Better facilities also include better infrastructure, which has enabled the use of credit cards for a large portion of the trip. So finalize your next destination, book a flight through your credit card, and let’s explore Pakistan!