ISLAMABAD — The 10 Coolest Places to Go in 2019 include Pakistan. As one of the top 10 destination countries, the areas of special mention in Forbes include Hunza, Shigar valley and Khaplu in northern Pakistan.
Ever since Pakistan won the war against terrorism, some 2.5 million tourists have visited the region–this year alone, as compared to 15,000 in 2014–a quantum jump in ecotourism.
“Explore the valleys of Hunza, Shigar and Khaplu via the renowned Karakoram Highway,” suggests Sara Barbieri, a specialist with GeoEx, reported Forbes. Decades back these areas saw droves of tourists, mountaineers and Eco-researchers visiting, and then the bad guys crept in.
Not any more. The shine is back, even the country’s populace and overseas Pakistanis are visiting north on holidays and vacations for good reasons: big bang for the least buck and oomph of healthy air, sunshine and trekking.
“This little-visited region in the far northeast of the country offers the kind of startlingly striking scenery that compels you to gaze from the window of your 4WD without blinking, for fear of missing a moment of the majesty of the landscape—or one of the astounding suspension bridges that cross the surging rivers filled with snow melt. Add to this the warm welcome of the people, the glacial blue of Attabad lake, the centuries of history, the juxtaposition of granite to greenery, the chance to walk through an age old-apricot orchard along water channels cut by hand, and the blazing snow-covered glory of Rakiposhi, and you must acknowledge there is a grand adventure to be had.”
Our take: These are also some goodies for the ecotourists visiting Pakistan. Forbes might have missed them we did not. Check them out:
The only offshore island of Pakistan, Astola, is the first Marine Protected Area of the country. 4km long, 1/2km wide, situated 40km southeast of Pasni, in Balochistan- it’s a hidden virgin place to rejoice the nature, rich in corals and marine reptiles.
A school of spinner dolphin, a rare sight in Pakistan’s open waters near Pasni Balochistan. Famous for spectacular acrobatic stunts, these dolphins live in groups–upto 1000 animals.
Our coasts are just rich in biodiversity just as the northern area has its own serenity.
Under construction Pakistan-Afghanistan Border fence in Waziristan. Cool, pristine and snow-laden in winter silhouetted with crimson lights of the sunset.
In summer, the area would be as cool and serene with clouds just like the smokey mountains of North Carolina.
As ecotourism has started, and foreigners are coming, our unique wildlife is also on offer to tourists. Tonight President of a Japanese tourism Company Ms. Mariko Takahashi is arriving and will be heading for the snow leopard sighting tour 2018.