Situated in Azad Kasmir, the Neelum Valley is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful areas in Northern Pakistan. Blessed with endless forests, sloping hills, spectacular waterfalls, lush green valleys, snow covered mountains and gushing rivers, this bow-shaped valley hosts hundreds of tourists every year.

The best time to visit the valley is between April and October and here are some of the things you can do there.

1. Sightseeing

The Neelum Valley boasts some of the most unbelievably scenic locations in the country. The Dahni Waterfall, Athmuqam, Kutton, Taobat, Sharda, Upper Neelum, Lower Neelum, Kel, Arang Kel and Halmat are must-see spots in this area.

The Dhani Waterfall is the highest waterfall in the valley while Kutton (also known as Jagran Valley) is a popular tourist resort. Athmuqam is a cup-shaped valley and provides all sorts of facilities including banks, markets, post offices and hospitals. Sharda (pictured below) is a beautiful green area with a majestic river flowing through it (now who wouldn’t want to see that).

a-view-of-Sharda

Don’t forget to visit Taobat (Picture By AliRaza9441 [ CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons), Halmat and the Shounter Valley all of which will leave you mesmerized with their boundless natural beauty.

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2. Accommodation

Accommodation is easily available in all major towns of the valley. This includes government facilities and private rest houses. The local people also offer their homes to visitors at reasonable rates. Hotel rooms usually range from Rs.500 to Rs.6000 per night and it’s always a good idea to bargain for a deal.

Ratti Gali Lake has a tent village where you can stay for less than Rs.1000 per night. If you’re looking for something more unique, why not book an igloo in Sharda which costs around Rs.2500 to Rs.3000 per night.

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3. Food

Aside from the usual chicken and rice dishes, the Neelum Valley offers a magnificent variety of food. Athmuqam, lower Neelum and Upper Neelum are famous for the various fruits grown there. You can also find delicious curd, cheese, bread, rice and chutney in Athmuqam.

Be sure to try the local Saag’s which are a virtual treat for foodies. There are several different types served with Lassi, Karri Pakora and Makai ki Roti. You can also find bottled water in all major towns and markets.

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4. White Water Rafting

The Neelum and Jehlum rivers are ideal for white water rafting in the summer. Watersport experts started holding rafting events in the valley in 2017. They guide thrill-seekers over several kilometers and provide packages for beginners as well as experienced individuals. If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, why not sign up for this activity with your friends and family.

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5. Hiking and Trekking

The Neelum Valley is a hiker’s paradise. Many people visit the district just so that they can trek across its innumerable hills, valleys and lakes. The Ratti Gali Lake (Picture By Faisalir [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons). The Ratti Gali Lake is one such spot and it’s not difficult to see why it attracts numerous visitors every year.

view-of-ratti-gali-lake

The Chitta Katha Lake (located in the Shounter Valley) is another famous hiking spot. Tent villages are available in Shounter which acts as a base camp for trekking to the lake.

Situated in Gumut National Park, the Saral Lake (shown below) is another popular destination for trekkers. The lake is carved out of the mountain by the water from the melting snow and is surrounded by lush greenery during the summer.

view-of-saral-lake-through-flowers

6. Boating and Camping

Travelers have numerous opportunities for camping in several locations including Sharda, Keran, Arang Kel, Taobat, Upper Neelum and Ratti Gali Lake. Many tour operators, including Visitpk.com, offer guided camping excursions to these areas and many other places across Pakistan. Guides are also more than happy to arrange leisurely boating trips on the various lakes in the valley which makes your trip all the more memorable.

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So what are you waiting for? Call us on 0345 1520702 and book your fun-filled trip to the Neelum Valley today.

 

 

Now, whenever Pakistan is mentioned in the news, it’s usually not in a very positive light. Looking at the headlines, it’s hard for anyone to realise that Pakistan is actually a land of astounding sceneries and boundless natural beauty.

But believe me when I tell you, the northern areas of this country have a landscape unlike anywhere else in the world. Magnificent snow-covered peaks, lush green valleys, raging rivers, endless forests and spectacular lakes are just some of the wonders awaiting travelers coming to Pakistan.

Here are our top five, must-see destinations for both local and international tourists in the country.

1. Naran Kaghan

This is the top tourist hot-spot in Pakistan and for good reason. Located in the Mansehra District, Naran Kaghan is the most breathtakingly scenic area in the entire country. Just look at the Kunhaar River below.

Kunhaar-River-in-Kaghan

Popular with visitors especially in the summer, the main attractions in this locality includes the Lulusar Lake, the Babusar Top, Shogran, Siri Paye, and of course Saif-ul-Malook Lake. Many travelers also visit this area in the winter so that they can witness a frozen Saif-ul-Malook Lake in all its glory.

view-of-frozen-lake-Saif-ul-Malook

2. The Fairy Meadows

Number two on our list is the Fairy Meadows. Located in Gilgit Baltistan, the Fairy Meadows is a lush green land close to one of the base camp sites of Nanga Parbat (the 9th highest mountain in the world). Locally known as Joot, the area was declared as National Park by the government in 1995. Situated at an altitude of 3300 meters, this serene meadow provides stunning views of Nanga Parbat (here’s proof) (Photo By Usmanbukhari3362 [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons)

view-of-nanga-parbat-from-fairy-meadows

Trekkers use the locality as a starting point for their climb on the Rakhiot Face of the mountain. During the tourist season (April-September), visitors can also enjoy overnight camping, polo matches, horse riding, excellent food and hiking to Bayal Camp.

3. The Hunza Valley

Third on our list is the beautiful Hunza Valley.  Situated in Gilgit Baltistan, in the very north of the country, this area borders the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan and the Xinjiang region in China. In addition to its astonishing scenic beauty, visitors are also drawn by the hospitality and warmth of the locals residing in the valley.

view-of-mountain-landscape-in-hunza

The valley boasts several tourist hot spots. This includes the Rakaposhi View Point, Attabad Lake, Pasu, Karimabad, Rush Lake, Altit Fort and the Baltit Fort.

The Baltit Fort (shown below) is one of the most iconic structures in Hunza. Located near Karimabad, the fort dates back 700 years ago and is now a museum operated by the Baltit Heritage Trust.

a-view-of-the-baltit-fort

4. The Kumrat Valley

Our next recommendation for travelers in Pakistan is the stunning Kumrat Valley. Located in the Upper Dir District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, this valley welcomes thousands of visitors every year.

a-view-of-kumrat-valley

Blessed with infinite forests, gushing rivers, snow-capped mountains and green pastures, Kumrat has numerous tourist attractions. The Panjkora River, Thal, Dojanga, Do Kala Chasma, Badagoi Pass, Kotara Lake, Bara Dand Lake, the Wooden Canals and the Crooked Woods are just some of the must-see spots in this area.

5. The Swat Valley

Last but not least on our list is the picturesque Swat Valley. Located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, this district is famous for hosting Queen Elizabeth II in the 1960’s. Dubbed as the “Switzerland of the East”, Swat offers tourists unforgettable views of gushing waterfalls, green meadows, roaring rivers, majestic mountains, fruit-filled orchards and flower-covered slopes.

a-view-of swat-valley

It is home to Malam Jabba, one of the best ski resorts in the country and a must-see destination for travelers in Pakistan. Over a hundred thousand tourists flock to Malam Jabba in the winter and it’s not hard to see why.

view-of-malam-jabba

Some of the other well-known tourist attractions in Swat include Bahrain, the Fizagat Park, the Kalam Forest, the Kandol Lake, the Mahodand Lake, Matiltan and the Jarogo Waterfall.

Visitpk.com offers customised tours to all of these locations and more. So what are you waiting for? Call us on 0345 1520702 and book your trip now.

Pakistan has had its fair share of great teachers throughout history and now it seems that Mahjabeen Baloch, 33, will also be added to that list. Hailing from Tonsa Tehsil in Dera Ghazi Khan, Ms. Mahjabeen travels 28 kilometers every day on a motorcycle from her home to a primary school in Kaleri Basti.

This is the only school in the area and was setup as a boy’s primary school. Ms. Mahjabeen is the only female teacher here and ever since she started teaching, parents started sending their daughters to the school too. Although the girls are not yet formally enrolled in the school, they are still very happy to receive an education.

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Ms. Mahjabeen holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from Bahauddin Zakariya University and decided to peruse her passion of teaching after completing her studies. This is where she faced a dilemma; how could she reach the school in Kaleri Basti when there was no public transport in the area? That is when she decided to learn to ride a motorcycle. Ms. Mahjabeen’s husband, who is also a teacher, taught her how to ride it.

Since that time (6 years ago) the 33-year old teacher has been riding her bike on a daily basis to reach her students at the school. Wearing a helmet and a burqa, she rides by herself and is seldom absent from class. Even severe weather conditions and security risks can’t stop her from fulfilling her duty.

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By riding a motorcycle, Ms. Mahjabeen is going against the norms of her tribal society and faces a lot of backlash from the community (women are accompanied by a close male relative when venturing outside their homes and sit behind their male escorts on a motorcycle). She doesn’t let this deter her because it’s her dream to educate the children residing in these areas. She has six children of her own and even though it gets difficult to maintain a work-life balance, she wants to continue her work so that she can empower the children of South Punjab.

Her students have nothing but words of praise and admiration for her and all of us here at Visitpk.com salute Ms. Mahjabeen for her boundless dedication, resilience and bravery.

The British Backpacker Society, an online adventure travel project with thousands of followers, has declared Pakistan to be the best adventure travel destination in the world beating out countries like Turkey, India, Russia and even China.

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Founders of the Society, Samuel Joynson and Adam Sloper, announced the ranking after travelling to over 100 countries. Both of them visited Pakistan in 2016 and say that the country provides a real and genuine travel experience, something which avid backpackers like themselves are always looking for. They started their journey from Lahore going to Islamabad and Rawalpindi and then they moved on to explore the northern areas.

road-going-to-Kaghan-Valley

The group was simply awestruck by the breathtaking natural beauty of Pakistan. They encourage all backpackers to visit Hunza, Naran-Kaghan, Chillas and Gilgat-Baltistan as these areas are home to some of the most beautiful mountainous backdrops in the world. In memory of a famous British mountaineer, the travelers also scaled the Hon Pass in the Hunza Valley and stated that it was one of the most impressive sites that they had ever seen.

view-of-frozen-lake-Saif-ul-Malook

In addition to the stunning sceneries, the hospitality and warmth offered by the locals won the backpackers hearts. According to the group, everyone they encountered was very warm and kind. Along with invaluable help and travel tips, they got constant invitations to people’s homes. Everyone wanted to shake their hands and take innumerable selfies with them.

According to Adam the only real concern for tourists in Pakistan would be the number of selfies that they will be asked to be in. He advises all prospective visitors to prepare to smile for the camera and get ready to enjoy some of the best hospitality on earth.

The Society will be travelling to Pakistan again later this year and is planning to go up to Skardu and some other areas around the Hindu Kush. Everyone here at Visitpk.com is looking forward to their visit and wishes them another great trip to Pakistan.