Truly enormous mountains, awe-inspiring waterfalls as well as immeasurable landscapes; Pakistan’s northern region is, to summarize in words, ‘A photographer’s paradise!’
As I go through numerous Vlogs and blogs regarding the beauty in the Pakistani northern areas, I can’t help but feel the urge to simply pack my bags and run towards them. But then reality hits me!
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean we can’t escape to the mountains every once in a while from our boring routines and work-lives. If you plan to travel to the northern areas of Pakistan for the first time ever, here are 7 tips you should definitely roll up your sleeve.
Make a checklist and make sure that you tick off all of them while you are there!
Spend your cash wisely!
Make sure that you have ample amount of cash in your wallet. Apparently, you might not find a lot of ATMs in the mountains. Quite obvious, ain’t it?
Hence, set a budget for fuel, food, lodging and activities beforehand. Try to stick to it in order to avoid any inconveniences.
Stop-over at Roadside Dhabas
Wherever you see a roadside Dhaba on the mountains, be sure to stop over and peek inside! Their Doodh-pati (tea) with (chatpatay Pakorey) and freshly cooked ‘lachey-dar parathay’ are to die for!
I can vouch on this for not one, but every single dhaba along the way! These people will be utmost hospitable and their love will shine through their scrumptious food.
Once you reach the top of the mountains, look out for a few of these places!
Experiencing the out-of this-world Abshaar Restaurants is truly blissful. The ambiance itself is extraordinary. Tables set in the middle of running waterfalls with ice cold water running beneath your feet while you sit on the Charpayis above, is one experience you can’t miss.
Want to visit one?
Abshar Cafe Kiwai is a great place.
Charsi Tikka is the Bomb!
The Charsi Tikka and Chapli Kabab along with the Spicy Karahi is a combination to die for. Whether you are a foodie or a picky eater, don’t miss out on these local favourites.
The special KPK delicacy includes Charsi tikka ‘tasty BBQ marintated in local herbs and spices’. One of my personal favourites!
Café de Hunza, is an eatery you must visit. From scrumptious local delicacies to the most mouth watering walnut cake; This cafe offers everything.
The locals will love you and you will love them!
The locals of the northern areas of Naran-Kaghan, Swat, Hunza and all of the other places are known to be the most hospitable people of the country.
You will always find them smiling no matter what and they are the reason the mountains echo positive vibes to all of us.
If you’re lucky, they might even invite you to their home and treat you with a steamy cup of Kashmiri Chai and Kahva which will revitalize you completely.
The Local Markets are vibrant!
Local art is filled with vibrant colours along the streets of the marketplace. From tribal dresses, shawls, khussas and jhumkas; you will fall in love with everything!
Brush up on your bargaining skills because you will need it in order to get the best buy!
Pictures, pictures and more pictures!
Get your DSLRs, Go-Pros and every gadget with a working camera ready because you are going to take lots and lots of pictures. With this in mind, look through your lenses at the breath-taking mountains and valleys all around you and click away!
Above all, don’t forget to keep a power bank handy, because you are going to need it at every step of the way. The Northern areas are a heavenly muse for a photographer and you would want to capture all in your photos to cherish each and every moment possible.