Karachi and surroundings
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Sep 20, 2013 3:34 AM Last Post By: mysticpaki
Aug 28, 2013 5:04 AM
Karachi and surroundingsHi. I'm thinking of going to Pakistan in October and as the cheapest flights I can get go to Karachi that is where I will possibly go! If I go i will only have about 1 week so was wondering if could get any advice on firstly is karachi worth going to and also are there other places not too far from there that would be worth going to. I don't want to spend all my time in Karachi if I go there but as I only have the week I won't be able to get too far from there. Lastly, I'm Australian - is it safe enough these days for westerners travelling by themselves around the place. Thanks for any advice!
Aug 28, 2013 8:32 AM
It's been a few years since I was in Pakistan, so I'm not sure what the current regulations are for Westerners traveling in Sindh Province (the region of Pakistan where Karachi is). At times, I believe it's difficult for foreigners to travel independently in the region.
Karachi is a big city that lacks much in the way of tourist sights, but there are some things to see: a few interesting old colonial buildings lying around, a pretty harbour, bustling markets, and so on. A very interesting trip is to Thatta, about 3 hours away (it can be done as a long day trip). Thatta has one of the largest cemeteries in the world, with many elaborate tombs dating back a few hundred years. It's also home to a fine mosque built by Shah Jahan (the emperor who built the Taj Mahal) in Central Asian style.
Mo'enjodaro is an overnight train trip from Karachi: it's one of the most interesting archeological sights in the subcontinent, and dates back thousands of years ago. Many of the finest artifacts from the site are on display at the National Museum in Karachi (others are on display in India).
With only one week, it will be difficult to get much more north than that: transport in Pakistan isn't exactly reliable. But there's certainly enough to keep you occupied in Sindh for a week. My main concern (besides safety) would be that you might find it difficult to find hotels willing to put you up for the night, or you might have some issues with the local authorities unhappy to find you traveling alone. I don't know what the current situation is.
When traveling in Pakistan, it makes sense to try and maintain a low profile. I suggest you grow a bit of a beard, and wear a shalwar kameez. If you stay in Karachi, a shalwar kameez won't be necessary, but if you want to get out into the provinces, you'll get rather less attention wearing one.
Aug 28, 2013 11:26 AM
Aug 29, 2013 1:05 AM
3Lahore's a much more interesting city to visit than Karachi - it's much older than Karachi, and has some of the finest Islamic monuments in the whole subcontinent. You could easily spend a week (and longer) visiting Lahore. There are also other places in the Punjab (Multan, for example) that would accessible to you. Yes, I do think Lahore's a better option than Karachi. (Lahore also sees considerably more Western tourists than Karachi, though that's not saying much. And I'm not sure what the situation is like now that Pakistani visas are quite difficult to get a hold of.)
Aug 29, 2013 7:35 AM
Aug 30, 2013 7:49 AM
Aug 30, 2013 9:46 AM
Sep 17, 2013 6:57 PM
7Lahore is very safe, I visited Lahore 2 months ago and surely I wasn't disappointed, although it is very hot there, but the weather would be great now, the roads and the infrastructure is great, Lahore fort is brilliant, and the best thing is that slowly this city is changing into "Paris of the east", the projects to conserve buildings in the city are like that of Paris, they bring them back to life, like the Lahore fort, the mayor of Lahore says that the Lahore fort is being renovated to the same style as it was before, and they'll try to keep the same environment (like they'll hire stage actors/actresses to act as king and courtiers) and also hire royal guards to keep the palace safe, although right now you'll see many renovations going on in the fort, and because of this some of the areas are inaccessible, I would recommend you to come back some years after too for this project to see).
Travelling is pretty easy in this part of Pakistan, take metro-bus in Lahore, one of the most convenient way of travelling,there is PC hotel which is a 5-star hotel, plus if you want to travel to Islamabad (highly recommended because of it's beautiful landscape) you can take dawoo Bus which will take you there in 2-3 hours.
Have a fun week in Pakistan.... and good luck!
Sep 20, 2013 3:34 AM
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