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travel in Pakistan

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travel in Pakistan

Postby dankras » Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:41 pm

Just wondering if anyone, in particular US citizens, has travelled in Pakistan in the last few years - any problems, suggestions, etc? My travelling, if it happens, will be mostly relegated to fairly remote areas, but I am wondering what experiences people have had and what to watch out for... Thank you, Daniel
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Postby Dave Daly » Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:50 pm

To heck with that Daniel.....come with us down to Patagonia in January. Pakistan doesn't have any wine there! :lol:
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Postby Dragger » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:03 pm

Maybe Daniel will bring this in his suitcase?!

Image
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Postby HandjamMasterC » Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:26 am

I wouldn't mind going back to Patagonia, but not in Daniels suitcase!! :shock:
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Postby foreverwild » Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:02 am

I can't speak specifically to Pakistan, but I spent some time in Indian controlled Kashmir very close to the border for a while. I would cautiously provide my experiences as a rough guide to the treatment you may experience.
In general, my understanding is that the region has become more friendly as a result of the aid that was given in response to the earthquake there. I was there prior to that and found that I was treated either with curiousity by most people I was not directly dealing with. Maybe once in a day in town I would experience a person who was somewhat hostile, but not to a degree where we felt unsafe. We chose to travel with guides largely because the tout systems over there at times are not worth trying to overcome. Despite our initial hesitance (the only time my friend or I have ever used guides), I suspect it was a huge reason we were treated so well and did not have more trouble even with authorities. As far as treatment by guides, I honestly felt at times like a friendly hostage. In other words, they can be very protective of their clients because of their vested interest in your survival. We were fairly remote in our trekking area and found most of the herders in those areas either disintrested or amazingly friendly...much more so than in cities. Relatively little hassle otherwise beyond the standard aspects of travel in rural foreign areas. Not too sure on your specfic plans but if you would like more detailed information I will check back.
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Postby dankras » Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:43 pm

Patagonia in Jan. - would love to, but (a) I am not ready to climb anything I want to climb down there (b) have other plans - thanks for the invite though, what are your plans there?
How have you been Mr Peer?
- thanks for the Kashmir info; the "plan" is to go to Islamabad then to Skardu and then deep into the Karakoram; I do agree with you about people in the mountains - in all my travels I have found them to be friendly and receptive; only in cities have I run into problems....
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Postby Whitesail » Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:47 pm

Pakistan does have wine but it is called Hunza water................... :twisted:
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Postby Dave Daly » Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:05 pm

Daniel -

We're hiring an Argentine guide to take us to do some "extreme trekking" (ie tyrolean over glacier rivers, 10 pitch raps down the shoulder of Fitz Roy, glaciers travel, some light 5.7 climbing around Cerro Torres). We'll be down there in late January for 14 days (not enough time to fully enjoy the place but it'll have to do.....damn vacation time limitations!) We won't forget to stop and take a few rest days and enjoy the fine Argentine wine however :D

Whitesail -

An airline pilot, eh? Any chance you'll be flying into Buenos Aires anytime in January? 8)
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Postby CRiedel2 » Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:36 am

Almost went to Pakistan last year, but our "flight" got cancelled at the last minute. I'm still bummed out about it....but I think I'm the only one :) So...no information on Pakistan from me unfortunately.
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Postby anykineclimb » Sun Nov 19, 2006 7:17 am

Whitesail wrote:Pakistan does have wine but it is called Hunza water................... :twisted:


Pash bani!! I know I spelled it wrong but it translates to "Holy Water"

I spent two months in the Karakoram in 2005 with no problems, nor did I hear of any incidents.
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Postby Corax » Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:06 am

I have spent a lot of time in Pakistan. Been there eight times. It's a very friendly place and I can't recall any non-cycling related incident (kids throwing rocks at you in some areas when passing on a bicycle) .
Anti Americanism?
Very little. I saw some grafitti ("Down with USA", "Kill Bush etc".) and one taxi driver told me he thought Bush isn't a smart person and that it's scary he's in charge of the most powerful country.
The dangerous areas in the country (usually tribal areas) are off limits and getting close to any of those, the military or the police will stop you.

I'm sure you'll have a nice time in Pakistan.
Warmly recommended.
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Postby dankras » Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:22 pm

Hi Corax, Thanks for input; what are you summer plans?
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Postby CBakwin » Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:15 pm

I was in Pakistan last August. We were in a group and with local guides and as such did not get into real dicey situations but we did pass through the "lawless tribal areas" along the Afghanistan border, though we didn't get off the beaten path there. Also went to Swat and Islamibad. Rural people were very nice, a little spookier in the cities but not out of the ordinary for the third world. I think the security problem, and it is real and considerable, is with just a few extreme people and by and large the people you will meet are nice and glad to have you there. There seems to be a separation of American People, who are welcome I felt, and the American Government, which frankly does not have a lot of support there. Many of the Pakistani people are fed up with the Jihaddis and constant conflict. Anyway, I would certainly go back and my advice would be just be awear of your surroundings and don't put yourself in insecure situations if possible. Petty theft is also a problem.
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Postby BigLee » Wed Nov 22, 2006 4:27 pm

You'll have no problems in Pakistan as an American. The country (with the exception of some tribes along the Afghan border and in Indus Kohistan) is very welcoming to all Nationalities. Sectarian violence sporadically flares up some parts of the country such as Gilgit and Karachi but that's a Sunni-Shia thing and nothing to do with Yanks. Incidentally, the reference to earlier post, Northern Pakistan is a lot safer than the Kashmir Valley and the atmosphere and situation is very different. You'll have a great time!
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Postby Corax » Thu Nov 23, 2006 3:00 pm

dankras wrote:Hi Corax, Thanks for input; what are you summer plans?


Possibly Pakistan.
Tibet, Nepal, Xinjiang and Kyrgyztan are the other options.
I guess it'll be a combination of two of the above.
Nothing set yet and it'll probably be a last minut decision as usual.
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