All we hear about Pakistan these days is the acts of terrorism and some zealots and extremists rampaging through this beautiful country. But that’s not necessarily true if you consider just how large the country is and in how small a part the trouble is in. It’s like the days when there was turmoil in the Northern Ireland, at that time it was not safe to travel to Belfast but the rest of the UK was living its normal routine life.
Now Pakistan is much larger than UK with a population of around 180 million people, and the only troubled area is along its North Western border with Afghanistan. There has been no reported incident of any foreign tourist being harmed or even harassed any where in Pakistan. So if you avoid going to the really troubled parts of its tribal area you can have one of the most enjoyable vacation in this gorgeous country.
Now the question is what Pakistan can offer to the tourists, well the answer is every thing. The country is so diverse that you can experience scorching heat of a desert and the chilling winds of arctic at the same time of the year just by being in different parts of the country. The 700 miles long coastal line has some of the most gorgeous beaches that are unspoiled and one can easily find many deserted places for a relaxing vacation.
Pakistan is also home to some of the highest peaks in the world like K2 and Nangaparbat . But if you are looking for a some what different kind of experience then head to Kalash Valley in the northern Pakistan and be amazed by the ancient culture and rituals of these strange but beautiful people who call themselves the descendants of the armies of Alexander that were left behind during his campaigns in the region.
The scenic beauty of the valley and its surrounding is gasp inspiring, surrounded by the snow capped peaks the lush forests of the valley offers a perfect setting for a enjoyable vacation. If you are not already in the country then the best option will be to take a and then a connecting flight to Gilgit from where you can make the rest of the journey on the 4wd vehicles provided by the tour operators of the city.
The area was used to be flocked with the tourists mostly foreigners and it was hard to find accommodation here especially in the summer season. But because of the troubled last decade of Pakistan the tourist traffic has dwindled, so you can easily find a some what luxurious hotel or resort for an unbelievably low price.
The taboos, lifestyle and even the architecture of this beautiful and rugged valley are unique to the rest of Pakistan. You will find the hills of Kalash dotted with small stone and mud houses and the roof of each one of them acts as the veranda for the one on the top of it. The oak and deodar trees and the crystal waters of its river provides not only a stunning view but the place is also considered helpful for the people who are suffering from bad health, consider this the average age of a Kalash is 90 years.
You will find each of Kalash residents wearing the same black and red dress with a few flowers in his or her hairs working in the wheat and maize fields that stretch through out the valley. They also herd goats and prepare vine from their local grown grapes. The Kalash religion is mostly about the concept of purity and impurity, it is quite common that the uninformed traveler will walk onto something the Kalash consider pure and pollute it. So try to respect their culture and for knowing more about their taboos try to get your self a guide book on Kalash.