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Desert Oasis
Hanna Lake
Go to where the Urak Valley begins, 10 kms outside of Quetta, and you find Hanna Lake. The lake against the backdrop of the desert is almost surreal.
Pakistan: Quetta Hanna Lake



Almost in Pakistan
Islamabad
The planned capital of Islamabad is only 40 years old, and resembles nothing else in Pakistan. But don't worry! The real Pakistan is only 15 minutes away, in nearby Rawalpindi.
Pakistan: Islamabad Blue Area

Constructed Capital
Islamabad
The Shah Faisal Mosque in Islamabad is one of the biggest in the world, and can hold up to 80,000 worshippers over an area of 5000 m². It is dedicated to its funder King Faisal of Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan: Islamabad Shah Faisal Mosque

Travel
Pakistan Railway
National railway company
Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC)
Official site
Pakistan Travel Web
Commercial site with some interesting articles

Asia | S. Asia | Pakistan

Pakistan: Peshawar Old Town Street Pakistan: Frontier Land

Surrounded by India, China, Afghanistan and Iran, Pakistan is truly a blend of east, west and anything between. The nation itself is only 60 years old, but the history of its land goes back to the dawn of time. Some of its highlights include cultural capital Lahore, the artificial capital Islamabad and its twin city Rawalpindi, frontier city Pesahwar, and the Balochi capital Quetta (the closest you can get to Afghanistan without crossing the border). Perhaps the best word to describe a journey to this land is adventure, in all the positive senses of the word. Pakistan has a bad reputation abroad, and sees few tourists. It's a shame, for this is a fun place to travel!

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Lahore: Cultural Capital

Lahore is the cultural capital of Pakistan, an honor it can trace back to the rule of the mighty Mughals. The Mughals left several architectural masterpieces in Lahore, such as Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens. Built and completed in 1673 by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, the red sandstone Badshahi Mosque was for many years the worlds largest mosque. It can hold up to 60,000 worshippers.
Pakistan: Lahore Badshahi Mosque

Pakistan: Rawalpindi Local Bus Transport: From A to B, inshallah

Travel in Pakistan can be as exciting as the destinations themselves. For most places buses are the most convenient way to get there, though sometimes you'll wish you'd booked a back surgeon for your arrival.

The buses and trucks are quite a sight in themselves. The owners take great pride in decorating them in near-psychedelic colors and ornaments.

Khyber Pass: The Afghan Connection

Organizing a day-trip from Peshawar to the Khyber Pass can easily be done independently. A taxi is about $15-20 for the whole round-trip. Your driver will first take you to the Office for Tribal Affairs, where you obtain a permit to enter the Khyber Pass (a permit is required). Included in the $3 permit is a gunman for the day. The trip to the Afghan border should take about 1.5-2 hours one way. The gunman will be very happy for a $1-2 tip after the trip.
Pakistan/Afghanistan Border: Khyber Pass

Pakistan: Murree Old Man Pakistan: Peshawar Gunman Pakistan: Quetta Grandfather Grandson People of Pakistan

Pakistan's people are a reflection of the country's past; brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes, black hair, red hair, fair skin, dark skin...

From left to right:
-Old man in Murree
-Gunman in Peshawar
-Grandfather and grandson in Quetta.

Quetta: Timeless Adventure

Quetta is the capital of Balochistan and lies at the mouth of the Bolan Pass. It's a nice place to hang out for a couple of days or a week, just wandering the streets and looking at local life. If you're looking to buy Balochi handicrafts you can't go wrong in the bazaars.

Quetta is the last major stop in Pakistan before Iran. The 20 hour (700 km) busride from Quetta to Taftan (on the Iranian border) is a LOOONG ride. There's nothing but desert! There's also a twice-monthly train to Zahedan, just across the border.
Pakistan: Quetta Street Sellers



Arms for Sale
Peshawar
Cross the city border from Peshawar into Khyber Agency, and you're in the Smugglers' Bazaar. This is where you can find an AK-47, or perhaps some recreational drugs.
Pakistan: Peshawar Smugglers Bazaar Arms Shop

Facts
Islāmī Jamhūriya-i- Pākistān

Capital
Islamabad
Largest city
Karachi
Population
165,800,000 (2006)
Area
803,040 km²
Official language(s)
English, urdu
Government
Federal republic

History
Pakistan
2500-1500 BC: Home to Indus Valley Civilization, one of the oldest civilizations in Asia.
326 BC: Invasion by Alexander the Great.
712: Islamic era in the region begins with the conquest of Punjab and Sindh by Muhammad bin Qasim.
1585: Lahore becomes capital of Mughal Empire.
1947: Establishes independence.
1971: Bangladesh (East Pakistan) declares independence from (West) Pakistan.

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