MY EXPERIENCE OF APPLYING JAPAN VISA IN ISLAMABAD – PAKISTAN

HOW TO APPLY JAPAN VISA IN PAKISTAN – DETAIL GUIDE

Getting Japan Visa definitely make your Passport stronger for genuine travelers and it can also help getting approvals of other visas (USA, UK, SCHENGEN).

DISCLAIMER: I am writing this blog after my first hand experience of applying and getting Japanese visa in June-2023 from their Embassy in Islamabad. Things might get change anytime.

IS IT EASY TO GET JAPAN VISA?

The answer is both YES and NO ūüôā

YES ! because as of today, there is NO VISA FEE for Japan Visa and very few documents are required for Tourist visa

NO ! because the process of submitting application (as of June-2023) is very insane

Currently Japan embassy has no appointment system and they are issuing only 50 visas per day. Out of which 25 visas for Visit (tourist) and 25 for Business (work). Hence you must be in first 25 people to submit your application otherwise you will be sent back.

PROCESS OF APPLYING VISA

After filling the Application form and attaching your documents, you have to submit your documents in Japan embassy. Since their Appointment system is yet to be launched, so you have to reach as early as possible at Visa-Seeker-Shuttle-Point in Islamabad

Embassy opens at 9:00 AM, but i reached at Shuttle point around 5:00 AM and see how many people were already standing in the que

PEOPLE WAITING OUTSIDE SHUTTLE AREA GATE AT 5:00 AM FOR JAPAN VISA

When i asked the first 20 people about their time, they told that they came at 1:00 AM at night so that they should be included in first 25 people. Hence i went back and then thought to come back next day.

I am sure when Appointment system will be launched by Japan embassy then this type of Hassle will be finished.

In case you are in Lucky 25 people, you have to pay 1000 Rs + CNIC copy to Shutte point and a Token will be given to you. On this token, a van will drop you at Japan embassy.

SECOND METHOD: WITHOUT SHUTTLE SERVICE

If you have any reference in Japan embassy or any other embassy inside Diplomatic enclave, you can avoid this hassle. Your friend will ask the security to enter your car inside Diplomatic enclave and you can directly reach to any Embassy on your own car. Park your car outside Japan embassy. The guards will initially send first 50 people who came there through shuttle point. Then they will ask the embassy to entertain without-token applicants. If they allow, they will send you inside. On second day, i applied through this method with reference of my friend.

TYPES OF JAPAN VISAS

You can apply Japan visa on the following basis:

  1. Tourist
  2. Business
  3. Work
  4. Relatives/Friend visit

Out of all above, the easiest is Tourist visa, however the approval is not 100% sure. Your Travel history and Bank statement matters a lot. I suggest to have closing balance above 25 Lac in your account.

For Business visa, you need Invitation letter, Guarantee letter and many other documents from Invitee that must attested from Japan Ministry.

FILLING APPLICATION FORM FOR JAPAN VISA

Japan application form are present on their official website. You must download and fill the form from HERE

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR VISIT/ TOURIST VISA

  1. Current Passport (original)
  2. Photocopy on current passport 1st page (on A4 page)
  3. All previous passports (original)
  4. CNIC original
  5. CNIC photocopy (on A4 page)
  6. Application Form
  7. Picture (2 x 2 inch) with white background must be pasted with Glue on form
  8. Day wise plan in detail: ITINERARY
  9. All Hotel bookings mentioned in above Itinerary
  10. Flight booking (only reservation)
  11. Visa request letter on your Business Letter Head (or Employer Letter head in case of Job)
  12. Business/Firm registration Certificate (to prove that you are running a registered business)
  13. Last 3 months Bank statement (closing balance above 25 Lac Rs)
  14. Bank Maintenance letter
  15. Nadra FRC (In case of family travel)

IMPORTANT NOTES: Take below points seriously otherwise your application will not be accepted

  • The Date + Sign at the end of Application should be the done after you reach inside embassy
  • All photocopies should be on A4 papers
  • All the blank fields in Application form must be filled and must not left empty. If any thing is irrelevant, write “NOT APPLICABLE” . e.g the 2nd page of Application (Invitor + Guarantor information is for Business visa applicants only. A tourist visa applicant must write “NOT APPLICABLE” in all the fields)
  • No document must have staple pins. Even picture should be Glued on the form

VISA INTERVIEW

Once your token number is called. You will go to the interview window. The glass window is one-side blind. The interviewer can see you from inside but you can not see him from outside. The officer is Pakistani and will ask questions in Urdu. He will judge you seeing your business, job, travel history, bank balance etc. If you do not satisfy him, he will return the documents as it is. If you satisfy him, he will submit your application but that does not mean that your visa will approved. Your application is accepted only for Processing.

VISA APPROVAL AND PROCESSING TIME

Once your application is submitted, they give you a tracking bar code and ask you to wait for 10 days to receive a call. Once you receive a call, you have to again go to Shuttle point and pick the passport. The approval chances are 50/50. If your visa is not approved you get a rejection stamp on your passport and you can not re-apply before 6 months.

ALSO READ OTHER TRAVEL BLOGS:

  1. HOW TO APPLY CHINESE VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  2. HOW TO APPLY USA-VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  3. HOW TO APPLY JAPAN VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  4. HOW I FUND MY TRAVELS ‚Äď BUDGET TRAVELING TIPS FOR BACKPACKING
  5. GADGETS I USE FOR TRAVEL AND VLOGGING
  6. Visiting BALKAN countries on PAKISTANI Passport ‚Äď Detail Travel Guide
  7. PAKISTAN TO IRAN + TURKEY BY BUS ‚Äď DETAIL GUIDE
  8. DUDIPATSAR LAKE TREKKING ‚Äď AN ULTIMATE GUIDE
  9. GUIDE TO TREK FAIRY MEADOWS | BEYAL CAMP | NANGA PARBAT VIEW POINT AND BASE CAMP
  10. SKARDU ROAD TRIP ON BIKE ‚Äď A Complete Guide
  11. KUMRAT VALLEY CAMPING AND VISITING GUIDE
  12. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE TREKKING GUIDE
  13. HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A MOTORBIKE ROAD TRIP

WATCH TRAVEL SERIES ON YOUTUBE

LOCAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. MISSION KASHMIR SERIES – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  2. LAHORE TO GWADAR – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  3. SINDH SERIES
  4. BALOCHISTAN SERIES
  5. LAHORE TO SKARDU – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  6. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE
  7. KUMRAT VALLEY
  8. GALIYAT SERIES

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. IRAN SERIES – BY BUS
  2. TURKEY SERIES – BY BUS
  3. NORTH AMERICA (USA + CANADA) 2022
  4. BALKANS (EUROPE) SERIES
  5. SRILANKA SERIES
  6. INDONESIA SERIES
  7. USA SERIES 2019

HOW TO APPLY USA VISA IN PAKISTAN – STEPWISE GUIDE

I have got my USA visa two times in last 10 years. First it was on the basis of my professional meeting and second was on the basis of Tourism. Both times 5 Years multiple entry visa was issued. Based on my personal experience, here is a guide about applying and getting the USA visa.

WHO CAN GET THE USA VISA

BENEFITS OF USA VISA FOR PAKISTANI TRAVELERS

As our Pakistani passport ranks in bottom 10 countries in the world, therefore getting visas for genuine travelers is very difficult. However if by luck you get USA visa then your green passport gets some strength and you get privilege of getting E-Visas of some countries as well as Free entry-on-arrival in many of the countries. Here is the list of countries that makes your entry easy on the basis of valid USA visa on your passport:

  1. Serbia (Free entry-on-arrival)
  2. Bosnia (Free entry-on-arrival)
  3. Montenegro (Free entry-on-arrival)
  4. Albania (Free entry-on-arrival, but USA visa must have been used atleast once)
  5. North Macedonia (Free entry-on-arrival)
  6. Turkey (E-visa)
  7. Saudia (E-visa)
  8. Morocco (E-visa)
  9. Georgia (Free entry-on-arrival)
  10. Mexico (Free entry-on-arrival)
  11. Puerto Rico (Free entry-on-arrival)
  12. Belize: can visit up to 30 days
  13. Guatemala: can visit up to 90 days
  14. Honduras: can visit up to 90 days
  15. El Salvador: can visit up to 90 days
  16. Nicaragua: can visit up to 30 days
  17. Costa Rica: can visit up to 30 days
  18. Panama: can visit up to 30 days if the visa holder has visited US at least once
  19. Bahamas: can visit up to 30 days
  20. Cuba: can visit up to 30 days. Visitor needs a Tourist Card, obtainable from Cuban embassies, authorized airlines and travel agencies
  21. Dominican Republic: can visit up to 30 days
  22. Sint Maarten: can visit up to 30 days
  23. Antigua and Barbuda: can visit up to 30 days
  24. Aruba: can visit up to 30 days
  25. Curaçao: can visit up to 30 days
  26. Colombia: can visit up to 90 days
  27. Peru: can visit up to 180 days
  28. United Kingdom: can visit for 24 hours only if in transit to or from USA and have an onward ticket within 24 hours
  29. GERMANY/FRANCE: Can transit through airport if you have USA visa (coming/going from USA)

Personally i have availed entry in many countries:

READ ABOUT MY TRAVEL IN BALKAN COUNTRIES (Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia) ON THE BASIS OF USA VISA

ALSO WATCH MY EXPERIENCE OF ENTERING TURKEY ON THE BASIS OF USA VISA

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO APPLY USA VISA

No doubt, getting USA visa approval is difficult on green passport, however applying USA visa is very easy. They demand no document like Europe, UK, Turkey embassies exhaustive list. All they ask is to fill an Online application and bring below documents during interview:

  1. Original Passport
  2. White background 2in x 2in pictures
  3. Print of Application Final page
  4. Print of Appointment

However they have also mentioned “Bring any document that support your case” . Hence you must know which type of visa you are applying and must take your documents accordingly.

While applying my first visa i took the Invitation Letter of Expo during the interview because i was going to attend a meeting. The interviewer checked it. Second time i was going for Travel Vlogging, so i took screen shots of my Youtube channel and Instagram Profile.

Also i suggest to take documents that shows you have good financial strength e.g; Property papers, Car ownership papers, FBR Tax returns, Saving certificates, Insurance Certificates, 3-Months bank statement

APPLYING ONLINE APPLICATION FOR USA – VISA FORM

Start filling your visa application from this link: https://ceac.state.gov/GenNIV/Default.aspx

VISA FEES

Visa fees is 160 USD. You will get the Allied Bank Fees voucher at the end of application form. You have to pay this fee in any Allied Bank branch of Pakistan.

Once you pay the fee then you will be able to get Visa Interview date

VISA INTERVIEW

Held in either Karachi or Islamabad as selected by you while filling the application. In Islamabad you have to visit VISA SEEKER SHUTTLE POINT. Pay the fee (2000 Rs) to shuttle van that will drop/pick service to USA Embassy.

After security clearance, you will be sent in a big hall and will wait for your turn.

1st Que: Submission of Application Form + Pictures + Passport

2nd Que: Finger Print Scanning

3rd Que: Give Interview

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Normally interview last for only 2 to 5 minutes for each applicant. The first question is always “Why you want to go to USA”? Always prepare a short and crisp answer for this. Then they will enquire about your financial situation through some questions and will judge your body language

VISA APPROVAL OR REJECTION

If your answers satisfy the visa officer, they will keep your passport and will give you a GREEN PAPER

However if you do not satisfy, your passport will be returned at the spot and will be given a Yellow/White paper in which unsatisfactory remarks are mentioned

COLLECTION OF VISA/PASSPORT

The passport collection address of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad are mentioned while filling the application. In Lahore you receive your passport within 3 working days at AMERICAN EXPRESS office opposite to Flettis Hotel

HOW I TRAVELED FROM USA TO CANADA BY BUS

ALSO READ OTHER TRAVEL BLOGS:

  1. HOW TO APPLY CHINESE VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  2. HOW TO APPLY USA-VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  3. HOW TO APPLY JAPAN VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  4. HOW I FUND MY TRAVELS ‚Äď BUDGET TRAVELING TIPS FOR BACKPACKING
  5. GADGETS I USE FOR TRAVEL AND VLOGGING
  6. Visiting BALKAN countries on PAKISTANI Passport ‚Äď Detail Travel Guide
  7. PAKISTAN TO IRAN + TURKEY BY BUS ‚Äď DETAIL GUIDE
  8. DUDIPATSAR LAKE TREKKING ‚Äď AN ULTIMATE GUIDE
  9. GUIDE TO TREK FAIRY MEADOWS | BEYAL CAMP | NANGA PARBAT VIEW POINT AND BASE CAMP
  10. SKARDU ROAD TRIP ON BIKE ‚Äď A Complete Guide
  11. KUMRAT VALLEY CAMPING AND VISITING GUIDE
  12. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE TREKKING GUIDE
  13. HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A MOTORBIKE ROAD TRIP

WATCH TRAVEL SERIES ON YOUTUBE

LOCAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. MISSION KASHMIR SERIES – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  2. LAHORE TO GWADAR – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  3. SINDH SERIES
  4. BALOCHISTAN SERIES
  5. LAHORE TO SKARDU – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  6. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE
  7. KUMRAT VALLEY
  8. GALIYAT SERIES

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. IRAN SERIES – BY BUS
  2. TURKEY SERIES – BY BUS
  3. NORTH AMERICA (USA + CANADA) 2022
  4. BALKANS (EUROPE) SERIES
  5. SRILANKA SERIES
  6. INDONESIA SERIES
  7. USA SERIES 2019

GETTING CHINESE VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT – A DETAIL STEPWISE GUIDE

china visa for pakistani passport
How to apply China visa in Pakistan

Visiting China on Pakistani passport is not that easy. You can not get visa without a proper Invitation letter. I have faced lot of hurdles in getting my first Chinese Visa so this blog will help you in planning and getting your visa.

 
VIDEO: China Visa Guide + Travel Expenses

TYPES OF VISAS

There are several types of Chinese Visa Categories

D-TYPE: Issued to those who intend to reside in China permanently

F-TYPE: Issued to those who intend to go to China for exchanges, visits,‚Äāstudy tours‚Äāand other activities

L-TYPE: Issued to those who intend to go to China as a tourist

M-TYPE: Issued to those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities

Q1-TYPE: Issued to those who are family members of Chinese citizens or of foreigners with Chinese permanent residence and intend to go to China for family reunion

R-TYPE: Issued to those who are high-level talents or whose skills are urgently needed in China

S1-TYPE: Issued to those who intend to go to China to visit the foreigners working or studying in China to whom they are spouses, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18 or parents-in-law, or to those who intend to go to China for other private affairs. The intended duration of stay in China exceeds 180 days

X1-TYPE: Issued to those who intend to study in China for a period of more than 180 days

Z-TYPE: Issued to those who intend to work in China

TOURIST VISA (L-TYPE) V/S BUSINESS VISA (M-TYPE)

You can not get tourist visa just like other countries. For Pakistani passport, you must apply tourist visa in a group of 5 people and all your trip should be pre-booked with a Chinese Travel company. That Travel company will send you an official Invitation letter to apply the visa. Hence getting tourist visa for a single traveler like us is not possible. Even you gather 5 of your friends, still it becomes so expensive that you can not afford it.

However, being a Pakistani, you can travel to china alone on the basis of Business Visa. Don’t think that it would be easy.

FIRST TIME VISITOR

The process is long and tough for first time visitors. You have to apply Police Character certificate and also get it attested by Ministry of Foreign Affairs office. Read detail Blog on How To get Police Character Certificate

(MOFA ATTESTED POLICE CHARACTER CERTIFICATE)

OPTIONS OF APPLYING BUSINESS VISA

Getting Business visa is also very tricky. The most crucial document is getting Invitation letter that must be attested by Chinese Foreign Ministry by the Inviting Company in China. Companies in China usually give you a simple invitation letter on their business letter head, however they do not take any hassle of attesting that letter from their Foreign Ministry.

However, Business Chambers of big cities like Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi provide an alternate solution for businessmen. They provide GUARANTEE LETTER which is a replacement of Chinese “Foreign Affairs Stamped Invitation”

1. USING CHAMBER’S INVITATION LETTER ON CANTON FAIR + GUARANTEE LETTER

Canton Trade Fair comes twice a year in Guangzhou province of China. If you are a member of Lahore/ Khi/ ISB Chamber of commerce, they will help you to arrange Invitation letter from China and will apply business visas in group. However GUARANTEE letter payment of 9000 Rs to be paid.

2. SELF ARRANGED INVITATION + GUARANTEE LETTER FROM CHAMBER (as owner of company)

In case Chamber is not arranging group visas, you can apply on your own basis. and chamber will provide you a “Guarantee Letter”. You must ask any company in China to send you a simple invitation letter along with their Company registration certificate (in Chinese + English language). Chamber LCCI has 2 steps process to get this GUARANTEE LETTER and its fees is 9000 Rs

STEP-1 : GET VISA RECOMMENDATION LETTER FIRST

– Request letter on your company letter head
– Passport copy
– CNIC copy
– Picture with white background
– Chinese company Invitation letter
– Chamber membership certificate copy

– A pay order of 200,000 Rs in favor of LCCI which is refundable upon returning from China. This pay order should be made from your company bank account that is registered member of LCCI.
– Fees of 4000 Rs for recommendation letter

You will get the recommendation letter within couple of hours.

(VISA RECOMMENDATION LETTER BY CHAMBER)

PERSONAL OPINION: This recommendation letter by chamber has nothing to do with the process and taking 4000 Rs fees from people is totally unjustified. As per LCCI, they will not give you guarantee letter until you get the recommendation letter. In my opinion when embassy is demanding only GUARANTEE letter then Chamber should only charge fees for the Guarantee Letter.

STEP-2 : GETTING GUARANTEE LETTER

This is the main document required for visa. Once you have got the Recommendation letter, go to Floor#2 and apply for this letter with following documents

  • – Copy of Visa Recommendation letter (obtained in Step-1)
  • – Copy of Passport
  • – Chinese company registration letter in chinese language
  • – Chinese company Invitation letter
  • – Chamber membership certificate copy
  • – Corona vaccination certificate (with Chinese vaccine)
  • – Fees 5000 Rs
(LCCI GUARANTEE LETTER)

3. USING RECOMMENDATION LETTER FROM CHAMBER (as salaried employee)

The whole process will remain same as above, however you will provide below documents as extra:
– Designation letter from your company explaining you Job description plus request for Visa Recommendation letter
– Last 3 Tax payment slips (deducted from your salary) transferred in National bank

4. GET INVITATION LETTER FROM TRAVEL AGENT

If you do not own any company then the last solution is left which is most expensive. Travel agents in Pakistan charge a fee of 500 USD and arrange an Invitation Letter for you which would be attested through Chinese Foreign Affairs.

PERSONAL SUGGESTION: If you have ample time and have someone who can arrange an Invitation Letter then i suggest to follow Chamber process and get the visa within 30,000 Rs

STEP-1: Register a business firm on your name = 2000 Rs (Takes 5 days)

STEP-2: Become member of LCCI Chamber = 10,000 Rs (Takes 2 days)

STEP-3: Apply Recommendation Letter = 4000 Rs (Same day)

STEP-4: Get Guarantee Letter = 5000 Rs (Same day)

VISA APPLICATION ONLINE FORM

FILL THE ONLINE FORM USING THIS LINK AND TAKE ITS PRINT: https://cova.mfa.gov.cn

https://youtu.be/TqhJvhARxXY
(STEPWISE GUIDE OF APPLYING AND FILLING CHINA VISA FORM ONLINE)

TAKING APPOINTMENT

When the form is completed it will next sow you a window of available slots to submit your documents. Your documents re submitted in Gerrys’ Offices of Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi. Select the date and time and take print of Appointment page + Application along with all the documents mentioned above.

SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS AT GERRYS OFFICE

On your selected date and time, visit the Gerrys visa center. You will be only allowed to enter if you have the print of Interview appointment otherwise you are not allowed (even for information purpose).

Once you enter at Chinese section, you will be given a token and on your turn, Gerry’s officer will check all your documents one by one. If you have any document missing, you will not be allowed to proceed further.

If your all documents are OK, then you will be sent to next window to pay your fees 12,200 Rs. Some time they ask you to give a short interview which directly connected to embassy through camera. The ask company name of Invitation and your personal things.

I had previous Turkey visits which comes under HOTE REGION for China, so my interview was conducted aswel.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR BUSINESS VISA

DETAIL CHECKLIST GIVEN BY GERRYS’S CAN BE DOWNLOADED FROM HERE. However i am summarizing all the documents below for ease.


1. Original Passport (6 month validity)
2. Copy of Passport (1st and 2nd page)
3. Print of visa application (filled online)
4. Appointment page for documents submission
5. Photo with white background 48 x 33mm
6. Invitation letter by Chinese organization + their Registration certificate in China
7. Visa request on your company letter head (sign and stamped)
8. Last 3 years FBR tax returns
9. Copy of your Chamber membership certificate
10. Bank statements 6 months (closing balance around 300 KRs)
11. Copy of police character/clearance certificate attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan for first time visit to China within the last five years,
12. Round-trip air tickets reservation (reservation only)
13 Hotel booking reservation (first time visit to China)

14. Guarantee Letter issued from Chamber LCCI

15. NTN certificate of your company

CHINESE VISA FEES

There is no Visa Fee charged by Chinese embassy however you need to pay 12,200 Rs (40 USD) to Gerry’s for their visa handling services.

VISA APPROVAL/PROCESSING TIME

Once your document are submitted the visa approval rate is 99.9% and you get the call from Gerrys to pick your passport within 7 to 10 days. You can always track your Passport status at: BIO.visaforchina.org/

SLIP GIVEN BY GERRY’S AFTER SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS

HELPLINE FOR CHINESE VISA INFORMATION

GERRY’S HELPLINE FOR CHINA VISA:+92-51-8439385
E-mail: islamabadcenterforchina@gerrys.com.pk

USING INTERNET/ SOCIAL MEDIA IN CHINA

As you are aware that no social media website works in China (due to rivalry with USA) and all Instagram, Facebook, Youtube are ban. You can only access them by using VPN on your mobile. Although i have tried many VPN but recommend EXPRESS VPN. Make sure that you must download and signup before entering China.

Get first 3 months free when you signup through below link:

TRAVEL RELATED EQUIPMENT AND PRODUCTS:

You can purchase any of Travel related products from this link: https://bit.ly/DOMINANCEpk

ALSO READ OTHER TRAVEL BLOGS:

  1. HOW TO APPLY CHINESE VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  2. HOW TO APPLY USA-VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  3. HOW TO APPLY JAPAN VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  4. HOW I FUND MY TRAVELS ‚Äď BUDGET TRAVELING TIPS FOR BACKPACKING
  5. GADGETS I USE FOR TRAVEL AND VLOGGING
  6. Visiting BALKAN countries on PAKISTANI Passport ‚Äď Detail Travel Guide
  7. PAKISTAN TO IRAN + TURKEY BY BUS ‚Äď DETAIL GUIDE
  8. DUDIPATSAR LAKE TREKKING ‚Äď AN ULTIMATE GUIDE
  9. GUIDE TO TREK FAIRY MEADOWS | BEYAL CAMP | NANGA PARBAT VIEW POINT AND BASE CAMP
  10. SKARDU ROAD TRIP ON BIKE ‚Äď A Complete Guide
  11. KUMRAT VALLEY CAMPING AND VISITING GUIDE
  12. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE TREKKING GUIDE
  13. HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A MOTORBIKE ROAD TRIP

WATCH TRAVEL SERIES ON YOUTUBE

LOCAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. MISSION KASHMIR SERIES – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  2. LAHORE TO GWADAR – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  3. SINDH SERIES
  4. BALOCHISTAN SERIES
  5. LAHORE TO SKARDU – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  6. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE
  7. KUMRAT VALLEY
  8. GALIYAT SERIES

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. IRAN SERIES – BY BUS
  2. TURKEY SERIES – BY BUS
  3. NORTH AMERICA (USA + CANADA) 2022
  4. BALKANS (EUROPE) SERIES
  5. SRILANKA SERIES
  6. INDONESIA SERIES
  7. USA SERIES 2019

HOW I FUND MY TRAVELS – BUDGET TRAVELING TIPS FOR BACKPACKING

Traveling on a budget is an art form that requires careful planning, resourcefulness, and a bit of creativity. But contrary to popular belief, budget travel doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort or missing out on amazing experiences. In fact, it can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling way to see the world. Whether you’re a student with limited funds, a young professional trying to save money, or simply someone who loves to travel without breaking the bank, there are plenty of tips and tricks to help you stretch your dollars and make the most of your adventures.

HOW I PERSONALLY SAVE MY FUNDS TO TRAVEL CHEAP

Sharing my personal experience of Backpacking and Budget traveling in this Blog

  1. Make Travel your priority

2. Savings + No To Brandism

3. Advance Bookings

4. Travel Credit Cards

I personally use Standard Chartered Travel Credit Card. You can also try Faysal Bank Travel Card or HBL World debit Card

5. Airline Miles Cards

6. Use CITY PASSES

7. Travel with one Backpack

Here is list Gadgets i use during Travel and also to make my travel content

8. Stay in Hostels

I always use BOOKING.COM for booking any kind of hostel or hotel during International Trips

9. Use public transport

10. Self Cooking in Hostels/ Airbnbs

11. Book night trains/buses

12. Avoid SIM purchases

13. Use Shutterstock for passive income

14. Sell your skills during travel

15. Try Volunteering https://www.worldpackers.com

16. Use CouchSurfing https://www.couchsurfing.com

House Sitting at https://www.trustedhousesitters.com

Become a Travel Content Creator

Getting Police Character Certificate and attestation from MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

There are several countries which requires that you must not have any criminal record before your visit to their country. For example China, Indonesia, Philippine and few others. Hence in order to apply visa of these countries, you must get Police Character certificate. As of 2023 there is no option to apply this certificate online. I have applied this certificate in Lahore for my Indonesia and China visas and here is my experience.

WHERE TO APPLY POLICE CHARACTER CERTIFICATE

You can visit any Police Khidmat markaz to get this certificate. I have personally applied the one in Allama Iqbal Town – Moon Market and many people also apply in Liberty Market Police Markaz. However it is recommended to always search your nearby Police markaz as per your residence.

PROCESS OF APPLYING POLICE CHARACTER CERTIFICATE

The process is very simple.

  1. Just visit the Police Khidmat markaz
  2. Take a form and fill the application
  3. Submit the Form + Picture + CNIC Photocopy + Passport Photocopy
  4. Also take your original CNIC with you
  5. Your instant picture will be taken
  6. Ideally there is no Govt. Fees for this certificate
  7. However you have to submit 350 Rs fees for TCS home delivery (You can write any address on TCS bag other than your CNIC address to receive this certificate)
  8. The certificate will be delivered at your mentioned address after 2 ~ 3 days

ATTESTATION FROM MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (MOFA)

For Indonesia visa, they only required Police Character Certificate. However for China visa, the embassy also demands to attest this character certificate from MOFA. Their office in Lahore is near MALL ROAD. Opening hour is 8:00 am and when you reach there, you will see there are already 1000 people standing in line who came at 6:00 am to get their things done. Hence standing in que for 3 ~ 5 hrs is a must thing. Better to come early and leave early.

REQUIREMENTS: Original Police Certificate + photocopy of CNIC + photocopy of Police Certificate

PROCESS:

  1. After 2~3 hrs standing in que, you enter in the premises and will be given a Token Number.
  2. Then you will stand in another que to pay for the Post Stamps (worth 50 ~ 100 Rs)
  3. Then you will be sent to HALL # 2 (upstairs) and stand in another que to submit your documents
  4. You have to wait atleast 3 hours in waiting area after which your Token number will be called and documents will be handed over

PERSONAL COMMENTS:

Personally i found this MOFA process very cruel, tiring and humiliating in this modern age. The Govt can make this process very simple and can reduce many steps. Overall you have to dedicate a full day for this activity. TCS and other couriers also give this service to get your attestation done in 700 Rs however their processing time is 10 days. If you are not time bound then you should avail this service instead of wasting full day in long ques.

VISTING BALKAN COUNTRIES ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT – Detail Travel Guide

The word Balkan is Turkish and means ‚Äėmountain‚Äô. The Balkans, or the Balkan Peninsula, is a region in the south-east of Europe. Geographically these are 12 countries on the map that are Mountain region

  1. Albania
  2. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  3. Bulgaria
  4. Croatia
  5. Greece
  6. Kosovo*
  7. Montenegro
  8. North Macedonia
  9. Romania
  10. Serbia
  11. Slovenia
  12. Turkey (partially located in the Balkans)

How can Pakistanis visit Balkan Countries

All of the Balkan countries falls in Europe and Pakistani Passport holders require SCHENGEN visa to visit Europe. However there are few countries in Balkans that allow Pakistanis to enter without visa if you have below visas on your passport

  1. Valid USA visa
  2. Valid UK visa
  3. Valid Multiple Entry Schengen visa

and these countries are:

  1. Serbia
  2. Bosnia
  3. Montenegro
  4. Albania (UK/US/Schengen visas must be valid + used atleast once)
  5. North Macedonia
  6. Bulgaria (only on Multiple entry Schengen that must valid + used atleast once)

All of the above countries were once part of one country YUGOSLAVIA, however this region went through decade of civil wars from 1992 and hence Yugoslavia country got split into these countries.

I visited all of the above countries on my valid USA visa in winters of 2022 and here is my experience one by one. Other Balkan Countries: Slovenia, Romania, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo and Bulgaria do not allow entry on the basis of US or UK visas.

SERBIA

ENTRY: I entered in Serbia capital Belgrade via flight while coming from Toronto (canada) however you can take cheapest FlyDubai flight from Karachi to Serbia

(FIRST DAY IN BELGRADE – SERBIA)

TRANSPORT IN BELGRADE: I was amazed to see public transport seems FREE in Belgrade. No one pays for the buses and train. Saw only few people who were actually paying.

CURRENCY: The currency of Serbia is the Serbian dinar. I exchanged few dollars at the airport and rest of the currency in the city center for better rates.

PLACES TO VISIT: I visited only capital city of Belgrade in Serbia. Following are the well known places in which i visited a few which you can watch in below VLOG:

  1. Kalemegdan Fortress and Park
  2. St. Sava Temple
  3. Skadarlija
  4. National Museum of Serbia
  5. Ada Ciganlija
  6. Nikola Tesla Museum
  7. Belgrade Zoo
  8. Republic Square
  9. House of Flowers
  10. Museum of Yugoslav History
(2ND DAY IN BELGRADE – SERBIA)

MY HOSTEL: I stayed in HABITAT HOSTEL that was right in the city center and was cheap. You can check its rates HERE. There are many Halal food outlets in the city and you will find many Indian, Turkish and Arabic restaurants. However dont forget to try famous Cheese Borek of Balkans.

BOSNIA & HARZEGOVINA

ENTRY: The bus from Belgrade to Sarajevo has 25 Euro ticket. I bought ticket from Belgrade Main Bus station one day before. The bus departed at 0800 hrs and Dropped me in Sarajevo at 1530 hrs. I thought the bus will drop me at some City center but it was going outside city center. So i asked the driver to drop me on the main road from where i walked around 3 km with may backpacks. Watch below video to see detail experience of Border crossing and entering Bosnia (Sarajevo) on my USA visa basis.

(BORDER CROSSING EXPERIENCE FROM SERBIA TO BOSNIA)

CURRENCY: The official currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Convertible Mark (KM), also known as the Bosnian Mark. During your Balkans trip, always buy currency of next country from the departing country so that you may easily use public transport after reaching your destinantion. I bought the Bosnian currency in Belgrade Bus terminal.

MY HOSTEL: Here i stayed in a shared Apartment that was converted into ZEYNEP HOSTEL. The hostel was very good and right at the middle of all Touristy places within the Old and New Bazar of Sarajevo. I got it in 8 Euro per nite however you can check latest rates HERE.

SARAJEVOPLACES TO VISIT:

Here are some places to visit in Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

  1. BaŇ°ńćarŇ°ija: The old bazaar and historical center of Sarajevo, featuring Ottoman-era architecture, markets, and cafes.
  2. Latin Bridge: The site of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, which sparked World War I.
  3. Sebilj: A wooden fountain in BaŇ°ńćarŇ°ija, considered to be the heart of the old town.
  4. Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque: A 16th-century mosque located in BaŇ°ńćarŇ°ija, one of the largest and most important mosques in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  5. Sarajevo City Hall: A magnificent Austro-Hungarian building, which has been restored after being destroyed during the Bosnian War and now serves as a museum.
  6. Vrelo Bosne: A nature park and spring located on the outskirts of Sarajevo, featuring trails, picnic areas, and wildlife.
  7. Sarajevo Tunnel Museum: A museum dedicated to the tunnel that was used during the Bosnian War to smuggle supplies and people in and out of the city.
  8. Yellow Fortress: A historic fortress overlooking the city, offering panoramic views of Sarajevo and the surrounding mountains.
  9. National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina: A museum featuring exhibits on the history, culture, and natural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  10. Trebevińá Mountain: A mountain located near Sarajevo, featuring hiking trails, ski slopes, and a panoramic cable car.

I spent 2 days in Sarajevo filmed few of the places as shared in below video:

(A DAY IN CAPITAL OF BOSNIA – SARAJEEVO)

….. and yes I know i have spoken SARA-JEE-VO instead of SARA-EE-VO at many places in the above video, but i liked to speak in that way.. ūüôā

MOSTAR TOWN: This is the old Ottomon Period town which you should not while visiting Bosnia. I had a great time exploring this beauty. My Hostel in MOSTAR was MUSALA HOSTEL

(A BEAUTIFUL TOWN OF BOSNIA – MOSTAR)

IMPORTANT !! BE CAREFULL WHILE BOOKING YOUR BUS IN BALKANS

Yes, thats right otherwise you can get in trouble just like me. As you must know that not every Balkan country allows to enter on US/UK visas hence you must always ask the exact route of the bus before buying ticket from the booth. I mistakenly booked a bus from MOSTAR (Bosnia) to Montenegro whose route was not direct. The bus took a road that passed from CROATIA who do not allow entry on the basis of US/ UK visa. Hence the bus dropped me at the Border and took all other Nationalities with them as they do not have any such restrictions on their passports. Below video explains in detail what happened with me at the Border

(I WAS SENT BACK FROM BOSNIA – CROATIA BORDER)

MONTENEGRO

ENTRY: So again i bought a different bus ticket in 27 Euro that took me directly to Montenegro. The bus left from Mostar at 10:00 hrs and reached Kotor Terminal at 15:30 hrs. Whole experience of journey and border crossing can be watched in below video

(BOSNIA TO MONTENEGRO BORDER CROSSING)

MY HOSTEL

This HOSTEL PUPA was one of the best hostel i stayed in Balkans. It was 14 EU/nite during my stay. A perfect location on the bank of water coast and just in front of Old town. Bus stop was only 5 min walk and grocery store was only 2 min walk. The kitchen was good for self cooking as you have seen in the video

CURRENCY:

The currency in Montenegro is Euros hence it is little expensive than other Balkans

PLACES TO VISIT IN MONTENEGRO

Montenegro is a beautiful country with many places worth visiting. Here are some of the top places to visit in Montenegro:

  1. Kotor: A stunning coastal town with a well-preserved old town, Kotor is a must-visit destination in Montenegro.
  2. Budva: Known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife, Budva is a popular destination for tourists.
  3. Durmitor National Park: This park offers spectacular mountain scenery, including the deepest canyon in Europe, the Tara River Canyon.
  4. Sveti Stefan: A small island located off the coast of Budva, Sveti Stefan is famous for its luxury resort and stunning views.
  5. Biogradska Gora National Park: This park is home to one of the last remaining primeval forests in Europe, as well as a stunning glacial lake.
  6. Ostrog Monastery: Located in the mountains, Ostrog Monastery is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the Balkans.
  7. Lake Skadar: The largest lake in the Balkans, Lake Skadar is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, and boating.
  8. Lovcen National Park: This park offers breathtaking views of the Montenegrin coastline, as well as the historic Njegos Mausoleum.
  9. Cetinje: Once the royal capital of Montenegro, Cetinje is now a cultural and historical center with many museums and art galleries.
  10. Ada Bojana: A long, sandy beach located near the Albanian border, Ada Bojana is a popular spot for windsurfing and kiteboarding.
  11. Coffs Harbour: There’s another coastal gem waiting to be explored known as Coffs Harbour NSW. This coastal haven, tucked away in New South Wales, Australia, offers its own unique blend of sun-soaked beaches and natural beauty, making it a must-visit for beach enthusiasts. From the sandy shores of Ada Bojana in Montenegro or the coastal allure of Coffs Harbour, these destinations beckon travelers to experience the serenity and excitement that only beachside paradises can provide.

HIKING IN KOTOR

I visited only one city KOTOR and did a hiking in rain along with its Old Town walk

(HIKING IN MONTENEGRO)

ALBANIA

ENTRY: The ticket from Kotor to TIrana (Albania) was 30 Euro. The bus started at 1030 hrs from Kotor and reached Tirana Bus Terminal (Ring Center) at 18:30 hrs

In order to enter Albania, you must apply E-Visa from their official website: https://e-visa.al/apply If you want to enter ALBANIA on the basis of US/ UK/ SCHENGEN visa then your visa must valid and you must have used that visa atleast one time.

Following information is mentioned on their website:

Exemption of visa to enter and stay in the Republic of Albania for up to 90 days in 180 days:

1. Foreign nationals that have a valid multiple entry Schengen visa, with the condition that the visa must have been used previously in one of the countries of the Schengen area or persons have a valid residence permit in one of the countries of the Schengen area.

2. Foreign nationals that have a valid multiple entry visa or a valid residence permit issued by United States of America, Great Britain or Northern Ireland, with the condition that visa issued must have been used previously in the issued country.

3. Foreigners who are provided with a 10-year residence permit, issued by the authorities of the United Arab Emirates, valid not less than one year from the moment of entry.

4. Foreign citizens who enter and stay without visa in the Schengen area

(ENTERING IN ALBANIA ON USA – VALID VISA)

CURRENCY:

The official currency of Albania is the Albanian LEK (ALL). LEK is taken from ALEKZANDER nickname LEK.

PLACES TO VISIT IN TIRANA (Capital)

Tirana, the capital of Albania, has a rich history and a unique culture, making it a great destination to explore. Here are some places to visit in Tirana:

  1. Skanderbeg Square: The main square in Tirana, it’s surrounded by important government buildings and is home to a large statue of Skanderbeg, an Albanian national hero.
  2. Et’hem Bey Mosque: A beautiful mosque located in the city center, it’s one of the oldest in Tirana and is famous for its colorful frescoes.
  3. National History Museum: A must-visit for history buffs, this museum showcases the country’s fascinating history, from ancient times to the present day.
  4. Bunk’Art: A unique museum located in a former underground bunker, it showcases Albania’s communist past and the country’s struggle for independence.
  5. Mount Dajti National Park: Just a short drive from Tirana, this park offers stunning mountain views and hiking trails.
  6. Blloku: A trendy neighborhood known for its bars, cafes, and restaurants, it’s a great place to experience Tirana’s nightlife.
  7. Piramida: A controversial monument located in the city center, it was built as a museum to former dictator Enver Hoxha but has since fallen into disrepair.
  8. Grand Park of Tirana: A large park in the heart of the city, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
  9. Tanners’ Bridge: A historic bridge located in the old part of the city, it’s one of Tirana’s oldest structures and is a great spot for photos.
  10. National Art Gallery: Featuring works by Albanian artists from the 16th century to the present day, it’s a great place to experience the country’s art and culture.
(EXPLORING CAPITAL OF ALBANIA – TIRANA)

MY HOSTEL AND NEAR TO DEATH EXPERIENCE IN TIRANA

The hostel i stayed in Tirana was ME AND YOU HOSTEL. This came out to be a worst hostel experience of my backpacking when a Depressed drug addict attacked on the hostel 2:00 am at night

(ATTACK IN OUR HOSTEL)

KOSOVO

NO ENTRY: I tried to visit Kosovo during this trip from Tirana but their embassy told me that i can not enter Kosovo on US/ UK visa and i have to apply a separate visa in Istanbul. Hence i decided to move towards North Macedonia

NORTH MACEDONIA

ENTRY: It was only 20 Euro Bus ticket from Tirana to Skopje (Capital of Macedonia). The bus started at 0800 hrs and reached Skopje at 15:30 hrs

CURRENCY: The official currency of North Macedonia is the Macedonian denar (MKD).

PLACES TO VISIT IN SKOPJE:

Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, has a rich history and a unique blend of cultures, making it a great destination to explore. Here are some of the top places to visit in Skopje:

  1. Skopje Fortress: A medieval fortress located on a hill overlooking the city, it offers panoramic views and a glimpse into Skopje’s past.
  2. Stone Bridge: An iconic symbol of Skopje, this Ottoman-era bridge spans the Vardar River and is beautifully illuminated at night.
  3. Old Bazaar: One of the largest bazaars in the Balkans, it’s a lively and colorful place to shop for souvenirs and sample local food.
  4. Macedonia Square: The main square in Skopje, it’s home to the impressive statue of Alexander the Great and is a great spot for people-watching.
  5. Mother Teresa Memorial House: A museum dedicated to the life and work of Mother Teresa, who was born in Skopje.
  6. Kale Fortress: Another fortress located in the city center, it dates back to the 6th century and offers stunning views of the city.
  7. Memorial House of Tito: A museum dedicated to the former Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito, who was born in Croatia but spent much of his life in Skopje.
  8. Skopje Aqueduct: A well-preserved Roman aqueduct located on the outskirts of the city, it’s a fascinating example of ancient engineering.
  9. Museum of Contemporary Art: Featuring works by local and international artists, it’s a great place to experience Skopje’s vibrant art scene.
  10. Millennium Cross: Located on the summit of Vodno Mountain, this massive cross is one of the tallest in the world and offers breathtaking views of Skopje and the surrounding area.
(A DAY IN CAPITAL OF MACEDONIA – SKOPJE)

MY HOSTEL

I stayed in HOSTEL VALENTIN which was a family run apartment type hostel only 7 Euro per night.

VISITING MATKA CANYON

A DAY TRIP TO MATKA CANYON NEAR SKOPJE

HOW I MANAGE TO FUND MY TRAVELS

USEFUL LINKS

TRAVEL, TREKKING, CAMPING PRODUCTS:
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3 months FREE VPN when you SIGNUP thru below link
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ALSO READ OTHER TRAVEL BLOGS:

  1. HOW TO APPLY CHINESE VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  2. HOW TO APPLY USA-VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  3. HOW TO APPLY JAPAN VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  4. HOW I FUND MY TRAVELS ‚Äď BUDGET TRAVELING TIPS FOR BACKPACKING
  5. GADGETS I USE FOR TRAVEL AND VLOGGING
  6. VISITING BALKAN COUNTRIES ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT ‚Äď Detail Travel Guide
  7. PAKISTAN TO IRAN + TURKEY BY BUS ‚Äď DETAIL GUIDE
  8. DUDIPATSAR LAKE TREKKING ‚Äď AN ULTIMATE GUIDE
  9. GUIDE TO TREK FAIRY MEADOWS | BEYAL CAMP | NANGA PARBAT VIEW POINT AND BASE CAMP
  10. SKARDU ROAD TRIP ON BIKE ‚Äď A Complete Guide
  11. KUMRAT VALLEY CAMPING AND VISITING GUIDE
  12. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE TREKKING GUIDE
  13. HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A MOTORBIKE ROAD TRIP

WATCH TRAVEL SERIES ON YOUTUBE

LOCAL TRAVEL SERIES

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  2. LAHORE TO GWADAR – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  3. SINDH SERIES
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  5. LAHORE TO SKARDU – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  6. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE
  7. KUMRAT VALLEY
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INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. IRAN SERIES – BY BUS
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  7. USA SERIES 2019

PAKISTAN TO IRAN + TURKEY BY BUS – DETAIL GUIDE

This trip was done in October + November 2022. I will share all details and expenses in description of each epiosde.

GETTING IRAN VISA:

– Fill the form online at: https://evisa.mfa.ir/en/

– There are majorly 4 types of visas. Select the type wisely

  • ZIARAT VISA: Select this if your purpose is to visit Shrines and religious sites (3500 Rs)
  • TOURIST VISA: Select this if your purpose is to explore Iran other than religious sites (10,500 Rs)
  • TRANSIT VISA: Select this if your stay in Iran is less than 7 days and you have onward booking/travel in another country (Turkey/Azerbaijan/Dubai)
  • BUISINESS VISA: Select if your main purpose is to official meetings

– While filling the online form, if it ask any “hotel address/phone” then simply search “Hotels in Chahbahar” on google and enter its Name and Number. This is just a formality.

– Take the print of this form and visit Iran Embassy in your city (Lahore, Islamabad or Karachi)

– You also need to take Insurance (1800 Rs) from Iranian company (Millat Insurance company). If you are applying in Lahore then their office is in HIGH-Q tower (floor-10), Jail road Lahore (Mobile # +923224834802)

– Give a small interview at embassy and pay the Tourist visa fees: 10,500 Rs

– They will keep your Passport for few days and will give you the Date of Passport-Pickup

USING INTERNET IN IRAN

As you are aware that no social media website works in Iran and all Instagram, Facebook, Youtube are ban. You can only access them by using VPN on your mobile. Although i have tried many VPN but recommend EXPRESS VPN. Make sure that you must download and signup before entering to Iran, otherwise you will not be able to even download VPN apps after arrival in Iran.

Get first 3 months free when you signup through below link:

Click to Signup Express VPN

TRAVEL RELATED EQUIPMENT AND PRODUCTS:

You can purchase any of Travel related products from this link: https://bit.ly/DOMINANCEpk

GETTING TURKEY VISA:

– Pakistani Passport holders can get Turkey Visa in two ways:

(i) E-VISA (Online) (ii) Sticker Visa (manual)

E-VISA can only be obtained by those who have USA/ UK or SCHENGEN valid visa on their Passports. I had USA visa, so i got E-VISA from their website: https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/

– EVISA fees = 60 EUROS

– For STICKER VISA, you need to submit your visa documents at ANATOLIA TRAVELS. They have offices in all big cities of Pakistan:

– All documents required are present on ANATOLIA TRAVELS: Website: Https://www.anatoliatravelservices.com

Documents Checklist is also available on their website

– Visa Fees = Almost 28,000 Rs (This includes: Insurance + Service fee + Embassy Fee)

LAHORE TO IRAN BORDER:

– Daewoo Sleeper bus Lahore to Karachi = 8000 Rs

– Daewoo Terminal KHI to Yusuf Goth = 1000 Rs

– Al Mumtaz Bus ticket from Yusuf Goth to Ramdan Border (Gwadar) = 2500 Rs

– Al-Mumtaz Bus contact Number +923312767347

BORDER CROSSING EXPEREINCE:

– To keep yourself on safer side, must bring an Hotel booking if you dont have any contact in Iran.

– Just google any hotel and print yourself (Hotel name, address, phone, Check in and Checkout date)

– Bring atleast 500 ~ 1000 USD foreign currency (Euros or USD) with you. Your Bank cards will not work in Iran

– I requested Iran immigration not to put their entry stamp on my passport. They stamped it on my e-visa paper.

IRAN BORDER TO CHAHBAHAR CITY:

– Give 150 PKR to a shared Taxi at Border. They will drop you at Chahbahar Taxi Terminal (10min far)

– Further give 1000 PKR to another shared Taxi. They will drop you at Chahbahar Hotel/ Bus Terminal

– From Chahbahar Bus Terminal, you can book any bus to Shiraz City, Mashahad or Zahedan

– I went to Bandar Abbas by hiring multiple Shared Taxi in almost 3000 PKR (because no Bus goes to Bandar Abbas from Chahbahar)

HOW TO BOOK HOTEL/ HOSTELS IN IRAN:

– Unfortunately Booking.com and Agoda.com do not work in Iran. But there are below options available:

a) HostelWorld.com

b) Trivago.com

c) TripAdvisor.com (Search from here, take their number and contact them on whatsapp)

d) Alibaba.ir (A persian online booking website for Bus, Plane, Airtickets, Hotel)

COST OF PAKISTAN TO TURKEY BY BUS:

This is the most asked question, how much is the cost if one has to Travel to Turkey by Bus. There is not a fixed number. It depends how many days you spend in Iran so i will given a cost estimation below in USD:

i) Lahore to Karachi Bus = 35 USD

ii) Karachi to Gwadar (Ramdan Border) = 15 USD

iii) Ramdan Border to Chahbahar Terminal (using shared Taxi) = 5 USD

iv) Chahbahar to Shiraz Bus = 10 USD

v) Shiraz to Tabriz Bus = 12 USD

vi) Bus from Tabriz to Turkey (VAN City Terminal) = 30 USD

vii) Bus from Van City to Istanbul = 45 USD

viii) Each Night in Iran Hostel will cost = 4 to 7 USD

ix) Each night in Turkey Hostel will cost = 15 to 20 USD

So roughly Total Cost of BUSES from Lahore to Istanbul will be around = 150 USD

Accommodation cost will be = 30 USD (atleast 3 Nights stay in Iran + Turkey. Mostly nights will be passed in the Buses. No need to book hotels)

Food Cost = 60 USD

Total Days required to Travel from Lahore to Istanbul = 7 ~ 8 Days (without staying extra in Iran)

ALSO READ OTHER TRAVEL BLOGS:

  1. HOW TO APPLY CHINESE VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  2. HOW TO APPLY USA-VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  3. HOW I FUND MY TRAVELS ‚Äď BUDGET TRAVELING TIPS FOR BACKPACKING
  4. GADGETS I USE FOR TRAVEL AND VLOGGING
  5. Visiting BALKAN countries on PAKISTANI Passport ‚Äď Detail Travel Guide
  6. PAKISTAN TO IRAN + TURKEY BY BUS ‚Äď DETAIL GUIDE
  7. DUDIPATSAR LAKE TREKKING ‚Äď AN ULTIMATE GUIDE
  8. GUIDE TO TREK FAIRY MEADOWS | BEYAL CAMP | NANGA PARBAT VIEW POINT AND BASE CAMP
  9. SKARDU ROAD TRIP ON BIKE ‚Äď A Complete Guide
  10. KUMRAT VALLEY CAMPING AND VISITING GUIDE
  11. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE TREKKING GUIDE
  12. HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A MOTORBIKE ROAD TRIP

WATCH TRAVEL SERIES ON YOUTUBE

LOCAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. MISSION KASHMIR SERIES – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  2. LAHORE TO GWADAR – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  3. SINDH SERIES
  4. BALOCHISTAN SERIES
  5. LAHORE TO SKARDU – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  6. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE
  7. KUMRAT VALLEY
  8. GALIYAT SERIES

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. IRAN SERIES – BY BUS
  2. TURKEY SERIES – BY BUS
  3. NORTH AMERICA (USA + CANADA) 2022
  4. BALKANS (EUROPE) SERIES
  5. SRILANKA SERIES
  6. INDONESIA SERIES
  7. USA SERIES 2019

DUDIPATSAR LAKE TREKKING – AN ULTIMATE GUIDE

Dudipatsar lake is termed as Queen of lakes in Pakistan. It is not because of the Lake only, but because of its beautiful trek. However it is still not very popular among tourists because its remote location and long trekking. However, in recent couple of years it is gaining popularity. I trekked this lake on 22nd Jul 2022 and hence sharing my experience so that you may plan your visit accordingly.

WHEN TO VISIT DUDIPATSAR LAKE

Unfortunately the window of this Lake trekking is very small and you can only visit this lake in the months of July and August. This is because of Snow that melts until June and hence beauty appears in July and August. The locals setup their Camping facility in June End

In September, it starts cold weather and snowfall again and hence locals remove their camping site in September 2nd week.

IMPORTANT LOCATION ON GOOGLE MAPS

  1. Naran Valley – KPK – Pakistan
  2. BESAL – The starting point of Trek
  3. Mullah ki Basti – Camping site/night stay
  4. Dudipatsar Lake

SAFETY/ SECURITY

The history of this lake has not been very good in terms of Safety. Many tourist were attacked by some Chilasi/ Kohistani looters in past decade. However these days KPK Govt. has appointed several policemen who stays at Mullah ki Basti – camping site and also clear the trek daily if any tourist need help.

On my return, we were trekking in dark at 8pm and 2 policemen continuously trekked with us until we reached back Besal.

However if you go beyond Dudipatsar trek (towards Saral pass and Rati gali trek) then there is no such security over there and there are chances that those Chilasi looters might loot you on the way.

TREKKING AND CAMPING EQUIPMENT

I always recommend to buyYoBefore going on any trekking or camping trip, make sure you always have high quality branded products with you that should withstand extreme condition. I recommend Pakistani brand DOMINANCE from where i buy most of my trekking and Bike gadgets. Must check their latest discounts: https://bit.ly/DOMINANCEpk

HOW TO REACH BESAL USING PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Besal is the basecamp in order to start your trekking. If you have your own car then you can directly reach Besal and park your car. However if you want to reach there using public transport then you can take below local (non-AC) vans:

  1. Take Van from Pirwadhai Mandi mor (Rawalpindi) to Mansehra (Cost 500 Rs)
  2. From Mansehra Bus terminal, take another van to NARAN which will take 4 hrs and 550 Rs
  3. In Naran there are no local vans but if you go at the end of Naran Bazar, there is taxi stand after the metal bridge. People pool a taxi and go further. We also got a pool car and paid 400 Rs per person to the driver to drop us at Besal.

ACCOMMODATION/ FOOD FACILITIES AT BESAL

At Besal, there are many options of Accommodation. Few people have established camping sites having. Each camp has capacity of 4 persons at a rate of 1000 ~ 2000 Rs/tent

Moreover there are proper Family rooms available at a rate of 2500 to 4500 Rs/room

There are multiple food restaurants available where you can have Desi aswel as Fast food.

Parking space is abundant and you can also setup your own tent (without any charges)

MOBILE SIGNALS/ INTERNET/ ELECTRICITY AT BESAL

  • Currently (Aug 2022) there are no mobile signals at Besal however rumors are there that Telenor will be installing their tower in 2023 or 2024
  • Satellite wifi internet is available. You need to purchase a card of SkyNet from Moon Restaurant or Pak Dream hotel. I bought 1 GB data at 200 Rs valid for 3 days
  • Electricity is now 24 hrs available at Moon restaurant and BUTT karahi restaurant (hotel) as they have installed water turbines which generates free electricity

PREPARATIONS FOR DUDIPATSAR TREKKING

Since this trekking is not a simple one and you should prepare yourself seriously. Below are the must-to-bring things and you should not skip any of these:

  • Trekking stick
  • Rain coat
  • Round Hat
  • Sun block
  • Trekking shoes
  • Trekking (stretchable) pants

TREKKING DETAILS

1. TREKKING DISTANCE

The total distance from BESAL to DUDIPTASAR lake is around 18 km

  • From Besal to Mullah ki Basti Camping site: 15km approx
  • From Mullah ki Basti to Dudipatsar lake: 3 Km approx

2. TREKKING TIME

From Besal to Mullah ki Basti Camping site: 7 ~ 9 hrs
From Mullah ki Basti to Dudipatsar lake: 1.5 ~ 2 hrs

NOTE: Horses are also available at the start of the trek. They charge 3000 ~ 4000 Rs for one side

3. TREKKING PATH/ DIFFICULTY

  • The terrain of the trek is very good and beautiful
  • Initial 3 hrs are difficult due to upward hike but after Galma village you enter into meadows and the path becomes beautiful and relatively easier

4. FACILITIES AT MULLAH KI BASTI CAMPING SITE

After almost 7 ~ 9 hrs trekking from Besal, you reach at MULLAH KI BASTI camping site. The locals setup this facility only in July and August and you are allowed to trek only when this facility is available (from security point of view)

There are almost more than 10 ~ 12 tents available and each tent can accommodate 6 to 7 persons.

Per night cost of each tent varies from 1500 to 3000 Rs

They have small kitchen too and can serve basic level food and tea

ALSO READ OTHER TRAVEL BLOGS:

  1. HOW TO APPLY CHINESE VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  2. HOW TO APPLY USA-VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  3. HOW I FUND MY TRAVELS ‚Äď BUDGET TRAVELING TIPS FOR BACKPACKING
  4. GADGETS I USE FOR TRAVEL AND VLOGGING
  5. Visiting BALKAN countries on PAKISTANI Passport ‚Äď Detail Travel Guide
  6. PAKISTAN TO IRAN + TURKEY BY BUS ‚Äď DETAIL GUIDE
  7. DUDIPATSAR LAKE TREKKING ‚Äď AN ULTIMATE GUIDE
  8. GUIDE TO TREK FAIRY MEADOWS | BEYAL CAMP | NANGA PARBAT VIEW POINT AND BASE CAMP
  9. SKARDU ROAD TRIP ON BIKE ‚Äď A Complete Guide
  10. KUMRAT VALLEY CAMPING AND VISITING GUIDE
  11. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE TREKKING GUIDE
  12. HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A MOTORBIKE ROAD TRIP

WATCH TRAVEL SERIES ON YOUTUBE

LOCAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. MISSION KASHMIR SERIES – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  2. LAHORE TO GWADAR – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  3. SINDH SERIES
  4. BALOCHISTAN SERIES
  5. LAHORE TO SKARDU – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  6. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE
  7. KUMRAT VALLEY
  8. GALIYAT SERIES

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. IRAN SERIES – BY BUS
  2. TURKEY SERIES – BY BUS
  3. NORTH AMERICA (USA + CANADA) 2022
  4. BALKANS (EUROPE) SERIES
  5. SRILANKA SERIES
  6. INDONESIA SERIES
  7. USA SERIES 2019

SRI LANKA TRIP EXPENSES AND DETAILS

SRILANKA VISA

You can apply Sri Lanka visa by yourself on their Official ETA site. Visa fees is 20 USD and processing time is 2 to 5 days

MY EXPENSES DETAILS DURING THE TRIP

RETURN AIR TICKET FROM LAHORE = 85000 PKR (475 USD)

E-VISA OF SRILANKA = 4000 PKR (20 USD)

HOTEL STAYS FOR 15 NIGHTS = 9975 PKR (Total 19,975 PKR divided in 2 persons)

PETROL FOR 15 DAYS RIDING AROUND 1200 Km = 3817 PKR (Total 7634 PKR divided in 2 persons)

FOOD = 7087 PKR for 15 Days

ENTRY TICKETS OF PLACES: 4200 PKR

SIM CARD and TEMPORARY DRIVING LICENSE = 1000 PKR + 800 PKR

BIKE RENTAL = 8 USD/ DAY from SRILANKA BIKE RENT

HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE IN DAMBULLA = 200 USD/ person

TRAVEL EQUIPMENTS AND GADGETS:

Before going on any travel, make sure you always have high quality branded products with you. I recommend Pakistani brand DOMINANCE . Must check their latest discounts: https://bit.ly/DOMINANCEpk

HOW TO GET TEMPORARY (TOURIST) DRIVING LICENSE IN SRILANKA

  • Take Bus # 187 from Katunayak Bus station (1km walk from Colombo Airport) and get off at Colombo Fort Bus Terminal ( fare = 180 LKR, Time = 1 hr)
  • Take Bus # 103 from Colombo Fort and Get off at PETTAH – WERAHERA Department of Motor Traffic Department
  • Go to Building # H for License and ask people for Tourist Temporaray driving permit counter (which is Counter # 1)
  • You would have to submit: 1) Original license of your country (2) its photo copy (3) Passport 1st page copy (4) Copy of Srilanka entry stamp on your passport (5)1000 LKR fees in cash
  • The process involves visiting multiple Counters and ques and it will take almost 1~2 hours
  • You will get a Paper Driving Permit for 30 Days
  • NOTE: If you want to get your Driving Permit ready before arrival then SRILANKA BIKE RENT will arrange for you in 30 USD and you have to send all above documents to their email or Whatsapp +94 76 666 1379

TAKING A BIKE, SCOOTER OR TUK TUK ON RENT IN SRILANKA

  • I got my bike rented thru SRILANKA BIKE RENT
  • They have registered HONDA workshop.
  • All their bikes and scooters are insured
  • The scooters are 8 USD/day and Bikes are 14 USD/day
  • They will keep 100 USD security deposit and will refund once you return the bike.

ACCOMMODATION DETAILS DURING MY TRIP IN SRILANKA

Since I am a backpacker and select only budget hotels during my trips. Hence I selected Budget Home stays whose average room rate per nite was between 1000 ~ 2500 PKR only (which was further divided between 2 of us). Below are the links of all my accommodations in Srilanka

  1. NEGOMBO – Aurora Beach Hostel
  2. DAMBULLA – Lotus Inn
  3. SIGIRIYA – Bandula Home Stay
  4. KANDY – Central City Hostel
  5. NUWARA ELIYA – Leisure Nest Hostel
  6. NUWARA ELIYA – The Galways Edge Home stay
  7. ELLA – Ask Home stay
  8. MIRISSA BEACH – Piumi Guest House
  9. PITIWELLA BEACH – Ceylon Beach Home
  10. BENTOTA BEACH – Lotus Villa

GUIDE TO TREK FAIRY MEADOWS | BEYAL CAMP | NANGA PARBAT VIEW POINT AND BASE CAMP

Fairy Meadows is one of the most attractive place for Adventurers, Explorers and Mountaineers. The main point of attraction is Nanga Parbat Mountain – ” A.K.A “The Killer mountain” which is the 9th Highest mountain in the world (8126 meter). While camping in Fairy meadows, you can observe mighty views of Nanga Parbat in the morning and millions of stars and Galaxies at Night.

HOW TO GET THERE

In order to reach Fairy meadows, first you need to reach at RAIKOT BRIDGE. There are two ways to reach there:

  1.  Islamabad > Naran > Babusar > Chilas > Raikot  (preferable route during May to November only)
  2. Islamabad > Bisham > Dasu > Chilas > Raikot (remains open whole year but bad road condition)

TREKKING AND CAMPING EQUIPMENT:

Before going on any trekking or camping trip, make sure you always have high quality branded products with you that should withstand extreme condition. I recommend Pakistani brand DOMINANCE from where i buy most of my trekking and Bike gadgets. Must check their latest discounts:

https://bit.ly/DOMINANCEpk

TRANSPORT TO REACH AT RAIKOT

By Car: You can reach Raikot by your own car either via Naran/Babusar road or via Bisham and park it at any hotel at Raikot. They will charge you 500 ~ 1000 Rs per day

Transport from Islamabad: you can take public transport NATCO buses from Rawalpindi Pirwadhai mor and get off at Raikot Bridge

Transport from Naran: If you have already reached Naran on your car and want to go further on Public transport then there is local mini van that leaves early morning 8:00 ~ 9:00 am from Saiful Malook bridge (End of Naran Bazaar) which can drop you at Chillas (cost around 800 Rs) . From CHillas, mini vans leave every hour towards Gilgit, so its better to stay a night in Chilas and Travel from Chilas to Raikot next morning.

For bikers: Take any of the above two routes to reach Raikot and then Park your bike at any hotel there. Do not take your bike from Raikot to Fairy Meadows because  the road is badly damaged and full of big stones and it is extreme difficult to take your bike on such a steep off-road

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

You must Stay one night nearby Raikot Jeep point. For this you have accommodation options at

  • Raikot Bridge (Only 3 Hotels and much expensive)
  • Chilas (2hrs from Raikot. Atleast 10 hotels available )
  • Nanga parbat view point (15min ahead from Raikot 2~ 3 basic type hotels)
  • Jaglot (25min ahead from Raikot.  3 ~ 4 hotels with good rooms) – I stayed in Jaglot

MOBILE NETWORK AND INTERNET

Since this area is in Gilgit Balitistan region so only SCOM mobile netwrok works here properly and you get 4G internet speed at Fairy meadows camping site. Few locals were also sharing that Zong Network also works at some places but i could not find any signals.

You can buy SCOM sim at Gonar Farm Bazar (1 hr before Raikot) or otherwise buy it from Lahore (Kashmir PCO – Lohari Gate) before leaving on your trip

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Fairy meadows is quiet famous and safe area for Travellers and explorers. Locals are very hospitable and there is no point where you can get lost. All the paths are marked and you will

It’s best to be ready with a contact of towingless.com in case of emergencies.

JEEP RIDE FROM RAIKOT BRIDGE TO TATTU VILLAGE

  • Jeeps from Raikot: 8600 Rs (fixed price) for 6 to 8 persons (This rent is for both ways). Must note Name, Mobile number and Plate number of your jeep.
  • Jeep time from Raikot to Tatu village = 1.5 hrs
  • Jeep track is one of the adventurous track in the world however it is very hot and dry so cover your self properly from protect from dust and heat
  • Jeeps drop you at Tattu village from where you have to hike towards Fairy meadows top
  • You will tell your jeep driver about the Date and Time of your Return and he will come at Tattu village on that day/time

TREKKING FROM TATTU VILLAGE TO FAIRY MEADOWS CAMPING SITE

  •  Difficulty level: First half is tough and 2nd Half is relatively easier
  • Length of the Trek: 8 Km approx
  • Total time of Trekking: 3 ~ 4 hrs
  • Hiring a horse/mule: They charge 70 Rs per Kg to take your luggage
  • Terrain/surface: 1st Half is full of lose and dry sand having lot of Horse/Mule leftovers. 2nd half has stones and fallen leaves
  • Cleanliness: Unfortunately people have spread lot of trash on trek. You will see lot of Wrappers, Empty bottles along the path
  • Beauty/nature: 1st Half is Dry on rocky mountains but after reaching in the middle, you will experience some trees and bushes along the way
  • Water streams: There are 4 to 5 small water springs during the track and you can fill water bottles
  • Tuck shops: Around 2 or 3 tuck shops are there in middle of the trek where you can have Drinks, snacks and Tea.
  • Wild animals: There are no wild animals on this trek

ACCOMMODATION AT FAIRY MEADOWS

  • Tent rate 2500 ~ 3000 rs for 4 person (Including mattress and Sleeping bags)
  • Wooden cottage rate 4000 ~ 5000rs for 4 to 5 persons (One double bed and 2 Mattress with blankets)
  • If you travel with group, they charge 1400 Rs per person that includes Breakfast and Dinner
  • Public Bathrooms for campers are made at common area (separate for Male and Female) however wooden cottages have attached bathrooms
  • Accommodation Options: There are two main sites where Camps/cottages have been built. One place is the main Fairy Meadows ground which has lot of options at around this plain. Second Option is at other side of the Tree Forest where camps and cottages are built (The famous ones are  Broad view Resort and  View Point Resort)
  • If you want to set up your own tent, most of the hotels allows you to set it up in their side area Free of charge but in case of high season they might charge you a little fee.

TREKKING FROM FAIRY MEADOWS TO BEYAL CAMP AND NANGA PARBAT VIEW POINT

  •  Difficulty level: Easy and Almost straight
  • Length of the Trek: Fairy Meadows to Beyal Camp = 4 Km AND Beyal Camp to Nanga Parbat View Point = 1.5 Km
  • Total time of Trekking
  1. Fairy Meadows to  Beyal camp = 2.5 hrs
  2. Further Beyal camp to Nanga Parbat View Point = 1.5 hrs
  3. And if you want to go towards Nanga Parbat ase camp then another 2.5 hrs trekking
  • Terrain/surface: The surface is hard and soft sand and have wide paths
  • Cleanliness: The trek is relatively cleaner and you will find less trash/ wrappers
  • Beauty/nature: I liked this trek more as compare to Tattu Village to fairy meadows trek because this Trek takes you in Nature and have trees, green plains and water streams along the way
  • Water streams: You will find many water stream along the way aswel as one stream will travel along you till Beyal Camp
  • Tuck shops: 2~3 Tuck shops and Tea huts are present at Beyal camp (also there are camping facilities at Beyal Camp) and 1 Tuck shop is present at Nanga Parbat view point where i had Noodles
  • Wild animals: There are no wild animals. Only cows, horses and goats of local villagers are seen

ALSO READ OTHER TRAVEL BLOGS:

  1. HOW TO APPLY CHINESE VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  2. HOW TO APPLY USA-VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  3. HOW I FUND MY TRAVELS ‚Äď BUDGET TRAVELING TIPS FOR BACKPACKING
  4. GADGETS I USE FOR TRAVEL AND VLOGGING
  5. Visiting BALKAN countries on PAKISTANI Passport ‚Äď Detail Travel Guide
  6. PAKISTAN TO IRAN + TURKEY BY BUS ‚Äď DETAIL GUIDE
  7. DUDIPATSAR LAKE TREKKING ‚Äď AN ULTIMATE GUIDE
  8. GUIDE TO TREK FAIRY MEADOWS | BEYAL CAMP | NANGA PARBAT VIEW POINT AND BASE CAMP
  9. SKARDU ROAD TRIP ON BIKE ‚Äď A Complete Guide
  10. KUMRAT VALLEY CAMPING AND VISITING GUIDE
  11. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE TREKKING GUIDE
  12. HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A MOTORBIKE ROAD TRIP

WATCH TRAVEL SERIES ON YOUTUBE

LOCAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. MISSION KASHMIR SERIES – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  2. LAHORE TO GWADAR – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  3. SINDH SERIES
  4. BALOCHISTAN SERIES
  5. LAHORE TO SKARDU – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  6. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE
  7. KUMRAT VALLEY
  8. GALIYAT SERIES

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. IRAN SERIES – BY BUS
  2. TURKEY SERIES – BY BUS
  3. NORTH AMERICA (USA + CANADA) 2022
  4. BALKANS (EUROPE) SERIES
  5. SRILANKA SERIES
  6. INDONESIA SERIES
  7. USA SERIES 2019

How to Parcel or Ship your motorbike on Train | Pakistan Railways

Video: Experience of Shipping Bike from Lahore to Islamabad in March 2023

In order to ship your motorbike from one city to another city Pakistan, you need to follow the procedure of Railway Department. I had an experience of Shipping my bike from Karachi to Lahore after completing my GWADAR solo riding trip. Since my experience is only from KARACHI to LAHORE so I am not sure about the procedures of other cities but you can still have an idea about it. Overall my experience was good and the bike reached Lahore without any harm

Below are the steps i followed:

GET YOUR NOC (no objection certificate)

aclc office karachi NOC bike ship karachi lahore being a traveer bilal azam
ACLC BUILDING (from outside)

In order to get your NOC you have to visit ACLC office of Karachi in Liaqat abad (sharifabad – CIA police branch). This NOC is required to confirm that you have not steal this bike and you have all the rights to ship it anywhere.

TIMING OF ACLC OFFICE (KHI): 09:00 am to 03:00 PM (must reach there before 9am to avoid hassle)

FEES: There is no fees of NOC

NOC ACLC office bike ship on train karachi to lahore
NOC Office (Inside ACLC building)

TIME OF NOC TAKING PROCEDURE:

If you go early morning then it will take almost 1 ~ 2 hrs in getting your NOC.

i) Get your token and wait for your turn

ii) Submit your original registration card/book of your Bike

iii) Submit your original CNIC

iv) Wait for the inspection officer who will call you outside and will take your picture with your bike from his mobile phone

v) Then after 10 ~ 15 min he will handover your NOC copy (see below pic)

NOC ACLC office bike ship on train karachi to lahore

BOOK YOUR BIKE IN TRAIN:

  • After getting your NOC from ACLC office, bring your bike to KARACHI CANTT RAILWAY STATION
  • Go to Cargo Office section
  • Submit your NOC + Bike Registration copy + your CNIC copy
  • Pay the fees of shipment (I paid 1470 Rs for Karachi to Lahore)
  • Remove any sensitive gadgets from your bike (side mirrors, mobile holders etc)
  • Empty the fuel tank
  • Handover your bike to them

NOTE: If you want to travel along with your bike then must tell the guy at Cargo office to book your bike in the same train by showing your ticket to him

NOC ACLC office bike ship on train karachi to lahore
Risk Form

RECEIVE YOUR BIKE IN LAHORE:

Your bike will be shipped in next Passenger Train going Karachi to Lahore and will reach Lahore within 24 ~ 48 hrs. You will show the below slip at Lahore Cargo office at railway station and will pick your bike

TIP: They will empty the fuel tank of your bike, so take 1 liter petrol with you in a bottle to pickup your bike.

(I went to pick my bike after 72 hours and there is a Proper space where they park your bikes)

NOC ACLC office bike ship on train karachi to lahore
Payment Slip of 1470 Rs

ALSO READ BELOW LINKS THAT MIGHT BE HELPFUL FOR YOU:

  1. How to prepare your bike for touring
  2. My personal review about Suzuki GS-150-SE
  3. How to prepare for Trekking
  4. My personal Traveling and Vlogging equipments
  5. I get all my Moto Riding gadgets and equipment from WALIMALL
  6. I buy my trekking and Camping equipment from DOMINANCE

Explore Galiyat Region in KPK | Pakistan

Galiyat¬†(ŕĮŔĄŘĆōßō™‚Äé) region, or hill tract, is a narrow strip or area roughly 50‚Äď80¬†km north-east of¬†Islamabad,¬†Pakistan, extending on both sides of the¬†Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Punjab¬†border, between¬†Abbottabad¬†and¬†Murree.¬†The word itself is derived from the plural of the¬†Urdu¬†word¬†gali, which means an alley between two mountains on both sides of which there are valleys and it is not the highest point in the range. Many of the towns in the area have the word¬†gali¬†as part of their names, and are popular tourist resorts

LOCALITIES IN GALIYAT

MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN GALIYAT REGION:

Galiyat is the best place in North to spend quality time for 1 week vacation with family:. Below are places which should be in your schedule while visiting this Galiyat region

  • Pipeline Track between Donga Gali – Ayubia
  • Mushkpuri Peak Trek from Donga Gali
  • Lalazar Wildlife¬†Trek¬†from Nathiagali to Mushkpuri Peak (2800 meter)
  • Miranjani Peak Trek (2990 meter) from Nathia Gali
  • Samundar Kattha Lake
  • Namli Mera Waterfall
  • Ayubia Chairlift
  • Khanspur Youth Hostel and Cricket ground
  • Khanspur Church

VIDEOS OF GALIYAT REGION

1. PIPE LINE TRACK

 

2. LALAZAR WILD LIFE PARK AND TREKKING TO MUSHKPURI PEAK

 

3. TREKKING OF MIRANJANI PEAK (2990 meter)

 

4. DONGA GALI TO MUSHKPURI PEAK TREKKING

 

5. SAMUNDAR KATHA LAKE AND NAMLI MAIRA WATERFALL

 

6. KHANSPUR AND RIALA WATERFALL

 

 

 

GADGETS I USE FOR TRAVEL AND VLOGGING

Listing down all my gadgets currently in use (as of year 2024).

VIDEO CONTENT DEVELOPMENT

  1. DSLR Camera for VLOGS: Sony A7iii
  2. Mobile for VLOGS: iPhone 14 Pro Max 1TB + Samsung S22-Ultra 512GB
  3. DRONE: DJI Mavic Air 2
  4. Action Camera: DJI OSMO ACTION-4 and GoPro Hero 7
  5. Action 360Camera: Insta360-X3
  6. Gimbal for DSLR: Zhiyun Weebill S
  7. Gimbal for Mobile: Insta360-Flow
  8. Mic for Mobile: DJI wireless MIC
  9. Mic for DSLR : Boya MM1
  10. Mic for Voiceover recording: ZOOM H6 Black
  11. Lavalier Microphone: Boya M1
  12. Mic for Bike Helmet : XO-MKF-02 (c-type)  
  13. Sony Lenses: Sony 50mm f/1.8 and Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8

VIDEO EDITTING:

  1. LAPTOP: 14″ MacBook PRO, M1 MAX Chip, 64 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, 10 Core CPUs + 32 Core GPU
  2. Second Monitor: Acer 24 inch (V243H)
  3. External Drive for editting: 2TB Samsung 980 PRO SSD NVME (with 10 gbps casing)
  4. Mic for Background Voiceover recording: ZOOM H6 Black

TREKKING:

Although i prefer buying only Imported Branded Products, but in Pakistan if you want to buy quality Trekking products, then I recommend DOMINANCE Products only.

  1. Trekking Backpack: FORCLAZ 70liter (Model: Travel 500)
  2. Carry Bag: FORCLAZ Carry bag (Model: Duffel 500 40 Р60 lit)
  3. Trekking Shoes (long ankle): Columbia Trekking Tatanium Outdry
  4. Trekking Shoes (Short Ankle): Skechers  hiking shoe
  5. Blue Color Quick dry Travel Shirts from Decathlon-Kalenji
  6. Red Color Quick dry Travel Shirts from Decathlon-Quechua
  7. Trekking Trouser (stretchable) from DOMINANCE
  8. Quick dry Trekking Socks from Dominance
  9. Water proof socks to cross water streams from DOMINANCE
  10. Water cover for Trekking shoes from Walimall.pk
  11. Waist bag while Trekking

CAMPING:

  1. Summer Tent: Ozark trail 2 person camping Dome tent
  2. Winter Tent: Dominance Weather proof D2
  3. Sleeping Pad: Air Inflated type
  4. Camping Stove:  Coleman Butane stove 440gm
  5. Cooking pots set

MOTORBIKE:

  1. The motorbike currently i use to travel all around Pakistan is SUZUKI GS-150SE. Watch my review below
My review with SUZUKI GS-150SE

All my Motor Bike related Gadgets are sponsored by WaliMall.pk (WM). Get Special discount from them on mentioning that you are Subscriber/Follower of Being A Traveler

  1. Tank Bag from Walimall.pk
  2. Riding Jacket by Walimall.pk
  3. Riding Shoes by Walimall.pk
  4. Saddle Boxes by Wallimall.pk
  5. Elbow РKnee guards by Walimall.pk
  6. Front SMB LED light by Walimall.pk
  7. Portable Air pump by XIOMI from DARAZ
  8. Summer Gloves
  9. Seat Air Cushion
  10. Waist Bag
  11. GoPro 360 degree Bag clip
  12. You can read full detail of Motorbike preparation checklist
  13. Watch below how I prepare my Bike and Bags before leaving on Tour

NOTE: I have bought all above items by saving penny by penny and after wasting so much money in buying cheap products. If you are a serious traveler/trekker, always buy branded stuff.

ALSO READ OTHER TRAVEL BLOGS:

  1. HOW TO APPLY CHINESE VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  2. HOW TO APPLY USA-VISA ON PAKISTANI PASSPORT
  3. HOW I FUND MY TRAVELS ‚Äď BUDGET TRAVELING TIPS FOR BACKPACKING
  4. GADGETS I USE FOR TRAVEL AND VLOGGING
  5. Visiting BALKAN countries on PAKISTANI Passport ‚Äď Detail Travel Guide
  6. PAKISTAN TO IRAN + TURKEY BY BUS ‚Äď DETAIL GUIDE
  7. DUDIPATSAR LAKE TREKKING ‚Äď AN ULTIMATE GUIDE
  8. GUIDE TO TREK FAIRY MEADOWS | BEYAL CAMP | NANGA PARBAT VIEW POINT AND BASE CAMP
  9. SKARDU ROAD TRIP ON BIKE ‚Äď A Complete Guide
  10. KUMRAT VALLEY CAMPING AND VISITING GUIDE
  11. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE TREKKING GUIDE
  12. HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A MOTORBIKE ROAD TRIP

WATCH TRAVEL SERIES ON YOUTUBE

LOCAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. CHITRAL SERIES
  2. GILGIT HUNZA SERIES
  3. MISSION KASHMIR SERIES – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  4. LAHORE TO GWADAR – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  5. SINDH SERIES
  6. BALOCHISTAN SERIES
  7. LAHORE TO SKARDU – SOLO BIKE TOUR
  8. JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE
  9. KUMRAT VALLEY
  10. GALIYAT SERIES

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SERIES

  1. CHINA SERIES – BY BUS (VIA KHUNJERAB)
  2. IRAN SERIES – BY BUS
  3. TURKEY SERIES – BY BUS
  4. NORTH AMERICA (USA + CANADA) 2022
  5. BALKANS (EUROPE) SERIES
  6. SRILANKA SERIES
  7. INDONESIA SERIES
  8. USA SERIES 2019
https://youtu.be/xeYWRn6HiZo
HOW I FUND MY TRAVELS – BACKPACKING TIPS

Lahore to Gwadar on Bike – A Travel guide to explore South Pakistan

After exploring Northern areas (KPK and Gilgit Baltistan) of Pakistan on my motorbike in 2020, i decided to explore South of Pakistan in 2021. This Travel series was shoot during my Travel from Lahore to Gwadar (up to Iran border) on Bike from 12-Feb-2021 to 5-March-2021.

ROUTE OF THE TOUR:

Below are the cities and route that i visited during my Journey.

Lahore – Sahiwal – Harappa – Multan – Cholistan Desert (Derawar Fort) – Sadiqabad – Daharki – Sukkur – Khairpur – Mohenjo Daro – Gorakh hill – Sehwan – Hyderabad – Thatta – Karachi – Kund malir – Ormara – Pasni – Gwadar – Jiwani – Iran Border

PREPARATIONS FOR BIKE

You can read my separate blog on how i prepare my bike before leaving on the tour

motor bike trip checklist preparation BILAL AZAM BEING A TRAVELER

My motorbike riding gears are sponsored by WALIMALL.PK

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

Dates of trip: 12-Feb-2021 to 05-March-2021

Total Days = 22

Total Kilometer traveled = 4000 km on Bike and 1300 km by train

Total Expense of Fuel + Oil = 10,555 Rs

Train expense from Karachi to Lahore: 3700 Rs (self ticket) + 1470 Rs (Bike cargo from KHI to LHE)

Accommodation = 2000 Rs*

Food = 3990 Rs*

Miscellaneous = 580 Rs

*NOTE: I mostly stayed with locals during my trip thats why accommodation and food expense are relatively less

 

Day-1: Lahore to Multan

 

 

Day-2: Multan to Cholistan Desert (Derawar Fort)

 

 

Day-3: Cholistan to Sadiqabad

 

Day-4: Sadiqabad to Raharki

 

 

Day-5: Daharki Engro colony

Spent full day in engro colony to meetup with all of my friends and colleagues working at Engro plant site

Day-6: Daharki to Sukkur

 

 

Day-7: Sukkur to Khairpur

 

Day-8: Khairpur to Larkana > Mohenjodaro and Dadu

Day-9: Dadu to Gorakh hill

 

Day-10: Gorakh Hill to Sehwan

 

Day-11: Sehwan to Hyderabad

 

Day-12: Hyederabad to Karachi

 

Day-13: A day in Karachi

 

Day-14: Karachi to Kund Malir beach

 

Day-15: Kund Malir > Buzi Pass > Princess of Hope > Ormara beach > Pasni

 

Day-16: Explored Pasni

 

Day-17: Pasni to Gwadar

 

Day-18: Gwadar > Pishukan > Ganz > Jiwani (Iran border) and back to Pasni

 

Day-19: Pasni to Kund Malir

 

Day-20: Kund Malir to Karachi

 

Day-21: Booked bike in Train and left from Karachi

 

Day-22: Reached Lahore and received my bike

 

(This blog is under process and will be updated with the release of every episode of this journey on my Youtube channel – BEING A TRAVELER

 

Trekking Miranjani Peak in Nathia Gali – Pakistan

Miranjani is the highest peak of Galiyat region of Pakistan and is 9800 ft above sea level which is only 3 hours from Islamabad. I did this trekking solo on a rainy day of 27-Aug-2020. Below is the highlights video of this trekking.

EXPENSE AND TIMING DETAILS:

I visited Nathiagali when i was already spending my family vacations in Murree. So took a local van from Muree and reached Nathia gali on a rainy day

Van fare from Murree to Nathiagali = 150 Rs

Travel time from Murree to Nathiagali = 1.5 hr

Nathiagali bazar to Miranjani starting point distance = 3km

Uphill trekking time from Start to End = 2.5 ~ 3 hrs (i took 4 hours)

Downhill trekking time = 1.5 hr

MAP LOCATION OF STARTING POINT OF MIRANJANI

https://goo.gl/maps/QFS1BKdv4j4SSHSj6

MIRANJANI TRAVEL SERIES

EP-01: TRAVELING FROM MURREE TO NATHIA GALI

EP-02: STARTING MIRANJANI TREKKING PATH

EP-03: REACHING TOP OF MIRANJANI PEAK

EP-04: I LOST MY WAY WHILE RETURNING FROM MIRANJANI PEAK

SKARDU ROAD TRIP ON BIKE – A Complete Guide

I had my first North trip on motorbike SUZUKI GS-150 SE from Lahore to Skardu Valley in fall season of 2020. In order to keep every thing precise and short, mentioning the Tour Highlights first:

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Dates: 30 Sep 2020 to 13-Oct-2020
  • Total Days = 14
  • Total Kilometer traveled = 2500 km
  • Total Expense = 21,980 Rs
    • Bus Lahore to Mansehra = (Self 1200 Rs + Bike 1700 Rs) = 2900 Rs
    • Fuel + Oil =¬† 7330 Rs
    • Accommodation = 5100 Rs
    • Food = 3610 Rs
    • Miscellaneous = 3040 Rs

ROUTE AND PLACES EXPLORED

  1. Route followed from Lahore > Babusar > Allah Wali Lake > Astore > Deosai > Skardu is here on Google Maps
  2. Route followed from Skardu city > Manthoka > Khaplu > Shigar > Kachura lake and return via Skardu-Gilgit Road is here on Google Maps

ACCOMMODATION BREAKUP:

  • 1st Night: In a mosque at Danna Meadows = Free
  • 2nd Night: At Roomy Mountain Top resort – Battakundi = Free (complimentary)
  • 3rd Night: Camping at At Raikot = Free initially, but later the owner insisted to pay 500 Rs at night
  • 4th Night: Kamran Hotel Astore = 1000 Rs (500 Rs per head)
  • 5th Night: Royal Gashu resort at Chillam Das¬†= 1500 Rs (750 Rs per head)
  • 6th Night: Hilton Hotel Skardu =¬†1000 Rs (500 Rs per head)
  • 7th Night: Hilton Hotel Skardu (700 Rs) + Madina Hotel Khaplu (500 Rs) because my luggage was in Skardu and i could not come back from Khaplu to Skardu that night.
  • 8th Night:¬†Hilton Hotel Skardu = 700 Rs
  • 9th Night:¬†Hilton Hotel Skardu = 700 Rs
  • 10th Night: Naran Hotel = 500 Rs
  • 11th Night: At relatives in Islamabad = Free
  • 12th Night: At relatives in Islamabad = Free
  • Total Expense of Accommodation = 5100 Rs

FUEL AVAILABILITY AND LOCATIONS DURING THE JOURNEY

There is no issue of fuel availability on Lahore to Skardu route map. It is not abundantly available but you will definitely get petrol pumps after half of your tank will be consumed. so always remember three things about fuel:

  1. Keep atleast 2 liter fuel in a bottle with you for emergency purpose
  2. Always consult people before going on any route about refueling pump locations
  3. Always keep your tank full wherever you find a fuel pump (even after few kilo meters of driving)

Below are details of Fuel pump location and how much expense was occurred during my trip

  • 1st Fueling at Mansehra Bus terminal (1st Oct): 1680 Rs Bike tank filled full +¬† 2 litre filled in extra¬†bottle to keep for emergency purpose
  • 2nd Fueling at Naran Bypass Road (2nd Oct):¬†400 Rs tank filled full (3.7 lit added @109.10 Rs/liter)
  • 3rd Fueling at Chilas Zero Point (3rd Oct):¬†260 Rs¬†tank filled full¬†(2.5 lit)
  • 4th Fueling at Astore valley entrance (4th Oct):¬†500 Rs tank filled full ¬†(4.76 lit)
  • 5th Fueling at Asore valley (5th Oct): 120 Rs¬†filled full
  • NOTE: There is no fuel option from Chillam to Deosai upto Skardu city
  • 6th Fueling at Skardu (7th Oct):¬†690 Rs filled full (6.6 lit)
  • NOTE: From Skardu to Khaplu there is only one fuel station at GHAWARI
  • 7th Fueling at Ghawari (8th Oct):¬†210 Rs (2.1lit)
  • 8th Fueling at Skardu (9th Oct):¬†450 Rs (4.3lit)
  • 9th Fueling at Jaglot (10th Oct):¬†410 Rs (3.95lit)
  • 10th Fueling at Balakot (11th Oct):¬†700 Rs
  • 11th Fueling at Rawalpindi (11th Oct):¬†410 Rs (3.93 lit)
  • 12th Fueling at Lahore (13th Oct):¬†750 Rs¬† (7.2lit)
  • 13th Oil Change after arrival in Lahore: 750 Rs
  • Total Expense of Fuel = 7330 Rs

MOBILE SIGNALS AND INTERNET

From Lahore to Babusar your owned mobile sims of Telenor, Jazz and Ufone will work fine however after you enter Gilgit Baltistan region at Babusar Top you need to have SCOM network sim which gives good 4G internet speed wherever their tower exist.

You would not find any signals while crossing Deosai plains or any other remote places.

It is better to buy SCOM sim before leaving on your trip and you can buy from Lahore from below contact:

KASHMIR PCO BY RIZWAN: 0355-7115003 , Google location Here

PREPARATIONS OF TOUR

Although i have traveled a lot on motorbike within the country and Internationally but in almost all the trips I had returned to home at night. But this trip was very long and in remote mountains area where there is no support of mechanic so i had to prepare myself very carefully.

 

For this i developed a detail checklist to prepare myself. You can also take help from this:

motor bike trip checklist preparation BILAL AZAM BEING A TRAVELER

 

THANKS TO THE BRANDS WHO SPONSORED MY TRIP:

WALIMALL.PK: For Rider Jacket, Gloves, Camping Stove and Pans

(You will definitely get special discount from WaliMall if you mention reference of Being A Traveler)

DOMINANCE.PK: For Tent, Sleeping bag and hiking stick (5% DOSCOUNT CODE: BBT05)

AD-GEARS: For high quality air inflated Sleeping mat

ROOMY.PK: For a Luxurious night stay at Mountain Top Resort Batakundi

FANSTORE.PK : For Travel theme T-shirts and Sweatshirts

WHATS IN MY BACKPACK?

You can also check all my Gears and Gadgets used for Trekking, Camping and Vlogging in below link

trekking camping checklist beingatraveler bilal azam vlogs

DAY WISE JOURNEY DETAILS

DAY-00: 30-SEP-2020 | LEFT FROM LAHORE 

– 2130 hrs Left from home
– 2200 hrs Reached Lorry adda Lahore
– Removed saddle boxes, battery and side mirrors and emptied the petrol tank
– Shifted my Bike in Trunk of bus (Geo Madina Bus – Lahore to Mansehra 03014160600)
– 1200 Rs bus Ticket Lahore to Mansehra
– 1500 Rs bike rent
– 200 Rs Shifting fees of bike in Bus trunk
– 60 Rs coke
– 2330 hrs bus left on right time. The bus was luxury YUTONG made and had good seats and good leg space

DAY-01: 1-OCT-2020 | MANSEHRA > BALAKOT > DANNA MEADOWS

– 0600hrs The bus reached at Mansehra terminal and i brought all my things battery, Saddle boxes and bags at one side for Installation.

– 1680 Rs Filled petrol in tank from Fuel station just opposite to Bus terminal and also 2 filled litre petrol in can for emergency purpose.
– 0730 hrs finally assembled bike and left from Mansehra
– Had several stops along the way as i was enjoying the view and ride along with drone footages

– 1000 hrs crossed Balakot city
Р50 Rs  Chapal kabab near Kiwai
Р1400 hrs reached KHANIAN and covered 4km steep road upward on bike then park my Bike and held my 2nd bag at army checkpost
– 1500hrs started trekking towards DANNA MEADOWS
– Trekking was very tough. Met Ch Mahmood on the way who suggested to stay in a Mosque at Medaan village. A kid named. Khizar, took my bag and helped me reaching at Medaan village
– 1715hrs reached Medaan village and planned to stay night there in Mosque
(There are no mobile signals at Medaan Village and Danna Meadows)
– 55 Rs bought some snacks
– 2000 hrs Had roti and saag with tea served by locals in the mosque and then slept after Isha

 

DAY-02: 2-OCT-2020 | DANNA MEADOWS > NARAN > BATTA KUNDI

Р0420 hrs wokeup with alarm

– 0630 hrs Molvi sahab gave me Paratha and tea in breakfast

– 0730hrs left from MEDAAN to DANNA MEADOWS with Waqar shaukat (waqar contact # 03418233402)

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– 0815 hrs reached DANNA MEADOWS. At the top there is one Rest house which remains open during summer season but it was closed due to start of winters when I visited that day. Also their are lot of local houses in surrounding areas at top but they were also shifted in lower region of mountains because of extreme cold during night at the Top.

Р1000 hrs Left from DANNA and reached back to MEDAAN at 1115 hrs. Took my luggage from the mosque and left from MEDAAN at 1130hrs downhill trekking towards checkpost where my bike was parked at BHOORI

Р1300 hrs reached at Bhoori at Bike location and took my 2nd bag from army checkpost (which I submitted them 1 days before). Again tied everything on bike.

– 1440 hrs left from Bhoori Army Checkpost and Reached KHANIAN on main Naran Highway

Р1500 hrs reached Kaghan Bazar and had lunch of Chapal Kabab

– 1535 hrs left from Kaghan

Р1700 hrs reached Naran Valley

– 400 Rs petrol filled at Naran Bypass road

Р1715 hrs left from Naran Valley

– 1845 hrs reached Batta Kundi and stayed night at ‚ÄúMountain Top Resort‚ÄĚ sponsored by ROOMY.PK¬†

Since it was a complimentary stay with ROOMY so i did not pay any thing however below are the accommodation and meals cost of ROOMY at Batta Kundi.

Location on MAP is here

Roomy rates and properties in North Pakistan

bilal azam roomy mountain top resort

Roomy restaurant Menu

DAY-03: 3-OCT-2020 | BATTA KUNDI > BABUSAR > CHILLAS > RAIKOT

Р0430 hrs woke up and packed our bags

Р0700 hrs Had breakfast at ROOMY restaurant

– 0800 hrs Left from ROOMY Mountain Top Resort – BATTA KUNDI

– 0845 Crossed Jalkhad

Р0852 Entered gate of “Lulusar-Dodipatsar National park gate

DODIPATSAR lulusar national park bilal azam being a traveler

Р0900 hrs Crossed Besar Moon restaurant (which is also starting point of Dodipatsar Lake trekking)

Р0910 hrs reached Lulu sar lake and made coffee at Lake

– 1035 hrs left from Lulusar lake

Р1145 hrs reached Babusar top and had crispy Pakoray and Hot Coffee

– 1230 hrs left from Babusar

Р1430 hrs reached Chillas Zero Point and had Biryani

– 1515 hrs left from Chillas

 

– 1540 hrs Filled petrol at Chillas

Р1645 hrs Stopped at GONAR FARM at and purchased SCOM mobile sims because other sims of Telenor, Jazz, Ufone do not work in Gilgit and Kashmir

Р1745hrs reached RAIKOT BRIDGE and stayed a night in our tent in the lawn of a Hotel because Rooms were expensive (2500 ~ 3500 Rs per night)

– RAIKOT is the starting point of FAIRY MEADOWS jeep track but it was not in our plan this time. I will explore Fairy Meadows next time.

NOTE: There are only 2 or 3 hotel options at Raikot. Shangrila Hotel is expensive and high end accommodation. However other hotels nearby has 2500 ~ 3500 Rs per nite

 

DAY-04: 4-OCT-2020 | RAIKOT > ALLAH WALI LAKE > ASTORE

– 0430 hrs wokeup, washed my clothes and then had breakfast of self cooked noodles on my camping stove

Р0745 hrs hrs Left from Raikot Sari Hotel (Contact # 05811-484807)

– Raikot bridge is the point from where the beautiful, carpeted and scenic Karakoram Highway (KKH) starts

– After driving almost 30min the diversion of Astore Valley comes at your right hand. Astore is 44km from this point of Karakoram Highway (KKH)

– 1100 hrs reached ASTORE checkpost

– On the checkpost, the guard suggested us to visit ALLAH WALI LAKE first and then come to Astore in the evening and hence we took a U-turn and went on that road.

The road to Allah-Wali-Lake was under construction and had very rough and tough patches where our bikes were stucked many times and locals helped us to cross those steep and scary points

Р1300 hrs Reached ALLAH WALI LAKE and enjoyed the moments with coffee while sitting at the edge of a rock

– 1430 hrs left from ALLAH WALI LAKE

Р1610 hrs reached back Astore checkpost

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– 1620 hrs reached Astore city

РFilled petrol at Astore

– 1000 Rs booked Kamran Hotel for one night (located at Rama Road)

– 1900 hrs Dinner at local hotel in Astore Bazar and slept at 2100 hrs

DAY-05: 5-OCT-2020 | ASTORE > RAMA MEADOWS LAKE > CHILAM DAS

Р0430 hrs wokeup and we had breakfast of noodles in our room as .

– The owner of the hotel installed a lock on the gate and went outside and gate was locked so our 2 hours got wasted in waiting.

Р0820 hrs left from Astore towards Rama Meadows

– The road condition upto Rama Meadows is good with few bad patches only

Р1015 hrs reached Rama meadows and had a Tea-break there

– The road further from Rama Meadows to Rama lake was quiet difficult, steep, narrow and full of stones

– 1045 hrs reached Rama lake

– 1140 hrs left from Rama lake

Р1240 hrs reached back Astore Kamran Hotel and had Biryani in Lunch

Р1435 hrs Checked out and left from Astore hotel

Р1445 hrs Filled petrol at Astore

– While going towards Chillam Das, we had a mouth watering mutton shorba whose taste was out of this world and highly recommended to give a try.

Hotel Name: ¬†‚ÄúChashma Hotel‚ÄĚ

Hotel location on Google Map: AYEGAH

– 1820 hrs reached CHILAM and took hotel at 1500rs per nite

(Hotel Name: ROYAL GASHO RESORT, Owner: Yawar, Contact: 03555084625, 03554478979, 03555098974)

– 1900 hrs had a cup of tea at hotel

– 2200 hrs Slept

DAY-06: 6-OCT-2020 | CHILLAM CHOWKI > DEAOSAI PLAINS > SKARDU

– 0430 Hrs wokeup and had breakfast of Paratha Omelet at Royal Gasho hotel at Chilam Das.

– It was extreme cold temperature at Chilas in the morning

Р0730 hrs left from Chilam Das and after 5 min drive you reach at Entrance checkpost of DEOSAI PLAINS

Р100 Rs Deosai National park entry ticket

– 0830 hrs reached SHEOSAR LAKE

– 0945 hrs reached KALA PANI (Black Water)

Р50rs had Tea at Kala pani

– 1045 hrs reached BARA PANI

Р1145 hrs CHHOTA PANI (Shatung bridge)

Р1215 hrs reached end of Deosai National park and had snacks break for 15min

Р1330 hrs reached SADPARA LAKE checkpost

– 1430 hrs reached SKARDU VALLEY

– 1500 hrs had Biryani in Lunch

– Selected Hilton International hotel (A backpacker type budget hotel) at Hussaini chowk in 1000 Rs per nite (for 2 persons)

– Contact number of HILTON hotel: 03401557574, 058-15455581, 03475383628 or 03555288937

Р1700 hrs started Hiking to KHARPOCHO FORT and reached at the top at 1730hrs

Р70 Rs entry ticket of Kharpocho fort

– 1830 hrs came back to Hotel

DAY-07: 7-OCT-2020 | SKARDU > MANTHOKA WATERFALL > KHAPLU

– 0430 Hrs wokeup

– 0745 hrs had breakfast Paratha, egg and tea

Р0900 hrs left from Hilton hotel Skardu

– 1230 hrs reached Manthoka waterfall

– 1330 hrs left from Manthoka waterfall

Р1430 reached bridge intersection of Manthoka n Khaplu road

Р690 Rs petrol filled at 1530 hrs (at Ghawari)

– 1700 hrs reached KHAPLU

– 1730 hrs visited Khaplu fort

Р500 Rs/nite night stay in Almadina hotel and restaurant in Khaplu Bazar

– 180 Rs biriyani at Almadina hotel

– 1900 hrs slept

ROUTE MAP:

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DAY-08: 8-OCT-2020 | KHAPLU > SARFARANGA COLD DESERT > SHIGAR VALLEY

– 0430 Hrs wokeup

– 0630 to 0715 time wasted in setting saddle boxes of bike

Р0715 hrs left from KHAPLU and forgot to visit ancient Chinqchan Mosque

Р0900 hrs reached Ghawari, filled petrol and had breakfast

– 210 Rs petrol at ghawari 2.1liter

– 90 Rs breakfast paratha egg and tea

– 0930 hrs left from GHAWARI

Р1100 hrs reached intersection point of SHIGAR VALLEY road

– 1330 hrs left from Shigar

– 1350 hrs took BLIND LAKE TRACK

– 1420 hrs reached blind lake

– 1455 hrs left from Blind Lake

– 1530 hrs reached Sarfaranga desert entrance point

– 1600 hrs on shiger road

– 110 icecream near agha hadi chowk

– Remained stuck in Imam Hussain (R.A) chehlum jaloos till 7.30pm then Traffic warden helped me to drop at my hotel

DAY-09: 9-OCT-2020 | SKARDU > SHANGRILA RESORT > KACHURA LAKE > SOQ VALLEY

– 0630 hrs wokeup

– 0800 hrs had breakfast of Paratha, egg and tea in Skardu

Р0845 hrs left from hotel

– On the way stopped at Bike brake setting workshop and pictures stop at yellow trees

– 1000 hrs reached Shangrila resort, also known as Lower Kachura lake (which is artificial lake)

– 1100 hrs reached Upper kachura lake

Р1300 hrs left from Upper kachura lake

Р1330 hrs reached SOQ VALLEY (3km from Kachura Lake)

– Had tea with XOOQ RESTAURANT AND HOTEL Ali Ahmad

РSOQ VALLEY has a good camping facility and food availabilty including trout fish however no mobile signals are there.

– 1500 hrs left from SOQ VALLEY

– 450 Rs petrol at Skardu 4.3lit at 1630 hrs

– 120 Rs chicken burger –¬†Tandoori cafe at 1645 hrs

– 1715 hrs reached Hilton hotel

– 2100 hrs slept

ROUTE MAP:

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DAY-10: 10-OCT-2020 | LEFT FROM SKARDU > JAGLOT > NARAN

– 0330 hrs wokeup

РBags packed and tide on bike

Р0430 hrs left from Hilton hotel skardu towards KKH- Gilgit road

NOTE: This road was under construction and almost 50% have carpet road and 50% is still under construction. Govt is hopeful to complete the road by the end of 2021

– 1130 hrs reached Jaglot

– 410 Rs petrol 3.95lit

Р150 Rs Kabuli pulao n coke at Jaglot

– 1245 hrs left from Jaglot

ROUTE MAP:

Р1315 hrs crossed Nanga parbat view point

– 1340 hrs crossed Raikot bridge

Р1500 hrs reached CHILLAS ZERO POINT and had a Namaz break

– 1530 hrs left from CHILLAS

– 1715 hrs reached Babusar top

Р50 Rs had boil egg at Babusar Top

– 1915 hrs reached Naran bazar

Р170 Rs chappal kabab dinner

– 500rs night stay in Naran

– 2130 hrs slept

DAY-11: 11-OCT-2020 | NARAN > MUZAFFARABAD > MURREE > ISLAMABAD

– 0530 hrs wokeup

– 0630 hrs left from Naran

– 0845 hrs reached Kiwai

– 160 rs nashta at kiwai

– 0900 hrs left Balakot

– 0945 hrs reached Balakot

– 700 rs Petrol at balakot and 15min break

– 1000 hrs left from balakot

– From Balakot instead of going straight from Abbotabad, I took another scenic root via Muzafarabad and Murree

– 1140 hrs crossed Muzafarabad rope Neelum bridge

– 1250 hrs crossed KOHALA BRIDGE

– 1400 hrs reached Murree express way

– 1630 hrs reached Faizabad

– 1715 hrs reached at relatives home

ROUTE MAP:

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DAY-12: 12-OCT-2020 | REST IN ISLAMABAD

Had a full day rest and editing of videos in Islamabad

DAY-13: 13-OCT-2020 | ISLAMABAD TO LAHORE

Р0400 hrs wokeup and had breakfast

– 0515 left from Pindi

Р410 rs petrol full 3.93lit at chaklala 0520hrs

– 0615 hrs crossed Gujar Khan and suddenly my bike got switched off

– 0700 hrs took bike at Gujjar khan Bus adda and called an electrician who came at 0740am

– 900 rs new battery charger

– 250 rs electrician fee

– 0900 hrs left from Gujar khan

– 1020 Hrs reached DINA and entered into ROHTAS FORT

– 1040 hrs reached Rohtas Fort (10km from highway)

– 1145 hrs left from Rohtas Fort

– 1315 hrs stopped at MCDONALDS Wazirabad Chinab river

– 1350 hrs left from mcdonalds wazirabad

– 1600 hrs reached Lahore Azadi chowk

Р300rs new meter wire replaced at suzuki workshop

– 850 rs petrol at 1750 hrs 7.2liter

– 1800 hrs reached home

– 700 rs Bike oil replacement

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GUIDE | Trekking to Jahaz Banda, Katora Lake and Kund Banda

HIGHLIGHTS OF JAHAZ BANDA TRIP

WHEN TO VISIT JAHAZ BANDA

Jahaz banda is a beautiful meadows in upper DIR district of KPK province in Pakistan. It remains covered with snow from October end till May. So the best time to visit Jahaz Banda is between JUNE to SEPTEMBER.

However before leaving, always take weather, route and distance updates from from Accuweather.com and Google maps

LOCATIONS ON GOOGLE MAPS

  1. JAHAZ BANDA
  2. KATORA LAKE
  3. KUND BANDA
  4. KUMRAT VALLEY

CAN FAMILIES VISIT THESE PLACES?

This is subjective. Every family should take decision according to the age group of their members. You can see the trekking paths in my videos (below) and should take decision accordingly. I have seen many families trekking these valleys from age group of 12 years to 60 years but not everyone can do this.

You should ask following questions from your family, friends (and yourself too) before coming to this place:

  1. Have you done hikings and trekkings before?
  2. Do you have stamina for this?
  3. Can you hike for 6 to 10 hrs in a single day without having proper meals?
  4. Can you bear wild places and sleeping in a camp on an un-even surface?
  5. Can you use uncleaned and smelly toilets with no soap and small amount of water?
  6. Can you eat un-hygienic and not a proper cooked food?
  7. Do you have some members who always have complaining nature and have high demands of having facilities?
  8. Do you have members whose habit is to always curse the Government on not providing facilities in every remote location of Pakistan?

The main purpose of visiting this place should be to enjoy the Wild nature away from hustle and bustle of populated city life. Your focus should not be on getting facilities but to enjoy few nights in a forest/valley

TRANSPORT

There are 4 ways to reach Jahaz Banda

  1. Join a group tour on facebook (around 12,000 Rs per person for 3 Nights trip)
  2. Drive your car upto THAL and then hire a jeep to reach Takki Banda
  3. Take public transport to reach THAL and then reach Takki Banda on jeep
  4. Drive your motor bike and you can even take it up to TAKKI BANDA (and there is proper parking area for bikers at tuckshop)

I traveled to Kumrat Valley and Jahaz Banda on Public Transport. Although my route was:

Lahore > Dir > Thal > Takki Banda > Jahaz Banda

but i recommend to travel through other route because its a hassle to get a public transport from Dir > Thal. So i recommend the below route:

Lahore > Mardan > Thal > Takki Banda > Jahaz Banda

There is another route recently being used by tourist:

Lahore > Swat > Kalam > Utror > Badgoi pass > Thal

CONTACT NUMBERS TO BOOK A SEAT IN PUBLIC BUS/ VAN:

  • SADAAT BUS: Lahore to Dir or Mardan : 0300-5697625 or 0306-4066634
  • VAN¬†from Mardan to Thal (and vice versa): 0347-3075783

They have fix timings of departure so better take all timings from them by calling and then plan your journey accordingly.

ACCOMMODATION FACILITY IN JAHAZ BANDA

You should always keep this thing in mind that you are going on an adventure journey and going to stay in a remote area where no facilities are present. These places are for only those who love hiking, trekking and want to spend some time in wild nature. You should never expect good facilities and hospitality like Naran, Shogran, Murree and Nathiagali which are proper developed places for more than 50 years.

I visited first time Jahaz Banda in July 2019. At that time there were only camping facility available by locals. A 2-person tent is given at 500~1000 Rs and a four person camp is given at 1000 ~ 2000 Rs.

jahaz banda camping trekking site

The rates are depending upon the number of tourist visiting this place. However i visited Jahaz Banda again in July 2020 and now 5 to 6 proper wooden hotels have been built with attach bathroom. They charge 1500 ~ 2000 Rs for a room which can accommodate 3 to 4 people.

FOOD AVAILABILITY

food at jahaz banda kumrat valley

Although there are local tuck shops and kitchen huts available but you should keep this thing in mind that Jahaz Banda (or Kumrat) is a place of adventure and camping so you should not expect high quality facilities and food options at this place.  Locals try their best to serve you chicken, daal, rice etc and you should thank them instead of complaining them for taste and hygiene conditions.

I always suggest people not to eat Roti, Naan and bread during your trekking trips because you have to do Katora Lake trekking next day which will take around 9 hrs (both ways) and there will be no bathroom in the way. So better eat some snacks or take along Noodles, Dry fruits and snacks with you.

ELECTRICITY AND CHARGING FACILITY

There is no proper electricity at Jahaz Banda top. People have installed Solar panels at their huts which are only sufficient for LED bulbs for lighting however do not expect that you would be able to charge your mobiles or Drone batteries. So better take Power banks and extra batteries with you.

MOBILE SIGNALS AT JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE

As of now, there are currently Telenor and Jazz mobile signals available at Jahaz Banda top. You would hardly able to use internet but can easily make calls.

There are no mobile signals at Katora Lake (and also not at KUMRAT VALLEY)

SAFETY/ SECURITY/ LAW AND ORDER

The upper DIR region is very hospitable and i have found no issue of security during my 2 separate visits of Kumrat valley and Jahaz Banda. You can see my video of Katora Lake trekking where i left my big Backpack in my tent at Jahaz Banda and nothing was stolen. People are genuinely helping and offer you free things as a good gesture.

From camping point of view, there are no wild animals in this area. So you can sleep without worry.

⛔JEEP DRIVERS SCAM⛔

I am writing these lines with heavy heart and It is very unfortunate that Jeep owners at THAL are very unprofessional and  not reliable. The are new in this tourism industry and thus lack professional ethics. Be very cautious while dealing with them and i highly recommend to record your conversation on mobile while you are finalizing the Jeep fare and the drop-off point or any other terms and conditions. For example; You guys negotiated with jeep owner that in 2500 Rs he will drop you at Takki banda. So what they do, either they will drop you 2 km before Takki banda point OR if they drop you at exact point, they will demand some other price (say 4000 Rs which they asked you initially while negotiations)

jeep thal jahaz banda kumrat being a traveler bilal azam

It has happened to me 3 times and i have heard many such scam stories from my friends and tour operator companies.  I personally reported these scams to local police and also hope that local people will learn professional business ethics with the passage of time.

Average jeep fare are:

Thal to Takki Banda: 2500 ~ 4000 Rs (one way)

Thal to Kumrat Valley: 2500 ~ 3500 Rs (one way)

Kumrat to Takki Banda (vice versa): 3500 ~ 4500 Rs

Take phone number of 5 to 6 separate Jeep owners with you so that you can call them when you want to return from Takki Banda/Jahaz Banda to Thal.

PREPARATION FOR LEAVING ON CAMPING/ TREKKING TRIP TO KUMRAT

In order to see how to pack your bags, read my separate blog on Preparation Checklist

trekking camping checklist beingatraveler bilal azam vlogs

RESOURCES TO BUY TREKKING/ CAMPING EQUIPMENT IN PAKISTAN

Since many of you have asked to share resources where one can purchase camping/trekking gears so here is the list:

  1. Dominance.pk (5% discount code: BBT05)
  2. Hazari.com.pk
  3. Acsender.pk
  4. TheSportStore.pk
  5. Higher.com.pk
  6. Camps.pk
  7. Gearup.asia
  8. WALI MALL (for Bikers and campers)
  9. DARAZ.pk (open market for all kind of equipment)
  10. OLX.pk (Pick from the seller directly and save the shipping fees)

EXPENSES AND JOURNEY DETAILS OF MY PERSONAL VISIT TO JAHAZ BANDA

Jahaz banda is getting much popularity these days and it is always filled with lot of group tours and tourists from all over Pakistan. So in order to avoid heavy rush, i decided to travel this place just 5 days before Eid-ul-adha. This is the time when no one travels to north and every one is busy at their home in buying Goat and cows for the sacrifice. So here is chronological details of my journey:

DAY-1 | 26-JULY-2020

– Took Sadaat Bus from Lorry Adda Lahore @ 1400 Rs

DAY-2 | 27-JULY-2020 | TREKKING TO JAHAZ BANDA

– Left from Lahore @ 06:00 PM and Reached DIR bus stop at 0400 hrs

– Left from DIR in Jeep at 500 Rs @ 0730 hrs

– Reched THAL bazar @ 1030 hrs

– Hired a personal jeep @ 1500 Rs from THAL to Drop me till Takki Banda

NOTE: In normal days, average one-way jeep fare is 2500 ~ 4000 Rs depending upon season. Since i went there just 4 days before Eid-Ul-Adha so there was not a single tourist in Thal. Thats why i got a good price of 1500 Rs

– Left from THAL @ 1100 hrs and Reached at TAKKI TOP at 1230 hrs

– Trekking from Takki top to Jahaz Banda normally takes 3 ~ 4 hrs (depending upon your fitness and number of stops you take during the trip)

– I was shooting my videos with different angles and flying drone so it took my around 7 hours to reach at my camping site.

– Although lot of huts and camps are available at Jahaz Banda (between 500 to 1000 Rs per nite) but i setup my own tent. Had a rest and slept early at 9:00 PM

 

DAY-3 | 28-JUL-2020 | TREKKING TO KATORA LAKE

Trekking time from Jahaz Banda to Katora Lake one-way is 3 ~ 4 hrs . I woke up at Fajar time and left at 0600 hrs. Since i was alone and took the wrong path so i took around 7 hours to reach Katora Lake. However, on return i took the right path and reached back to Jahaz Banda in 3 hours only. Below are the details of trekking from Jahaz Banda to Katora Lake path:

Powered by Wikiloc

It is highly recommended that if you are visiting first time then either travel with a group of people or hire a local tour guide for this track.

TREKKING TO KUND BANDA AND JAHAZ BANDA WATERFALL

РAfter coming back from Katora Lake at 1700 hrs, i took some rest and then packed my tent from Jahaz Banda and left for trekking towards Kund Banda which starts at backside of TAJ DIN HUT. This trekking is 45 min down hill and very steep. This place is one of peaceful spot and my favorite place in this region. I setup my tent and slept alone in that valley as there was not a single tourist there.

kund banda location jahaz banda

 

Locals have also setup tents and huts to offer you a sleeping place at 500Rs per person. If you do not have your own tent, then you cn easily get space there along with mattress, pillow and blanket.

Watch details of Kund Banda trekking in below video:

 

DAY-4 | 29-JUL-2020 | KUND BANDA TO THAL

РWoke up early morning and left from Kund Banda towards Takki Banda at 0700 hrs

– Reached at Takki Banda at 1200 hrs

– Had a long wait at Takki Banda to get some jeep because no tourist was coming from THAL (because of upcoming Eid) and hence no jeep was available which could take me to THAL

– Finally after a wait of around 3.5 hrs, there were few people going back on their personal HILUX, i took a lift from them @ 03:30 PM and they dropped at THAL at 04:30 PM

– From THAL, took a local van seat @ 700 Rs for Mardan. The van started at 08:30 PM from Thal

 

DAY-5 | 30-Jul-2020 | MARDAN TO LAHORE

– Van dropped me at Mardan Bus stop at 0400 hrs

– From Bus stop, went to Malakand Chowk (on rickshaw) which is around 1km and Booked a seat for Rawalpindi at 300 Rs on HIACE van

– Van started at 0515 hrs from Mardan and Dropped me at Pindi Peshawar mor at 0645 hrs

– From Pindi, took a YUTONG bus @ 800 Rs at the spot at 0800 hrs and reached Lahore at 1200 hrs

Р31-Jul-2020: Had a full time rest and got our Goats for Qurbani

– 1st-Aug-2020:¬†Celebrated Bakra Eid and started editing of videos ūüôā

 

BEING A TRAVELER – T-SHIRTS COLLECTION:

bilal azam t shirts official merch

ALSO READ: How To Visit Kumrat Valley On Public Transport

guide visit kumrat valley jahaz banda beingatraveler bilal azam vlogs

Learn video editing Step-by-step on Adobe Premier Pro by Bilal Azam

Ever wanted to learn video editing on Adobe Premier Pro software and think that it is very difficult? Well ! now you can learn all editing techniques step by step in below episodes.

Happy Learning ūüôā

PREMIER PRO VIDEO EDITING TUTORIALS

http://beingatraveler.com/edit-videos-premier-pro-course-beginners-bilal-azam/

CHAPTER-1 | WHO SHOULD LEARN VIDEO EDITING

 

CHAPTER-2 | USER INTERFACE AND PANELS OF PREMIER PRO





CHAPTER-3 | IMPORT MEDIA FILES IN PROJECT PANEL

 

CHAPTER-4 (Part-A) | TIMELINE AND SEQUENCE

 

CHAPTER-4 (Part-B) | TIMELINE AND SEQUENCE



CHAPTER-5 | TRIMMING AND CUTTING VIDEO CLIPS

 

CHAPTER-6 | SLOW MOTION, FAST AND REVERSE VIDEO EFFECTS

 

CHAPTER-7 | CREATE TITLE AND GRAPHICS

How to Prepare for a Motorbike Tour – (checklist)

I have developed below checklist before departing on my Motorbike trip to Northern mountains of Pakistan. The checklist is further divided into sub-categories,  I hope this will help you as a starting point to get yourself prepared before hitting the road.

All my motorbike gadgets and gears are sponsored by WALIMALL.PK

MODIFICATIONS REQUIRED ON NEW BIKE

  1. Install metal Leg guard
  2. Air deflector shield on head light
  3. Extra LED lights for night driving
  4. Saddle side boxes
  5. Tail box
  6. Mobile holder
  7. Mobile charger
  8. 2nd keys of Bike + Wirelock, Saddle boxes or any other locks
  9. Tubeless tyres

TOOLS FOR BIKE: 

  1. Puncture kit
  2. Extra tube
  3. Air pump
  4. Multi sizes nut and bolt opening keys
  5. Extra wiring fuses
  6. Extra petrol bottle
  7. Extra engine oil
  8. Bike rain cover (during parking)
  9. Small clock on bike handle
  10. Luggage binding elastic strips with hooks

 GADGETS FOR DRIVING

  1. Seat comfort cushion (buy from any medical store)
  2. Dust proof glasses
  3. Wind breaker upper
  4. Leg and arms guards
  5. Protective hand gloves
  6. Seat cushion (air filled tube)
  7. Rain coat
  8. Rain pent
  9. Reflector strips

ALSO READ: HOW I PARCEL AND SHIPPED MY BIKE FROM KARACHI TO LAHORE ON PAKISTAN RAILWAY (TRAIN)

PERSONAL ITEMS DURING DRIVING

  1. National ID card CNIC
  2. Driving license 
  3. Your employee/ business card
  4. Wireless handsfree
  5. Cash
  6. ATM/Memory cards
  7. Multiple mobile network sims (for travel in Kashmir buy SCOM sim from here)
  8. Rain coat and Rain pent

PERSONAL ITEMS IN LUGGAGE

  1. Luggage bag (tied with elastic strings at back seat)
  2. Rain cover for bag
  3. Camera + extra cards and batteries
  4. Mobile + Charger
  5. Torch or Head light
  6. Power Bank
  7. Eye Mask
  8. Ear plugs

FOOD RELATED

  1. Water bottle
  2. Snacks
  3. Dry fruits
  4. Noodles
  5. Ready to eat food (FRESHMATE)
  6. Coffee sachet (3 in 1 ready to drink sachet)
  7. Tapal or Everyday Sachet (3 in 1 ready to drink)

THINGS RELEVANT TO CAMPING

  1. Tent (waterproof)
  2. Nylon rope to tie camp
  3. Sleeping mat
  4. Air pillow
  5. Sleeping bag (below -5 degree rating)
  6. Sleeping Hygiene sheet
  7. Sleeper/ Flipflop
  8. 2/3 pair of trousers and shirts
  9. Small towel
  10. Tooth Paste (small)
  11. Paper soap
  12. Normal Small size soap/ shampoo
  13. Detergent sachet to wash any thing
  14. Multi purpose tools having knife, cutter, etc
  15. Small pan
  16. Camping stove to cook something
  17. Mini umbrella
  18. Mini Lighter (to start a fire)

THINGS RELEVANT TO TREKKING

  1. Long boots for trekking (water proof)
  2. Long Socks special for trekking
  3. P-Cap/ Hat
  4. Sun glasses
  5. Trekking poles (hiking sticks)
  6. Water bottle
  7. Metal hooks (to hang something on bag)

PERSONAL MEDICAL & EMERGENCY KIT

  1. Pain killers
  2. Disprin
  3. Anti-nausea
  4. Stomach upset medicine
  5. Nimcol/ ORS
  6. Safety pins
  7. Medical bandage
  8. Balm/Iodex
  9. Sunny Plast
  10. Knee braces (for trekking)
  11. Mosquito repellent lotion
  12. Whistle (for emergency communication)
  13. Masking Tape
  14. Chepstick
  15. Sunblock cream
  16. Sewing needle and thread
  17. Tissue wipes
  18. Extra plastic bags
  19. Ballpoint/ Marker to write something

 

NOTE: SPECIAL TIPS FOR SUZUKI GS-150

  • Change the genuine wiring fuse with a car fuse because of its availability issue during tour
  • Take extra fuses during the tour
  • Take extra clutch wire and brake wires with you. You will not find them anywhere during the tour

MY VLOGGING AND TRAVEL EQUIPMENT DETAILS:

Gadgets gears travel vloggin media kit bilal azam being a traveler

ALSO READ:

Checklist for a  TREKKING/CAMPING trip

trekking camping checklist beingatraveler bilal azam vlogs

Checklist for an INTERNATIONAL TRIP

TRAVEL CHECKLIST BILAL AZAM

Visiting Tao Butt (Taobat) and Rati Gali (KASHMIR) using public transport

I Visited Taobutt and Rati Gali lake August 2018 on a public transport. For your ease i am mentioning to the point details of my Bus Journey and all expenses which i spent day wise:

BUS FROM LAHORE

You have below options to depart from Lahore

  1. Sri nagar express (Lorry Adda)
  2. Habib Express (Lorry Adda)
  3. Skyways (Niazi Stop Bund road)

DAY-1 | 03-AUG-2018 | LEAVING FROM LAHORE

1400 Rs ticket of Habib Khan Bus Daewoo ticket which leaves at 2200 hrs from Lorry Adda Lahore

– The bus has good service, Air conditioned and travels via Motorway

DAY-2 | 04-AUG-2018 | ARRIVAL MUZAFFARABAD

I slept whole night in the bus and when wokeup, the bus was going on murree express way and was moving towards Muzaffarabad.
– 0530 hrs crossed KOHALA BRIDGE kashmir.
– 0612 hrs crossed NEELAM ROPE BRIDGE
– 0625 hrs reached at MUZAFARABAD BUS STOP

MUZAFARABAD > KERAN > DAWARIAN > SHARDA > KEL

After arriving muzaffarabad, I had breakfast at bus stop and bought a ticket of a local bus from MUZAFARABAD TO KEL @ 430 Rs. The bus is without AC and not very comfortable so better choose a seat with a good leg space.

– 0700 hrs Bus started but stopped at many locations
– 0915 hrs crossed NEELAM JEHLUM DAM
– 1035 hrs crossed kundal shahi
– 1100 hrs crossed ATH MUQAM
– 1135 hrs crossed KERAN

Keran is a good spot to stay and also at this point you can see Indian flags just few hundred feet in front of you. Few of the good hotel options at Keran are

– Valley tracker Hotel

– Neelam star river Hotel

– Pine park lodges

– Kashmir Color guest house

The bus did not stop at Keran and continued onwards:
Р1200 hrs  Stopped at LAWAT for lunch break
90 Rs: I had Bar B Q tikka at Lawat
90 Rs: Purchased water bottles

– 1215 hrs Left from LAWAT
– 1235 hrs crossed DAWARIAN (from where ratti gali Jeep track starts)
– 1410 hrs reached SHARDA and had a small break

Sharda is one of the famous stop for stay. Most of the tour operators provide accommodation at this place. There are many basic level guest houses as well as camping tents available along the river. There is also ancient times, Shardah hindu Temple which was built 1000 years ago which you can visit across the river. I did not stop at Shardah during this trip, however sharing my video of visiting shardah temple during my May 2017 trip below:

From here, KEL is 19km far and Tao butt is 62km
– 1430 hrs left from SHARDA
– 1545 hrs reached KEL

My today’s bus journey ended at KEL. I booked a basic level guest house at KEL and kept my bags there to spend 2 nights there:

1000 Rs (500 Rs x 2 nights) paid to “Green hills view guest house”

After keeping my bags in guest house, i decided to hike towards ARANG KEL. There are 2 options to reach Arang Kel from Kel:

i) Complete track by hiking which takes almost 2.5 hrs

ii) Cover half way by Cable Car and then hike the remaining portion in just 45min

So, i decided to go through cable car. The waiting line for cable car is almost 30 to 40 min but still it is better than hiking (for those people who do not have tough stamina). The cable car takes only 30 seconds to drop you on other side.
100 Rs cable car ticket (for both ways)
– 1645 hrs sat in Cable car, dropped at other point and started trekking onwards

– 1720 hrs Reached Arang kel top

Since there was lot of public and long ques on going back so i spent only 45min at Arang Kel and then returned back to reach my Hotel before sunset.
– 1800 hrs started trekking back from Arang Kel and reach at cable car point at 1835hrs

– 1915 hrs sat on cable car and reached back to my room at 1945 hrs
– slept at 2100 hrs

DAY-3 | 05-AUG-2018 | KEL TO TAOBUTT AND RETURN

– Woke up at 0500 hrs
– 0620 hrs left from Hotel to KEL Bus stop
350 Rs jeep ticket from KEL to Taobut from Alhabib Hotel 03558111937

There are only 2 jeep timing from KEL to TAO BUTT: 0730 hrs and 1030 hrs
Р0740 hrs jeep left from KEL towards TAO BUTT
– 1100 hrs reached Tao Butt

Tao butt has wooden guest houses and 02 very good family hotels on the bank of river i.e; Ganga Hotel and Shabistan Hotel


350 Rs Return jeep ticket bought at 1400hrs timing
50 Rs pakoray at Taobutt
– 1410 hrs left on Jeep from Taobutt
– 1440 hrs stopped for 30min at Hulmat due to heatup of jeep
– 1600 hrs dropped few passengers at Phulawai
– 1815 hrs reached KEL
250 Rs dinner chicken meal
– 2030 hrs slept at Kel guest house

DAY-4 | 06-AUG-2018 | KEL > DAWARIAN > RATI GALI LAKE

Р0500 hrs wokeup and reached bus STOP at 0545 hrs
250 Rs bus ticket KEL to DAWARIAN
90 Rs paratha and egg breakfast
– 0600 hrs bus left from KEL (every 30min bus leaves starting from 4.30am)
– 0740 hrs reached SHARDA and and then resumed onward journey at 0805 hrs
– 1000 hrs Reached DAWARIAN and got off from Bus

From here, you have to hire a separate jeep which takes almost 2500 ~ 3000 Rs to take you upto Base camp. However i was traveling solo so i sat with locals by paying them 500 Rs
500 Rs took a local jeep from Dawarian to Rati Gali Base camp
– 1330 hrs reached at base camp of RATI GALLI

The base camp has lot of tents to spend a night and also have local kitchen huts and food options.
– 1345 hrs started hiking towards RATI GALLI
– 1500 hrs reached top of RATTI GALI LAKE


Р1620 hrs left from Rati Gali due to heavy rain started  and reached base camp at 1700 hrs

Few people had already booked their jeep, so i requested them to take me along.
500 Rs paid to jeep for one seat. Jeep started at 1710 hrs
– 1850 hrs reached at DAWARIAN BRIDGE and waited a long for bus. After 1.5 hr a bus arrived which was fully packed and i could only find a space to stand in the gate of Bus.
– 2030 hrs Bus started at Dawarian for Pindi
650 Rs Bus fare to Rawalpindi

On the way, there was lot of rain and land sliding

DAY-5 | 07-AUG-2018 |  DAWARIAN > RAWALPINDI > LAHORE

– 0010 hrs bus stopped at GHORI (CHASHMAY WALI JAGA) due to heavy land sliding. The road was blocked and bus river brought the bus 1 km back. We spent the whole night in a Mosque to wait for clearance of land sliding.

– Wokeup at 0545 hrs and all passengers sat in Bus but still land sliding was not clear and again waited for the crane.
– 0910 hrs finally sliding cleared by dumper and resumed the journey
– 0945 hrs crossed Muzaffarabad city Rope Bridge
– 1040 hrs crossed KOHALA BRIDGE
– 20 min stop for meal at PHAGWARI
– 1245 hrs entered MURREE EXPRESS WAY
– 1425 hrs bus dropped me at FAIZABAD Bus Stop Rawalpindi
– 1445 hrs sat in FAISAL MOVERS BUS for Lahore
1070 Rs FAISAL MOVER ticket to Lahore

– 1915 hrs reached Lahore

———–
TOTAL EXPENSE OF TRIP  = 6900 Rs (Including all bus tickets, accommodation and meals)

———-

 

 

ALSO READ: HOW TO PLAN YOUR FIRST TRIP TO NEELUM VALLEY | KASHMIR

Neelam valley kashmir pakistan beingatraveler

How to visit Kumrat Valley and Jahaz banda on public transport

VISIT KUMRAT VALLEY AND JAHAZ BANDA | KOHISTAN | KPK | PAKISTAN

First thing first, Kumrat Valley is not a Family Vacation spot (currently in 2020). Its an adventurer place where there are small camp-style-hotels with basic necessities only. Its a place for camping and trekking and requires lot of pre-planning.

Since the place has starting getting popularity after Imran Khan visit in 2017, so after seeing lot of people’s interest, KPK Govt has launched Tourism police there and now going to start road construction in early 2020.

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT KUMRAT VALLEY

Kumrat Valley is not accessible for full year. Because of heavy snow, you can not visit this place in winters. The snow starts melting in April till end may when it becomes accessible for locals  however after June, the greenery start appearing in the valley and finally the valley gets started to welcome the visitors.

Hence the best time to visit Kumrat Valley is from  Mid of June to Mid of October.

The videos you are seeing in this blog were made in 1st week of July 2019

CAMPING SITES 

There are several camping sites along the river of Kumrat and locals have provided wooden huts and tents for tourists. If you want to put your own tent then it is allowed however locals will ask you to pay 500 Rs per nite if you peg your tent near Waterfall area. If you go further in a little no-mans land, then you can camp free-of-cost. You can get a camp of 2, 3 persons from locals at 500 ~ 1000 Rs per nite (as per availability)

ELECTRICITY AND CHARGING FACILITY

There is no proper electricity at in Kumrat Valley. People have installed Solar panels at their huts which are only sufficient for LED bulbs for lighting however do not expect that you would be able to charge your mobiles or Drone batteries. So better take Power banks and extra batteries with you.

MOBILE SIGNALS AT JAHAZ BANDA AND KATORA LAKE

As of now, there are currently mobile signas at THAL bazar only. There are no mobile signals at Kumrat Valley camping site. I had to make some emergency calls and for that i hired a motorbike who braught me to Thal bazar so that i could call at home and then i went back to camping site

IMPORTANT TIPS FOR PACKING

1. Always pack your bags light

2. Prefer foldable things, to utilize maximum space

3. Prepare for the emergency, not for leisure

4. Never rely on your friend, bring your own things


PREPARATION FOR LEAVING ON CAMPING/ TREKKING TRIP TO KUMRAT

In order to see how to pack your bags, watch the below video. Also you can see the

Preparation Checklist

trekking camping checklist beingatraveler bilal azam vlogs

RESOURCES TO BUY TREKKING/ CAMPING EQUIPMENT IN PAKISTAN

Since many of you have asked to share resources where one can purchase camping/trekking gears so here is the list:

  1. Dominance.pk (5% discount code: BBT05)
  2. Hazari.com.pk
  3. Acsender.pk
  4. The Sport Store
  5. Higher.com.pk
  6. Camps.pk
  7. Gearup.asia
  8. WALI E-MALL (for Biker and riding gadgets)
  9. DARAZ.pk (open market for all kind of equipment)
  10. OLX.pk (Pick from the seller directly and save the shipping fees)

TRANSPORT

There are 3 ways to reach Kumrat Valley

  1. Join a group tour on facebook (around 12,000 Rs per person for 3 Nights trip)
  2. Drive your car upto THAL and then hire a jeep to reach Kumrat Valley
  3. Take public transport to reach THAL and then reach Kumrat Valley on jeep

I traveled to Kumrat Valley  on Public Transport. Although my route was:

Lahore > Dir > Thal > Kumrat Valley

but i recommend to travel through other route because its a hassle to get a public transport from Dir to Thal. So i recommend the below route:

Lahore > Mardan > Thal > Kumrat Valley

EXPENSES AND JOURNEY DETAILS OF VISITING AND STAYING IN KUMRAT VALLEY

===============
1. LAHORE TO DIR (KPK):
===============
– Take bus from LAHORE-to-DIR at Larri Adda near Minar-e-Pakistan ( Bus Fare = 1400 Rs)
– You can book your seat by calling SADAAT BUS SERVICE at 0306-4066634 or 0313-5747238
– Bus leaves from Lahore at 1800 hrs and drops at DIR early morning 0430 hrs

=============
2. DIR TO THALL 
=============

– From DIR bus terminal, you can either take a seat in local van to KUMRAT or THALL but they start operation at 0830 hrs. (Fare = 500 ~ 600 Rs/person)
– So if you are 5~6 people, you can hire a personal car that will drop you at THAL BAZAR in 3 hours.
– Private Car fare: 2000 ~ 2300 Rs (for all 5~6 persons)



=================

3. THALL  TO KUMRAT

=================
– If you are solo and have small bag, you can hire a local motor bike who will drop you at Kumrat Valley within 1.5 hr in 500 ~ 700 Rs
– Or you can hire a 4×4 Jeep in 2500 Rs (can take upto 7 persons) that will drop you at Kumrat Valley in 2 ~ 2.5 hrs
– You should do camping near Waterfall point (Kumrat Aabshaar)
– A 3 to 4 person camp can be rented out at 500 ~ 1000 Rs depending upon the season

====================

3a. FIRST DAY CAMPING IN KUMRAT

====================

==================================
4. KUMRAT TO KALA (PATHAR) CHASHMA
==================================
– Trekking time = 1 hour (if starting from Kumrat Waterfall point)
– Path is very wide and worthy for 4×4 Jeeps and Motorbikes
– There are few camping facilities (4 to 5 camps only) at Kala Chashma point.
– You should stay a night there only if you want further trekking to Shahzor Lake or Kundal Lake
– There is one Tuck Shop and restaurant at Kala Chashma who can serve Pakora, Daal, Chicken Karahi, Cold drinks etc.
– Camp of 4 to 5 people @ 500 Rs/nite

============================
5. KALA CHASHMA TO SHAHZOR LAKE (15 hours trekking)
============================
– Trekking from Kala Chashma to DOJAGGA is almost straight path and takes around 3 hours (with breaks)
– From DOJAGGA (also called DOJANGA in Kohistani language) to Shahzor Lake, the trekking path is slightly UP-HILL and takes around 6 hours (with multiple breaks for rest and re-energize)
– On return, it takes only 03 hours from Shahzor lake to DoJagga point, however from Do-Jagga to Kala Chashma, trekking time is same i.e 03 hours.

– So total time of Uphill (towards Shahzor Lake) = 9 hrs and Down-hill (towards Kala chashma) = 6 hrs

(We started our trekking at 0800 hrs and came back 2300 hrs. Dont forget to take food and Head-lamps with you)



========================
6. THALL TO JAHAZ BANDA
========================
– Jeep track is steep, it takes you from Thal and drops at Takki Top (Taki Banda)
– Jeep fare = 3000 Rs
– Time from Thal to Takki Top = 2 ~ 2.5 hrs
– You can not take Jeep or Bikes further from Takki Top
– Trekking time from Takki Top to Jahaz Banda = 03 hours
– Camping facility at Jahaz Banda = 500 rs per camp (for 2 or 3 people)
====================
7. JAHAZ BANDA WATER FALL
====================

– Just 15 min down-hill trekking from camping point, you will witness beautiful waterfall and lush blue zig-zag water flowing between lush green ground.
– You can also do camping at this so-peaceful place.
=========================
8. KATORA LAKE TREKKING
=========================
– Must start your trekking at 0600 hrs from Jahaz Banda
– Trekking time one-side = 03 hrs approx
– Must take rain coats with you as you will witness rain on the way 2 or 3 times and even heavy hail storm.

I COULD NOT UPLOAD REMAINING 04 EPISODES OF KUMRAT VALLEY TRIP BECAUSE I LOST MY ALL DATA WHEN I WAS TOURING IN USA AND SOMEONE STOLE MY LAPTOP AND ALL HARD DRIVES BY BREAKING INTO MY CAR.

Anyways, i went again Jahaz Banda in 2020 and filmed separate Vlog series

READ: Solo trip to Jahaz Banda, Katora Lake and Kund Banda

jahaz banda kumrat valley trekking

 


 

Watch my other VLOGS of Exploring the beauty of Pakistan

—————————————————————————————–
1. Androon Lahori Nashta: https://bit.ly/2XacxXt
2. Camping in SHARAN Forest: https://bit.ly/2FbE2Fy
3. Visiting TAOBUTT Kashmir: https://bit.ly/2XhbRzf
4. Rati Galli Lake: https://bit.ly/31LKexY
5. Toli Peer Hike Kashmir: https://bit.ly/2Xgg86m
6. Swat Kalam Malam Jabba: https://bit.ly/2IkoIZd
7. Saji Kot Waterfall: https://bit.ly/2WNfe1I
8. Road trip to HUNZA Valley: https://bit.ly/2Rgw3vZ
9. Mushkpuri Top hiking: https://bit.ly/2WJxELN
10. Neela Wahan (Blue Ponds): https://bit.ly/2ZtWwsU
11. Neelam Valley Kashmir: https://youtu.be/dcg4xauI2Pg
12. Haneef Siri Paye | Ambala Lassi: https://bit.ly/2Ko77ll
13. How to visit KUMRAT VALLEY & JAHAZ BANDA: https://youtu.be/FpMOvAiaPHQ
———————————
BACKPACKING IN INDONESIA:
———————————
▶️ Episode-1: Preparing for my longest trip| https://bit.ly/2JrCX02
▶️ Episode-2: Met my humshakal in Bangkok to Bali | https://bit.ly/2Ee40aX
▶️ Episode-3: Day trip to Nusa Penida Klingking Beach | https://bit.ly/2JrDzTo
▶️ Episode-4: visiting Gate-of-Heaven (Lempuyang Temple) | https://bit.ly/2LSlu2W
▶️ Episode-5: Tukad Cepung Waterfall | Bali | https://bit.ly/2QdoDZD
▶️ Episode-6: TANAH LOT TEMPLE: https://bit.ly/2wcN4x7
Episode-7: A Day in UBUD |Bali Swing | Monkey Forest | https://bit.ly/2VC8DBv
▶️ Episode-8: Going BALI to JAKARTA | https://youtu.be/zTTTkIUFQSI
▶️ Episode-9: I met president of Indonesi | https://youtu.be/TISH0mEtTyU


FOLLOW MY TRAVELS ON:

https://www.INSTAGRAM.COM/beingatraveler

Trekking and Camping preparation checklist

This is my personal packing list for camping and trekking. You may find few things extra and can use this list to take help for your packing. You can watch the whole video about my packing at the end of this blog.

IMPORTANT TIPS FOR BACKPACKING TRIP

1. Always pack light things

2. Prefer fold-able things, to utilize maximum space of your bag

3. Prepare for the emergency, not for leisure

4. Never rely on your partner, bring your own things

RESOURCES TO BUY TREKKING/ CAMPING EQUIPMENT IN PAKISTAN

Since many of you have asked to share resources where one can purchase camping/trekking gears so here is the list:

  1. Dominance.pk (5% discount code: BBT05)
  2. Hazari.com.pk
  3. Acsender.pk
  4. TheSportStore.pk
  5. Higher.com.pk
  6. Camps.pk
  7. Gearup.asia
  8. WALI E-MALL (for Bikers and campers)
  9. DARAZ.pk (open market for all kind of equipment)
  10. OLX.pk (Pick from the seller directly and save the shipping fees)

trekking camping checklist beingatraveler bilal azam vlogs

 BAGS AND DOCUMENTS

  1. 60 – 80 Lit backpack
  2. Rain cover for bag
  3. Day bag (30-40 Lit) to keep daily essentials like food water, wind breaker
  4. Waist bag
  5. Dry bag
  6. Multiple organizer bags
  7. Laundry bags
  8. National ID card (and its photocopies)
  9. Driving License
  10. Your employee/business card
  11. Credit/Debit cards
  12. Ball point
  13. Wallet

trekking camping checklist beingatraveler bilal azam vlogs

WEARABLES

  1. Trouser
  2. Jeans
  3. Shorts
  4. T-shirt 
  5. Trekking Joggers/shoes
  6. Flipflop/ sleeper
  7. Neck cover 
  8. Round Hat
  9. P- Cap
  10. Winter Cap
  11. Arm covers-sleeves  (to avoid sun contact)
  12. Small personal Towel
  13. Sun Shades/Glasses
  14. Thermals (For winters)
  15. Zipper (Wind breaker)




trekking camping checklist beingatraveler bilal azam vlogs

TOILETRIES

  1. Tooth brush
  2. Small paste
  3. Mouth freshener (paper mint)
  4. Shampoo sachet
  5. Small soap
  6. Paper soap
  7. Razor
  8. Shaving cream small
  9. Nail cutter
  10. Scissor
  11. Small comb
  12. Oil
  13. Small cutter
  14. Sewing pin + thread
  15. Tissue pack
  16. Deodorant

trekking camping checklist beingatraveler bilal azam vlogs

MEDICAL/ EMERGENCY KIT

  1. Disprine / Panadol for mild headaches and pain
  2. Pain killers for severe pains
  3. Stomach upset Medicines (Emodium)
  4. Anti Vomit medicines
  5. Sun Block cream
  6. Lip balm
  7. Sunny plast (for minor cuts)
  8. Medical doctor tape
  9. Safety pins
  10. Nimcol / ORS
  11. Bandage
  12. Balm/ Iodex
  13. Knee braces

trekking camping checklist beingatraveler bilal azam vlogs

TREKKING/ CAMPING GADGETS

  1. Camp with water sheets/cover
  2. Sleeping bag
  3. Sleeping mat
  4. Trekking poles
  5. Anti slip rubber grips (for mud and snow)
  6. Torch light
  7. Head light
  8. Water bottle hooks
  9. D-shape hooks
  10. Rain coat
  11. Emergency blanket
  12. Small Umbrella
  13. Small lighter (use it for cooking breakfast and other meals or bonfire) 
  14. Whistle for emergency
  15. Small strings to ties camping sheets etc
  16. Anti cut gloves
  17. Air Pillow
  18. Foldable Water bottles
  19. Water bag with pipe
  20. Dust mask
  21. Foldable glass
  22. Rubber bands to tie something
  23. All mobile network Sim cards (to catch signals in mountains)

trekking camping checklist beingatraveler bilal azam vlogsFOOD AND TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

  1. Travel neck pillow
  2. Eye mask
  3. Ear plugs
  4. Book/Novel
  5. Coffee (3 in 1) sachet
  6. Noodles
  7. Dry fruits
  8. Ready to eat food (FRESHMATE)
  9. Snacks & Chocolates
  10. Chewing gum




trekking camping checklist beingatraveler bilal azam vlogs

ELECTRONIC GADGETS

  1. Camera and batteries
  2. Power banks (solar is better)
  3. Blue tooth speakers
  4. Mobile and Chargers
  5. Travel sockets
  6. Old mobile with long battery life
  7. Water covers for mobile and DSLR
  8. Dry bag  (rafting bag)
  9. Wrist watch/band
  10. Handsfree
  11. Empty USBs
  12. Car charger
  13. AUX cable (to connect mobile with car/jeep audio tape)

trekking camping checklist beingatraveler bilal azam vlogs

MY PERSONAL VLOGGING EQUIPMENT

  1. DSLR camera (Canon 6D and SONY A7iii)
  2. Drone (DJI MAVIC PRO and DJI MAVIC Air-2)
  3. 360 deg Camera (samsung)
  4. Action Cameras (Hero4, Hero7, SJ4000)
  5. Microphone during Travel (BOYA shotgun mic)
  6. Microphone for Voiceover recording (ZOOM H6 Black)
  7. Extra batteries of all cameras
  8. Tripods (big n small)
  9. Gimbal (Zhiyun Weebill-S)
  10. Head mount for GoPro camera
  11. Timelapse revolving mount
  12. Selfie Stick
  13. Extra memory cards
  14. OTG device (to connect USB with mobile)
  15. Charging extension board

VIDEO OF PREPARATION FOR CAMPING AND TREKKING TRIP TO KUMRAT VALLEY


You can also refer TRAVEL CHECKLIST for packing your bag for an INTERNATIONAL TRIP


INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL CHECKLIST

When you’re heading off around the world, getting organized can be pretty daunting. To help you prepare for your trip, use this handy checklist to check off important items before you travel.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

  • ¬†– Air Ticket
  • ¬†– Passport/ Visa
  • ¬†– Hotel reservations
  • ¬†– Travel Insurance (if required)
  • ¬†– Tour Itinerary
  • ¬†– Travel wallet and Pouch for Passport/ ticket/ boarding pass etc
  • ¬†– National ID card
  • ¬†– Driving license (National/ International)
  • ¬†– Your Employee card + visiting cards + Student card
  • ¬†– Photocopies of all above Documents (for each individual – in group travel)
  • ¬†– Soft copies of all above¬†documents in mobile or USB


BAGS & CURRENCY

  • ¬†– Backpack (Day bag)
  • ¬†– Waist¬†bag
  • ¬†– Destination country¬†currency + US Dollars
  • ¬†– Credit and Debit cards


ELECTRONICS

  • ¬†– Laptop + charger

  • ¬†– Mobile + charger
  • ¬†– Headphones
  • ¬†– Camera + lenses + charger
  • ¬†– Power bank
  • ¬†– USB
  • ¬†– Portable Hard disk for Data or pictures transfer
  • ¬†– Universal Travel socket/ Adapter¬†
  • ¬†– Water proof cover for mobile¬†
  • ¬†– Water proof cover for Digital Camera
  • ¬†– Water proof cover for DSLR Camera
  • ¬†– DSLR Slim Travel pouch for Travel¬†
  • ¬†– Selfie stick¬†
  • ¬†– Wrist watch

TOILETRIES

  • ¬†– Travel Toiletries bag¬†
  • ¬†– Tooth Brush
  • ¬†– Tooth Paste/ Mouthwash
  • ¬†– Shampoo: 100ml bottle or Sachet
  • ¬†– Shaving razor + Shaving cream
  • ¬†– Hair oil
  • ¬†– Small Soap/ hand wash/ paper soaps
  • ¬†– Hand Sanitizer
  • ¬†– Moisturizing¬†lotion
  • ¬†– Sun Block¬†lotion
  • ¬†– Small personal Towel
  • ¬†– Tissue/ Wipes
  • ¬†– Brush/ Comb


OTHERS

  • ¬†– Sun glasses
  • ¬†– Eye cover + Ear plugs
  • ¬†– Travel¬†U-Pillow (Air filled)¬†
  • ¬†– Travel rectangular Pillow (Air filled)¬†
  • ¬†– Sewing kit
  • ¬†– Rain coat
  • ¬†– Book/ Novel for¬†time pass¬†
  • ¬†– Pen/ Diary
  • ¬†– Swimming shorts for Beach
  • ¬†– Sleepers (Chappal)
  • ¬†– Thermals (for winter season)
  • ¬†– Hat/ P-Cap
  • ¬†– Maffler/ Winter cap
  • ¬†– Baggage weighing scale¬†
  • ¬†– Water bottle foldable¬†
  • ¬†– Medicines: Pain killers/ Asprin
  • ¬†– Snacks items (Chips, Nuts, Biscuits, Chocolates etc)


Watch how i prepared for my backpacking trip to Indonesia

Did i miss anything important? Lets help others by suggesting HERE

How to plan your visit to Neelam Valley Kashmir | Pakistan

Neelam valley is situated in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir. I had a chance to visit this valley first time in May 2017 with a group tour company “Trekkers Club” Pakistan.

ABOUT KASHMIR

Kashmir is a disputed region between Pakistan and India. After India-Pakistan partition in 1947, half of the Kashmir was held by India and half of the Kashmir was held by Pakistan.

Whether it is Indian side or Pakistani, the land of Kashmir is called the “Paradise on Earth”.¬† The Neelam River stream acts as a border between India and Pakistan and no one is allowed to cross the river with proper visa. In the below Blog ‚ÄúKashmir‚ÄĚ will be meaning as ‚ÄúPakistani Kashmir‚ÄĚ.

Neelam valley kashmir pakistan beingatraveler

GOVERNMENT OF KASHMIR:

Kashmir has their independent Governance system. It is not controlled under Federal Law of Pakistan. They have their own National Assembly, Prime Minister and Laws. However its security is controlled by Pakistani Army.

ABOUT KASHMIRI PEOPLE:

People living in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir have their relatives in Indian side of Kashmir. One of local Kashmiri Khawaja Shabir (which later became my friend) told that if they have to visit their relatives in Indian side of Kashmir, they submit their papers to Indian Army and it takes¬†normally 12 months for verification and then are allowed to cross the River.

neela kashmir beingatraveler.com bilal azam
A Local Kashmiri Guy cutting wood

PRE-PLANNING A TOUR TO NEELAM VALLEY – KASHMIR

Safety First! Before you are planning to visit Neelam Valley, make sure that border security situation is normal as round the year there have happened many firing incidents from Indian side to Pakistan side depending upon the political situation between the two countries. You don’t need this info for security purpose only but also because road to many beautiful parts of Kashmir gets closed during this tense period.



ROADS IN KASHMIR

While driving towards Neelam Valley some of the roads are in very good shape. However after passing 3 hours from Muzaffarabad many roads are single track having a giant mountain at your one side and Neelam River on the other side. If you will be driving in a sunny weather, make sure to install a uv protection in your car’s windows.

visit neelam valley kashmir roads
Kashmiri Girls taking woods to their home – Road in Neelam valley

At some places these roads are bumpy and rough with stones while at some places it has clean carpet road with sharp hair pin turns.

Roads neelam valley
Road to KEL – Neelam Valley

SHOULD YOU GO BY DRIVING YOUR OWN CAR?

Well ! Its a trade off between independence and risk of your car degradation. If you have Sedan shape cars (Like Toyota Corolla, Honda City etc) then you would end up with loss of shocks performance at the end of your trip, plus as these cars are meant to be driven on straight carpeted roads, so you should expect hitting of lot of stones at the bottom of your car.

how to visit neelam valley
Coasters on their way – Neelam Valley

The recommended drive is through Hiace Van, Coasters (through group tour companies) or SUVs (Vigo, Land Cruiser, Pajero, Fortuner etc)  which have good road clearance and great shocks absorption capacity.

IS KASHMIR SUITABLE FOR FAMILY TRIP PLACE?

Lot of people takes Kashmir similar to other Northern Areas of Pakistan like Murree, Nathia Galli, Naran, Swat etc but traveling to Kashmir is little different. There are no such good facilities of Hotels, Food etc as found in other places. There is no such central Place in Neelam Valley like Mall Road in Murree, Bazaar in Naran and Swat valley. Locals have identified beautiful spots at different parts of Neelam Valley and have built accommodations on their own. So where ever you will stay it will be you and few other travelers and tourists with limited resources of food around you. The reason of these limited resources is probably because no Pakistani is allowed to buy a land in Kashmir. You have to be a local Kashmiri to invest in Kashmir. If Pakistanis are allowed to invest directly in Kashmir regions then situation could be better.

visit neelam valley kashmir kutton
Balcony of a local Guest House in Kutton – Neelam Valley kashmir

So there is lot of hectic traveling involved to visit all places in Neelam Valley and if you are traveling with family having kids and elders then visiting this valley can put you in trouble. The journey includes restless travel, bumpy and single roads with sharp turns. And even when you reach any point then it will always involve little hiking (ascending or descending) on a rough track. Also there will be no Bazaar and shopping areas where ladies could spend there time. It will be only You and the Landscape. In short, ‚ÄúKashmir is not a Family Picnic Spot”

kashmir neelam
A breakfast point at the bank of River Neelam




WHAT TYPE OF PEOPLE SHOULD TRAVEL TO NEELAM VALLEY – KASHMIR

Adventure Lovers ! Explorers ! Nature Lovers !

Yes, Kashmir is a place for those who love adventure. Who love to spend restless hours and hours to see a Landscape with a flowing stream of Neelam River, mountains around you just like you are sitting in bowl and experiencing a sunrise at the backside of the mountain. Kashmir is a place for Individuals, friends group, adventurous Honeymoon couples and adventure loving families.

arang kel kashmir neelam valley beingatraveler
Crossing Waterfall stream – Arang Kel Neelam Valley

I am referring the word “Adventure” again and again because you never know when there could be land sliding in the middle of the road and you have to wait hours to get the road clear. You never know that upon arrival, all accommodations are already full and you have to spend a night in a camp.

hike visit neelam valley kashmir beingatraveler
A tree fell on Hiking Trail to Arang Kel – Neelam Valley

It should be kept in mind that you are not visiting Kashmir to relax and chill, you are visiting Kashmir to explore the Nature and during exploration, there could be any unforeseen situation. Although I would not recommend newlywed couples to travel Kashmir for honeymoon but if you both are adventurous then its a must-to-go. You should spend at least 7 to 8 “effective days” excluding travel days.

COMMUNICATION IN KASHMIR

You must be knowing that Kashmir is not a Pakistan’s Province and hence due to security reasons no Pakistani mobile company works beyond Muzaffarabad. They have their own mobile network named SCOM which is controlled by Pakistan Army. You have to buy SCOM 4G-SIM from the only one franchise in Muzaffarbad city.

scom sim used in kashmir neelam valley muzaffarabad
Franchise of SCOM – 4G SIM | Muzaffarabad

Now you can also buy SCOM sim in Lahore. There is a Kashmir PCO in Lohari gate. Below mentioned his contact detail to get SCOM sim before departing for Kashmir Trip

Contact # of Rizwan – Kashmir PCO: 0355-7115003

SECURITY IN KASHMIR

All security in Kashmir is under Pakistan Army and there are multiple Check Posts where you have to show ID cards of your travel members. It takes a lot of time to stop the car, collect the ID cards and submit them to Army, who then write details of each traveler on a register. In order to avoid time wastage, it is recommended to write below details of all your travel members on a single page and take  atleast 20 photocopies with you.

  • Name
  • National ID Card Number
  • Address mentioned on ID Card
  • Mobile number

You will have to submit this page at all the security checkposts and the process will be much quicker.



PLACES TO VISIT IN KASHMIR

kashmir neelam valley
A View of Sharda | Neelam Valley Kashmir

Neelam Valley has scattered destination points where you can find “Hotels with a View”. You can spend minimum 3 days to visit famous Places however if you want to get a thorough experience of Kashmir Valley then you should plan atleast 7 days.

1.  MUZAFFARABAD CITY

Muzaffarabad is the Capitol City of Kashmir. It is 120 Km from Islamabad which will take around 4.5 hrs of travel on car. You can find normal grocery shops, hotels, and everything you need take along further in your travel.

Neelam Bridge | Muzaffarabad City
Neelam Bridge | Muzaffarabad City

Moreover don’t forget to buy the SCOM 4G-SIM from Muzafarabad because you mobile network will not work beyond here.

 2. DHANI WATERFALL

While going towards Kuttan, this is a beautiful stopover which is almost 1.5 hrs from Muzafarabad. I would suggest to take a long break here instead of Muzafarabad.

Dhani Water Fall - Neelam Valley
A closer look of Dhani Water Fall – Neelam Valley

Watch Dhani Waterfall video here:

https://www.facebook.com/beingatraveler/videos/2045016195725243/

Just in front of the waterfall, there is a Tuckshop, Tea bar and Toilet Facility aswel. And yes don’t forget to Enjoy Fresh mouthwatering Pakoray while sitting on Chaarpai  (Traditional Bed) and benches with your feet dipped in flowing water stream

Traditional Sitting at Dhani Waterfall stream
Traditional Sitting at Dhani Waterfall stream

3. KUTTON WATERFALL

After 1.5 hrs straight travel from Dhani Water fall, you will reach a point called KUNDAL SHAI. From this point, you would take left road which will take you towards Kuttan. On the way you will pass through Kutton Waterfall which is also called Mini Niagra Fall.

Kutton Waterfall | Neelam Valley

Source



4. KUTTON VALLEY

Kutton valley 20 min from Kundal Shai and almost 2 hours from Dhani Water Fall. The best place to stay in Kuttan with family is Jagran Resort or Trekker Valley. On the other hand if you want to stay in a budget hotel then you can find cheaper options at a walking distance after crossing the metal bridge. You can stay 1 or 2 nites here.

4. KERAN

Keran is 1 hour from Kutton and have beautiful sights with 4 to 5 good accommodation facilities around. Keran is a place where Indian occupied Kashmir is just in front of you and there is only a river stream between Pakistan and India

5. SHARDA

Sharda is one of the best point in Neelam Valley. It is 2.5 hrs further from KERAN. Although there are number of hotels in Sharda but you must select the one which is adjacent to the river.

Sharda Neelam Valley
Sharda | Neelam Valley

Sharda has a small Bazaar and a 9th century Hindu temple called SHARDA TEMPLE or SHARDA UNIVERSITY.

6. KEL

1.5 hour long drive on Sharda to Kel is rough, bumpy and adventurous. It is recommended to hire a jeep from Sharda and visit Kel. Although mostly people come to Kel to visit Arang Kel but this is a peaceful valley and you can consider one night stay in Kel.

KEL | Neelam Valley
KEL | Neelam Valley

7. ARANG KEL

Arang Kel is a beautiful plateau where you can go by hiking. At the top there are tuck shops, few accommodations and camping options. There are two options to reach Arang Kel from Kel:

Arang Kel | Neelam Valley
Arang Kel | Neelam Valley

  • OPTION-1: 10 min Hike + Electrical Lift + 30 min hike (one side)

If you are not a good hiker then you should choose this option however you have to stand in a long queue of Electrical lift because it has only one mini Gandola (called Dolly) which can take 5 persons only at time. This option is not hectic but on the other hand you will miss  beautiful views and spots which will come in Option-2

  • OPTION-2: Full time hike from Kel to Arang Kel :

It will take around 2.5 hours (one side) without using lift to reach at the top of Arang Kel. The hike is very hectic and you must come fully prepared for it. On the way you will pass through a beautiful bridge and two water falls



Things to take along on hike:

  • A Day Backpack
  • 2 water bottles
  • Hiking Joggers (must not be flast because surface is quite slippery)
  • Hiking Stick
  • Chewing Gum/ Choclate Bars (for energy boostup)
  • And obviously a Camera

8. TAOBUT and RATI GALLI

Taobut is almost last point in the valley where people usually go and stay in Kashmir. Rati gali is a 6 hours hike from Dawarian. Due to my short 3 days trip, i could not cover these places in my first visit, however i went again next year to explore Rati Gali and Tao Butt on Public transport. Read beow its separate blog:

visit TAOBUTT taobat rati gali lake kashmir bilal azam vlogs beingatraveler

HIGHLIGHTS OF MY 3 DAYS TRIP TO NEELAM VALLEY

ISTANBUL – Arrival, Moving Around and Night Life!! – by Ali Sani

     

    ISTANBUL

     Arrival, Moving around and Night Life!!

     

 

 

Turkey, a beautiful place rich in culture & history and with equally amazing & friendly people, has always attracted me and fortunately I got a chance to visit Istanbul from Feb 22nd to Feb 26th, 2015 to attend a conference.

 

Getting Onboard

 

I travelled through Turkish Airlines and landed at Istanbul Atat√ľrk Airport where a pretty lady from the airport staff greeted me: ‚ÄúMerhaba (Hello)‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúhoŇügeldin (Welcome)‚ÄĚ ;-). I already started falling in love with Turkey    


Turkey Airline            Turkey Airline serving

(Lavish Turkish meal during the flight)

(Note: Istanbul has two Airports; ‚ÄúIstanbul Atat√ľrk Airport‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúSabiha G√∂k√ßen International Airport‚ÄĚ. I preferred landing at Atat√ľrk Airport since it is near to the main city attractions (~21 km from Taksim Square) as compared to ‚ÄúSabiha G√∂k√ßen International Airport‚ÄĚ (~44 km from Taksim Square)).

 

Arriving in hotel

 

My hotel was at Osmanbey which is ~3 km from Taksim. HavataŇü bus service is available which travels between Atat√ľrk Airport and Taksim Square. I took HavataŇü and it dropped me at Taksim in around half an hour, moreover it only costed 11 TL per head which was a pretty good deal ūüôā The bus was also very cozy and comfortable. I took a cab from Taksim to reach my hotel.


    The sun was about to set and the outside view

    from my penthouse was simply jaw dropping!!

     

 

 

Local Transport

Metro, tram, funicular and ferry are the four ways of moving around Istanbul. These are undoubtedly the most efficient and cheap means of transportation if you are travelling alone. All you need to do is get an ‚ÄúIstabulkart‚ÄĚ (Istanbul Card) from outside of any metro station and just follow the maps. It‚Äôs a prepaid card which you can recharge anytime. It costs around 11 TL for the card initially and 1.5 TL for hopping into Metro, tram or funicular each time.

 

The metro stations themselves are constructed beautifully with Ottoman history displayed on tiles and amazing live music by local musicians to make your wait for metro worth it ūüôā The metro, trams and funicular are quite punctual too.

 

Communicating with Locals

 

One might face difficulty in communicating with locals as most of them are not very good with English language. As always ‚ÄúGoogle Translate‚ÄĚ remained my savior whenever I wanted to ask for directions or just to interact with the locals ūüôā

 

(Caution: Don‚Äôt rely completely on google translate and limit the length of a sentence to a minimum as Google Translate‚Äôs Turkish to English module is still under development and not very accurate. There were a few instances where I almost thought of running away looking at the facial expressions of the people as google translated something that they found offensive while I only had asked for directions ūüėÄ

 

Taksim Square, Istiklal Avenue, and the NIGHT LIFE

 

The night life of Istanbul is simply awesome. It starts right after the sun sets and continues till 6 in the morning ūüėÄ The best place to party all night long is undoubtedly Taksim and ńįstiklal Avenue, visited by nearly 3 million people each day ūüôā The avenue contains many clubs and restaurants. It is also home to a vast range of local and international clothing brands. The street music is something that will keep you indulged in the magic of ńįstiklal Avenue ūüėČ

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  • Istiklal street
  • Istanbul club
  • Club istanbul
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Turkish Food

Turkey is heaven for meat lovers, especially lamb. Apart from meat, do try the famous Kumpir (baked potato) and the mussels. You can always have Turkish Tea (√ßay) any time you want. But if you feel adventurous, do try the Turkish Coffee, which is served with a glass of water ūüėÄ

 

Cruise at Bosphorus River

The cruise dinner at Bosporus River is a must to have. You can enjoy it both at night and at day time with beautiful scenes along the coastline. The cruise offers delicious dinner along with traditional and cultural activities to keep you entertained throughout the three hours long journey ūüôā

You can either book a cruise dinner before or you can directly go to Emin√∂n√ľ from where the cruise starts. It costed me around 45 TL.

  • Bosporus cruise boat
  • Turkey Bosporus cruise
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Turkish Street Animals

One of the many things that I liked about Istanbul is the well fed street animals. The street animals are really taken good care of by the local Turkish people J The cat in the picture below, lost in thoughts, seems to have only one thing in mind: ‚ÄúWhy do they feed me so much?? I am lazy and I know it !! ‚Äú ūüėõ 

DSC_0355

 

Moving around Istanbul Is always fun even when you are just walking on random streets. The more you explore it, the more you fall in love with it. I will write in detail about the main tourist attractions of Istanbul in my next blog so stay tuned !! ūüôā


 

About The Author:

Ali Sani is a Chemical Engineer by profession and a travel enthusiast. Through his blogs, he wants to encourage people to travel, discover new things and live all the beautiful experiences while traveling. He keeps keen interest in landscape photography