On arrival you will be received at the airport or the road border. Transfer to the hotel. With over 2000 years old history Kashgar is an isolated desert city located at the western end of the Taklimakan Desert. Overnight at the hotel
Day 02: Kashgar
If any place is to be seen where time has stood still, it is Kashgar or Kashi, as it is known locally. One finds walking through the narrow lanes of old town, a scene from Arabian Nights, and a culture that has remained intact from outside influences and people that are very friendly. Amongst the most popular professions include coppersmiths, blacksmiths, carpenters, jewellers and cobblers all using tools of bygone days. Our tour of Kashgar includes all this and a lot more like the Abak Hoja Tomb, the Id Kah Mosque and the old town and an opportunity to take a ride on the donkey cart taxi. Hotel overnight.
Day 03: Kashgar / Taxkorgan
Sunday Bazaar in Kashgar! Once a week, on Sundays, the population swells by over 100,000 people – all have varied ethnic origins like Uyghurs, Tajiks, Kyrgyzs, and Kazakhs etc. selling wares from scissors to a camel. They come on foot, horsebacks, bikes, modern motorcycles, and donkey carts.
In the afternoon drive to Taxkorgan (369 km), a city once controlled by the Bolsheviks. Mostly Tajiks inhabit the town, which lies on the ancient “Silk Road”. Enroute stop at Karakuli Lake. The view of the Muztagata (meaning ice mountain father) is magnificent. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 04: Taxkorgan / Hunza
A drive via the Khunjerab Pass will get you into Pakistan to the mountain kingdom of Hunza (284 km). In the olden days there were few highs passes leading from China that were suitable for travel. Today the Khunjerab Pass, which at an altitude of 4733 m is the highest point on the Karakoram Highway, provides an easy all-weather entry from the famous Sinkiang Province of the Peoples Republic of China. This route is a beautiful drive, with views of the high mountains of the Karakorams and the distant Pamir Mountain Ranges. At Khunjerab, now declared a national park, one can see Marco Polo Sheep (ovis ammon poli). Overnight at the hotel.
Day 05: Hunza
Full day tour of Hunza.
Very few places in the world compare with this small mountainous region, which was a semi-autonomous state until very recently but is now fully unified with Pakistan, the ruling dynasty of Hunza having lasted for over 600 years. The scenic beauty of this area, with its greenery and snow-capped mountains, makes it a true paradise. During the summer there is an abundance of apricots, peaches, pears and grapes. Hunza lies on the ancient trade route to Kashgar in the Chinese province of Sinkiang. Today the Karakoram Highway runs along this route with Karimabad being the main town of Hunza. Hunza is probably most famous for the longevity of its people, due to their simplicity and natural diet, along with the unpolluted mountain air. Tibetan traders referred to the beauty of this humble paradise as “Shangri-La”.
The tour will include meeting with local folks, understanding the secrets of their longevity and also visit some of the important historical sites including the recently renovated, simple yet overpowering, Baltit Fort and the Ganesh Watch Tower. Visit to Nagar Valley and Hopper Glacier is also included.
Visit to the Baltit Fort is of immense interest. For many years the fort served as an administrative headquarter and home to the former Mirs (rulers) of Hunza. The porters who accompanied the Baltit bride for the then Mir of Hunza built it more than 700 years ago. The style of construction originates from Ladakh. A maze of rooms serving as living and administrative offices were added periodically designed with indigenous woodwork. It is strategically located on a prospect point, which gives it an immense overview of Hunza and neighbouring valleys. Currently it serves as a Fort Museum with a good collection of exhibit of artefacts and musical instruments from Hunza. The fort is now administered by the Aga Khan Foundation Cultural Board, which undertook the reconstruction and re-establishment to its original grandeur.
Visit to Hopper offers a fine view of some of the highest peaks in Hunza and Nagar Valley. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 06: Hunza / Gilgit / Chilas
Drive to Gilgit and on arrival of city tour of Gilgit and Kargah.
A visit to Gilgit and its bazaar will give you an opportunity to become acquainted with mountain people. A visit to a school in the community and the home of a Gilgiton enables the visitor to appreciate their hospitality and simplicity. Situated 15 km southwest of Gilgit is Kargah, a small valley with several large rock carvings of Lord Buddha. It is not known exactly when the carvings were completed, but the workmanship is definitely that of a talented master. It is likely that a trade route linking Southern China with the neighbouring countries once ran through this region. Further down, the valley narrows and through it flows the Kargah Nullah (stream) that has an abundant supply of fish.
Following the down stream course of River Indus, we will drive to Chilas with photo stops at the confluence of River Indus & Gilgit. Our next stop will be at the unique point where three mountain rages, Karakoram, Himalayas and Hindu Kush meet, Nanga Parbat viewpoint offers breathtaking panorama on behind. We will also stop at Chilas rocks with ancient graffiti’s on it before reaching at Chilas. On arrival transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel
Day 07: Chilas / Islamabad
Morning drive to Islamabad with many photo stops, enroute. We will also stop at Shatial to see the Rock Carvings before driving further to Islamabad via Besham and Abbottabad. The drive to Islamabad is full of scenery and the culture on the way is so enchanting that you cannot come out of it until you stop at your hotel in Islamabad. Overnight at hotel
Day 08: Depart Islamabad
Morning Rawalpindi/Islamabad city tour.
Driving past the classical older buildings of Rawalpindi you suddenly arrive at the modern, well planned streets of Islamabad. Your tour commences with a visit to the Institute of Folk Heritage, a small ethnological museum displaying numerous costumes and artifacts from all over Pakistan. Next stop is the Shakerparian Gardens, which give a magnificent view of Islamabad before driving past various modern government buildings, graceful with a touch of Islamic design and architecture. Turning off the main road, you drive into old Islamabad where Saidpur Village still survives amid the modern planning. In Islamabad is the world’s largest mosque, named after the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. The mosque also houses an Islamic University specializing in Islamic Philosophy and Law. Transfer to airport for your departure flight.
Price for 08 days:
- 1 Pax 1655 USD Per Person
- 2/3 Pax 1330 USD Per Person
- 4/6 Pax 1160 USD Per Person
- 7/9 Pax 1010 USD Per Person
- 10+ Pax 916 USD Per Person
The cost includes:
- Letter of invitation (LOI)
- English Speaking guide.
- Hotels in itinerary with B/B twin sharing basis.
- Transport Air conditioned car/4×4 Willy’s Jeep for whole journey including transfer from Kashgar to Sost.
- Main meals lunch and dinner
- International air ticket
- Extras like drinks, laundry, phone call and room service
- Entrance fees, national park fees etc
- Insurance liability and other under force majeure conditions, medical aid etc.
The weather in northern Pakistan is hot during the summer. Maximum daytime temperatures will clearly depend on the altitude, but will mainly lie in the range 20oC to 35oC. Most days should be sunny, although the occasional severe storm cannot be ruled out. The nights will be cold and likely to drop well below freezing when higher then 3,500 m. Rawalpindi and the lower Indus valley will be very hot and humid, while Gilgit and Chitral, although hot, will be less oppressive.
Flights in Pakistan:
Internal flights are also with PIA, the Gilgit flight being operated with Fokker. This flight needs good weather to operate and in the case of bad weather, a not infrequent occurrence, the flight will be cancelled. Should this happen the journey has to be done by road up/down the Karakorum Highway.
Passports and Visas:
All nationalities need a full passport. Most nationalities, including Americans, Europeans, British, Australians and Kiwis, require a visa for Pakistan: The foreign office in Islamabad is going to amend the new visa rules and regulations for the tourist, so we will inform you with the latest changes.
All the hotels we use of good tourist class standard and the rooms all have private facilities. In Chilas, Besham, Chitral, Gilgit, and Hunza all the hotels are more basic but rooms have private facilities. On trek we shall be camping using two person tents. There will also be a mess tent and toilet tent. All this equipment is provided by our company.
All transfers will be made using air-conditioned car or coaches or minibuses, although 4 wheel drive jeeps may be necessary in Gilgit and Baltistan.