Pakistan has been touted as a very up and coming destination by various well known tourism industry publications such as the Lonely Planet magazine. Now is definitely the right time to go before the streets get flooded with fellow foreigners. Find out what could be in store if you decide to venture East.
Places of Interest
Those seeking nature and tranquility on their holiday will enjoy driving along the Karakoram Highway that winds through a mountain range.
City-loving travellers should venture to Lahore and Karachi to soak up on their vibrant atmospheres, centred around ancient bazaars and beautiful buildings.
Occasionally, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office will advise against travel to some areas of Pakistan due to demonstrations and conflict. Consult the website prior to your journey.
Local cuisine varies from area to area, however all features aromatic spice blends and oils. Common spices include cardamom, cumin seeds, nutmeg and mace. Most popular dishes are served with rice.
An unusual feature of Pakistani cuisine is that it isn't uncommon to eat meat for breakfast, particularly during the weekend. Siri-Payay, the head and feet of a cow or a lamb is a typical Sunday morning meal for some families.
Meat, lentil or vegetable curries are a favourite lunchtime meal. In the evenings, heavier dishes such as kebabs and kofte (meatballs) are usually served with a side of naan or roti bread and dipping sauces or yogurt.
Iqbal Day is a celebration of poetry and philosophy whereby revelries are held annually on the 9th November to honour the late Muhammad Iqbal, a philosopher, poet and politician in British India, widely known to have inspired the Pakistan Movement.
To mark the occasion, literary and educational organisations host cultural events such as poetry readings throughout the country, ceremonies are held, symbolic wreaths are laid, and concerts are performed. The atmosphere is one of general merriment.
Other local celebrations include Kashmir Solidarity Day on February 5th, Pakistan Day on May 5th which marks the passing of the Lahore Resolution, when the Muslims of the British Indian Empire demanded a separate nation, Independence Day on August 14th, and Love for Muhammad Day on September 21st.
Expect lots of colour at public celebrations in Pakistan, and the opportunity to try a variety of divine local treats like gulab jamun, a sticky, dough-based dessert.
The weather is a major factor to consider before booking your travel to Pakistan. If you wish to avoid the heat, don't go in the period from March to June, but rather choose some point between October and February when the temperatures are much lower. July to September is most often monsoon season.
To help arrange accommodation, local tours and transport, use a cheap calls to Pakistan service to save money prior to your holiday.
Direct flights from the UK to Pakistan can be purchased from Pakistan International Airlines, and Airblue. Other airlines offer flights with stopovers.