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   Pak-China Silk Route Tour
The Silk route/Karakoram Highway connects China and Pakistan with what must be the most harrowing trail of asphalt on earth. From Kashgar to Islamabad, the road stretches 1260 kilometers, and pierces the territory of at least five ethnic groups. (Uighur, Kirgiz, Tajik/Wakhi, Hunza/Nagar, Shin and Pathan). At least nine languages (Chinese, Uighur, Kirgiz, Tajik/Wakhi, Burushaski, Shina, Pushto, Urdu and English) are commonly heard along its length. The highway was begun in the late 1960s after a warming of relations between the two countries. China provided most of the engineering know- how, building bridges to span Pakistan's treacherous rivers and blasting a two-lane highway out of shear rock. Muscle was provided by thousands of Pakistani and Chinese laborers, who wielded picks and shovels under a blinding mountain sun. On the Pakistan side of the border alone, more than 400 lost their lives.

Nowadays most traffic on the Karakoram Highway consists of tourists and hajjis--Muslims making a pilgrimage to Mecca--but small-scale trade has revived as well. Pakistani businessmen come to Kashgar to load up on thermoses, enamel wash-basins, and other items sold cheaply in Chinese shops. They are also attracted by Kashgar's reputation as a place of pleasure, for liquor and whores are not easily found in their straight-laced homeland. Apart from the hajjis, few Chinese find their way west.

The sheer difficulty of this road makes it a magnet for adventure- seeking bicyclists, of whom this author was one. If steep ascents, thin air,long distances, interfering officials, shabby hostels and unfamiliar food aren't challenge enough, the cyclist must also contend with children for whom grabbing the luggage rack of a passing foreigner's bike has become a favorite sport. Yet the rewards are worth it: standing alone at the summit of a pass, master of all you see; cheers from villagers as you pedal by; visiting Kirgiz nomads on a great plain beneath Mustaghata; and, from the Khunjerab pass, the long, long joy-ride down. It is an unforgettable experience

ITINERARY:

Arrive Lahore
Arrive Lahore international airport, meet your Guide for the trip and transfer to hotel. Morning rest, afternoon city tour. To see Lahore is to be born again, that's what the village folk tell each other in Punjab. We walk through the old walled city and visit the masterpiece of art: mosaic of glazed tiles - the Wazir Khan Mosque. In the evening we visit the Shalimar Garden, built by the Moghuls as a royal recreation park, spread on three terraces with 414 fountains. Dinner in a typical Punjabi restaurant, overnight hotel.

Lahore - Islamabad
Visit of Moghul monuments: The 17th century Badshahi Mosque, with marble domes and red sandstone arches. The fort of Lahore is rightly called a mosaic of Moghul architecture as it displays the taste of all the Moghul Emperors. Lahore Museum is reputedly the best in the country, with statue of fasting Buddha: a master piece of art. Transfer to airport for your flight to Islamabad, overnight hotel. (45 minutes flight)

Drive To Swat
We drive overland to Swat. As we start, we visit the landmark of Islamabad Faisal Mosque, a gift from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan. Just 34 km from the modern capital of Pakistan is Taxila, the former center of Gandhara Buddhist civilization. The splendid site museum and archeological site of former cities & monasteries dating from 500 BC to 500 AD provide an impressive insight to this civilization. Continue drive over Malakand Pass to Swat, arrive and transfer to hotel. (300 km, 5/6 hours drive)

Across Shangla Pass
We drive to Karakoram mountains from the twin capital cities of Mingora & Saidu Sharif in Swat Valley. We pass through the alpine landscape of Swat, with snow covered peaks, rice & barley fields perched along the steep slopes. Cross over Shangla Pass (2100 meters) to descend down to Karakoram Highway near Besham. From here we travel through Indus gorge on this reputed 8th wonder of the world (KKH), built jointly by the Pakistani & Chinese engineers, This vital connection to North Pakistan & China cost 850 lives and took 20 years to complete. We stay for overnight at Chilas at hotel. (305 km, 8/9 hours drive)
View Nanga Parbat

Chilas, on the bank of Indus river is surrounded by lunar landscape. We drive through the barren rocks of Indus Gorge, to arrive at the meeting place of the world's three highest mountain ranges: Karakoram in north, Himalayas in east and Hindokush in west. Enjoy thrilling view of Nanga Parbat (8,125 M) from the Karakoram Highway. Nanga Parbat is the 9th highest mountain in the world and second only to K2 in Pakistan. Arrive Gilgit (1600 meters) for lunch. We visit Gilgit, its suspension bridge, the rock carved Buddha and stroll down its bazaars filled with people from remote mountain valleys. Overnight hotel. (130 km, 3 hours drive)

Arrive Hunza
As we drive north from Hunza on Karakoram Highway along the bank of Hunza river, the museum of landscape starts unfolding its secrets. Karakoram, meaning black-rock, gets very little rain fall and is dry. Small patches of sharp green fields irrigated by water from glaciers, provide a very sharp contrast to the mountains. Rakaposhi, 7,788 meters greets us as we enter this Shangri-La on earth. Arrive Karimabad, the capital of Hunza, transfer to hotel for lunch. Afternoon visit of Altit & Baltit fort. Overnight hotel. (100 km, 3 hours drive)

Explore Hunza
While in Hunza we are never short of views of soaring peaks. We drive to upper Hunza, stop at the charming village of Passu in the backdrop of Karakoram Cones. Enjoy thrilling views of challenging peaks rising to 7,000 meters and above. Here we can take 45 minute walk to Passu glacier, visit the local houses, or experience the thrills of walking on suspension bridges on Hunza river. Overnight at Passu Tourist Lodge. (50 km, 1 hour drive)

Over Khunjerab Pass To China
An hour's drive from Passu to Sost, the Pakistani customs & immigration post on Khunjerab border. Here you will complete the border formalities and say good-bye to your Pakistani Guide and driver. Transfer to official Pakistani transport for memorable journey over the highest metal road border crossing in the world. You travel through the Khunjerab National Park, with chance of sighting the Karakoram Ibex (Markhor) and Marcopolo sheep. At 4,733 meters Khunjerab Pass you are not only on Pak China border but also between the Pamir and Karakoram mountain ranges. Descend down to Tashkorgan, the custom & immigration post of China. Overnight hotel.
(180 km, 7/8 hours drive)

Under The Shadow Of Muztagh Ata.
Board Chinese transport for overland journey to Kashgar. You pass through the open, gentle slopes of Pamir. Exciting views of Muztagh Ata (7,546 m) and Kongur (7,719 m) mountains welcome you in Sinkiang province of China. From here onwards you descend gradually to arrive at the fabled oasis of Kashgar on the edges of Taklamakan desert in the south and the pastures of Pamirs in the north east. Overnight hotel. (290 km, 7/8 hours drive)

Kashgar Sunday Market
Kashgar, the most important staging post along the Silk Route for more than twenty centuries, has managed to keep its history and traditions intact to some extent despite the rapid invasions from centuries. Here we visit the Eid Gah Mosque, the tomb of Sufi Saint Abakh Hoja. But now every traveler has many things to tell you about the famous Sunday market of Kashgar. Here you could barter trade with the Kazak, Kirgiz, Wakhi and Uygur farmers and nomads. Try your luck ! Overnight hotel.

 
     
 


K-2
Nanga Parbat
Broad Peak
Gasherbrum I
Trich Mir
Rakaposhi
Diran Peak
Trango Tower
Spantik Peak
Mountaineering Gear

 

K-2 Gandoghoro Trek
Biafo Hisper Trek
Thaley La Trek
Nanga Parbat Trek
K-7 & Mashabrum Trek
Nangma Valley Amin Brokk Base Camp
Iqbal Top Kandey
Rakaposhi & Diran Peak Base Camp Trek
Equipments Recommended

Where The Great Mountains Meet
Kalash Valley
Village Trails
Ancient World
Archeological Discovery Tours
Buddhist Archeological Study Tours
Deosai Fairy Meadows Tours
Spring Blossom Tours
Rock Carvings On The Great Silk Road

Mountain Safari 15 Days
Mountain Safari 21 Days
Camel & Boat Safari

Pak-China Silk Route Tour


 

Trophy Hunting
Water Sports
Mountain Biking

 
 

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