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Pakistan country information

Pakistan map
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Area: 803,940 sq km
Population: 172,800,000
Population density: 206 per sq km
Capital: Islamabad
Passport & Visa
Passport Required?
British Yes
Australian Yes
Canadian Yes
USA Yes
Other EU Yes
Visa Required?
British Yes
Australian Yes
Canadian Yes
USA Yes
Other EU Yes

Passports

Passport valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.

Visas

Required by all nationals referred to in the chart above except:
(a) holders of a Pakistan Origin Card (POC) regardless of nationality for unlimited stay;
(b) transit passengers continuing their journey within 24 hours by the same or first connecting aircraft, provided they are holding onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport;
(c) holders of UN laissez-passer.

Note: Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the high commission/embassy to check visa requirements.

Visa Restrictions:
The government of Pakistan refuses admission and transit to nationals of Israel; but will accept other passports containing Israeli stamps or visas.

Types of Visa and Cost

Price of visa varies according to nationality. For UK nationals, prices are: Tourist: 53 (single-entry); 76 (double-entry); 240 (multiple-entry). Business: 80 (single-entry); 114 (double-entry); 240 (multiple-entry). Transit: 53. Pilgrim: 53 (single-entry).

Note:
A 1 bank surcharge per application for a visa is required. Certain nationals are issued visas free of charge, but they must be obtained prior to travel. For further information, consult the high commission or embassy.

Validity

Single-entry/Double-entry: six months from the date of issue for stays of up to three months. Multiple-entry: six months to one year.

Applications to:

Consulate (or consular section at embassy or high commission).

Working Days Required

Depends on nationality (in UK, visas are normally granted within 24 to 48 hours). Enquire at the nearest consulate or embassy. Pilgrim visas require two months' processing time.

Note tour.tk: extensions of up to 30 days avaliable in (among others) Gilgit and Islamabad. Gilgit issues extensions on the spot, in Islamabad it can take one working week.
Getting there

Getting There by Air

The national airline is Pakistan International Airlines (PK) (website: www.piac.com.pk ).

Approximate Flight Times

From London to Karachi is 8 hours 40 minutes, and from New York is 21 hours 40 minutes.

Main Airports

Karachi (KHI) (Jinnah International Airport) (website: www.karachiairport.com ) is 15km (10 miles) northeast of the city. To/from the airport: Coaches and a bus run to the city. Taxi services to the city are also available (journey time - 30 to 45 minutes). Facilities: Duty-free, restaurant, post office, bank and shops.

Lahore (LHE) (website: www.lahoreairport.com.pk ) is 18km (5 miles) southeast of the city. To/from the airport: Coaches and buses leave regularly for the city. Taxi services to the city are also available (journey time - 20 minutes). Facilities: Car hire, bank, restaurant and shops.

Islamabad (ISB) (Islamabad International) (website: www.islamabadairport.com.pk ) is 8km (5 miles) southeast of the city. To/from the airport: Coach and taxi services to the city are available (journey time - 20 minutes). Facilities: Duty-free, car hire, banks and public call office.

Peshawar (PEW) is 4km (2.5 miles) from the city. To/from the airport: Full bus and taxi services to the city are available (journey time - 10 minutes).
Departure Tax
Rp700-1,400 depending on class of travel. Transit passengers and children under two years of age are exempt.

Getting There by Water

Main port: Karachi (Kemari). It is both Afghanistan's and Pakistan's port for goods, together with Port Qasim. No passenger boats or ships for the general public sail to or from Pakistan at present.

Getting There by Rail

A rail link extends from Quetta (via the border crossing at Taftan) to Zahedan, Iran; the express train (journey time - 27 hours) runs weekly from Quetta, as does the passenger train, which only travels as far as Taftan. For more information contact Pakistan Railways (tel: (42) 920 1642; website: www.pakrail.com ).

Getting There by Road

From China: The Khunjerab Pass is often snow-covered and, during the rainy season (December to April), it is closed due to the high risk of mudslides. Transport includes buses, vans and 4-wheel drive vehicles.

From India: Wagha is the only land border open between Pakistan and India (Lahore-Amritsar route). A minibus runs from Lahore railway station to Wagha and there are also taxis available (journey time - 30 minutes). The Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) operates buses from Lahore to Delhi (journey time - 12 hours). The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) (website: www.dtc.nic.in ) also operates services from Delhi.

From Iran: Travel is only possible via the Quetta-Taftan-Zahedan route. Several buses and coaches leave daily from Quetta to Taftan (journey time - 18 hours). There is also a road from Kabul, Afghanistan to Peshawar.

Note: Visitors exiting Pakistan by land routes are subject to a road toll. Travel to the federally administered tribal areas and the border areas with Afghanistan is not recommended. For further information, visitors should seek official advice.
Cycling & Maps

Pakistan
Nelles Map
scale 1:1 500 000

 

Other options (online) for the northern provinces and KKH:
Johnthemap fantastic map for the Northern Areas of Pakistan

Cost of living
Pakistan: All prices are in Pakistani Rupees (PKR)
drinks and snacks

food: local markets; restaurants; and stores

water (mineral)
water
juice
juice
soft drink (can)
soft drink (bottle)

1.5 litre
500ml
250ml
1 litre
355ml
1.5 litre
25-30
15
15-20
60
35
55

Chapatti / roti
naan - plain
bread loaf - white

per piece
per piece
700g
4-5
5-7
40
toast - butter
omelette
dahl
vege curry- aloo gobi
vege biryani (rice)
pizza-bakery
4 pieces
2-eggs
per serving
per serving
per serving
small
20-25
15-25
20-30
20-30
30-40
50-80
tea
tea chai (bazar)
tea chai (bazar)

coffee (bazar)
Nescafe instant
coffee-ground
25 bags
cup
pot

cup
226g
500g
55
10
20

30
150
70
rice (white)
pasta
eggs
tinned tomatoes

kg
500g
per dozen
250g

40-70
25
40
65
milk
yoghurt / curd
cheese
Magnum icecream
1 litre
200g
kg
each

40-50
50
190
35-40

potatoes
onions
tomatoes
spinach
kg
kg
kg
kg
15-25
25
20-40
40
samosa
pakora
chips
salted peanuts
almonds
each
250g
65g pack
kg
kg
5-10
30-40
25-30
200-250
300-600

apples
oranges
bananas (sm-lg)
grapes

kg
kg
dozen
kg
45-75
40-70
40-60
60-80
dried apricots
cornflakes
chocolate
biscuits-plain
biscuits-chocolate
kg
375g pack
100g block
140g pack
140g pack
250
75
40-70
10-20
10-20
pineapple (can)
oil (corn)
500g can
500ml
50
90
peanut paste
jam
honey
250g jar
400g jar
250g
120-160
40
120-150
 
accommodation personal
budget city hostel
budget city hotel
50-150 per dorm bed
200-600 double with ensuite

deodorant - roll-on
soap
shampoo
toothbrush
toothpaste
disposable razor
toilet paper

50ml
150g bar
200ml
each
175ml
each
each
100-150
35
160
30-60
25-70
15-25
15-20
camping
wild camping

in islamabad 50 per person
yes, in isolated areas, mountains

internet-virus infested
internet-fast, good
30-40 per hour
80+ per hour

* tba = price to be announced
* January 2009: at time of writing 1.00 USD = 79.66 PKR
all prices have been taken from internet resources such as wikitravel, hostel world, leading supermarket chains, travel blogs, forums and of course our own travel experiences and purchases of everyday products in food markets, bazaars and local shopping facilities. They are only an indication and designed to give you a general impression of the cost of living in Pakistan. Items are geared towards the budget conscious traveller with an occasional craving for a bit of luxury.

Your first chance of getting money out of a machine in Pakistan (when coming from the north) is Abbottabad. Here they have an MCB (Muslim Commercial Bank) office. MCB ATM's accept western cards and it is probably your best choice throughout Pakistan. North of Abbottabad you can easily exchange euros/dollars and travellers cheques in Karimabad. The bank there charged us 1 rupee per dollar exchange, which is quite allright, considering.
Accommodation
Food & drink
Bike shops
Although it is hard to find decent bike shops anywhere in Pakistan, you have a few options. Lahore has a huge market area catering only to cyclists (Neela Gumbad area, two blocks east and opposite from the Lahore Museum). The produce you can buy here is very basic, but at least you can find your spare tube here... Best way to find what you're looking for is to go into the first shop and ask. They will then do the searching for you... *
Climate
climate chart Karachi climate chart Lahore Pakistan
climate chart Murree Pakistan climate chart Peshawar
climate chart Quetta
Road distances
Karakorum Highway road distance chart
       
Detailed distance chart from our trip through Pakistan 2007 (kilometres / altimetres)    
       
Road distances Karakoram Highway
and Kaghan Valley Road:
as cycled by us (July/August 2007)
(except *)
- altitude in (brackets)
km
day alti meters
       
Kashgar (1354) Ghez (2390)
126
1200
Ghez Karakul (3683)
67
1500
Karakul Tashkurgan (3217)
100
600
Tashkurgan Pirali
100*
Pirali Khunjerab pass (4733)
40*
Khunjerab pass Sost (2797)
85*
       
Sost Passu (2543)
39
270
       
Passu Gulmit
15
Gulmit Ganish bridge (2260)
33
Ganish bridge Karimabad (2463)
4
850
       
Karimabad Ghulmet Nagar (2150)
30
Ghulmet Nagar Chalt turn off (1980)
19
Chalt turn off Gilgit via KKH (1663)
59
900
       
Gilgit Thalichi (1631)
65
650
       
Thalichi Rajkot Bridge (1435)
13
Rajkot Bridge Chilas (1339)
54
550
   
Chilas Babusar Pass (4175)
45*
Babusar Pass Gittidas (3900)
6
Gittidas Besal (3341)
20
270
       
Besal Buruwai (3050)
17
Buruwai Battakundi (2700)
13
Battakundi Naran (2515)

16

530
       
Naran Rajwal (2150)
17
Rajwal Kaghan (2070)
6
Kaghan Mahandri (1590)
16
Mahandri Jard (1550)
3
Jard Paras (1370)
12
Paras top climb (1561)
4
top Kawai (1550)
2
Kawai Balakot (1096)
23
750
   
Balakot turn-off Muzaffarabad (960)
10
t.o. Muzaffarabad top climb (1226)
17
top Attar Shisha (1168)
7
Attar Shisha Mansehra (1158)
16
Mansehra top climb (1336)
7
top Mangal (1320)
3
Mangal Abbottabad (1283)
15
1050
   
Abbottabad Havelian (900)
14
Havelian Sara-i-Saleh (680)
18
Sara-i-Saleh Haripur (630)
4
Haripur Hassan Abdal (535)
33
Hassan Abdal Taxila turn-off (626)
15
300
       
Taxila Islamabad (635)
40
250
     
GT Road from Islamabad to Lahore:  
km
total km
   
Islamabad GT road via Murree Rd.
28
Intersection GT and Murree Rd. Mandra
19
47
Mandra Gujar Khan
14
61
Gujar Khan Sohawa
18
79
Sohawa Dina
26
105
Dina Jhelum Cantt
19
124
Jhelum Kharian
19
143
Kharian Lahamusa
14
157
Lahamusa Gujarat turn-off
15
172
Gujarat Wazirabad turn-off
24
196
Wazirabad Gujranwala
32
228
Gujranwala Kamoke
12
240
Kamoke Muridke
20
260
Muridke Shahdra
21
281
Shahdra Lahore
12
292
   
Lahore Wagah (border with India)
30
   
NOT cycled by us, but KKH:    
Chilas Shatial
63
Shatial Dasu
60
Dasu Besham
80
Besham Chattar Plain
70
Chattar Plain Mansehra
50
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