Gilgit Journals

The Karakoram Highway from Islamabad to Hunza

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A July 2005 trip to Gilgit by baroudeur2004

Old Hunza Inn Photo, Pakistan, Asia More Photos
Quote: Travelling the Karakoram Highway to Hunza Valley, home to the descendants of Alexander the Great.

The Karakoram Highway from Islamabad to Hunza

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Overview

Hunza Valley Photo, Pakistan, Asia
Quote:
The Karakoram Highway to Gilgit or Hunza Valley will probably be the most memorable part of your trip in Pakistan.Whilst it is still difficult to travel by road (there are planes from Islamabad to Gilgit if you are not up to travelling 24 hours in a bus), the road trip is definitely stunning. You will drive on narrow roads and enter the Indukush mountains and just before Karimabad, you will see the first Himalayan peaks at 7,000m. If you are subject to vertigo, try to overcome your fear of heights to see it.Gilgit is located in the Indukush range, in Jammu-Kashmir, in the disputed zone between Pakistan and India. While it is relatively safe to travel in these regions nowadays, there ar...Read More

Old Hunza Inn

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Hotel

Old Hunza Inn Photo, Pakistan, Asia
Quote:
If you are travelling from Gilgit, just before you arrive into the village of Karimabad, off the main street on your right, there is a narrow street where you will find Old Hunza Inn, the usual backpackers' hangout in Karimabad. It is a short walk (10 minutes) from Karimabad village centre and 20 minutes from Baltit Fort. Ideally located in the Hunza valley, Old Hunza Inn has a dozen simple but clean and comfortable rooms without decor (double or triple) with a fan (you will not need it because the weather is very cool in the summer), and an attached bathroom (ask for hot water because it is not always available and since it is not that hot out there, you will not want to have a cold shower!)....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 23, 2007

Golden Peak Hotel

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Hotel

Golden Peak Hotel, Gilgit Photo, Gilgit, Pakistan
Quote:
I had arrived into Gilgit at 2am in the morning with two fellow travellers, and the Golden Peak Hotel was the only hostel that accepted to open us its doors for the night. Indeed, there is a curfew from 10pm because of possible riots in the streets of Gilgit. (It is still in Pakistani Kashmir!) The Golden Peak Hotel is located just at the exit of Gilgit, two kilometres from the bus station, off the main street on your left when coming from the bus station. It has a few double rooms, and a four-bed dormitory in a spacious courtyard in which you can relax on chairs provided by the staff and enjoy the cool weather. My two fellow travellers and I shared a tiny dirty double room infested with flies...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 23, 2007

Baltit Fort

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Attraction

Inside Baltit Fort, Karimabad Photo, Pakistan, Asia
Quote:
From Karimabad village, there is a nice 15 minute walk uphill through narrow streets full of souvenirs shops towards Baltit Fort dominating the village and the Hunza valley below.Hunza has been an independent state for hundreds of years and had its own king until 1974. Baltit Fort was built 800 years ago and was the Royal Family residence until 1945, when a new palace was built in the valley. There is an obvious influence of Tibetan architecture because when you look at the fort, it reminds you of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. The entrance costs 200 rupees (less than 3 euros) and includes a guided visit with a Bururshaki guide (a local ethnic group which looks more Slavic than Indo-Pak...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 23, 2007

Karakoram Highway Photo, Gilgit, Pakistan
Quote:
In Mingora bus station, when asking for the bus going to Gilgit, I am indicated a minibus next to me. I put my luggage on the roof, and I get up. I have very little space for the legs and I know that the ride will be long, very long… All that I hope for, is that the road will be in good state… After half an hour of waiting, the minibus is finally full and can leave.The driver stops to refill the tank and to re-inflate the tyres then the minibus enters on a partially battered road. I just hope that it will not be like this for the whole journey, because the suspension is bad and I sometimes knock myself against the window or the ceiling. After ten kilometers, the state of the road gradually imp...Read More

About the Writer

baroudeur2004

baroudeur2004
Liege, Belgium

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