Stories about tourism

Pakistan’s murder: Aftermath of Nanga Parbat massacre

Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), a thinly populated area in the northern parts of Pakistan, is solely dependent upon tourism and agriculture for its sustenance. Commonly known as the mountaineers’ paradise on earth, it is safe to assume that the world’s top mountaineers and trekkers know this region better than most Pakistanis do, since a majority of the Pakistanis do not know a lot about G-B, other than that this land hosts five of the world’s tallest 14 peaks, which are above 8,000 metres. Last week, G-B was in the media spotlight as 10 foreign climbers and their Pakistani guide were killed by ...

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Gilgit Baltistan: You have taken away our livelihood

Yesterday was a sad day for Pakistan. 10 foreigners, who were in Nanga Parbat to witness first hand the country’s beauty, were murdered in cold blood, allegedly to avenge a death caused by drone strikes. How these innocent travelers are related to drone strikes is beyond me.  You know what is even sadder? Reportedly, local tour guides have started to receive emails from tourists who were to visit the area in July and August. They do not wish to visit Pakistan anymore; they have requested for the cancellation of their reservations. If you thought this lone incident would bear no affect on the country, think ...

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Swat Summer festival: A summer retreat, to the heaven on Earth

The glaciers melt; the streams from them gush with fresh water. The Swat River and its tributaries spurt. The fruit laden orchards of peaches, apples, apricots and plumps bloom. The whistles of gypsies, seasonal nomads, buzz and the bells of sheep ring. This is summer in Swat. Since the last successful military offensive against the Swat Taliban the military in Swat arrange festivals in the valley. These events of entertainment are meant to revive tourism in the valley and to present a soft image of the idyllic landscape to the world. And of course one objective is to prove that Swat ...

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South Korea: Why I prefer to live in the East rather than the West

After reading an article on life in South Korea, I decided I should add to it by writing about my own experiences here. I came to Seoul in December 2012, bang in the dead of winter. There was snow everywhere! Being a fan of K-pop, I knew about Seoul or I thought I knew a lot about it! I expected buildings, trains, well-built roads and busy people all around in one of the most overpopulated cities in the world. What I didn’t expect was the striking natural beauty; stunning mountains and the breathtaking view of the Han River is what I’m ...

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Samina Baig and Mirza Ali: Pakistan climbs Mount Everest!

Amidst the hue and cry about rigging in elections, the political topsy turvy and the mercury rising and crossing the boiling point, there comes good news for Pakistan. Samina Baig and her brother Mirza Ali made history by climbing the world’s highest mountain Mount Everest without using supplemental oxygen. It is also a moment of great pride not only for Pakistan but also for India and all those who want peaceful relations between both the countries, as Samina and Mirza had in their team two Indian twin sisters, Nughsi and Tashi.

PHOTO: PakYouthOutreach.com

All four of them were ...

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Life in South Korea

May 2011, I came to South Korea with lots of questions in my mind. Truly speaking, back home we have heard about oriental countries, mostly China and Japan but rarely Korea. A lot of people may not even know that North and South Korea are two different countries as they are mostly referred to as simply “Korea”. Whatever the reason, I am still not sure. The funny thing is the the only time I see people making the mention of South Korea is after Gangnam Style becoming a youth anthem, and yes, of course, after the recent tensions between North ...

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Backpacking across Thailand – on a green passport!

While our group of five was contemplating on whether to hit the Maldives, Seychelles or Bora Bora for our hard-earned annual leaves, a cursory look at our budget and the tempting rupee-baht conversion rate made the decision all the more easy! Trip Advisor’s pricey recommendations notwithstanding, the vibrant streets of Bangkok and breezy beaches of Koh Phangan provided an alluring escapade from the noise and din of a fertiliser complex. From an array of water sports to top-of-the-line garments for shopping aficionados, all night beach parties to umpteenth resorts lined with deck-chairs and sun umbrellas, there is a magical appeal to Thailand’s pristine ...

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When in China, wear Hello Kitty and eat snakes

China reeks of bureaucracy and pork. Women are obsessed with Hello Kitty jackets and men with skinny jeans. They stare at you if don’t look like them, they stare at you if you don’t dress like them, they even stare at you if you think it’s still cold enough to wear a jacket – it’s March but, hey, mornings are cold! I am in a love-hate relationship with China, and by China I mean Mainland China, not Taiwan. Taiwan is, well, just Taiwan. They say that “Chinese queue up even to pee” – it’s true! There are long lines awaiting your presence everywhere you ...

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Pakistan could be a tourist’s delight

You may have heard some remarkable stories about Pakistan as a tourism hub from your parents and grandparents. The 60s and 70s, in particular, were the decades when tourism in Pakistan saw its prime. The pictures of those days can still be found doing rounds on the internet, boasting a plethora of visitors from all around. Those were the days when Pakistan would invariably feature in the lists of international tourist destinations. I haven’t seen that Pakistan, but I can well imagine it, owing to the accounts I’ve had from many people around. Therefore, when I came across this article titled, ‘Pakistan tourism: a sleeping giant?’ in an Australian ...

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Welcome to nature’s masterpiece

I once heard someone tell their friend, “The northern areas of Pakistan are truly heaven on earth.” Hundred percent, I said to myself in my head. Places like Swat, Naran, Kaghan, Shangla and Skardu instantly take one’s breath away, the second one lays eyes on the abundant natural beauty, the rich flora and fauna on offer and the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas that surround these magnificent places. It is a paradise and dreamland for tourists. Replete with hotels, motels, cottages and holiday homes, the northern areas are the ideal getaway for those wanting to go on a family holiday and celebrate ...

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