Stories about travelling

Looking for a quick vacation? Here are seven things to love about Islamabad

If you are stressed or feel a strong need to get out of your city for some fresh air, there is nothing better than a weekend getaway – a break from work, the constant emails and the unending phone calls. Believe me, a vacation is all you need to reenergise yourself, even if it is just for two days. While there are many places one can go to get relaxed and enjoy ones vacation, travelling to Islamabad is a good option to consider, especially if it is for a short period. And keeping the duration in mind, it would help if you ...

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When six single women travelled from Karachi to Skardu

It was our Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) moment. Six single women, in their 20s, boarded the Business Train to Lahore – the first destination of our trip from Karachi to Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B). Karachi Cantt Station. As we settled in to our cabin, we revelled over our triumph of coaxing our parents into saying: “Ja Simran ja, ji le apni zindagi.” (Go Simran go, live your life) But we were scared too. After all this was no Euro-rail. The afternoon was bright and sunny, and after taking in the cabin amenities, we were content. The cabin door, with a stable, iron lock and ...

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Chagharzai and other valleys: An epiphany in itself

Every now and then, we hear someone singing odes to the beauty of Pakistan’s North-West regions. Be it by one of those recent sing-along tourism promos running on nearly every news network these days, after a prolonged wave of violence in Malakand Division, or some bunch of local yahoos who’d just returned from a trip from any of the numerous valleys and lakes. The fact remains that the actual beauty and splendour of these areas is still quite underrated, despite all such praises. Even though the last few years’ armed conflicts have labelled the entire region as a no-go zone, ...

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Scuba-diving, an experience of a lifetime

What can be a more frustrating start to a day, than to be stuck in heavy traffic for an hour, chasing endless deadlines and shuffling from meeting to meeting? Nothing. All of us go through these ups and downs that trigger bad days. One really can’t make time for themselves in this busy busy world! With such perplexities, our inner batteries need to be re-charged, once in a while. Going out for a walk, swimming at a breathtaking beach, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin or even breathing fresh air is enough to achieve a little peace of mind in an otherwise busy life. Work ...

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Travelling on a Pakistani public bus is never boring!

I am sure many of you have travelled on public buses in Pakistan or know someone who has gone through the ordeal. In case you haven’t, allow me to enlighten you of what the rest of us have to go through. Here are ten of my experiences while travelling on public transport and the issues many of us have to face on a daily basis. 1. Bus stop? What’s that? Drivers of public buses in Pakistan never bother to wait for their passengers at the bus stops so there is hardly any point in waiting there. And it goes without saying that if you ...

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I wish I didn’t feel like such a foreigner

Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t born in such a big house Didn’t watch so many Disney cartoons, Or read so much Enid Blyton, when I was young… Didn’t go to the poshest all-girls private school in town, Or eat at the best foreign restaurants Hadn’t ever been on a plane, Ever outside the country Didn’t know the words to every English song on the radio Didn’t have a big air-conditioned car Didn’t live in Defence Didn’t always get what I wanted. Sometimes, I wish I didn’t feel like such a foreigner In my own country Among my own people That I wouldn’t be polite, Embarrassed, awkward That Punjabi or Urdu would flow from my mouth As effortlessly as ...

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Danish rape in India and advice to women visiting

A Danish tourist was abducted and gang raped at knife point in New Delhi last week. This is yet another one of a series of rapes that has shocked India and has shamed us once again. I have compiled a list of pointers that I think would make travelling safer for women tourists in India. Having travelled extensively throughout the length and breadth of the country, I have a fair bit of experience on dealing with problems that women could face while travelling alone or with fellow women. I’ve even made my share of mistakes that could have landed me in ...

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Pakistani and vacationing in the Middle East? Think again!

I am sure you have had one of those conversations in which you end up making a random plan with a friend. Well, that is what happened to me. I have a friend in Jeddah and while talking to him, we realised that we had not met in a long time and hence, I made a plan to take a short trip to Dubai. He was going to travel from Jeddah and he managed to find a flight but I could not get a ticket. However, I have crossed international borders before by road, to the Far East and to ...

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Katoora Lake: An awe-inspiring spectacle of beauty

Katoora Lake (also called Jaz Dand) is situated in the Lamoti Valley of Upper Dir, KPK at an altitude of 11,500 ft approximately. Most of the time, this lake is surrounded by high mountains covered with snow. The best season to visit it is August/September. However, June and July are also good months for a tour, if you are prepared for random monsoon showers. The level of difficulty for trekking in the area may be considered ‘moderate’ for regular trekkers/hikers. Moderate weather, fresh air and stunning views – a winning combination. Photo: Murtaza Mahmud Travel towards Jaz ...

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The day I was stranded in Hyderabad

Feeling like a rat surrounded by a dozen cats, I stood there on an empty street near the famous Rani Bagh, Hyderabad. I dreaded the moment I had decided to step out of the Daewoo bus. “Aagay Latifabad ka stop hay”, one of the passengers announced. (The Latifabad’s stop is ahead.) A few men started moving out of the bus, and being an amateur, I followed. I thought I had to move out of the bus at this point rather than at the Daewoo bus terminal which was ahead. The only thing I was sure of was that the Daewoo bus doesn’t ...

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