ABOUT Pakistan's tourism industry was in its heyday during the 1970s when the country received unprecedented amounts of foreign tourists, thanks to the Hippie trail. The main destinations of choice for these tourists were the Khyber Pass, Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore, Swat and Rawalpindi. The country's attraction range from the ruin of civilization such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Taxila, to the Himalayan hill stations, which attract those interested in winter sports. Pakistan is home to several mountain peaks over 7000 m, which attracts adventurers and mountaineers from around the world, especially K2. The north part of Pakistan has many old fortresses, ancient architecture and the Hunza and Chitral valley, home to small pre-Islamic Animist Kalasha community claiming descent from Alexander the Great. The romance of the historic Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is timeless and legendary, Punjab province has the site of Alexander's battle on the Jhelum River and the historic city Lahore, Pakistan's cultural capital, with many examples of Mughal architecture such as Badshahi Masjid, Shalimar Gardens, Tomb of Jahangir and the Lahore Fort. Before the Global economic crisis Pakistan received more than 500,000 tourists annually. However, this number has now come down to near zero figures since 2008 due to instability in the country and many countries declaring Pakistan as unsafe and dangerous to visit. In the northwestern region of Pakistan lies the remote and peaceful valley of Chitral. Lying in the midst of Hindukush Range, it is one of the world’s most beautiful regions. Chitral offers enchanting scenery in the shadow of majestic Trich Mir, which, at 7,708m is the highest peak of Hindukush Ranges. The people of Chitral, the “Kho”, show traces of Persian and Turkish ancestry. They are known for their peaceful, uncomplicated character and unique culture.
CLIMATE Pakistan has are four seasons: a cool, dry winter from December through February; a hot, dry spring from March through May; the summer rainy season, or southwest monsoon period, from June through September; and the retreating monsoon period of October and November. The onset and duration of these seasons vary somewhat according to location.
BEWARE There is a high threat from terrorism and sectarian violence throughout Pakistan. Attacks could be indiscriminate including at places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Methods of attack have included grenades, shootings, bombings and suicide bombs. You are advised to remain vigilant and to carry identification at all times for use at police checkpoints. You should be alert to the threat of kidnapping throughout Pakistan. Kidnappings can be for financial or political gain, and can be motivated by criminality or terrorism. Be aware of the risk of street crime and take personal security measures. Take particular care to safeguard your passport, bankcards, bags, jewellery, laptops and mobiles, especially when using public transport including when travelling to and from the airport and when walking in crowded areas including markets. There is an active black market in forged and stolen passports. Credit card fraud is common.