Pakistan

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Pakistan

Postby Thomas.. » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:55 pm

After not being able to go to South Sudan and thereafter getting a trip to Kabul cancelled the lastest mission seem to be Pakistan. Probably (hopefully?) Islamabad. My government, as always, advise to steer clear of the whole country and thereby not providing any other information or advice.
Anyone?
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Re: Pakistan

Postby rickshaw92 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:01 pm

Islamabad is boring. Peshawar and Lahore are cool. Get up the KKH if you caj. Good eating in Pakistan too.
Im reallly fuclimg pissed but fespite that I can still hit a tarfet at 1000m plus. mayVRVe bnot tonight but it qint beyond the wit if man. Nowhammy.
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Re: Pakistan

Postby Thomas.. » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:06 pm

Noted. I like Pakistani food in Europe. Guess it's the same but with more pain on the way in and out.

What about my odds not ending my days in an orange jumpsuit with a black flag with funny looking letters on it? Hate that.
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Re: Pakistan

Postby DCtoMogadishu » Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:48 pm

I'm in Lahore 2-3 weeks per year, usually with a day or so in Islamabad in the mix. I can definitely see Isloo getting boring after a while, but I've never been there long enough for that to happen. It's a pleasant place to spend a couple of days. About 18 months or so ago when I was in Isloo I randomly ran into on of the guys from the US embassy. I asked him if he thought he was lucky to get that posting. He said no one had ask him that before, but he thought he was: it's safe, you still get DP cred (they call it "hardship post credit" or something like that), weather is decent, and you're pretty free to move around within the city (at least that was the case back then. It could have changed, but I doubt it.) He was even allowed to have his own private car. He was restricted to the city, but there's plenty to see in the area if you don't have that kind of restriction--Murree, Khewra salt mine, Taxila. You can probably do all of those on your own safely. Katas Raj temples are also pretty close and one of the best really off-the-beaten-path (and legit off-the-beaten-path, not just slightly less touristy) places I've ever seen. I'd bring a local guide to Katas Raj though. Not dangerous dangerous, but hard to find, and you'll really stick out. I'm pretty much always with local friends when I'm there, but I'd feel fine by myself at any of the places I mentioned besides Katas Raj. ISB airport sucks, but that's really the only bad thing I have to say. When Swat was hot and the Marriott got bombed I would have been nervous about Islamabad, but these days I wouldn't really even call it a dangerous place.

Lahore Lahore Aye, I guess, but honestly, I think it's kind of overrated. Then again, that's probably just me. I work with a lot of Pakistanis and Lahore has been talked up to me more than anywhere else on earth. That and the fact I've been there a bunch means that I've always felt it overhyped. But there's a lot to see, the food is good, and there's really no more of a threat than in any other developing country. I wouldn't do it as a day trip from Islamabad, but I guess you could if you wanted. The motorway is good and the Daewoo busses are pretty decent.

Peshawar is on my list but honestly, I've been a little intimidated. Probably overly so. I have some old business contacts in Karachi that I really should go see at some point but I keep putting off for no good reason, so no experience there, but nothing really to worry about other than normal developing world crime from what I understand. Multan should also be ok (really I can't think of anywhere in Punjab that would bother me), but I wouldn't do Quetta. That mostly covers the bigger cities. They're all very different from Kabul. Once you get away from the cities that's when you have to be careful. Peshawar is too close to that area for me.

Learn some Urdu if you can. Pimsleur is good. There's plenty of English, but still less than I expected originally.
Thorn Tree has a pretty active Pakistan board. Might want to ask over there, too.



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Re: Pakistan

Postby Thomas.. » Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:30 am

Cheers!
This is not a posting but rather a two-three week gig for starters. So I will probably not get the chance to look around outside the city (whichever city it will be) but at least one or two weekends to kill so thanks for all the tips. I will def check TT aswell. I'll let you know when I'm there and see if it coincides with you 2-3 weeks althoug not likely I guess.
Great advice, thanks a lot. I might have to delete this sentence before using at as comfort for nervous family and friends...:
When Swat was hot and the Marriott got bombed I would have been nervous about Islamabad
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Re: Pakistan

Postby DCtoMogadishu » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:11 pm

Thomas.. wrote:Cheers!
This is not a posting but rather a two-three week gig for starters. So I will probably not get the chance to look around outside the city (whichever city it will be) but at least one or two weekends to kill so thanks for all the tips. I will def check TT aswell. I'll let you know when I'm there and see if it coincides with you 2-3 weeks althoug not likely I guess.
Great advice, thanks a lot. I might have to delete this sentence before using at as comfort for nervous family and friends...:
When Swat was hot and the Marriott got bombed I would have been nervous about Islamabad


Haha, can't say I blame you about the deletion! But that was 2008. :-) I'd absolutely go for 2-3 weeks these days. But for your first trip, I'd say limit yourself to Lahore and/or Islamabad to get your feet wet and meet people.
I was just there about a month ago, and I'm thinking my next trip will be March, but you never know. lmk if you make it!

Oh, and as for the food, I've only gotten sick once, and even that wasn't bad!
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Re: Pakistan

Postby Thomas.. » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:48 am

Said and done. Now residing at the Marriott (adding some danger flavour behind the new wall). Will be here until Saturday. Tell me if you are in town.
By the way, my local colleagues planned a trip to Nathiagali. according to them "as safe as Islamabad". Any experiance?

Islamabad has a bit of Pyonjang to it, seems to have been planned for becoming much bigger but didn't . Semi-empty roads in peak traffic was not what I was expecting from Pakistan. Guess it is really not representative for the country though..
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Re: Pakistan

Postby Thomas.. » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:16 pm

Some unrest here now due to the police cracking down on opposition so I'm not sure they will let us go on the highway now anyways. For us not travelling to the actual frontiers like some of you, hairy situations means being grounded at a hotel compound. Guess one shouldnt complain though.
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