Saturday, 28 May 2016

Getting around Pakistan

Pakistan has extensive air networks, linking all the major cities and districts centers.  Internal flights are relatively cheap. There are great networks of trains and bus services from one city to another in the major cities there is wonderful Motor Way services with comfortable buses and stops to eat.
 Flights to Northern Areas (Gilgit and Skardu) and Chitral are heavily subsidized and very good value. They are the most spectacular commercial flights in the world. They are however highly weather dependent and subject to last minute cancellation. They can only be booked in Pakistan.  There is also Karakorum sightseeing flight available for the interested people to enjoy the trip.
 PIA ( Pakistan International Airlines) operates, comprehensive network of flights across the country with a fleet of air crafts that range latest 747s and Air buses, to propeller-driven F 27s. Apart from it there are other commercial flights in Pakistan with in the country with valuable services and all the domestic airlines offer discounts on their night coaches, flights that tend to depart and arrive at inconvenient times in the middle of the night, or very early in the morning. There travel agents all over the country sell air tickets and book the flight wherever you are and tend to have flight with in the country or across the country you don’t need be bother to find out airlines offices to book a flight and buy the tickets. All flights schedules are followed correctly except the flights to Northern Areas and Chitral ( as mentioned above the are subject to weather).
 Like the other countries in the world Pakistan has an extensive net work of railways that can provide comfortable and fast way of covering large distances, in addition to offering the opportunity to see the countryside and experience all slice of Pakistani society on the move. The main backbone of the system runs in a broad curving arc N-S between Peshawar and Karachi, via Rawalpindi and Lahore, with an important branch line to Quetta ( Balochistan) and various other branches throughout Punjab, Sindh, Parts of Balochistan  and N.W.F.P now KPK.  For those intended to travel by trains (Rail), there are great train services within the country in the major cities, offering the quickest, most direct daily services between destinations, in addition to all classes of ticket. Where possible, a choice has been offered between morning and afternoon services, although almost all routes have more services.
   Road long distance with buses:
The bus net work in Pakistan is extensive, provide services to getting around. Each province has its own government operates service in addition to there is multitude of privately run services. There are many different levels of service ranging from the long distance inter-city services, with comfortable buses with A/C and sometimes videos and free Wi-fi systems ornately decorated ‘local’ buses that crowd more people inside and on the roof, then you would think possible, and crawl along at 20 km per hour. Private Coach Services tend to be services although they generally quicker, comfortable and the assurance of a reserved seat. Most long distance and local buses rarely depart before they are full, but they fill up very quickly in the major cities. For long distances you have to book a seat in advance sometimes you can find the seats on the departure time too, but it is not always. Secondly, you can have a good seat in the result of advance booking. It is not unusual for hospitality to give up the best seats to foreign ‘guests’. How- ever it is difficult to reach the happy compromise between comfort and safety. Seats near the front tend tend to have greater leg-room. They also provide uninterrupted views of the landscape you travelling along. Seats in the back tend to have less-leg room, are bumpier too.
·        Local Transport
 Auto-Rickshaws Cheaper than taxis, auto-rickshaws are the most convenient way of getting aroundtownshough visitors should note that the variety found in Pakistan are even smaller than the other countries in the world as I saw in some parts of Europe and it is quite squeeze to fit in for two adults with backpacks. None have working meters, so you need to fix the fare of your destination in advance.
·        Local buses
If you are staying in larger towns and cities for very short time it unlikely that you will get to grips with the local bus system. Routes are difficult to understand, the buses are often impossibly crowded, and it can be very brutal getting on and off the still moving bus. However if you are determined, you will generally find someone who will ensure that you are on a right bus. I have heard of such mistakes made some my clients who travel with me. One of my English friends traveled on a wrong bus in Karachi for an hour.  
·        Minibuses
Many towns have mini bus or Suzuki services which operate on a fixed route, but pick up and drop passenger on request, but are quicker than local buses, but equally crowded.
·        Car-hire A car hire means you hire a car and driver, although it is sometimes possible to self drive but it is only for a day two days in the major cities. Large hotels usually have car hiring system if you stay in one. There are Rent A Car services in the cities either in small towns too.  In more remote areas, it is possible to hire jeeps for the trip you wish to it one of the exciting trips in Pakistan over the high passes is called Jeep Safari.
·        Cycling: More and more foreign cyclists are to be spotted on Pakistan’s roads particularly on the popular Karakorum Highway (will see in the next post) route. The majority are travelling on high-tech imported mountain or touring bikes. Another option is to buy a Pakistani or Chinese cycle in Pakistan and can enjoying the cycling on the incredible routes and spectacular views of the landscape.
·        Special transport system
An increasing number people are travelling in Pakistan with special transport. You can hire a special car, jeep, bus or any other kind vehicle you like could be possible to find in any part of Pakistan without any problem. The hotel you stay in and there are Rent A car services that provide you the transport as you like to take it and travel around.



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