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Getting Around

Getting to Pakistan and away

From India – The border crossing is between Amritsar on the India side and Lahore in Paksitan. The whole affair is quite curious as porters with different colour turbans pass over goods to the other side. The Pakistani customs will probably insist you change some money with them but normally give a good rate.

From China – the Karakoram highway takes you up through the valley of Huntza and Gilgit to the Chinese border. This is one of the most spectacular journeys you could ever hope to make but the road gets cut off during the worst of winter so plan carefully.

From Iran – From Quetta it’s about a 20 hour journey to the border town of Taftan. This is a small village that survives mainly on smuggling and feels like the last surviving settlement after the Apocalypse. From here it’s not far to Zahedan on the Iranian side.

Getting Around Pakistan

Buses

Buses in Pakistan are rundown affairs with rattling windows and narrow seats, almost as decrepit as the services you might find in India. They’re cheap as hell though and generally pretty safe though you might need to be careful on night buses travelling through the Sind Territory, between Lahore and Karachi, where there are still many bandits.

Mini Buses

Mini buses, or collective taxis, are common throughout the country and often serve parts that the buses don’t reach like villages up in the mountains. They operate within the towns as well along set routes and you’ll recognize them from the conductor, usually a teenage boy, who will be hanging out the side as they go along, drumming up business.

Trains

Trains in Pakistan only function along parts of the country as desert and mountains make many areas impassable. If you’re going anywhere near the Iran border they’re often taken over by smugglers who hide parcels in secret compartments beneath your feet.

Hitchhiking

Pakistan is good for hitchhiking in that people are pretty friendly and very willing to help out a stranger but the mountains and deserts make hitching around fairly tricky. There are plenty of long distance trucks, beautiful machines covered in ten thousand kinds of tinsel, and they will often take you. But the going will be slow and you’ll be the chief source of entertainment.