When people think of Pakistan, they usually think of the rugged terrain and the seemingly organized chaos of its urban areas – Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore. Rarely is there someone who pictures Pakistan as a land of serene and peaceful landscapes. Actually, there are a number of places in Pakistan that are almost paradise-like. One of them is the Hunza Valley.
What distinguishes Hunza Valley is that it is said to be the inspiration of the famous fictional paradise of Shangri-La. In reality, the people of Hunza Valley also live long lives. It is said though, that Hunza Valley people live long because they live healthy – with exercise and proper diet, plus their clean and unpolluted surroundings. They are very friendly and accommodating people who welcome tourists.
The Hunza Valley is perfect for tourists who may be weary of the hustle and bustle of Pakistan’s constantly people-filled attractions. Hunza Valley offers a quiet respite, ideal for tourists who want to have a break from it all. This mountainous valley in a town called Gilgit is in the Gilgit-Baltistan autonomous region of Pakistan. The valley is located in the north of a river bearing the same name as with the valley. The valley covers about 7,900 square kilometers. The main town is called Karimabad where tourists flock in droves. The spectacular scenery that is provided by the mountains surrounding the town like Ultar Sar, Ghenta Peak, and Rakaposhi makes the place look very peaceful, almost like you are in the Swiss Alps. All the mountains surrounding the valley are higher than 6,000 feet.
The ideal time to go to Hunza Valley is from May to October. The highway leading to the valley is blocked by snow during winter, so it is impossible to go there from November to February. To get there, there are van and bus services that run regularly between Gilgit and the central region of the valley. There are also tours and transport options for visitors available from the PTDC office in Gilgit, Islamabad and Sost.