Amara is a blogger and a writer. She loves traveling, adventures, and exploring new places.
After being stuck at home due to the pandemic, we decided to plan a trip to the northern areas of Pakistan, which are famous for their mesmerizing beauty worldwide.
After considering different areas, we planned to take a direct flight to Skardu from Islamabad International Airport, where we were to stay for four days, and then head towards the beautiful Hunza Valley. But things didn't go the way we decided.
We reached Islamabad International Airport to take our flight, but after waiting for 4 hours, we were informed that the flight was cancelled due to the bad weather conditions in Skardu. We were really disappointed to hear this bad news. At first we thought to go back home, but then we all decided to go there by road.
We booked a bus for our entire family and started heading towards our destination. We were already late, and a night drive in the hills and mountains is not safe enough, so we decided to stay in the beautiful Kaghan valley for the night, as we were all exhausted.
Stay in the Hunza Valley
After spending one night in a three-star hotel, we got some of our energy back, so we decided to head towards the Hunza Valley first.
At an elevation of 2,438 metres, it is a beautiful mountainous valley in the northern part of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan.
There are so many beautiful places to visit in the Hunza valley, but we only had a short time to stay here, so we only visited two beautiful places in this glorious valley; Attabad lake, and the Khunjerab Pass.
Located in the Gojal region of Hunza, Attabad lake was created as the result of a major landslide in the region in 2010.
The lake is now a popular tourist attraction, offering a number of different recreational activities, including boating, fishing, and jet skiing.
We had a great time at this lake and enjoyed the fun activities. It is a worthwhile place to visit in the Hunza valley.
"Being able to smell the fresh air and disconnect from the news and your phone, there is nothing like that."
— Jason Ward
Khanjerab Pass, Pakistan-China Border
The next day, we decided to visit Khanjerab pass. At a height of 4,693 metres, it is the world's highest international border crossing. It sits between Pakistan and China in the Karakoram mountain range.
It took us about 4 hours to travel on the Karakoram highway to reach our destination. The weather is very unpredictable there, with an extremely cold breeze blowing all the time. The beauty of these majestic mountains is unlike any other.
Due to extreme weather conditions, they allowed us to stay there only for 15 minutes. So, after capturing some memorable moments there, we came back to our hotel.
Travel to Skardu
After spending two days in the Hunza valley, it was time to head towards our ultimate destination, Skardu. After spending hours travelling between beautiful mountains, we finally reached our hotel. We were so tired and exhausted. After having our dinner, we slept like babies.
It was a totally different type of experience, and more adventures were waiting for us. Skardu is a very beautiful place, with its own unique type of beauty. From rocky mountains to glaciers, cold deserts to lush green mountains, its beauty is like no other.
"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life last. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature, the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter."
— Anton Chekhov
Shangrila Resort, Skardu
"Shangri-la" literally means "heaven on earth," and the name certainly fits this place. Our plan for the first day was to visit Shangrila Resort.
Surrounded by majestic mountains, this place looks like a piece of heaven on earth. These resorts are located around the serene heart shaped Kachura lake, providing a once in a life time experience. Guests staying in these resorts can enjoy free boating on the lake.
There are different cafes and hotels that provide savoury food and coffee, which can be enjoyed in stunning beauty and a peaceful ambiance.
Upper Kachura Lake
Located at 2,500 metres above sea level in the Karakorum mountain range, Upper Kachura lake is a popular tourist spot.
In the summer, the temperature hovers around 15 degrees Celsius, but in the winter, the lake surface is solidly frozen. When we visited this place, the temperature was perfect; not too hot, not too cold. After hiking the trail for 25 minutes, the lake was approached.
Due to its rough terrain, the beauty of this place is untempered and mostly unexplored by tourists. But somehow, we managed to get there after a rough and tiring trek. There were many recreational activities to enjoy, like trout fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, and mountaineering.
Our plan for the next day was to visit Shigar Fort, a heritage site that is has been converted into a museum and a 4-star luxury hotel, Serena.
The fort was built in the 17th century by the Raja of the Amacha Dynasty of Shigar. All the artifacts were displayed in the museum along with their written history.
It was surrounded by beautiful cone-shaped rocky mountains. We had a buffet lunch at the Serena hotel and enjoyed the views. We had a great time there.
On the third day, our destination was the unexplored and hidden gem of Pakistan, the Basho valley. It was a one-of-a-kind experience.
After travelling on the death trails for 2 hours on their local jeeps, we finally made it there safely. The bridges and ways to the valley are like death trails. But after going through them, something we faced, was not less than heaven.
The valley is covered in lush green jungles, pastures, trickling and gushing streams, all surrounded by glaciers, making it a must-visit place in Skardu. We were really lost in its beauty.
Getting back to our senses, after a few minutes, we ordered some food. The food was extremely delicious. The rain started, enhancing the scenic beauty of the valley. We didn't want to leave this enchanting, other-worldly land, but we had to leave before the rain got too heavy. I wish I could stay there forever.
"My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature."
— Claude Monet
It was our last day in Skardu, and our plan for today was to head towards the Deosai plain, which is also called "the roof of the world."
Located at a height of 4,114 metres above sea level, Deosai National Park is a high-altitude alpine plain, that is considered to be the second-highest plateau in the world. Himalayan brown bears can be spotted here easily.
After travelling for 3 hours from our hotel, through a very dangerous route known for its rockfalls, we reached the Deosai plain. Its beauty was like a painter's beautiful painting.
The weather over there was very cold, so we ordered some tea with fries and fritters. The view was very mesmerizing and serene. It made us spellbound. After feeding our stomachs with savoury food and feeding our eyes with its enchanting beauty, it was now time to get back to our hotel before dark. The next day, we had to catch our flight back.
Time to Go Back Home
Now it was time to say good-bye to Skardu. We headed to the airport to catch our flight, even though we did not want to leave this place.
Surrounded by beautiful mountains, Skardu airport is one of the most scenic airports in the world. Spending time in pure nature, we made many beautiful and unforgettable memories on this journey. It was a wonderful time.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Amara