Located smack in between India and China in Pakistan’s Northern Areas, the Hunza Valley may be the best bet for the intrepid traveler hoping to experience Pakistan but who’s a tad bit worried about visiting, as the FT describes.
Despite the jihadis who dominate the airwaves, however, Pakistan has a proud tradition of hospitality to outsiders. It is prudent to show some reserve in dress and behaviour, especially for lone women. But this restriction of personal freedom is amply compensated. Pakistan is a land of breathtaking beauty, rich in the interleaved histories of cosmopolitan cultures. And for the nervous traveller who fears becoming part of an international news item, nowhere is better than Hunza, Pakistan’s northernmost valley on the border with China.
A trip along the Karakoram Highway, the main artery linking Pakistan to China, reveals green valleys filled with apricot trees, glacier fed-rivers, and “Sacred Rocks,” a site containing remnants of prehistoric petroglyphs.
I wrote that then realized I have no idea what a “petroglyph” is. Okay I just checked, it’s an engraving or carving in a rock versus a painting or drawing. Well, I was hoping it meant what I initially thought it did: a prehistoric dinosaur. How cool would that valley have been then? Oh well, I still would love to visit.
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