Douglas Whitehead has been chronicling his epic 6,000-mile bike trek from England to India over the last few months for the Telegraph. His latest entry finds him in northern Pakistan, an area historically known for its beauty — it was here that the name Shangri-la was supposedly coined — as well as its for its recent social unrest.
And along with the unimaginable scenery comes an array of cultures. “This region of Pakistan, known as the Northern Areas, is almost flamboyantly beautiful. Traveling through its deep mountain valleys is like crossing half a dozen tiny countries, each with their own distinct languages and customs.”
The views during my own daily bike ride usually entail boarded-up plots of land and empty warehouses (and the occasional speeding taxi careening towards my path). Yeah, I’d prefer Shangri-la.