FREQUESNTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Q.
How to Get in?
 
A.

Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi are the main gateways to Pakistan by air. However, there are many other airports in Pakistan that have international flights as well to the Gulf and Far East. Two other international airports are in Peshawar and Quetta. Following are the Pakistani airlines:
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)
Aero Asia International
Shaheen Air International(SAI)
Airblue


Quaid-e-Azam International Airport in Karachi is served by many international airlines, including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Swiss, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and PIA.

Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore has been completely renovated with a new terminal for international arrivals and departures. Many airlines are currently operating to the airport including Emirates, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air, Singapore Airlines, Pakistan International (PIA), Saudi Arabian Airlines, Thai Airways, Kuwait Airways and over four private airlines from Pakistan.

Islamabad International Airport is currently in review to be expanded and modernized to meet the needs of the future passenger numbers as demand for air travel has increased dramatically. There are many airlines operating into Islamabad including many of the above with British Airways as well. The only problem is that the airport is also used by Government officials as well as arrivals from foreign diplomats so the airport may shut down as security is increased so flights are delayed.

By Train:
Pakistan has train links with India and Iran.

India has two links: The Samjhauta Express from Lahore to Attari near Amritsar in Punjab. The Thar Express restarted in February 2006 after 40 years out of service. It runs from Munabao in the Indian state of Rajasthan to Khokrapar in Pakistan's Sindh province, but is not open to foreign tourists.

Iran has one link, from Zehadan to Quetta. Neither train is the fastest or most practical way to enter Pakistan. Should speed be a priority it is better to take the bus, or if you are really in a hurry, to fly, however the trains are sights in their own right.

By Car:
From ancient times people have been travelling through Pakistan using the Grand Trunk Road and the Silk Road that run through Pakistan and into the Asian subcontinent. It's a rewarding but time consuming way to see this part of the world. New highways have been developed and the country is due for an expansion in its highway network. Currently, a world-class motorway connects the cities of Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad, with extension up to Peshawar due to be completed soon.

Pakistan is connected to China through the Karakoram Highway, a modern feat of engineering that traverses a remarkably scenic route through the Karakoram and Himalayan mountains.

There are two routes between Pakistan and Afghanistan:
The Khyber Pass connects Peshawar to Jalalabad and Kabul and requires an armed escort and a permit to travel through the tribal regions between Peshawar and the border. Onward travel from the border to Kabul is of questionable safety, check the current situation locally.

The Bolan Pass connects Quetta to Kandahar and is considered very dangerous. This route is currently only open to locals and aid workers.

By Bus:
From India: While there is international service running from Delhi to Lahore it is just as fast, much more flexible, and much cheaper to take the journey by stringing together local transport and crossing the border on foot.

From China: You can take a bus from Kashi over the Karakoram Highway to Pakistan.

From Iran: One comes to Pakistan from Iran via the Mijva border in Iran which is half an hour’s drive from Mashad. The Pakistani border town is called Taftan and has facilities of immigration, customs, hotels etc.

A large portion of travel between cities in Pakistan is carried out by bus. Travelling between Karachi and any of the country's other major cities by bus may take days, and is usually advised against, because of highway robbery, known locally as 'dacoitry'. With that exception, however, travel by bus is often the cheapest and most convenient alternative.

The Daewoo company runs a regular bus service between several major cities, with air-conditioned buses and seats booked one day ahead. While rather unexpensive, they are still almost five times as expensive as the cheap and uncomplicated rides offered by minibuses or larger buses between the major bus stations of the cities. Fares are often (though not always) paid directly on the bus, there is no aircondition, and sometimes very little knee space, but you get where you are going all the same, and I have never met with anything but kind interest and friendly conversation on my many rides. Buses leave almost incessantly from the major bus stations for all the major cities, and many smaller locations, so booking ahead is neither possible nor necessary on the simpler buses. When travelling between major cities, smaller buses are to be preferred over the larger ones, as these tend to take up passagers along the way, and therefore travel more slowly.
www.samidaewo.com.pk

The situation is similar for local transport. While the organization of local transport may look a little different between cities, there is usually an active bus service running through the city, with varying levels of government control.


 
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