Pakistan boasts of breathtaking mountains and valleys, picture-perfect architecture, scrumptious food and hospitable people. Highly underrated and often stereotyped as one of the most unsafe countries in the world, any foreigner who travels to the country is left amused and thrilled. Several travel bloggers from around the globe have toured Pakistan, from main cities like Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Islamabad to the mountains of Gilgit, Hunza and Swat, and have shared pictures and vlogs detailing their experience. Needless to say, each one of them has gone back with a big smile on their face! Here is a list of globe-trotters who went back to their home countries with a piece of Pakistan in their hearts:
1. Jacob Laukaitis
He has explored many countries in the word but Pakistan trumps the list for him. He visited Pakistan in March amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country and had to fly back to his home country after 10 days. This is not to say that the travel vlogger did not make some special memories during his brief trip. “When I got into Pakistan at the beginning of March, the Corona situation wasn’t completely out of hand yet, but it got dramatically worse with every day I spent in the country. So just 10 days later I cancelled all my travel plans and ran away from the country literally a few days before the airports were shut down. However, the 10 days I spent in Pakistan were amazing,” he posted on his Instagram.
Weighing in on the places he went and people he met, Jacob’s post added, “Met hundreds of friendly people (some of whom would not allow me to pay for anything), explored beautiful historical sights, went to the border with India, visited the mountains close to Afghanistan, was hosted by incredibly kind people, rode 4×4’s and had a total blast. Can’t wait to share this trip with you legends in the videos we’re already working on.” And soon after, he dropped a video titled ‘10 things NOT to do in Pakistan’.
While highlighting some noteworthy points, Jacob said, “Do not be surprised if people are so hospitable. I experienced many wonderful acts of kindness there.” He continued, “Don’t forget to learn a couple of words from Pakistan’s unofficial anthem Dil Dil Pakistan,” adding, “Don’t think people are angry. Just smile! The roads are not very good in the north, so don’t expect to reach your destination fast.” He went on to speak about how impressed he was by the security in Peshawar.
Watch the full video here:
2. Jay Palfrey
He planned a vacation to Pakistan for two weeks but stayed on for a whole month because he loved it so much! “This country – the people, food, landscape and culture – makes me so happy, I’m already dreading the day I have to get on a plane and say goodbye,” read a caption on one of his Instagram pictures. The travel vlogger has been uploading images from his trip on Instagram. From the beautiful Faisal Mosque and Badshahi Mosque to the Passu Cones and Hopper Glacier to the desi spicy food to wearing shalwar kameez, he made sure to do it all. Putting together a video titled ‘Big Mountains, Bigger Hearts’, Jay unravelled his journey, starting off with, “Pakistan, you may have heard about it but not the truth the land where the oceans, mountains, lakes, deserts and cities collide in an explosion of culture, history, amazing food and world class hospitality. My journey will take you from city to mountain, a journey of a lifetime, a journey I will never ever forget.”
Lauding the hospitality of Pakistanis, Jay uploaded a quote which he read on a wall in Skardu, adding that it rightfully describes the people. “When wealth is gone, nothing is lost. When health is gone, something is lost. When character is gone, everything is lost – this couldn’t describe Pakistani people any better – kindness, generosity, love and support is authentic and more important than anything!”
Watch the full video here:
3. Haley Dasovich
Her Instagram handle Haley Takes On The World is filled with exciting moments from her life, with one of them being none other than her one-month-long visit to Pakistan. Uploading a picture in front of Faisal Mosque, she wrote, “Hi friends! While I’m no longer in Pakistan, I’ve started to release my Pakistan travel series. I land in Islamabad and spend the first week alone in Pakistan.” Her visit to the Badshahi Mosque was nothing short of mesmerizing either. Sharing on the photo-sharing platform, she penned, “This is an iconic landmark in Pakistan. “In 2019, I spent a month traveling around Pakistan and this was one of the most incredible structures I had the privilege of visiting. The Badshahi Mosque in Lahore was constructed in 1674 during the Mughal Empire, and is one of the city’s best-known landmarks epitomizing the beauty and grandeur of Pakistan’s Mughal history.” Posting her vlog on YouTube, she included glimpses of her time spent with locals, the Instagram influencers and YouTubers who joined her, the food she ate in Pakistan and a whole lot more!
Watch the full video here:
4. Peter Santenello
This travel vlogger loves what he does! His Instagram boasts of a plethora of pictures from his breathtaking vacations and of course Pakistan is among them. Starting off from the Pakistan-India Wagah border to the grand Badshahi Mosque to spotting a goat clad in a sweater to exploring Hunza and Peshawar, he seems to have had a trip of a lifetime. “High up in the mountains of Pakistan is this gem. A very interesting part of the world with a strong Persian influence,” he wrote about the scenic beauty of Hunza, adding, “The people from this remote region in the mountains of Pakistan are some of the coolest I’ve met in all of my travels. And it’s crazy how everyone knows English, even the old people. The nature in Pakistan is some of the world’s most beautiful. 108 peaks over 7000 meters (23,000 feet).”
Peter has since uploaded several videos in episodes from his trip to the country too. He captioned one of them, “Hunza valley has a beautiful combination of people and mountains”. Watch the full video here:
5. Mark Wiens
A chef and by profession, he travels the world for food! From the freshly made parathas and chai to scrumptious Hunzai delicacies, Mark loved everything he ate while discovering the northern district of Pakistan back in 2018. Not only this but his YouTube video encapsulates the places he went to including the famous Baltit Fort, the locals he met and ate with (some of whom treated him to great music with their instruments) and the mountains he trekked. He also visited the famous Quaid-e-Azam Mazaar in Karachi. But the images that made their way to his Instagram were all of the delicious food he was served during his stay. Mark visited Lahore, Gujranwala, Chakwal and Peshawar among others during his trip. However, his favourite food were the chapli kebabs and he even made a video on the same. Take a look:
Titled Long Life Food in Hunza Valley – Heaven on Earth Pakistan Tour, Mark posted another video of his 13-days-long travel adventure in Pakistan. Watch the full video here:
6. Angela Carson
A travel writer and vloggers, her latest Instagram posts are all about Pakistan and everything she loved about it! From staying at some of the best hotels in the country such as The Nishat Hotel in Lahore and Serena Hotel in Islamabad, Angela seems to have had a more than comfortable getaway. Summing up her entire trip in one post alongside a picture of herself holding the Pakistan flag, Angela shared a heartwarming note, which read, “Whether you’re 20, 30, 40 or 50 like me, deciding to solo travel here is going to be one of the best decisions you ever make. I’m only halfway through my time in this truly beautiful country and yet Pakistan already owns a piece of my heart. Partly for the way this magical Muslim country makes my eyes dance and turns me into a kid ready to explore the world each morning.” She added, “Partly for the beauty of its architecture and rich heritage that has me shooting more GB of video on a daily basis than on any other trip of my life! And partly for its people who at first, I thought were so wildly hospitable and welcoming because they see so few foreign guests but I was wrong. It’s the kindness and peacefulness of their hearts and their genuine love for one another that makes Pakistanis some of the most thoughtful people on mother earth.” She ended her note with, “Pakistan, thank you! I knew to expect something wonderful but you are more than I ever dreamed.”
Angela posted a video as she travelled from Islamabad to Faisalabad with Faisal Movers on their executive class coach service. She detailed her experience in a video uploaded on YouTube. Watch the full video here:
7. Ryan Riel Media
This photographer travelled to Pakistan in 2019 and managed to capture beautiful views of Pakistan. However, Hunza topped his list! “This is Hunza. The mountain valley paradise of Pakistan. It’s hard to choose my favourite place in Pakistan because every part has its own uniqueness and many I loved many things about it. BUT, if I had to choose, Hunza would definitely be a top contender,” he wrote on Instagram. “If I had to describe it in one word, I’d say it was “magical”. Another interesting fact… Did you know that the Hunza has the highest literacy rate in all of Pakistan? So cool.” And guess what? He was evidently very adventurous as he successfully crossed the Hussaini Hanging Bridge too, one of the most dangerous bridges in the world!
Watch the full video here: