Pakistan is not a common destination for a solo female traveler. Visas can be difficult to obtain and most governments have strongly advised against travel there. Visas can only be obtained from the embassy in your country of origin, so if you are planning to travel there first, contact the Embassy of Pakistan in your country.
Some nationalities need a letter of invitation (LOI) from a registered tour company or a person who is inviting you that lives in Pakistan. Betty, from the agency Karakoram Bikers, can help you to get a LOI and to organize an itinerary. To apply for the visa you need to have a very specific travel itinerary and you should know with advance the names of the places and cities you want to see in case you have an interview in the Embassy just as I did.
Before traveling to Pakistan I didn’t know what to expect as I didn’t find any useful travel information to prepare my trip. However, after 20 days traveling in Pakistan, I can say it is one of my favorite countries in the world. Pakistan is the land of hospitality and you will find the kindest people you will ever meet. The security situation in Pakistan is totally fine. I never faced any issue and every time I needed some help with language or directions I always found someone willing to help me. If you like landscapes, nature, culture, architecture and delicious food, Pakistan will be the perfect place for you.
Traveling in Pakistan is very easy. Big cities like Islamabad and Lahore have Uber but you can always take a taxi or a tuktuk. The best way to travel between cities is by bus or by plane due to the long distances. Cheap flights are available, but if you don’t want to miss the amazing landscapes, I will recommend you to take a bus.
The best option is Daweoo Express it is the safest and fastest way to move around. You can buy your ticket directly on the bus station or buy it online if you want assure a seat. As well you can get a share taxi to be more confortable during long distance trips or hire a private car with a driver. However I won’t recommend hitchhiking in Pakistan because of the multiple checkpoints you will find on your way. Even though Pakistan is very safe, you will face a lot of checkpoints. That’s why I recommend you to carry your passport with you all the time and bring with you at least 20 copies of your passport and visa.
I spent three days with the Kalash people in two different towns called Bamburat and Rumbur. The Kalash are an ancient tribe of Pakistan with a very particular way of life, religion, and rituals. The Kalash people believe that they are descendants of Alexander the Great and women wear colored embroidered dresses and beaded headdresses called susutr.