Yeah, we know. A third-world country that is probably a terrorist nation must be SO difficult to visit. Well, despite the rumors, Pakistan has become stable and better off than it was years ago. And yes, we’re proud. Is Pakistan safe for westerners? This question has western tourists shaking with curiosity.
Well, Pakistan is a culturally rich country with cultures from neighboring countries meshing up to make a beautiful mixture of diverse traditions and customs. We have Central Asian (Afghan) and South Asian culture mostly, and our northern regions are out of this world!
Throughout the years, we admit that there were terrorist attacks or security issues. These have decreased to the point of no existence. However, street crime is a problem because as a third world country, the citizens don’t abide the law.
But isn’t this also a thing in other countries that foreigners visit like Mexico or India? So why keep Pakistan in the dust? We have improved and are becoming as safe as possible, step by step.
Why You Should Visit:
You can find the largest mountains and breathtaking sceneries in this country. Our northern regions including places like Gilgit, Hunza, and Kashmir are one of the most beautiful places you can lay your eyes on.
The local people are helpful and understanding. Our hospitality makes us treat all foreigners the same as we treat people at home. It can be a surreal and rich experience if you genuinely want to learn about our culture.
The southern cities of Pakistan are busy and booked. We admit that driving in Pakistan is unsafe and only possible if you have firsthand experience of driving here. However, in big cities like Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad, you get to see the corporate buildings and bustling streets of the country. With food vendors and luxury restaurants to five-star hotels and friendly people!
Moreover, our sceneries are the perfect place to capture that memorable shot that you’ll remember forever. Our streams and mountains are even larger than the famous country of Europe ‘Switzerland’.
All in all, there are countless reasons to visit. There is always a possibility in every country for issues and we should not be judged according to an old image.
Traveling to Pakistan – A Few Things To Look Out For:
So can we truly answer is Pakistan safe for westerners? Probably! If you do decide to visit, there are a few ideas to keep in mind so that your trip remains as safe and content as possible:
Don’t Engage In Politics:
Politics is a pretty sensitive topic for Pakistani’s, to the point that even we avoid discussing it. We understand that a foreigner might have a different point of view regarding our political system but not everyone is accepting of that. So, once you’re out traveling to Pakistan, keep in mind that politics is a major taboo topic!
Also, if a fight ever breaks out then people assemble around to see the fun so any debate can get a lot of attention. It is always a risk to involve politics in any sort of argument or discussion.
This is a key point. Give respect and get respect. This is a rule that every single nation in the world works by. Pakistani’s just need someone to be polite and we’ll do the work. We dislike rude or over-the-top people that laugh or insult us in our own country.
If you don’t have any interest to learn about our culture and be respectful, then we would gladly mention to not visit. Not only can it be in against your favor but you might also portray a negative image of foreigners for the locals.
We are hospitable people that love learning about the people that visit us! Most of the street vendors, out of courtesy, let foreigners purchase for free! Something’s we, the citizens, wish we could experience as well.
Avoid Getting Scammed:
Despite the fact that we are nice and kind people, of course, there would be a few bad apples. Many shopkeepers believe that foreigners don’t understand how our currency works so they can often times scam you.
They have you pay extra for a cheap item!
Pretty much, they can take advantage of the communication barrier and lack of currency knowledge to get a few rupees out of your pocket. So be aware!
Research how the currency works here and then buy!
Try Not To Wear Revealing Or ‘Attention Gaining’ Clothes:
This is a point that some would like to disagree on. However, traveling to Pakistan might require you to dress in a modest way, as it is a conservative country.
Also, people here tend to stare a lot. They even stare down the locals. So imagine being an outsider? It’s important you don’t gain attention for the wrong and hurtful reasons.
Especially if you’re a female, you’ll need to take extra measures in regards to clothing to keep yourself safe. Tank tops, shorts, and sleeveless shirts might be a no-go.
Be Careful of the Temperature:
If you’re visiting the southern cities like Karachi and Lahore, then they can get VERY hot. Traveling to Pakistan means that you will need to adjust yourself according to the diverse temperatures in both regions. Not to mention, Karachi has heat waves quite frequently in summers. So, if you are accustomed to living in a colder or mild environment then you would need to prepare yourself for the damaging heat days.
The temperature can hit a whopping 45 degree Celsius pretty easily. Make sure that you are hydrated and traveling in an air-conditioned vehicle.
Other than that, do research on the current changes within the country so you can understand what you might be expecting.
Our recommendation is definitely visiting the north as that is where all the magic is happening! The cities can be either too hot or too busy and crowded for foreigners. Also, make sure to have considerable security measures when traveling to Kashmir.
Don’t engage in brawls or disrespect the locals because just like anywhere else it can go horribly wrong for you! Try out the local cuisine and beverages and feel yourself at home!
Read Also: Future Of Tourism In Pakistan
So, are you interested in traveling to Pakistan? If so, where? The North or the South? Share your thoughts!