Until the late '60s the only travel guides available were published by Shell Mex-BP, Berlitz, and Fodors. Then, in 1970, came The BIT Guide; roneo'd & stapled foolscap booklets for the adventurous heading overland to, or through, India, Africa and South America. It was, at times quite literally, a lifesaver for us naive hippy-trailers coming unstuck in Kandahar or Swat. Sadly, BIT collapsed in chaos and debt in 1979, their archives destroyed. The BIT Guide was the precursor and inspiration for Rough Guides and Lonely Planet, either of which now being the sine qua non for gap year teenagers or Third Agers.On the other hand, if you're on a SERIOUS expedition you can't beat Bradt. Weighty tomes, yes, but the porters can carry it for you. If you're more interested in a travel BOOK, rather than a guide, you really should invest in a copy of "A Short Walk In The Hindu Kush" by Eric Newby. Fabulous.
Jinnah Mausoleum is a famous landmark of Karachi.
The politician Muhammad Ali Jinnah is officially referred to in Pakistan as "Quaid-e-Azam" which means "The Great Leader".
His mausoleum was built between 1960 and 1970 by the Pakistani architect Yahya C. Merchant.
The mausoleum is an iconic symbol of Karachi and is situated in the heart of the city. It is made of white marble with curved Moorish arches. The cool inner sanctum reflects the green of a four-tiered crystal chandelier given by the people of China. The location is usually calm and tranquil which is significant considering how busy Karachi is. The glowing tomb can be seen for miles at night.
Official and military ceremonies take place here on special occasions, especially on 23 March, 14 August, 11 September, 25 December, 8 July and 30 July.
Located on Jamshed Road. It is a central location between Saddar, Gulshan-Iqbal and PECHS areas.
Jehangir Kothari is a place dedicated to the public, built by Mr. Jehangir.
It is a beautiful example of colonial architecture and is built with stones favoured by the British in pre-partitioned India.
Jehangir Kothari Parade is located on the opposite side of The Point (Pak Towers). Ask any taxi or rickshaw to take you there. It's a popular place in Karachi so most people should know it.
It is the former residence of Miss Fatima Jinnah, sister of the Founder of Pakistan. Now, it has been converted into a veritable museum which carries temperorary collections. No permanent collections are here.
The structure is built in Hindu-British style and is made of pink stone which gives it a unique style.
Tickets for adults cost Rs.10. Free entrance for children.
Timings for the museum are from 11 am to 7 pm.
Food Street is a road closed to traffic each evening and instead filled with tables and chairs for the dozens of cafes offering their wares.
In particular, towards the end of the street, try Haji Sardar Fish Shop for some succulent fried, battered fish. So good, and so cheap!
Food Street - also known as Gowal Mandi - in the city centre
It is the largest mosque in Lahore and one of the largest in the world. In fact, there are reports that it has the largest courtyard in the world. It was built by Aurangzeb, the last Great Mughul Emperor of India in a record time of 2 and half years.
I recommend it because without a visit to this mosque your trip to Lahore shall remain incomplete.
Badshahi mosque is in old Lahore area, adjacent to Fort of Lahore.
It is a very popular hill station, some 1 and half hour drive from Islamabad. I recommend it because Islamabad, during summers, can become hot and bad. So you need to run away from that heat. Murree is a fine option. NOTE: Avoid going to Murree during summer holidays as it is full and dirty. So many people rush there that its usefulness becomes void.
It is 1.5 hour drive from Islamabad.
Yes, I'm sure Islamabad and many other Asian cities are "charmimg" if viewed from a delightful hotel with wonderful food and a lovely pool.
My experience, staying at a mid-price hotel, was that it was dirty, smelly, soulless, alcohol-free and with crap food unless you were invited to the home of a seriously rich family. I found it impossible to walk anywhere without attracting a crowd of gawping men (I was a modestly-dressed 40-something at the time). I saw virtually nothing of any cultural, architectural or historical interest AND I came back with galloping dysentry!
If I had to say something positive, it would be get out of the place and up into the Murree Hills where at least it's cooler.
Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi (RA) is the patron Saint of Karachi. People, most of them Muslims, come here to pay homage to him from across the country. His tomb is built on a very high platform, but people say that his actual grave is downstairs. I recommend it because I think you cannnot understand the life in Pakistan without understanding these 'mazars' (tombs). They are a micro version of any city where they exist.
It is at Ghizri, Clifton. Ask any taxi driver and he will take you there.
These buildings were generally built by British, but rich Hindus and Muslims also built some splendid structures. Most of these can be found in the old areas of Karachi. They include Kharadar, Mithadar, Saddar, Burns Road and Tower areas. I recommend them because they are part of city's landscape. The good examples are KMC Head Office and Mohatta Palace.
KMC Head Office is itself an address. Other important British-era structures are nearby. Ask your taxi or rickshaw driver to take you there. And don't miss the Mohatta Palace, which is now a museum.
This is an exquisite hotel, listed in The Best Small Hotels in the World. Service is excellent, no tips allowed, and the food is generally very good.
The website for the Serena Hotels is: www.serenahotels.com/pakistan/islamabad/home.htm
Splendid restaurant at the Pearl Continental, Lahore's top hotel. An opportunity to enjoy excellent food in pleasant, quiet surroundings, and although expensive by local standards, very reasonably priced. If you arrive before 8.30pm you get a 20% discount.
Pearl Continental Hotel, The Mall; www.fivestaralliance.com/luxury_hotel/lahore/pearl_continental_lahore
A restaurant at Boat Basin in Karachi, which serves excellent kebab rolls. I recommend it because it is too delicious. And it is easy on the pocket as well. Plus, the quality is fine. I have never found it average or below average.
Boat Basin, Clifton.
I recommend it because Karachi has lots of places from where you can get the local handicrafts. Unfortunately, most of them just fleece people. Saddar is one place where you can get a good thing at a reasonable price. Please note that Saddar bazar is a collective term that I have used to indicate an entire place in Karachi. There you will find lots of leather bags, bangles and other things. Look for marble items there as well.
Corporate market and Zainab market.
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