A cultural voyage through Pakistan
Travelling can be a daunting thing, but once you immerse yourself into the culture it can quickly be replaced with the feeling of exhilaration, and the need for learning and experiencing more!
Pakistan isn't what instantly rushes to mind for most when thinking of planning a break, but nothing beats the tranquility of rural life, or the excitement of learning about culture in a big city. I frequently travel to Pakistan, where I stay in a village within the city of Jhelum, with a few trips to Islamabad- the capital city.
If learning the basics of what rural or city life (or both!) in Pakistan can offer, carry on reading!
Starting off with Islamabad, I think it's safe to say that Faisal Mosque is Pakistan's most well-known architectural structure. Designed by a Turkish architect, Vedat Dalokay, completed in 1986, this mosque faces the breathtaking Margalla Hills.
I recommend a visit just purely for the stunning view and architecture!
LOK VIRSA MUSEUM-ISLAMABAD
For a little cultural arts in Pakistan Lok Virsa museum in Islamabad has a lot to offer. You can learn the cultural Folk heritage of Pakistani people through pottery, intricately embroidered clothes, paintings and music. The museum hosts many events such as music classes which can be found here: http://lokvirsa.org.pk/
Moving out of the big city and into smaller ones can give one more of a sense of community. Life in Dina within the Jhelum district is quite different, big restaurants are overlooked for favour of street food (leaving without trying a samosa chaat should be illegal in my opinion) and get your haggling boots on, clothing stores with all sorts of fabrics and colours are available in abundance here!
Not a long drive from Dina is Rohtas Fort, also known as Qila Rohtas, built by Sher Shah Suri, founder of the Sur empire in North India, to block Emperor Humayun's return to India. This sprawling historical site can keep you occupied for a while, admiring the remains of each structure. There is also a museum attached which houses historical information on the fort.
Lastly, an experience: Murree. Murree is a popular honeymoon destination for those who reside in Pakistan, however I found that it was just an amazing an experience with family or friends.
Well known for it's snow peaked mountains in winter and cool breeze even in the heights of summer, I was in awe to find out that there was a population of people that lived in the heights of these mountains. If there is one thing I could do each time I went back, it would be to ride the cable cars up the mountains and if perfectly timed, you can make your way back over when the sun is setting.
This is something you definitely need to keep a whole day free for and would be great if your destination for the evening was in or around Islamabad as it is a more practical journey. As you make your descent from the second set of cable cars, you are free to explore and eat in nearby restaurants as well as doing activities like horse riding, there are also parks nearby which are so serene to be around.
There is so much more that needs to be explored but I hope this has helped as a rough guide as to what Pakistan has to offer!