HUNZA VALLEY: Paradise On Earth
Hunza Valley is a mountainous valley located in Gilgit, which is an area under the government of Pakistan. The main town of Hunza, Karimabad (formerly known as Baltit) is the capital as well as most popular tourist destination of Hunza. As famous as the valley is for its beauty, the people of Hunza are also well-known for their friendliness and hospitality. Hunza’s tourist season is generally from May to October, because in winter the Karakoram Highway is often blocked by the snow. Unlike most places in Pakistan, Hunza valley has a very high literacy rate of more than 90%!
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Baltit Fort or Balti Fort is an ancient fort in the Hunza valley and has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list. The fort dates back to 700 years ago and has been rebuilt and altered over the centuries. It is located at a height, and one must either walk or take a jeep to reach. From the terrace of the Baltit Fort you also have a splendid bird’s eye view on the houses of the village Karimabad.
Borith Lake is a lake located near Gulmit, Gojal, in the upper Hunza area. The altitude of Borith is roughly 2,600 m (8,500 feet) above sea level. The lake can be reached via a 2 km unpaved jeep route from Husseini village, and is also accessible by a 2-3 hour trekking route directly from Ghuylkin, across the end of the Ghulkin glacier. The site is an important sanctuary for migrating wildfowl and is a must visit for bird-watchers and nature lovers. During the months of March and June one can witness the large number of ducks arriving from the warmer parts of southern Pakistan, and from September–November, the same occurs in reverse.
Hunza valley is famous for its trekking. The second highest peak of the world, K2, is located in the Gilgit-Baldistan region, where Hunza valley is also located. There are various trekking tours which tourists can avail.
Hunza is very famous for its local eateries, which are served at most of the restaurants located in the Karimabad market area. Some of the names of the traditional foods are Sharbat, diram-fete, davdo, muleda, amongst many others. These dishes are cooked with pure butter and downed them in oil, but are prepared on occasion as they are expensive.
There are at least 50 shops, restaurants and hotels located on Karimabad’s bustling streets. One of the biggest attraction in this area are the variety of precious and semi-precious minerals and gemstones. Many tourists visit the Gilgit-Baltistan area for this reason.
Hunza is very safe and the people are known for their hospitality. Similar to all Pakistan cities, it is is best to dress modestly. Women must cover their shoulders and knees, and couples should avoid public displays of affection.
Money: Pakistan Rupees, All International Credit Card (Visa; MasterCard) are accepted in the ATM
Main Airport: Gilgit Airport, 105km from Hunza center
Exchange Rate: http://www.xe.com/currency/pkr-pakistani-rupee
Country Code: +925813
Visa Requirements: http://www.dgip.gov.pk/Files/Visa%20Form.pdf