Pakistan is full of amazing people, places and things! One such amazing place (or ‘thing’ depending on your perspective) is the Karakoram Highway. The Karakoram Highway is officially the highest paved international road in the world! This road connects us with our friends, the Chinese.
Also sometimes called the 8th wonder of the world, it passes through the scenic Karakoram mountain range via the Khunjerab Pass, connecting China and Pakistan.
A marvel of construction
The road was constructed during the 60’s and 70’s and is still considered an engineering marvel. The road reaches its highest point at 4,693 meters in the Khunjerab Pass, where it has the highest paved border crossing in the world as well!
Beginning in Kashgar on China’s side and in Pakistan from Abbottabad, the highway is approximately 1,300 km long and traces one of the many paths of the ancient Silk Road.
Stunning is an understatement!
The view along the Karakoram Highway is amazing. You get to see snowcapped peaks and beautiful valleys with scenic villages. The highway takes you through the deep gorges of the Karakoram Mountains and into the beautiful Hunza Valley. In short, it is a spectacular ride!
The scenery is breathtaking almost the entire way. But it’s not just this that makes the journey so memorable. The journey on the highway also leads you through some beautiful villages. For example, the village of Passu gives you an opportunity to relax and take in all the beauty. The village is small with stone houses and walled fields and provides a particularly special view of the Cathedral Ridge. Just before Passu village you can also experience the Batura Glacier which reaches the road.
Another fascinating experience along the Karakoram highway is the city of Karimabad, in the Hunza Valley. Karimabad is Hunza’s ancient capital. It is a tourist heaven with good food and hotels and also the opportunity to take wonderful hikes. While stopping at Karimabad don’t forget to ask for the old fort, it’s a must see!
One might ask, other than the scenery, what makes driving on the Karakoram Highway such a wonderful experience? Since Pakistan also has other scenic places. Well everything about this drive is an experience. From ‘chai at the Dhaba’, to the chirping kids playing on the roadside, to the friendly locals, to the freshly picked black cherries, everything is amazing! Or at least it seems that way when set in such a fantastic surrounding.
Although your journey might be dotted with a few landslides, everything else more than makes up for this. Accommodation is cheap and easily available (at least on the Pakistani side) and so is food.
If you are a travel fanatic, the Karakoram Highway is definitely the ride for you!
Oh! And don’t forget to get some apricots from the Hunza Valley… they are absolutely delicious!