What is your experience with Hitchhiking in Pakistan? Do people know about it? Is it too dangerous?
We are two guys from Czech Republic and we Hitchhiked all the way from Czech trough Turkey and Iran ( in Iran we sometimes used busses as they were cheap and convinient). We arrived to Taftan from where we took bus to Quetta and from there to Karachi.
Now we want to hitchhike north, to Lahore and if we have enough time even further before coming back and crossing to India.
Also we would apreciate some suggestions about places to visit.
welcome to pakistan mate. if you can come north here in islamabad you can make one day tours to Taxila,Peshawar (towards west) and Murre,Galliyat(in north). Then on the way east (towards Lahore,India) you can explore khewra salt mines.
It Depends what type of places you are intresting to visit, I have a long list.
As your destinatiion is North so Naran, Kaghan, Lake Saifulmaluk, Siri paye, Ansu Lake are some famous places you shouldn't miss.
Secondly, hitchhiking isn't that dangerous as a friend CSer from Latvia came through the same route to the north and all the way he hitchhiked.
Can you give me a contact for this guy or ask him for me where did he slept and some more details about his HH experience?
I also met Artyom, the CSer from Latvia. you can find him on my profile. He wrote his experiences for my blog also, here is the link:
Btw, what time are you leaving today? do you have local contact number?
Quite a lot of CSers have travelled throughout Pakistan via hithchiking. In my years hosting at CS, there were quite a lot of my guests who were hitchiking as well.
Try connecting with Taylor Booth, he has hitchhiked for over two months in Pakistan (find him in my friend list). Artyom, as mentioned earlier was another good fella. There are many other names that regular CSers might tell you of. Once we had two greek girls who hitchiked all the way from Lahore to Quetta as well. So it is very rare for a hitch hiker to be seen in Pakistani highways, but, you can get to do that if you use some common sense :)
People in pakistan generally have little to no knowledge of Hitchhiking. People aren't generally happy giving rides, and bystanders (when you are trying to get a ride) are usually amused. Staff at trucking stations and truck drivers are the only one who seem to be welcoming, especially to foreigner travels - for them you are an object of curiousity - they would generally like to talk to you, many of them will offer you food as well.
Iran-Pakistan border crossing is one of the places where Police will not allow you to hitchhike at all. You will have to take a bus, (police will force you to do it) from Taftan to Quetta. Also foreigners are not allowed in the Tribal Areas along Afghanistan border, so you cant go / hitchhike there. Other than that, you can HH your way around.
About staying the night, One couchsurfer had a big pack with a tent in it, and used to camp roadside at nights if the need be. Other used the "driver hotels", these hotels are generally located right on the highways and offer food & bedding to truck drivers - A cot/bed is generally put in open space (not a room). If you can find one, you might have to pay for one man bunk anywhere between 50 to 200 rupees($1 to $3), . Others had spent nights while travelling or staying at CSers at different destinations on their route, that could be in your case Quetta, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Multan, Okara, Lahore etc.
There will be a language barrier as people genrally dont speak English. But most of them have a knowledge of few words like "Yes","No","Good" etc.
Please always stay away from military / army installations, do not take pictures of any aircraft or military monuments / cantonment gates etc. as that can land you in trouble with security minded militart. Also be cooperative with local police as sometimes they are concerned that you might get harmed and it will become their responsibilty(so if they get you on a bus, do it, and get off the bus a little while after), Accept the hospitality of locals whenever you are offered one, be polite in any religio-cultural arguments, you will be fine.
Thank you for your input, it was very useful even for me as I'm planning to do the same trip in November.
Thank you again :-)
and would you recommend for a girl travelling solo to hitchhike in Pakistan ?
Nope! Just hitch a ride in a bus or train. They are economical means to travel.
I believe Experience is a good school but the fees are high, refered a profile in your Inbox.
would be worthwhile to share the experiences of a female traveler who not only visited Pakistan solo but Afghanistan also:
Hi, first I want to thank everybody for good inputs. In the end we took buses, trains and also hitchhiked depending on the distance and time we had to travel it.
Hitchhiking is not too hard if one is prepared to explain what you want every 5 seconds to all the cars and taxis that stop but want money from you.
We went with normal cars, trucks and even some buses that took us for free.
The only time we had problem with police was on the toll plaza on highway from Islamabad to Lahore. The policeman stole our sign and sent us away from there.
So far we really enjoyed traveling and hitchhiking and CSing in Pakistan and we definitely want to come again and explore the north little bit more.
Anxiously waiting for updates on your blog...
There are so nice informations in here....would be really cool if you can put that on hitchwiki.org or if you give me the licence to do so? (@Mohammed & Ondrej)
Hi Mohammad Ali,
great advice right there, thank you for it. Do you think I can put your text here? http://hitchwiki.org/en/Pakistan
It is a great website for hitchhiking but has very limited info about Pakistan and I think your text would fit on the page very well