LONDON: The British Backpacker Society, an adventure travel project followed by thousands of people online, has declared Pakistan to be the world’s leading adventure travel destination.
The British Backpacker Society announced the result after having counted down the top 20 adventure travel countries throughout the course of the year and implored travellers to visit.
Samuel Joynson of the British Backpacker Society, who visited Pakistan with his colleague Adam Sloper, told Geo News that the team has travelled to over 100 countries worldwide and described Pakistan as a “clear winner”.
The British Backpacker Society announcing the #1 ranking described Pakistan as “one of the friendliest countries on earth, with mountain scenery that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination”. The article particularly recommended travel on the Karakoram Highway, contending that taking the road from Islamabad to the Pakistan-Chinese border on the Khunjerab Pass is “the world’s greatest road-trip”.
Samuel Joynson, 26, and Adam Sloper, 25, both from southern England visited Pakistan in the summer of 2016, crossing the Indian-Pakistani border at Wagah before spending a few days in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. From Islamabad, they travelled overland through the Kaghan valley to Naran, before heading over Babusar Top to Gilgit. They finished their journey by heading to the idyllic Hunza Valley, where they climbed to the top of the Hon Pass (4257m) from Karimabad.
Samuel commented that adventure travel is at its best when it changes your perceptions and “I have never experienced this more than during my two weeks in Pakistan”.
He told Geo News: “Travel in Pakistan is an experience that just keeps surprising. Whether it is gazing at the astonishing peaks of the Karakoram, dining in the delicious back-street restaurants of Rawalpindi, or finding a new group of friends on a long-distance bus journey, it is a country that offers tourists a new intrigue at every corner. I have no doubt that as the story of Pakistan’s wonders spreads to travellers around the world, the country will enjoy a true renaissance of international tourism and adventurous travellers will soon be filling the markets of Lahore and the hiking shops of Hunza. I wish the Pakistani tourism industry all the best on this journey, and hope that the British Backpacker Society can assist Pakistan in this endeavour wherever possible!”
Adam Sloper added: “The only real concern for tourists in Pakistan is the number of selfies that they will be asked to be in. I would advise all prospective visitors to prepare to smile for the camera, and get ready to enjoy some of the best hospitality on earth.”
The British Backpacker Society has ranked the top 20 adventure travel destinations: Pakistan, Russia, India, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Tajikistan, China, Georgia, Uganda, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Jordan, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Algeria, Montenegro, Egypt, Rwanda, Uzbekistan and Kosovo.
The British Backpacker Society will be returning to Pakistan in 2018 to travel to Skardu and the base camp of K2. Noting the occasionally complex process for obtaining a tourist visa for the country, the team hopes that the Pakistani authorities continue to cut-back any red-tape in respect of issuing Pakistani tourist visas and permitting travel to Gilgit-Baltistan.