Pakistan: K2 the 2nd highest mountain peak in the World

Pakistan meaning the “The land of pure” where each day the sun rises with a new hope, with an enduring majesty as the rays of light flushing down towards the snowcapped peaks of Himalaya’s and Nanga Parbat . A land where love finds a meaning in the heart warming hospitability of people, a land where history and ancient civilization mystifies one’s heart, a land where spiritualism unveils its mystery at the shrines of Sufi Saints. This is the land I belong to, this is the land I’ll die for and this is the land that defines my identity. 

Pakistan : The Roof Top of the World


 

 

Pakistan the land of grand mountain ranges, a land that holds 4 out of 14 most highest peaks in the world. K2 the second highest mountain in the world with all it’s grandeur symbolizing the pride and strength of the people of Pakistan .

By

Muhammad Bilal Umer.

Civil Engineer

University of Technology Sydney Australia.

+61425711119 (Aus)

+923334904604 (Pak)

Bilalumer_1@yahoo.com

Pakistan Zindabad!!

A wonderful guest post from my friend Bilal. We met at University and since then Bilal has been so kind as to teach me Hindi and also so much about his lovely country. I hope to visit him soon and would like to wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY for today.

Amazing Pakistan : A picture hidden from the World

In the recent times due to rendezvous between political forces and media, an ugliest picture about my country has been portrayed in front of the world, a picture that holds no color or I am not wrong to say “It’s all black just black”. I’m the struggling to unveil the true picture that hold millions of colors, so bright and so shiny that can dazzle one’s eyes “Spread the truth, fight for the right
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Pakistan meaning the “The land of pure” where each day the sun rises with a new hope, with an enduring majesty as the rays of light flushing down towards the snowcapped peaks of Himalaya’s and Nanga Parbat . A land where love finds a meaning in the heart warming hospitality of people, a land where history and ancient civilization mystifies one’s heart, a land where spiritualism unveils its mystery at the shrines of Sufi Saints. This is the land I belong to, this is the land I’ll die for and this is the land that defines my identity. 

Pakistan : The Roof Top of the World

Pakistan: K2 the 2nd highest mountain peak in the World

Pakistan the land of grand mountain ranges, a land that holds 4 out of 14 most highest peaks in the world. K2 the second highest mountain in the world with all it’s grandeur symbolizing the pride and strength of the people of Pakistan .

 

Pakistan: Lalazar often termed as most beautiful place on earth

 

 Hunza is said to be a place ” Where Time Stops and Fairy Treads“, Kalash and Chitral are the natural wonders of the world where poetic verses find their inspirations from the beauty and elegance of high peak mountains, lush green fields and the fragrant breeze singing across the poplar trees. Some of the places which are not highlighted by the media but still due to their magnitude find their places on the World record books are ; Aisa’s Highest Railway Station Kan Mehtarzai that is located 2240 meters above sea level near Quetta.

Pakistan: Kalash valley people

Pakistan: ” Chitral Valley”
What it would feel like to play a sport that is wild, challenging and manly at the top of the world surrounded by the drumbeats and the music of the reed instrument. Yes Shandur Polo tournament is played every year at World’s highest Polo ground at Shandur, Northern Pakistan .

Pakistan: Shundur Polo festival at the World's highest Polo ground

 

Karakoram Highway : Eighth Wonder of the World
Karakoram Highway runs through the northern areas connecting Pakistan with China’s Xingjiang province is often described as ” Eighth Wonder of the World” due to the marvel of civil engineering as it has taken 15 years to complete by the Pakistan Army Engineers in collaboration with China. It’s been labeled as ” World’s highest paved international Road” under world’s toughest terrain.

Pakistan: Karakoram Highway World's highest paved international Road

 

World’s Largest Deep Sea Port : Gwader
“Gwa” means Air and “Dar” means door, and the word Gawadar means ” The door of the wind” is the world’s largest deep sea port lies in southwestern Pakistani province of Balochistan. The design and construction of the port is carried out in collaboration with China and it has just started it’s operation.It’s going to emerge as a world’s biggest skyline due to it’s capacity and infrastructure of handling bulk carriers. It has been declared as a Duty Free Port and Free Economic Zone by the Pakistani government that has increased the commercial worth manifolds. It has an immense geostrategic importance as it is the entrance to the Persian Gulf and is considered to be a substitute of Dubai Port.

Gawader: World's Largest Deep Sea Port

 

Khewra Mines : Second Largest Salt Mine in the World


Khewra Salt Mine located in Khewra, Jehlum Punjab, Pakistan is the second largest Salt Mine in the world and is considered to be the oldest in the subcontinent. It was said that discovery of Salt mines were not done by Alexander or his army but by their horses as they started licking the stones when they stopped here for rest. Thousand of visitors each year visit Khewra Salt mines and get fascinated by the nature’s miracle in the heart of mountains.

Khewra Salt Mine: Second Largest Salt Mine in the World

 

Haleji Lake : Asia’s largest Bird Sanctuary
Pakistan is a land of serene beauty , a country with diverse wild life , fresh water lakes, a 1046 km coast lines. Some of the most unique species of birds are found in northern Pakistan with awe-inspiring natural wonders like Lake Saiful Maluk, Lake Shandur , Dudipatsar Lake , kutwal lake, Zalzal lake and many more. But Haleji has it’s own significance as it is Asia ’s largest waterfowl reserve. During winter thousands of birds of different species fly down to Haleji from Siberian colder areas

Pakistan: The heavenly Shandur Lake

Thar Desert : One amongst the largest deserts in the World

Thar is a arid region in the north western part of Indian subcontinent, it lies mostly in Indian state of Rajasthan but it covers eastern Sindh province and the southeastern portion of Pakistan ’s Punjab province. It is amongst one of the largest deserts in the world rich multifaceted culture, heritage, traditions, folk tales, dances and music. The poetic expression of Kafi written by Sufi poets of Sindh resonates in the cold nights as the Thari musicians start singing them on sorrowing rhythmic beats. In the night the granules of the sand lit up like stars as the moonlight walks on them. 

Pakistan: Tharparker

The land of oldest Civilization : Indus Valley and Mohenjo-Daro

Moenjodaro is the province of Sindh, Pakistan and archaeology trace back it existence 5000 years ago. It provides an earliest instance of exemplary form of town planning and community organization and  found to be as one of the oldest cities known today. It is said to be the pilgrimage of ancient ruins. The splendor of Indus Valley civilization spread over a thousand mile from the high peak snowy mountains of Kashmir to the glittering sand dunes facing the Arabian Sea . One of the oldest known civilization that flourished in the Indus river Basin embraced within its fold almost the entire country now known as Pakistan .

The Invincible 167 Million : 6th largest Nation of the World
The invincible 167 million Pakistani’s progressing forward with  high hopes and a mission holding an unquenchable thirst to be the world leader’s soon. Reminding you this is the nation which has a 7th largest pool of scientists and Engineers in the World. and the country that is ranked 9th in the world where English language is spoken and used as an official language. 

Pakistan: World Record holders Ibrahim Shahid and Ali Moeen Nawazish both by passing 23 A level Exams.
Pakistan: World Record holders Ibrahim Shahid and Ali Moeen Nawazish both by passing 23 A level Exams.

 

 

 

 

 

The Might : 7th Nuclear Power of the World

On May 28, 1998, Pakistan became the 7th nuclear power of the world giving a loud and clear message to the enemies that this nation is fully equipped and ready to defend it’s sovereignty. Pakistan has world 7th largest standing arm forces well trained possessing state of the art technology.  Pakistan Air force (PAF) is the symbol of pride for the nation and a galaxy of highly trained professionals emerged in latest technological developments. The highly skilled PAF personals are renowned for their excellence and handling of aircraft and surely are the worst fear for the enemies.

Pakistan: 7th largest Standing Arm Force in the World

Air force :Air Commodore MM ALAM has a world record of shooting down 5 Indian planes in less than a Minute.

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About the Author, Bilal

Nathia Gali
Pakistan: Murree valley
Pakistan : Abbottabad Valley

Pakistan : Abbottabad Valley

Pakistan: In Lahore with nephew
Capital Islamabad: the beautiful
Lahore: Badshahi Mosque Lahore
Pakistan: Lahore to Islamabad motorway
Sultan Qaboos Mosque: 2.5 hours flight to OMAN from Lahore , Pakistan.

By

Muhammad Bilal Umer.

Civil Engineer

University of Technology Sydney Australia.

+61425711119 (Aus)

+923334904604 (Pak)

Bilalumer_1@yahoo.com

Notes Post India

This is a wonderful letter from my friend to those who touched his life whilst travelling in India. He is from Singapore and had an amazing whirlwind of  a trip through India. This is a glimpse into his crazy time…

Singapore sucks without all of you here
Not that I’ve no friends back home, but just wanna let all of you know that I’ve been missing you, loads.
My india trip has been nothing short of fucking incredible. From the eclectic mix of Mumbai’s million subcultures, and the hippies and stoners of Goa’s Arambol, I managed to make my way to Hampi, Kerala, Kanyakumari, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Pushka, Delhi, Dharamsala, Varanasi and Agra. I’ve seen the beaches, backwaters, deserts, mountains and Indian spirituality, often accompanied by Indian filth. The sights were breathtaking, but the people I’ve met, you, were, and still are, fucking beautiful.
Many of you has been great company, making sure I was never alone and always had someone to share my drugs and joy with. More importantly, it’s you that have made me realise that the world is full of solid, ace peeps. People that are chilled out, easy-going, adventurous, sincere, and naturally nice and wise.
It’s been 8 days since I’ve gotten home, and it’s really a little different in cosmopolitan Singapore. I’m suffering from a severe Indian hangover, pasting Shiva stickers all over my room, listening to loads of Mantras and dubstep, hanging prayer flags all across my ceiling, and dreaming about the good times we’ve shared with one another.

Thanks for being the “in” of my incredible india trip. And wherever you are right now, I sincerely hope that you are still enjoying the time of your life and smiling everyday. Do send me some updates on your lives, however mundane they might be, whether you have been having fun or not.

And I’m seriously planning to move to London next spring / summer. So if you need a writer, I’m up for it. And I’ll be visiting all you european white people soon. Love loads.

Kai – the pioneer of good times.

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Like what you read?
Check out Kai’s Blog

China Top 10 Sites

My lovely friend Martin has been kind enough to guest blog this week with his Top 10 for China. He has been studying there for 11 months and has really got to know the country. check out his Top 10

 

CHINA: My Top 10 Sights

 

1. The Great Wall
Stretching all the way from the desert fortress of Jiayuguan to the Bohai Sea, the Great Wall is one of China’s must-see places. Marvel at the epic scale and scenery as you walk along one of the less touristed sections such as Simatai or Jinshanling, but don’t underestimate the difficulty – you will feel it the next day!

The Great Wall at Jinshanling

 

2. Beijing: Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace
The capital is a fascinating mix of the ancient and modern and offers a glimpse into China’s past and future. Walk through the gargantuan Tiananmen Square into the lost world of the Forbidden City as you discover China’s imperial past. Afterwards hit up Wangfujing, Beijing’s coolest shopping district and try eating a scorpion, among other things.

Temple of Heaven

3. Xian – Terracotta Warriors and the Muslim Quarter

China’s onetime ancient capital is a bustling modern city filled with historical gems and warm people. Before you visit the terracotta warriors to view the majesty of China’s dynastic past, soak up the atmosphere of Xian’s Muslim Quarter, eat street food and visit some of the many shops and galleries.

The eighth wonder of the world – China’s terracotta warriors

 

4. Shanghai

 

Just having played host to the 2010 World Expo, China’s biggest, most modern city has a different vibe to other parts of the country. But look beneath the glitzy exterior and find beautiful temples, great restaurants and ultra-hip art galleries not to mention some of China’s most recognisable architecture.

5. Qingdao

Qingdao isn’t just known for hosting the sailing events of the 2008 Olympics. The city is home to some of China’s best beaches, as well as Tsingtao – China’s most famous beer, which the locals drink from plastic bags. Get there in October for the Chinese answer to Oktoberfest at the Tsingtao brewery.

 

6. Nanjing

Another former capital, Nanjing was the scene for one of the darkest chapters in modern Chinese history – Reflect on ‘the rape of Nanking’ as you visit the city’s memorial hall. Also make a visit to Purple-Gold Mountain and the impressive Sun Yatsen Mausoleum and Ming Xiaoling Tomb.

View from the top: Sun Yatsen Mausoleum

7. Dali

It can sometimes be difficult to find peace and quiet in China, but chilled-out Dali is as good a place as any to look. Wander about the old town with its street stalls and parks, climb nearby mountains and make a trip to the three pagodas, some of the oldest buildings in southwest China and a symbol of Dali.

 

 

8. Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base
The highlight of any animal lover’s trip to China, take a day-long panda ‘internship’ and get to hang out with these amazing, beautiful and endangered animals for a day. Learn about panda habits, conservation and get the chance to have a photo with a baby panda.

 

 

9. Jiuzhaigou
Located in rugged northern Sichuan, this world heritage site’s pristine wilderness of crystal clear limestone lakes and amazing underwater forests make it a clear contender for the ‘most beautiful place in the world’. Ditch the crowds and walk the mountain trails, visiting Tibetan villages along the way.

 

 

Jiuzhaigou National Park

 

10. Chinese New Year:

Catch China’s biggest party anywhere in the country! Watch lion and dragon dances, eat great food and get caught up in the spirit as you try not to step on the fireworks being let off by crowds of revelers in the street. Chinese new year literally ends with a bang, with the lantern festival concluding the festivities for another year.

First Hand Experience in Cambodia

I haven’t yet been to Cambodia so you can beat me to it!

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.actionaid_first_hand_experience

ActionAid Australia are offering a wonderful once in a lifetime experience to visit Camobodia on a Cycling trip and see some of the wonderful work they do there.

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All details can be found at:

http://www.actionaid.org.au/firsthandexperiences/

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Briefly though,  

It’s a 10 day adventure, 6 days of cycling through the breathtaking countryside of Cambodia, where you will visit the incredible ruins of Angkor Wat, and the vibrant city of Phnom Penh. After that you will spend several days at one of our current projects, working alongside the local community, sharing their hardships, their progress and their joy first-hand as you work in partnership to change their lives for the better. These First Hand Experience adventures raise between $40,000 and $100,000 on average which will make a massive difference to the communities. How fantastic is that!!

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I’m so impressed by this initiative and think the work that Action Aid do is fantastic in any case. Travel is wonderful, but travel with a purpose and a passion is so much better!!

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A bit about the group,

ActionAid Australia, a global anti-poverty agency, has been working in Cambodia to help farmers and their families create and build sustainable farming livelihoods. Since 2006, ActionAid has worked with these communities affected by landmines. The focus of ActionAid’s community development projects is now on increasing incomes through better farming techniques, training farmers in important business skills, such as selling and negotiating prices for their produce, and the benefits of rain tanks, water storage and management knowledge so that the productivity of farmers continues to rise.

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Visit the website and download the info pack for more details.

Sadly I won’t be able to head their this time but will be following the blogs closely to see what they get up to!!

This project is being run be the AWESOME team at Inspired Adventures! Geez i love the work these guys do!! Go Team!!

(all photos visible on site)

Tips from Guatemala – Miguel from Mexico

My dear friend Miguel from Mexico is currently travelling in North and Central America on Business. He has written some tips and interesting facts about Guatemala! Also he has shown an interesting contrast between Mexican and Guatemalan way of life.

http://ewb.students.mtu.edu/guatemala/guatemala.gif

FROM MIHU:
This message is not about my experience so far but what happened in Guatemala and some things that I can share with you that I found interesting and unique in this country.
Note for my English speaking friends: Some words and phrases are in Spanish so sorry if you don’t get those points.

• When you ask someone for something they reply “Que manda?”, in Mexico we usually say “mande”.
• In the bank were I worked they used open software such as open office and thundbird for handling their email accounts. It might sound pretty cool since they are saving money because of that but it’s a pain in the ass since what you can do compared to Excel is limited.
• The banks in Guatemala didn’t get that affected because of the financial crisis. Most of the banks have an old business model (basically saving and lending money, no future contracts, derivatives, etc). They only got affected because the big international banks cut their credit lines so it was harder for them to lend money to local companies.
• In Monterrey people go to McAllen, Texas to buy clothes, computers, etc because it’s cheaper to buy there than in Mexico. Guatemalans go to Tapachula, Chiapas. (in Mexico)


• There is a thing called “boleto de ornato” (ornate ticket) which is a tax that you have to pay in order to get your license and pay taxes. This tax is used to mantain public areas. I think this is a good idea since the local government doesn’t have to pay for the maintenance and they can focus that budget to other areas. Oh yeah, you can buy this “boleto de ornato” pretty much everywhere, the bank had a bunch of them.
• They have “tenencia” too. Tenencia is a tax where the Mexican and Guatemalan governments charge you for having a car.
• Only 30% of the population have bank accounts and/or credit/debit cards. This shows you how young is this market but how much room of improvement you have.
• Regarding the last figure I told you, most of the banks used to be niche banks (either they only operated with an specific economic sector, like coffee, or only to companies or people).
• They have their own fast food chain, it’s called “pollo campero” which is like the local KFC. It’s pretty cheap and the food is good. They have free wifi and in the same restaurant you had the common counter where you can order to-go or they have a huge salon where you can order and eat there.
• They say “nitido” (sharp) instead of “cool”.
• Pepsi is the most drinked beverage. You can’t practically see Coca Cola ads, it’s one of the few markets where Pepsi is the number 1 soda.
• Guatemala produces one of the best rums in the world, it’s called Zacapa and you drink it only with ice. I thought it was crazy since rum is know to be produced in the Caribbean and Guatemala produces one of the best rums. Crazy

http://www.notempire.com/images/uploads/Zacapa-drinkhacker-2.jpg

• If you go to Antigua you have to check out Antigua. It’s like the Latin American Pompey, the attractive of the city comes from the tragedies that have happened over there. 2 earthquakes destroyed the city and they have rebuilt part of it but most of the churches are semi-destroyed. Check out the pics that I uploaded.
• The cuisine is pretty similar to the Mexican cuisine. I found interesting and crazy a dessert which is bananas with mole (chilli chocolate like sauce), that’s is wack.
• There is a huge crime rate. Most of the people told you that they were talking on their cellphone and someone ran and took it. They told me that, supposedly, gangs were charging bus drivers some amount of money so they could keep their route, those who refused where murdered while working. The modus operandi was that a bike with two people would approach them and shoot. Several bus drivers were murdered with a few passengers. Recently the government prohibited that two people could ride a bike at the same time and that bike drivers had to wear a vest and a helmet with their plates number on them.
• In the bank’s entry there were lockers so you could leave your gun, I uploaded a pic of it.
• People told me not to take street taxis so I had to call to the “yellow cab” company. They are a pain in the ass since they over charge you and you have to be on time when they arrive. Sometimes you have to wait over one hour to get a cab.
• Oh yeah, the Starbucks coffee that you drink is Guatemalan but there are no Starbucks in Guatemala.
• Zona 10 is the clubs zone. These clubs are like bars and in that zone you can find the bar that best fits you. There are no cover.
• In Guatemala you feel like if you are still in Mexico. The main avenue it’s called Reforma (like in Mexico City), they have TV Azteca Guatemala, Banco Azteca, Mabe, Televisa, Bimbo, etc etc. Actually, most of Guatemalan know several things about Mexico and the Mexican soccer league.
• La Academia is HUGE. Oh yeah, a lot of people support Puebla because their best player, Pescadito Ruiz, plays for that Mexican team.

http://www.destination360.com/central-america/guatemala/images/s/antigua-guatemala.jpg

I think those were the most important things. Hopefully these things are interesting enough. At the moment I’m in Mexico City’s airport waiting for my flight (which is delayed for an hour). I am going to Dominican Republic to the chocolate factory where I had my first assignment. I will be in charge of the project because of “my excellent performance” (yeah sure) so let’s see how it turns.
Anyway, more from me soon

Miguel

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Looking forward to reading more of Miguels wonderful adventures in Central America as he travels for business.

TRAVELLING EUROPE – GUEST BLOG

We welcome David Clare, this weeks guest blogger.

David Clare writes a blog on Public Relations and Social Media. A completely different topic, but travelers can be business men too.

I am not that well travelled. I have gone on holidays, plenty in fact. I have gone to America, Spain, Turkey and Greece. But these were all holidays… did I really soak up any culture? No, I just soaked up the sun.

Of course now I have been to far more places, and not on holiday.

Last summer, in 2009, my friend and I went travelling around Europe, using an Inter-rail pass and staying in Hostels. It was a holiday I guess, but not one you would book with Thomas Cook.

I went to the following places:

Amsterdam (Netherlands), Frankfurt (Germany), Munich (Germany), Bled (Slovenia), Zagreb (Croatia), Vienna (Austria), Budapest (Hungary), Krakow (Poland), Berlin (Germany) and Prague (Czech Republic).

I’m actually quite impressed with myself, I remembered the exact order in which I travelled.

I shan’t speak of each place individually, but more so of what travelling did to me. Because it did change me.

I only travelled for one month. When I compared this to all the people I met when travelling it was nothing, my friends I made were travelling for 6 months, a year, 2 years and some could not really remember. They were real travellers, I was just on holiday… but not a Thomas Cook one.

The train rides were magnificent, looking through the window and seeing magnificent lakes, mountains, forests and all the scenery you would not see in England; not because it’s not here, but you don’t travel your own country. Let me illustrate this; one French guy I met said he had never been up the Eiffel Tower, I asked why not and he simply replied ‘have you been inside Buckingham Palace’.

I did not learn too much about the countries when travelling, but I did learn about the cities and the people. I learnt drinking songs in German, I drank Vodka like a Pole, I ate Hungarian Goulash. The culture in Europe is so rich, it makes you feel negative towards the UK. If it weren’t for the people I met who assured me the UK was just as rich, I would have subscribed to the negative thought.

The people I met were the highlight. Staying in a Hostel is the best way to travel. I have come across people who went in Hotels when they travelled Europe;  they did not meet anyone. I can understand why people stay in Hotels on normal holidays, but I don’t think I will ever again, until I have a family.

Hostels allow for travellers to mix. I met wild Australians, crazy Scots, hyper Canadians, cool Londoners, hippy Turks and one strange Spaniard… but he was still a nice guy. You hear horror stories of bags being stolen and people touching your feet while you sleep… all from people who have never travelled I am sure. The people are not like this, they are open minded, liberal and very ‘That 70’s Show’.

I had my best moments going on nights out with complete strangers, and having breakfast with my closest friends. This is what travelling is about. So don’t book it, don’t even Thomas Cook it! Pack a bag, get a train ticket and find a hostel. Meet people, soak up the culture and party in Europe.

I of course need to go to the Far East and Australasia, but I am certain Europe is unique. I really recommend just taking a month off and going for it. I also happen to like Thomas Cook, even though this article suggests otherwise!

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Learn more about David at his website – www.theprview.co.uk

or follow on Twitter: @theprview

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