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Friday, August 12, 2011

Himalaya Trekking (A Korean Viewpoint): 히말라야 산맥 여행







Pakistan's independence day is just around the corner (August 14th) and so is Korea's (August 15th) and therefore, while working for a project to do a presentation to highlight Pakistan for my Korean language classmates, I chose the mountain ranges of Pakistan. While searching Korean websites, I came across this website called Shoestring Tours - who have specialized in trekking, hiking, jeep safaris and expeditions to name a few  - to all three famous mountain ranges in South Asia - Karakorum, Himalayas and the Hindukush.

Team Korea to summit Broad Peak
It is interesting to see how this Korean company has highlighted a tour to the Northern part of Pakistan to its clients. Very beautiful pictures of Korean expeditions and tourists can be seen there. According to the company, Pakistan's North is the place where you can find the 8,000ers (peaks that r more than 8000 meters in height) - like K-2 (8,611 m) , Nanga parbat (8,125m), Gasherbrum 1 (G-1: 8,068m), Broad Peak (8,047 m ), and Gasherbrum 2 (G-2: 8,035m). This is the place where you can still create your own new routes to reach the summit and feel the excitement. Furthermore, one can travel the famous roads such as the silk road and the Karakoram Highway (KKH) to reach these spots where u can see the famous glaciers such as Baltora - as this is the region with the highest / biggest glaciers outside the polar region. KKH - the highest paved road in the world - connects Kashghar ( China) with Islamabad ( Pakistan) - a 2000 km long road which was once considered - to be a mission impossible and a project considered by many experts as unrealistic. KKH project started in 1959 and completed in 1979 - took over a thousand lives in 20 years - during construction of this road (810 Pakistanies and 200 Chinese engineers and workers). KKH also touches many points of the famous Silk Route and breathtaking scenery.

This site further talks about their jeep safari and explains as to how, where and upto what point you can take jeeps, ride cable trollys hanging with an an iron cable with icy river Indus flowing thousand of meters underneath these crossings and then how and when one must hire the porters. They mentioned that people are extremely freindly and talks briefly about Islam. All in all, the main idea is that one musn't worry about travelling in Pakistan particularly the Northern region and relying on the guides and trust will help anybody enjoy the trip slightly more.

Towards 8000ers
Well, as far as I know, Korea is a country where group tours are a part of life and are more popular - so Pakistan tourism agencies should work on attracting groups both big and small. Moreover, language barrier is one important factor - people prefer sombody who knows Korean. Koreans love  hikking, trekking, visiting buddhist sites and historic sites. I believe that if Pakistn's Ministry of Tourism develops a program keeping in view country specific programs- they can attract many tourists and create jobs in the region.

K-2
Fear of travelling in Pakistan is one of the biggest hurdles and people have no idea that Northern Pakistan is a safer area than any other place with high levels of stability and tolerance in Pakistan. So Pakistan tourism must do something to bust this myth and should create an air of safety and trust for its foreign tourists.

A guest house in Northern Mountains
A very important lesson is to actually go and see a place, a region or a country and experience it...internet and televison screens can not give you a whole picture. I'm very sure - that whoever  will visit Pakistan will cherish the memories of their trip for a long time!

Note: Kim, Chung-ho's (김상호 씨) story of reaching K-2's summit without the use of oxygen is here for Korean readers..
김창호 's says about K-2 that:

"K-2는 네팔과 많이 달라요.너무 가팔라요...."

Paragliding and other mountain sports at Nanga Parbat by Korean Teams is here.


2 comments:

  1. Because the Himalaya, home of the snow, is the most impressive system of mountains on the earth, and for centuries the setting for epic feats of exploration and mountain climbing, are a world into themselves.


    trekking in india

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  2. We appreciate the efforts of the Korean Company regarding the highlighting the areas of Trekking in Northern areas of Pakistan.
    Trekking in pakistan

    ReplyDelete