Lahore to Hunza - Travel Guide by Bookme
The summer heat seems to be taking its toll on all of us. It is in grimes like these we think about how fortunate the people living up north are. Going to Murree and being amazed at the lack of ceiling fans is something we have all experienced once in a lifetime. We can only imagine how amazing the weather would be further ahead.
Well, we at Bookme have come up with another travel guide for our readers. This time around, we shall be taking you through the two most common routes to access the beautiful Hunza valley and onwards to Khunjerab.
Weather plays a key role when travelling through the snow capped peaks, often landslides and flash floods cause road blockages which result in tourists being stranded for days at times.
There are two possible routes from interior Punjab to Hunza and Khunjerab. Starting in Lahore, your safest bet is the Lahore-Islamabad motorway, the M-2. For either of the two routes one needs to travel first to Islamabad and then bypass Abbottabad and Mansehra both via the M-15 commonly known as the Hazara Motorway. Up till this point this is the ideal route. The distance from Lahore to Balakot Interchange on Hazara Motorway is approximately 500 kilometres, however at Balakot interchange on Hazara motorway is where you choose which road you want to travel on.
Route 1 - 1008 Kilometres - Ravi Toll Plaza M2 to Karimabad, Hunza via Besham.
This route takes one off the Hazara motorway at Thakot. The route is blessed with countless waterfalls and various water bodies that will be a sight to behold after driving through the bland motorways. Your drive will also include driving on the Karakoram Highway, which some regard as the 8th wonder of the world. All along the way, the mountains and the rivers will certainly redeem your spirit and excite your inner traveller.The major reason why tourists prefer this route is due to its accessibility throughout the year. The route is open all around the year and ends up being the only route to Hunza between the months of October and March. The total travel time on this route is approximately 18 hours. You will find hotels frequently after getting off the motorway and joining the National Highway. Hotel owners sometimes try to exploit tourists by offering rooms at higher prices, it is in times like these that your travel partner bookme will prove to be a reliable and easy way out. Before setting off you can book your desired hotels after comparing prices and choose the one that suits you right from the Bookme mobile application. This road will take you to Chilas driving through Besham and Dasu Dam which are not tourist favourites but decent pit stops for you to rest. Look out for those waterfalls along the way as the region is darted with various rivers and other water bodies.
Route 2 - 922 Kilometres - Ravi Toll Plaza M2 To Karimabad, Hunza via Babusar Top.
This route is certainly the more scenic one and the shorter way towards Hunza. The only catch is that it is closed between the months of October and March due to heavy snowfall. On this route fall the unbelievably beautiful valleys of Naran and Kaghan along with the tourist favourite, Saif ul Malook Lake. After a breakfast by the waterfalls at Kiwai you will be all charged up and ready to drive through the lush green valleys. This route will take you through Babusar Top which is at a whooping 4173 metres high. Breathing is often difficult at high altitude therefore it is not advisable to stay here for longer periods. Driving down from Babusar you will drive by the beautiful Lulusar Lake before joining the Karakoram Highway near Chilas. Hotels and restaurants are a frequent occurrence when driving through the smallest of towns. Local and traditional foods are also widely available in the region. Once again to avoid being exploited, use the Bookme application to book your hotel rooms at affordable prices.
After joining the Karakoram Highway - N35 you will be driving through Chilas alongside the river Indus. There are multiple restaurants and hotels along the way where tourists usually stay for the night. It is after you cross the Raikot bridge that the sights truly become mesmerising. On your way to Hunza, you will drive through the 3 mountain ranges junction point near Jaglot where the three mightiest mountain ranges meet. In the distance if the weather is clear you might also spot the killer mountain, Nanga Parbat. Here onwards the journey only gets better as the roads are well maintained and don't forget to enjoy some of those apricots along the way. If you are travelling in spring or autumn, the trees alone will be enough to take your breath away with their rusty leaves in autumn and pale yellow leaves of the spring.
Continuing, you will reach Hunza in approximately 3 hours after crossing the Raikot bridge. You will find Attabad Lake and many other attractions of Hunza valley along the same road. This exact road will also lead you to Khunjerab pass which is the border between Pakistan and China.