September 20, 2015 at 12:34 pm #74
Peshawar was one of the most travel cities within Pakistan but that changed shortly after 2001. Its infamous ‘smugglers market’ once used to thrive with travellers wanting to have a hands on experience with the custom hand-made weapons. The same market once thrived with Hash sellers which after getting international attention closed down due to government pressure and growing society concerns.
During the recent months the most frequent question asked from many of the travellers going to North is their safety in Peshawar and other questions like Application for a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the government? Their validity of passport if allowing them to travel into Peshawar or through Peshawar.
I thought to post a quick write-up to address all their questions and have our say on it.
If you are traveling to Peshawar from Lahore than the recommended bus service is Daweoo. There are a couple of other bus stations as well where you can get buses running almost around the clock to Peshawar namely ‘Niazi Adda’ or ‘General Bus Stand Lahore’. Buses running from these stations are generally 200 PKR cheaper and can sometime make many local stops on the way thus be sure to ask the driver of how many stops they would make on their route. These cheaper buses generally run via Grand Trunk Road which takes longer. Buses going to Peshawar via Motor way take less time. The time required to reach Peshawar from Lahore is approximately 6 to 6.30 hours.
I have previously written about appropriate clothes to wear in Pakistan, please follow that post for the dress code needed to travel specifically while traveling from or within Peshawar.
Daewoo Bus Telephone Number: 111-007-008 (this number is accessibly from all cities using the local number landline)
Location: Qalma Chowk, Lahore.
Location: G9 Market, Islamabad.
Most of the travels going through Peshawar used to stay at either Rose Hotel or Tourist Inn. Tourist Inn close long ago after the death of its Owner Mr. Khan. Rose Hotel is located in the center of Khyber Bazar which in its own is a very interesting tourist site.
To Stay in Peshawar: Rose Hotel
Location: Khyber Bazar
I will be adding to the list of places to visit in Peshawar but for now I am keeping the post short and sticking to the places you should not visit.
Darra Adam Khel
Once considered to be a very popular tourist attraction because of its Gunsmiths market. Now this area is out of bounds for any tourist and if you are going as a journalist you would require special permits from the government and in many cases police / military escorts.
The bazaar is half in the Khyber agency of FATA and half in KPK. The KPK side has a almost no tourist attraction thus of limited interest – plenty of US foodstuffs from Afghanistan but that is about it. The FATA side is pretty much invitation only and is not permitted for foreigners to enter. If you are going there with a local friend then they may or may not be aware that foreigners are expected to follow different rules than the locals and could get you and he into trouble by taking you there.
I am also going to quote the excerpts from a forum posted by a fellow traveller which would give you a better idea of why you should not go there at the moment.
“Urge you not to go to darra, for a couple reasons. 1. it’s almost nonexistent as the ‘thriving gun-market’ once described in the western press. there was a clampdown and a lot of manufacturers relocated.
2. it looks like a lot of other pakistani towns you could see in a safer area. nothing in pakistan is ‘typically touristy’. i always say ‘go north’ to travellers on here because it’s stunning, the people are awesome, you can hike and trek and camp, and it’s safer. alternatively, you could go to peshawar and travel in parts of kpk that you don’t need an noc for, and then head to lahore or karachi? swat’s stunning, but you may need clearance to go there. the countryside in punjab around lahore are beautiful, and it’s a great place to see a bit of the country’s stunning architecture. it has more ‘culture’ than other places too in terms of art, history, food, and things to do. you could always drive over the shandhur and come down through dir – can be a risky drive but chitral’s stunning.
3. fata’s off-limits to foreign visitors. there are military operations of varying degrees going on in four of the seven tribal agencies against different taliban groups, all of whom are also fighting each other. the kidnap risk is high, your travel insurance won’t cover it, and you might get arrested if you get caught there. your visa may or may not carry a ‘not for cantt’ stamp, not sure if they carry a ‘not for fata’ stamp, but regardless, you aren’t supposed to be there. if caught, you will either, worst-case scenario, be arrested and questioned while your passport details are handed over to be broadcast by the local press, then deported, or, best-case scenario, escorted out by a dozen policemen, all of whom face daily threats of suicide attacks and militant gunfire, and whose job will become riskier the more times they have to look after western visitors. you may be fine – but foreign tourists caught there have spent up to three weeks in custody.”
Beck. March 2013.
I will update this post with the places you can visit at the moment while you are in Peshawar. Please feel free to share your travel experiences and add more to the posts.
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