Pakistan 2008



  • Days: 5
  • Period: April 2008
  • Weather: Throughout the country we had dry sunny and hot weather. Especially Multan and  Sukkur were very hot. Quetta was cooler because it is a bit up in the mountains.

General information:

  • Currency: Pakistani Roepies (PKR) 

  • Internet:  Available in the bigger cities

  • ATM's: Should be available in bigger cities, but we did not use them. We had enough cash.

  • Creditcards: Visa was accepted in some place. We paid an hotel with visa.

  • Safety: When travelling through Pakistans safety will be the biggest concern. At the time we passed the country there was a negative travel advice for the Dutch. Especially Quetta and the stretch between Quetta and Taftan is risky. This is Taliban area and there are a lot of opium smugglers here. Also risky are the big cities because they are targeted by bombs regularly. So to lower the risks we crossed it as soon as possible and avoided the big cities. Despite all the bad news we had no bad experiences and liked the country a lot. Especially the people who are all very friendly. So if you want to visit the country check your countries travel advice, follow the news and most important get first hand information from travellers. Although it is our experience, that in reality the situation is always less dangerous than the officials tells you, visiting Pakistan will always be a risk, so be aware of that. Also note, that most travel insurances will not cover costs if you visit countries for which negative travel advices are given. If something happens you are on your own. Going up north, to the Karokoram Highway is mostly no problem. This area is relatively safe. 

Prices (per April 2008)

  • Value Money: €1 = 100 PKR

  • Fuel: Diesel costs around 47,2 PKR per liter diesel

  • Camping: There are not many good camping options in Pakistan. In the north you have to bushcamp and on the transit route between India and Iran you can camp on parkings of hotels (around 400 PKR per night per car) or at police stations (for free).


  • Visa is needed for all citizens of countries who also request a visa for Pakistani visitors. A visa must be obtained in advance.   We obtained our Pakistani visa in Delhi and for us this was not much of a problem. You do however need a letter of recommendation from your own embassy. Without it they do not issue a visa. For the Dutch this letter is easily given (Euro 30 per letter), but many countries do not issue it anymore because of the dangers in Pakistan. When you do get the letter the application takes 3 days. Day one you fill in the papers (papers must be typed and accompanied with 2 photos and letter of recommendation) and you pay (for Dutch INR 1200 per person). Day two you will have an interview with the consul. Day three between 4-5 pm. you can pick it up. We got a single entry visa for 30 days. Make sure you check if your embassy will give you a letter of recemmendation in advance. When they don't you can try it in Kathmandu. Here they are less strict.

  • For entering with a car a Carnet de Passage is neccesary. No further costs. you

Border crossing

  • ENTRY: We entered at Amritsar on the border with India. If you visa and carnet are OK, formalities are done quickly. Note that the import of you car is also registered in your passport.

  • EXIT: We left Paksitan at Taftan, border with Iran. Immigration and custom formalities done quickly and without costs.

Highlights or not

  • Because of the safety situation we did not do any sightseeing in Pakistan. Nevertheless visiting the country is an adventure. Even if you just transit you will enjoy watching people and the streetlife. We also liked the stretch between Quetta and Taftan, where the desert scenery is very beautiful. In Uch Sharif there is a beautiful tomb which we saw from a distance.


  • For registration all hotels need a copy of your passport. Having these in advance is handy. This way you do not have to give your passport to someone who will have to take it to a copy shop.

  • Checkpoints: On the whole stretch between Quetta and Taftan you will have to pass many very friendly checkpoints.

  • Speed bumps: Around Quetta and between Quetta and Taftan there are many speed bumps that you can miss easily.

  • Police escort: At the time we passed the country no escort was needed. However if the situation changes the police will automatically start escorting tourists again.

  • Multan to Quetta through the mountains: In April 2008 this road was forbidden for tourists. When you do try they will send you back with police escort.

  • Diesel: Good modern patrol stations are everywhere except on the way to and from Iran. On the stretch between Quetta and Taftan you can only find diesel in drums. As this diesel can contain water you better fill up in Quetta. Diesel in Iran is very cheap but make sure you do not empty Iran empty because the first filling station is about 150 km after the border.


Roads (March 2008)

  • In general: Although also Pakistan has busy traffic driving here is better than in India. 

  • Lahore: This is a very crowded city and in many places the roads are full of potholes. Crossing it will take some time (about one hour)

  • Lahore - Multan: For most parts this stretch is a new smooth 4 lane highway.

  • Multan -Alipur: Via Muzaffargarh to Alipur the road is a tarmac road along many small villages (a bit bumpy but OK).

  • Alipur - Uch Sharif: This is extremely bad tarmac with a lot of potholes.

  • Uch Sharif - Sukkur: Good smooth 4-lane highway.

  • Sukkur - Jacobabad: Single lane road with a lot of traffic. Reasonable tarmac.

  • Jacobabad - Quetta: Reasonable tarmac road winding through the mountains.

  • Quetta - Dalbandin: After a off road detour, the first 60 km are good tarmac. Then the road becomes a small tarmac road which is quite bad in some place, but still better than expected. The last 30 km to Dalbandin the road is again new tarmac.

  • Dalbandin - Taftan: Smooth new tarmac. Only the last 50 km is older tarmac but still OK.





Grid: Lat/Lon hddd°mm.mmm"

Multan N30.12.064 E071.27.170 Accomodation Sindbad Hotel Not cheap but very nice and clean hotel. The room had airco, hot shower, TV, restaurant and parking. Breakfast included.
Sukkur N27.41.213 E068.50.678 Accomodation Interpark Hotel Not special and not very cheap, but OK.Place has airco, hot shower, tv, restaurant and secure parking.
Quetta N30.11.358 E067.00.293 Camping Bloom Star Hotel Place where many overlanders go. Rooms are basic, but not expensive. We camped on the parking and could use a room for shower.
Islamabad N33.39.025 E73.02.339 Workshop Sigma Motors Landrover workshop.
Dalbandin N28.53.274 E064.24.366 Camping Police station No facilities but it is safe. Police station is also a prison
Quetta N29.58.490 E066.53.079 Camping Police station Police station 20 km outside Quetta. We  have not stayed here.
Taftan N28.58.483 E061.33.327 Officials Customs Taftan  
Uch Sharif N29.13.615 E071.03.068 Junction   Junction to bibi tomb
Sukkur N27.41.792 E068.50.447 Junction   Junction to Quetta
Quetta N30.05.613 E066.58.444 Junction   Junction to Taftan
Lahore N31.28.201 E074.14.255 Restaurant Kentucky Fried Chicken  
Multan N30.11.508 E071.26.975 City Center    
Sukkur N27.42.647 E068.51.470 City Center    
Taftan N28.58.345 E061.33.825 City Center    
Uch Sharif N29.14.283 E071.03.286 Place of interest Bibi Jawi Tomb, nicely decorated.