The High Road to Shangri-La (Kashgar and North Pakistan)

Duration

16 Nights 17 Days

Meals

For included meals
Please see key
B- Breakfasts
L- Lunches
D- Dinners

Activities

Culture, Art, History, Markets,
Stunning scenery
Adventure

Accommodation

Hotels and Guest houses

Trip Grade

Moderate

Tour Start

Kashgar China

Tour End

Islamabad Pakistan

Group Size

2-15

Guides

English speaking local Guides

Tour Cost From

Difficulty

Moderate

Destination

China, Pakistan

Transport

Private transfers, one public transport, domestic flight

Min Age

18+

Tour Operates

May - October

Travel Style

Small group and customise tour

Departure

2 Pax Every Saturday

Route

Kashgar →Tashkurgan →Sost →Passu →Borith Lake→Gulmit →Karimabad →Gilgit → Astore valley → Tarashing →Desai Plain→Skardu →Shigar Valley→Khaplu valley→Islamabad→Taxila

Day 01: Kashgar Arrival (Saturday)
Upon arrival at Kashgar airport you will be met by our guide and transferred to your hotel.
Overnight at hotel in Kashgar.  (BD)
Day 02: Kashgar Sunday Market
This day is planned to coincide with the famous Sunday market in Kashgar where everything from carpets, blankets, foods, horses, donkeys, sheep and even camels are for sale. The population of the town swells by 100,000 and is truly one of the most incredible bazaars in Asia; and a photographer’s paradise! After the market, we visit the Eidgah Mosque, Abakh Hoja Tomb and the old town. Overnight at hotel in Kashgar. (BD)
Day 03: Tashkurgan
Today we drive to Karakul Lake along the famous Karakorum highway. The scenery along the way is breath taking. We will be stopping at the lake where you can enjoy the view of Muztagh-ata mountains. Optional camel ride or walk around the lake. Later we continue to Tashkurgan the last Tajik Chinese town between China and Pakistan.
Overnight at hotel in Tashkurgan. (BD)
Day 04: Khunjerab pass- Gojal – Hunza (Pakistan)
After border formalities, we drive to the world’s highest paved border crossing, the Khunjerab pass (4750 m) between Pakistan and China. On the way, you will view the awesome mountain ranges of the Karakorum and Kunlun Mountains. Upon arrival at Sost you will be met by our local Hunza guide and transfer to Borith Lake.
Overnight at hotel in Borith Lake. (BD)
Day 05: Gulmit- Borith Lake – Passu Glacier hike
An easy morning later hike toward Passu glacier viewpoint. After picnic lunch return to Borith Lake.
Overnight at hotel in Borith Lake. (BD)
Day 06: Ghulkin Glacier, Gulmit village, Hussaini Bridge
In the morning we hike through Ghulkin glacier to Ghulkin village, after a picnic lunch with a local family, we continue our hike via Kamaris village to Gulmit. Gulmit is a peaceful and serene village that formerly served as a summer capital of the Hunza Kingdom. Here one will walk through the village, visit a 400 year-old house and see local women weaving carpets and making several other traditional handicrafts. Visit local museum.  Our next stop will be Hussaini village, where we try to cross the hanging bridge. Here you have chance to test our fear of heights on wobbly wooden plank walks while being mesmerized by the fast-flowing waters below.  (Those who do not wish to hike can drive to Ghulkin village instead) Later return to Borith Lake for overnight. Overnight at Borith Lake hotel and Resort. (BD)
Day 07: Gulmit – Attabad Lake – Hoper Valley – Karimabad
Breakfast at hotel, later we drive on the KKH to Centre Hunza Karimabad. Our first stop will be at Attabad Lake for photography, or optional boat ride. Next, we will do a side trip to Hopper valley which can be seen from Duiker and is on the opposite, eastern side of the Hunza River. This is another fertile valley and is predominantly Shia Muslim. This is one of the world’s fastest moving glaciers at Hoper.  We will also stop to visit an ancient 400 years old Ali Gohar house in Ganish village of Hunza, Gilgit Baltistan which has received the Unesco’s Heritage Award for 2009. Later continue to Karimabad. Check in at hotel, free afternoon at leisure. Overnight at hotel in Karimabad. (BD)
Day 08: Duiker village Sunrise – Karimabad visit
Early morning wakeup for sunrise enjoy stunning view of surrounding Mountains, enjoy the stunning sunrise over the snow-capped mountains of Ultar (7388m), Rakaposhi (7788m) and Diran (7266m). Optional hike up toward Ultar glacier base camp. After breakfast return down to Altit village to visit Altit fort, Altit Fort is a spectacularly sited defensive work overlooking the Hunza river valley in Gilgit-Baltistan. Altit Fort was the first of these strongholds built in Altit Khun and the Fort being renowned as the original capital and birthplace of Hunza. However later as a result of a conflict between the two sons of the Mir of Hunza, Shah Abbas and Ali Khan, they shifted the capital to Baltit Fort. Ayasho II, Tham / Mir of Hunza in the early 15th Century married Princess Shah Khatoon from Baltistan. As part of her dowry she brought with her architects and tradesman from Kashmir and Tibet. At the time Baltistan (previously known as ‘Little Tibet’) had very strong cultural and ethnical relations with Ladakh in Northern India. The structure of Altit Fort was therefore influenced by the Ladakhi/Tibetan architecture, resembling elements of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.
Altit Fort was originally built as a palace, yet some time after its construction, in 1548 A.D a defensive watch tower was added transforming it into a fort. It is believed that the Fort was built in 6 different phases making the most of the various different levels of natural rock from the very high cliff top it is positioned on. Altit Fort was surrounded by the settlement of Altit Khun, once a bustling town for traders and caravans travelling along the Silk Route. The historic village forms an integral part of the core cultural enclave of Hunza. In the aftermath of far reaching socio-political changes in and since 1972 the Fort lost its glory of being the centre of traditional cultural festivals and village life. After this time the ruling family no longer had the power to collect taxes to support the up keep of the fort and it was abandoned and left to deteriorate. In the late 1990’s a prince of the former ruling family of Hunza donated Altit Fort to the Aga Khan Foundation who through the Aga Khan Cultural Services, Pakistan spent the arduous task of restoring and rehabilitating both the fort and the surrounding settlement of Altit Khun. In 2007 the Fort opened as a tourist museum and culture centre for the community. Later visit Baltit Fort which is 700 years, but there have been rebuilds and alterations over the centuries.  Overnight at hotel in Karimabad. (BD)
Day 09: Gilgit – Astore Valley – Tarashing
In the morning drive to Tarashing valley, en-route we stop in Gilgit city. Visit Gilgit Bazar.
Gilgit the administrative capital of Gilgit Baltistan, historically, the area have remained a flash point of political and military rivalries amongst the Russian, British and Chinese empires. Immediately after the end of British rule in the sub-continent in 1947, the people of this region decided to join Pakistan through a popular local revolt against the government of Maharaja of Kashmir. Later visit Kargah Buddha carved on the rock dated from 7th century AD. Continue driving to Astore valley. Overnight at hotel in Tarishing Astore. (BD)
Day 10: Tarashing – Herligkoffer basecamp
Day hike toward Herligkoffer base camp. An easy trail will lead you to cross a small Tarishing glacier, you will arrive into Rupal valley which is a summer settlement for the local people. We continue our trek from Rupal valley to Herligkoffer basecamp named after a German doctor who attempted Nanga Parbat from this side, with stunning view of Nanga Parbat (8125 m). After picnic lunch return to Tarishing. Overnight at hotel in Tarishing. (BD)
Day 11: Tarishing – Desosai Plain – Skardu
In the morning we set off to Deosai National Park; one of the highest plateaus in the world, with height over 4,000 metres above the sea level, covering an area of about 3,000 square kilometres, the plateau is covered in snow from November to May. This pass is only accessible from June to September. It is well known for its rich flora and fauna of the Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe eco region. In spring, the plateau is covered with wildflowers and a wide variety of migrating butterflies. Continue driving to Skardu town. Overnight at hotel in Skardu. (BD)
Day 12: Skardu – Shigar valley
In the morning drive to Shigar valley, which is the gateway to the great Karakorum Mountain Peaks and glaciers. Our visit includes Shigar fort; the palace is stands on the bank of the Shigar stream and is built upon a massive rock. This 350 years old fort has been renovated by the Agha Khan Trust for Culture and is the only one of its kind in Pakistan. Later visit 400 years old Wooden Mosque. Walk around the village.
Overnight at hotel in Shigar. (BD)
Day 13: Shigar – Khaplu
In the morning we drive to another beautiful valley of Khaplu, beautiful town on the bank of Indus River. Visit the old Fort and Mosque built by in Tibetan architectural style. If time permits drive to Machulu village. Overnight at hotel in Khaplu. (BD)
Day 14: Khaplu – Skardu
In the morning drive to Skardu. Skardu is the capital of Baltistan is perched 2,438 metres above sea level and is surrounded by the great peaks of the Karakoram’s. Balti people are a mixture of Tibetan and Caucasian stock and speak Balti, an ancient form of Tibetan. Due to the similarity of its culture, lifestyle and architecture with Tibet, Baltistan is also known as the “Tibet-e-Khurd” (Little Tibet).
Today you will visit Kharpocho Fort: Kharpocho Fort (King of Forts) situated on a hill overlooking the town. It was constructed by Ali Sher Khan Anchan, who ruled over Baltistan till the end of the 16th century. Later drive to visit lower and upper Kachura Lake.  Overnight at hotel in Skardu. (BD)
Day 15: Skardu – Islamabad
In the morning transfer to Skardu airport for a spectacular flight through the Pakistani Himalayas to Islamabad. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel.  In the afternoon city tour of Islamabad followed by
the Damn-E-Koh (viewpoint), for a panoramic view of Islamabad before. Our tour culminates at one of the world’s largest mosque – Shah Faisal Mosque. Overnight at hotel in Islamabad or Rawalpindi. (BD)
Note, flights are subject to weather; in the case of bad weather, we will depart for Islamabad by road with an overnight stay at Besham or Naran.
Day 16: Islamabad – Taxila – Rawalpindi
In the morning we drive to Taxila, Taxila has a well-planned museum and many historic sites of the Gandharan Buddhist civilization. The area flourished from the Sixth Century B.C until the Fifth Century A.D. after visit drive to visit Rawalpindi’s hustling bustling Raja Bazar. In the evening farewell dinner at local restaurant.
Overnight at hotel in Islamabad or Rawalpindi. (BD)
Day 17: Depart Islamabad
Our service will end with airport transfer (B)

Tour Costs And Dates

We guarantee all tour departures for a minimum of 2 passengers. In order to confirm your booking we will need a non-refundable deposit of 400 USD per person. The final invoice will be sent to you 4 weeks before the tour departure, the final cost dependent on the final group size. If the following dates or the described itinerary does not meet your travel needs, please write to us, we can arrange a customized tour for you.

Tour Cost Comfort Class Accommodation
No of Pax.
2
3-5
6-9
10-14
Single Supplement
Price in US Dollar
per person
$
$
$
$
$
Tour Cost Tourists Class Accommodation
No of Pax.
2
3-5
6-9
10-14
Single Supplement
Price in US Dollar
per person
$
$
$
$
$

Hotels

Places
Comfort Class Hotels
Tourist Class Hotels
Kashgar
Radisson Blu
Qini Bagh New wing
Tashkurgan
Crown or Qianhai hotel
Grassland hotel
Borith Lake
Borith Lake Hotel and Resort
Borith Lake Hotel and Resort
Karimabad Hunza
Serena or Offtoo
Himalayan Tiger or Swan hotel
Tarashing village
Local Guest house
Local Guest house
Skardu
Byarsa or Shangrila
Concordia or similar
Shigar valley
Serena Shigar Fort
Guest house
Khaplu
Serena Khaplu Fort
Guest house
Islamabad
Serena hotel
Crown hotel or Guest house
*** Please note that all above hotels are subject to availability or we will arrange alternative hotels of a similar standard.

Tour departures 2024 – 2025

 

All private transfers by Cars, Van, Busses depend on the group size except one way public bus from Tashkurgan to Sost..
Twin sharing accommodation at hotels mentioned above with private facilities
Meals half board: Key (B) Breakfast (D) Dinner
All the sightseeing tours as described in the itinerary and entrance fees
Fully escorted by an experienced local English speaking guides in each country
Visa support letters if required

Includes

 

All private transfers by Cars, Van, Busses depend on the group size except one way public bus from Tashkurgan to Sost..
Twin sharing accommodation at hotels mentioned above with private facilities
Meals half board: Key (B) Breakfast (D) Dinner
All the sightseeing tours as described in the itinerary and entrance fees
Fully escorted by an experienced local English speaking guides in each country
Visa support letters if required

Excludes

 

All private transfers by Cars, Van, Busses depend on the group size except one way public bus from Tashkurgan to Sost..
Twin sharing accommodation at hotels mentioned above with private facilities
Meals half board: Key (B) Breakfast (D) Dinner
All the sightseeing tours as described in the itinerary and entrance fees
Fully escorted by an experienced local English speaking guides in each country
Visa support letters if required

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