Friday, Sep. 12, 2008


Pack Your Bags: Pakistan has stunning Himalayan peaks, historic forts, valleys filled with wildflowers, Arabian Sea beaches, silk bazaars and impeccable Pakistani hospitality. Tourists can choose from camel trekking, white water rafting and wild boar hunting. If that's too mundane for you, try a yak safari. All that and some of the best carpet shops this side of Iran.

Rain Check: Turmoil, including suicide bombings and attacks on western restaurants and buildings is now routine in Pakistan's cities and towns. Al Qaeda boss Osama bin Laden, Taliban extremists and other nasties are believed to be hiding in Pakistan's mountains. "If you think where you are going should be completely peaceful, you will be constricted in your options. Being a tourist in the 21st century requires a little courage," Pakistani tourism minister Shahzad Qaiser told the Chicago Tribune earlier this year.

Tourist Blurb: "By the grace of God, there has not been a single incident of any terrorist attack on a tourist," Qaiser told the Chicago Tribune. "In spite of all the terrorism and political problems we are facing, the people of this country are tourist-friendly. Our religion and culture give prominent peace to hospitality."

by Patrice Poltzer