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Karimabad (aka Baltit) is the capital of Hunza Valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan.

Understand

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Get in

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By car

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Karimabad is 100 km drive from Gilgit. Most people arrive by road: it takes almost 2 - 3 hours to reach Hunza from Gilgit. The main bus stand is on the Karakoram Highway (KKH) 'Aliabad'. There are booking agents in town for long distance buses & jeeps along the KKH. The journey from Islamabad can take as long as 24 hours.

By airplane

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Gilgit Airport (GIL IATA) is small and has 45-minute flights to Islamabad on Pakistan International Airways (PIA). It is 2.3 km east of Gilgit.

By bus

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From Kashgar (China) there is a ¥270 regular bus service to Hunza via Sost crossing over the Khunjerab Pass (about 5000 m high). Across river Hunza at Sost, there is a village called Khuda Abad. People usually do not stop at Khunjerab Pass, they just carry on their journey to Sost with the bus. From Sost, you can do a number of activities around like trekking in the valleys, or drive to Hunza-Karimabad (2 hours), where the Baltit Fort is standing. The Khunjerab Pass is open from May 1-Dec 30, but closed in winter.

  • To China: Thrice-weekly bus service was scheduled to begin crossing the border from Gilgit, Northern Areas, to Kashgar, China, and road widening work was scheduled for 600 km of the Karakoram Highway. There were also plans for one daily bus in each direction between Sust and Taxkorgan in the border areas of the two countries.
  • To Islamabad: Via the Karakoram Highway, popularly known as the Silk Road.
  • To Gilgit: Via the Karakoram Highway, popularly known as the Silk Road.

By plane

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Pakistani International Airlines has at least one daily flight from the capital Islamabad to the nearest major airport, in Gilgit three hours south of Karimabad. All flights, however, are subject to weather clearance, and in winters, flights are often delayed by several days.

Get around

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Private vehicles are normally used as local transport. Renting jeeps is also a common way of moving around. You can go to nearby cities on buses and by air.

See

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  • 1 [formerly dead link] Baltit Fort, +92 5821 57640. Beautiful old fort that was the seat of the Mirs of Hunza for centuries. Tour guides are knowledgeable and the fort has quite a lot of artefacts to see. 500Rs.
  • 2 Altit Fort.
  • Ruby mines
  • Spectacular sceneries
  • Rock carvings

Do

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  • Karakoram Air Safari is the scenic air journey offered by PIA
  • Mountaineering, trekking and hiking: The area is ideal for mountaineering, trekking and hiking. Permission for mountaineering and trekking for restricted zone is issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Pakistan, Pakistan Sports Complex, Kashmir Highway, Aabpara, Islamabad (Telephone: 92-51-9203509). Fishing permits are issued by the Fisheries Department at Gilgit and Skardu.
  • Fishing at Lakes. Fishing permits are issued by the Fisheries Department.
  • Biking
  • Walking
  • Hike to Ultar meadow through the steep canyon above the main town that can be seen behind Baltit fort. Great views of the area can be enjoyed, especially of the imposing Lady Finger peak high above the town. As of July 2019, floods have washed away the path on the right hand side of the canyon, therefore it is advisable to hire a guide to show you the way.

Buy

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Eat

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There are many places serving food along Karim Abad Rd, especially between Zero point and Baltit fort. Most hotels will also serve food.

  • 1 Cafe de Hunza, Karim Abad Rd (Near Baltit Fort). Popular with travellers, has free Wifi.
  • 2 Pizza Pamir, Karim Abad Rd (Near Baltit Fort). Great views from the seating area.
  • 3 Sweet Tooth Hunza, Karim Abad Rd (Zero point). Restaurant that serves Western food.

Drink

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Sleep

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Budget

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  • Hunza Backpacker's Inn, 200 metres from zero point Karimabad (check Google maps). Hotel, wifi, hot shower.
  • Karimabad Inn, Zero point Karimabad.
  • Mulberry Hotel, Main road Karimanad (between Zero point and the main bazzar of Karimabad).

Mid-range

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  • Darbar Hotel, Zero point Karimabad. Claims three stars.
  • Haider Inn (behind Zero Point). Homely feel, en suite doubles and dorm rooms with hot water. Fantastic set meal at 8PM Rs125. Ali Haider, the owner, is extremely helpful and makes everyone welcome.
  • Hunza Baltit inn.

Splurge

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Connect

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Go next

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