The Karakoram Highway (KKH) is the highest international paved road which connects the Pakistan and China, passing from Islamabad (Capital of Pakistan) to the Kashgar city of China which is located in the Xinjiang Province of China covering a length of 1300 km.
Why should you experience a road journey on KKH?
Well, by road journey, is the best way to explore any geographical locality and region while getting new experiences and getting in touch with different people and their cultures. When you travel by land, you not only sight new places, it gives you the chance to explore the people, their culture, living style their hospitality and generosity, and appearances as well. When the journey is long and the road passes through many areas having different cultures, different landscapes, and different people, the journey becomes more memorable and exciting.
Karakoram Highway is one of such roads in the world which connects countries, cultures, people and regions. It is not only the landscape which changes every mile, the culture of people, living styles, their appearance, and the manners of people also change.
When you start the journey from the capital of Pakistan, the KKH will be about 60 kilometers away and once you are in Hassan Abdal you will be on the KKH moving towards the land of peaks, Gilgit-Baltistan. Well, when you start the journey the landscape will be plain and the people will be of the Punjabi origin (People who speak Punjabi language and have dark skin mostly). You would see fertile farms spanned over miles and there would be great rush on KKH.
When you move further you would enter the province of KPK and there wouldn’t be significant change in landscape until the Abbotabad city. From Abbotabad onward the landscape would be somehow hilly and these mountains will be lush green will evergreen forests. When you enter the KPK province while moving on KKH, the region will be the Hazara region until the end of Manshera (Hazara are those people who speak Hindko and have fair skin). These regions are beautiful and some of the most beautiful resorts and tourist spots are in this region. Although, if you want to visit these areas you would need to deviate from the KKH.
When you move further upwards you would be passing though thickly wooded and green carpeted regions of KPK like Chattar Plan, Batgram and Thakot etc. The people in these regions are Pakhtun (people who speak Pashto and have fair skin). While passing through these areas sometimes the vehicles will pass through thick woods and you will observe like you have lost in the wood. The breathtaking sceneries and picturesque areas will give you an amazing and memorable experience.
The more you will move upward towards the Gilgit-Baltistan the landscape will be having a shift and the green mountains covered by the forest will be disappearing and new kinds of mountains having different outlooks will be there on the way. When you will be passing through the last areas of KPK like Besham and Kohistan the area will be having little forest on it and once you enter the boundary of Gilgit-Baltistan the mountains will be bald, though they will be of high in altitude.
Once you have entered the region of Gilit-Baltistan the KKH will be following every twist and turn of the Indus River and the road will be passing through the vast ravines. You will see number of streams, small sandy plains, and the road will be crafted through the Rocky Mountains. This kind of landscape will be continued until the end of Hunza valley. When you will be entering the last region of Pakistan i.e. Gojal area of the Hunza District the landscape will be almost same but the narrow ravines will now somehow change into broader gorges until you reach the Pakistan and China Border at the Khunjrab Pass. From Khunjrab pass the area will be hilly up to some point and you will enter a vast desert before reaching the city of Kashgar. The Kashgar city will be the last stop and the end of the KKh in China.
While traveling to China from Islamabad to Kashgar one can see the following spectacular, breathtaking and picturesque places.
Hasan Abdal KPK
|Cadet College Hassan Abdal|
Valley of Battal
|Youi Bridge on Indus River on KKH|
Dasu Kohistan KPK
Gilgit city GB
Attabad Lake along KKH Hunza GB
Khunjerab Pass (Pak-China Border)