Traveling can be expensive; much more so if one adds costly lodging to the list of expenditures. When we pack our bags for a holiday and are looking to undo our stress, the last thing we want to deal with is a transportation ordeal.
Those travelling to or taking a trip inside Pakistan are in luck. The country has not only amazingly low priced, but also highly amusing transport solutions available.
Public transport in Pakistan translates into four broad categories –trains, buses, taxis and auto rickshaws. All of these modes of transport ease the worries of the traveler out on the roads. Pakistan Railways provide reasonably priced inter-city and even selected international train services to those who want to use them. While the tracks that had been laid down by the British years and years ago, the Railway Ministry has renovated the tracks which has improved their services. From battered old railway services, which were little pleasure to travel in, one can now find comfortable and much more modern trains. The modern services are light on the pocket and heavy in terms of the value they provide.
For the more adventurous road trippers, Pakistan has a wide variety of buses. These are an especially popular choice for people visiting the North or high mountainous areas. It takes the skill of a driver who knows his routes well to safely transport enthusiastic passengers up swerving roads and winding paths etched into mountains. Going from one city to another in Pakistan has been made easy by express services such as the Daewoo and similar ones. These are well-equipped, comfortable rides which are divinely priced and operate 24 hours every day. In fact, buses have become a preferred mode of transport because of the ease and high standards of maintenance.
Using public transport is a smart choice not just for inter-city travelling, but also moving around within cities. It is the mark of authentication of one’s Pakistani nationality to travel by bus or take a rickshaw ride.
Remarkably, Pakistan’s traditional buses and rickshaws are not simply means of commuting but also a visual treat. The unique style of decorating trucks, buses and rickshaws has transformed into its own form of art. A striking array of colours, images and designs is the first outstanding appeal that draws one to a bus stand, or invites passengers to experience the rush of a rickshaw.
In almost every city of Pakistan a traveler would readily find a cheap accommodation place and a bus that takes him or her to the desired destination for a very small sum. For those who like travelling solo, there is the ever exciting opportunity to get into a rickshaw and move around inexpensively and with ease. The freedom to stick one’s head out of a rickshaw and feel the wind is a joy everyone must experience. A fun aspect of this exercise is that one can always negotiate fares with the driver, and the better one is at the art the more value one can derive out of the experience.
However, some people like to use the familiar transport solution that taxis offer. Again, these are easy to find and are the best alternative to using your own car. Fares depend on the length and extent of use and even these can be negotiated. Some bargaining is a necessity and will often achieve good results. A look into the various commuting methods reveals just that Pakistan is a good place as far as tourist friendly country both for local and international travelers and its public transportation is a narrative of the country itself.
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