Sunday, March 26, 2017

Lost in Phandar

Phandar Valley
Time is money and money is time. Time is something we either race against or ignore altogether. Time is what makes you choose life changing decisions and ultimately to grow old with experience.
Even today there are some places where time slows down. Cultures are more preserved and people genuinely seems happier, but there is a place I stumbled upon where time does not exist at all, this is Phandar in northern Pakistan.

Phandar Valley is located around 160 km from Gilgit, it is also know as Little Kashmir. I dont know why I decided to visit Phandar as it was not part of my original back packing trip plan.

I took a local van and it took around five hours to reach Phandar from Gilgit and went to Sadabahar hotel which was suggested to me by someone in Gilgit. I spent around two days there and met only one tourist family there which shows the performace of tourism department.

Ali - Phandar local
I met one local guy in the van on our way to Phandar, later on I went to his house and met his other friends and cousins. I must admit that it's an incredibly beautiful place, locals are not too wealthy but I think it's one of the happiest villages of Pakistan. I had the pleasure of having evening tea with superintendent of police (SP) who confirmed that crime rate there is almost 0% which makes it not only the safest but happiest place as well :)

Close your eyes and you don’t step back in time, you just realize that time does not matter here, everyone and everything moves at its own pace, there are no deadlines to be met and no expectations to follow and you are lost in Phandar...

Phandar Lake

Khalti Lake

Friday, September 5, 2014

how to reach Krakow from Prague?

How to reach Krakow from Prague:

If you are looking to reach Krakow from Prague then I would recommend to take local train to Cesky Tesin and from there cross the bridge to enter Polish town Cieszyn and take the bus for Krakow.

Cesky Tesin/Cieszyn is a small town located on the Czech/Polish border. It is divided into two parts by the Olza river: Český Těšín (Czech) and Cieszyn (Polish). On that bridge there were once terrifying frontier posts full of scary-looking gentlemen in uniforms. Nowadays, both Poland and Czech Republic are members of the Schengen agreement and travelling around both parts of the town is not a problem whatsoever.
Here is how I reached Krakow from Prague:

view from the bridge between Cesky Tesin and Cieszyn
I went to Prague train station and got the ticket for Cesky Tesin (cost 12.25 Euros or 340 CZK).
Train departed at 12:16PM towards Zilina from Prague train station.
Reached Cesky Tesin around 16:30.
From there crossed the bridge behind the train station and entered the Polish side of the town Cieszyn.
Reached the city center and got the money exchanged.
From city center bus station is on 10 minutes walking distance.
Got the bus ticket for Krakow from there at 21 PLN (5 euro).
Bus departed at 5:30 PM and reached Krakow around 8:30 PM.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Engelberg - Switzerland

View from Hotel Belmont Engelberg
View from Hotel Belmont
Engelberg - heaven on earth
Engelberg (mountain of angels) is a very picturesque town in Switzerland , reachable via Lucerne - Engelberg Express train. This beautiful town is famous for its beauty and a lot of tourists visit this town everyday to see the majestic Mount Titlis and Ski Resort. More than 50% of the visitors were from India, I was told that many Bollywood pictures are filmed in Engelberg and this is the reason why this town is so popular there. Below are few pictures from our summer trip:

Ali Hameed - Hotel Belmont Engelberg

Engelberg Tourist information
Engelberg Tourist information center in the middle of town

Engelberg village

Wafia Tabina
Wafia Tabina - Engelberg

Ali Hameed - Engelberg

Engelberg railway station
Engelberg railway station - the last picture that I captured there