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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 30 Apr 2013
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Pakistan - Multan to Quetta direct or go via Sukkur?

Hi,

Looking for advice from anyone who has done the route from Multan to Quetta in Pakistan.

Is the direct route (via Dera Ghazi Khan) achievable in one day? It is over 600 km which is something I would only do if I knew the road was good and I could maintain a high average speed. When in India I would never attempt to do that many kms in one day - maybe the road conditions are better in Pakistan (possibly there are fewer cows on the roads?) :-)

I've seen from a few other threads people going via Sukkur - is this the better route?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 30 Apr 2013
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Merhaba,

2 photos for you included.

One says all how you will travel from Multan to Quetta and Taftan bordergate afterwards following an escort.Thats the most interesting and exciting also most friendly part of the trip in Pakistan..Definitely obey the rules of escort.They are there for our safety.

Other photo shows the valuable and most appreciated friendships and supports of local bikers which you can hardly meet on other parts of the globe.

When in Multan, get in touch with great local bikers with a big hello from me,and Turkish Bikers Hakan and Şandan who were there a while ago...
https://www.facebook.com/muhammad.iqbalghangla?fref=ts

And marvellous friend Dr.Omar Khan in Lahore for all your questions and advices you may need for whole Pakistan..
https://www.facebook.com/omar.khan.5494?ref=ts&fref=ts

We are always thanksful to them for all the current information and tips they give us..

Wish you all the best..
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Pakistan - Multan to Quetta direct or go via Sukkur?-71596_514709285228552_954334720_n.jpg  

Pakistan - Multan to Quetta direct or go via Sukkur?-8877_514066611959486_582741033_n.jpg  

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  #3  
Old 30 Apr 2013
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I've decided it's a crazy idea to attempt that in a day - instead I plan to stop in Loralai (between Multan and Quetta) and stay in the guesthouse suggested in Erics' post here

Thanks for the pictures and info Mehmet!
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  #4  
Old 1 May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o_0oo View Post
I've decided it's a crazy idea to attempt that in a day - instead I plan to stop in Loralai
At least a few years ago Loralai and DG Khan were off-limits for foreigners, so this routing is something you probably ought to double-check. The usual detour for tourists to bypass this area goes via Sukkur.

(IIRC, a few tourists were kidnapped somewhere close to Loralai, this was maybe 1-2 years ago, didn´t see any explanation, why they were there, I think the police should not have let them enter that area in the first place).
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  #5  
Old 1 May 2013
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Humm, well I guess I will find out tomorrow when I head that way. If the route is closed to foreigners then I'll post back here so that others know.
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  #6  
Old 1 May 2013
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I've met a pakistani biker duo (father and son) who did this road within a day, i think an even longer distance. but they were driving (racing from their story) for more than 10 hours, not waiting for any escort (escaping).

This was around July 2012, back then this road was still off-limits for foreigners. I would wonder if they changed that, i guess at some point they gonna ask you for a NOC, which you probably won't get easily. But you never know until you try, just be a bit careful, that story of the kidnapped swiss couple (they ignored warnings that this road would be dangerous) did not read very nice!

Sukkur would be the alternative...
Or going all the way down to Karachi and taking a train to Quetta is what many people did in 2012 (but in the other direction)

Take care
Moritz
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  #7  
Old 1 May 2013
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Thanks for all the advice on this.

After reading your comments, speaking to Mehmet's friend Muhammad and chatting with some other guys here in Multan - it sounds like the Loralai route is out of the question for foreigners - even the locals are hesitating to drive that road!

I'm going to go to Sukkur instead - anyone have any accommodation suggestions here?

So, you guys have saved me from possibly being turned around by the army or kidnapped - thanks again.

- David
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  #8  
Old 1 May 2013
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i was not allowed to stay in Sukkur for security reasons (but i think there is no problem with Sukkur at all), you must be lucky not to be with an escort already, so they will bring you to a place they consider "safe", mostly the pricier hotels.

Just a small warning about the escorts, they are all friendly, but really want to get rid of you, if you stay somewhere you are their responsibility, which means 1 or 2 armed guys have to stay in front of your room/hotel all night long.
I got really big problems the day i left from Quetta because they did not allow me to stay anywhere (wanted to give me to the next escort). i ended up with a 13h driving day, mostly around 46 degrees, i got badly dehydrated, heat bubbles on my hands... in the end i had to get really mad (shouting at them...) to let me stay somewhere (ended up in some kind of police station about 100km north of sukkur).

I had escorts all the way from Dalbandin to Lahore, hope you have more luck and they let you go on your own until Sukkur (i know some people didn't have escorts after/before Sukkur).

Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 1 May 2013
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Sukkur- hotel

Hi ,

I'm going to go to Sukkur instead - anyone have any accommodation suggestions here?

Red Carpet Hotel on Military Road, leading from the roundabout at west end of Sukkur Barrage, which attempts to control the Indus River.
Late '09 I paid PR 500 for safe parking, cold scoop shower, working toilet, a big, clean, comfortable bed and breakfast omlette. Friendly staff.
If the cook hasn't moved on I reckomend the chicken biryani for your evening meal. Might not be a good idea to take an evening stroll alone, you will be needing an early night anyway.

Safe Travel

Peter, in Oslo
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  #10  
Old 2 May 2013
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Wy don't some of you people try the route down to Karachi? Sindh deserves a visit, has the country's greatest historical sites, desert, rich culture etc, and it is safe.

Karachi is Pakistan's biggest city, and deserves a visit. And the road north from Karachi is good, and passes through nice scenery. Plus you can completely bypass Quetta if you don't feel safe there by going onto the Taftan road at Mastung.

You may get along the road without escorts too, since I believe few foreigners use this route.
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  #11  
Old 3 May 2013
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You got it right, DG Khan and Loralai are off limits for foreigners. Some time back a Canadian member of MAP (Motorcyclists Assoc of Pak) somehow reached Fort Monroe undetected. Once found out, he was forced to return late night. I am sure it wasn't a very pleasant experience
I would suggest to stay on the main roads and try to spot the lovely blind dolphins in Sukkur.

Cheers
Omar
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  #12  
Old 4 May 2013
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There are a quite a few places to stay, just stop and ask a local to help you find one. If not you can ALWAY camp at the police stations, they might even give you a bed!

As for the police escorts telling you must go to the expensive ones, just tell them - only if they are paying!! Make them find you a cheaper one. Thats the best part about having these guys with you.

Have fun - Pakistan is one of my top destinations around the world. I planed one month in Pakistan and ended up staying for 6! Head to the north and dont let that part of Pakistan get you down.
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  #13  
Old 5 May 2013
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I met up with Mehmet's friend Muhammad in Multan - he really is a great guy, we had breakfast together, he showed me round the city and suggested I stay with a friend of his in Shikarpur rather than a hotel.

Then rode from Shikarpur to Quetta at first light, didn't stop for any police checkpoints and just kept going all the way to the Bloomstar in Quetta. Not sure if I would advise others to do the same, but I really didn't want to hang around at the checkpoints waiting for them to organise an attention-drawing motley crew to take me to a hotel where they receive a back-hander.

Now I have to wait to get the NOC before proceeding to Taftan. Will take the escort for this part of the route if offered.

Thanks for all the advise guys,

David
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  #14  
Old 19 Jun 2013
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Problems Getting a Pakistani Visa in Dublin

I am undertaking a Drive between Ireland and Australia. The biggest i am coming up against is getting a Paksitani Visa in Dublin. Initially they flatly refused, however thanks to Horizons and the posts you guys leave i have convinved them that while these areas are unstable at times, with the proper preparation and precaution, people are doing these trips everyday, so.... They have agreed to give me a visa under 4 conditions
1 - Get an Iranian Visa (No Problem)
2 -Provide the Carnet Du Passage (No Problem)
3- Provide provisonal bookings for hotela in Quetta & Multan

Can any of you recommned hotels in both towns that i could make a provisional booking? In most hotel search engines, there is either little or no information. When i went to book in the Serena Hotel in Quetta, it says there is no availability at any stage over the next 12 months??

4 - Provide evidence of an armed escort
here lies the biggest issue. While it's obvious from these forums that Police escorts are provided by the police, the Pakistani embassy in Dublin never heard of them and i had to show them threads of this site to show their existance. So now they want officail confrimaton from the Police in Pakistan that there will be an armed escort when we arrive at the border in Taftan.

The only way i can see is that i call hotels in both cities and somehow contact the police and look for an email? Am i missing something or is there the only way to go?

thanks and would appreciate any insight
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  #15  
Old 19 Jun 2013
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hi doc,

many people stay at Bloomstart Hotel

if you reach the manager there who speaks good english, i think he would try to write something on a piece of paper and send it to you.

The armed Escort thing is more tricky, i might have a contact in Dalbandin who could help with that, but really not sure (i guess you would be the first to ask for that).
Alternatively you could try to get the Bloomstar guy on phone when you are at the embassy, most travelers cross him so he could tell about escorting/safety. eventually he is able to get some paper too.

Btw. most people get their Visa because they don't mention that they cross the iranian/pakistani border. My first visa attempt was refused/ignored too. Then i used an agency (~40$ more) and had no problems at all.

Good luck!
Moritz
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