“THE SLOWER YOU MOVE THROUGH THE COUNTRY, THE BETTER YOU GET THE EXPERIENCE OF THE LAND AND THE PEOPLE"
In this episode, Julian sat down with Wajahat Malik to talk about Pakistan, the Karokoram Highway and his experience driving a tuk-tuk through the country.
Here a small snippet of our conversation. Hit play below to listen to the whole chat.
“YOU WILL HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE”
Wajahat: My name is Wahahat Malik and I live in Pakistan, Islamabad. I have done a lot of adventure travel shows for Pakistani and foreign channels. I’ve travelled around the world. I climbed mountains, I paraglide. I do all kinds of adventure sports. And that’s how I live. That’s my lifestyle.
Another thing which I’m doing in Pakistan now, I am trying to promote responsible tourism in the country try to make people aware of how to behave when they are in the mountains or in the nature. That rickshaw journey that I went up to do, you know, was part of that responsible tourism campaign that I did. I travelled across the Himalayan mountain range and the Karakoram mountain range, covered about three different valleys. It was a long journey.
Julian: You’re probably the first person to have actually done that journey in a rickshaw? What was like?
Wajahat: It’s interesting. You know, a rickshaw is a poor man’s ride in Pakistan. When I was going up on the rickshaw towards the mountains, people would be really surprised because rickshaws are mostly found in cities of Pakistan, not in the mountains.
“I THINK RICKSHAW IS A GREAT WAY TO TRAVEL AND GET TO KNOW THE COUNTRY”
The people who might join your adventure next year, all I can say to them is you will have the time of your life. It will be going through the Karakoram Highway, the high road to China, the fabled Silk Route, and the culture changes every 20km. The hospitality of people, the adventure on the road. The government has eased visa restrictions and the infrastructure has improved considerably over the years. So, I would suggest people who want to come to Pakistan, that this is the time.
The slower you move through the country, the better you get the experience of the land and the people. You can stop, pull over, meet the nomads coming down the mountain valleys and their herds of goats. These are nomads who’ve been going up and down these valleys for 1000s of years now, so you jump back into Eurasia. I think rickshaw is a great way to travel and get to know the country.
Julian: What do you think the perception will be of a bunch of tourist tourists, foreigners driving, driving the rickshaw up that route that you did? What do you think?
Wajahat: You will be talk of the town, talk of the whole country. People will love it. You will be all over news, obviously. You know, we’ll be shooting a documentary about the whole trip. I think it will be something phenomenal. I mean, I feel that international news channels like BBC and CNN and discovery should pick up on this as well.
Just wait till you come to Pakistan and look at the Karakoram mountains. I mean, the scale is huge. I mean, Himalayan mountains are big. Karakoram mountains are bigger and it’s like a drama of rock and ice. It’s incredible.
Check out Wajahat’s Facebook Page
Listen to the full episode here.