Khunjerab Pass (Pak China Border)
You’ll find a lot of stuff and hundreds of articles on Khunjerab Pass (also known as Pak China Border) across the internet describing its location and personal experiences. But what I am going to share is not only my own experience and the beauty of the place but I’ll also highlight important tips and reasons why you should visit this famous Pak China Border.
Yes, when you see this border in the pictures it presents you a vast and fascinating landscape from some movie. Your excitement starts the moment you take a route on the carpeted road. The long Karakoram highway passes through tunnels amidst the mountains and ends up at the gates of partition between China and Pakistan. As you drive close, the speed automatically reduces while you savor your eyes with the colorful scenery of mountains intensified with immense beauty. Reasons why you should Visit Pak-China Border
- It offers a perfect long trip for the road trip lovers. And it’s not about just traveling through some unknown roads and crossing the unknown areas, rather you enjoy the scenic beauty of nature it offers you on the way.
- It’s the highest Border-Crossing in World and the highest point on the Karakoram Highway, located at an elevation of 15,528ft from the sea level. So yes, it could be another feather in your cap or another accomplishment if you are a travel enthusiast and love to visit unique places of the world.
Karakoram Highway - Highest Paved International Highway In The World (Credits: Bilal)
- Protected by Guardians of Nature. This border is not merely a gate between two countries on a plain land. It’s surrounded by gigantic Karakoram mountains that remain snow-capped especially in winter. Unlike any other border, Khunjerab Pass is more of a visiting point for promoting peace and tourism in both countries.
- Khunjerab National Park is another attraction just a few kilometers from the border. It was solely built to protect the wild life of the Himaliya region. It’s home to Marco Polo Sheep, Snow Leopards and d Himaliyan Ibex.
When and How to Go there?
You can visit the place from May to November. The roads are closed for tourists from December to April because of snowfall, rainfall and land sliding. To experience snowfall, you can visit in early late October – early December.
Routes to take
There are two possible routes that you can take:
- Through Besham
It takes 18 – 20 hours from Islamabad to Gilgit through Besham. This route is the only option when Babusar pass is closed (usually closes after first snowfall).
- Through Babusar Pass
It takes 14 – 15 hours from Islamabad to Gilgit via Babusar Pass.
Further it takes 6 – 7 hours from Gilgit to Khunjerab pass. It is recommended to make it a day trip from Hunza.
What could be fun at Khunjerab Pass?
It’s mainly a sight seeing tourism attraction; however, you can engage yourself with some good activities:
- Domestic Yak Riding: Yes, you can ride find amusement at the highest point of KKH amidst the green pastures and heavenly peaks
- Amazing Photography: landscape is beyond amazing where you can click good pictures for the sake of memories
- Across the border: You can definitely see the Chinese visiting at the other side of the border. Sometimes, you can find them on your side too. It’s a good feeling seeing foreigners sharing the same happiness as we do.
- Racing: It’s a good pavement for racing 😀 I won the race I had with one of my friends 😀
Group Photo - Trip 2018 (Sept)
Domestic Yak - Khunjerab Pass
Things to Remember when traveling to Pak-China Border
- It is always windy there and almost freezing in months of November- December. So, do carry a wind breaker/jacket so don’t catch cold, especially if you are visiting in mid-September – Early December
- Good news, you can find an ATM machine over there, but bad news is there is not to purchase for which you might be needing money 😀 (there used to be a mobile food van until 2018, but not anymore)
- Carry cash with you if you want to use the public toilets because the facility is charged for its maintenance
- Merely an hour is enough to spend there. Visit during day time, before sunset you can click good pictures and can reach back timely
It is a good memory that I keep recalling to refresh my mind. It’s not a place that you like to visit again and again but yes, traveling in different times of the year makes sense. It is because the canvas bears the different colors with the rise and fall of temperature in the region. I still carry the warmth and the cold of the place with in me, and just by a difference of one month. This place gives the feeling of a peacock set free in the vastness of the nature to run far away in any direction with its feathers wide spread to become the focal point of the lens.
Posing at Khunjerab Pass (Sept, 2018)