I probably shouldn’t say this but Pakistan certainly took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting anything half as handsome as what it turned out to be. The Northern Areas of Pakistan, specifically Gilgit-Baltistan, are majestic. If you happen to visit Gilgit-Baltistan, you could easily compare it to Switzerland we often gawk at during Yash Chopra movie sessions.
Remember Naveed Khan, the guy who brought Brandon Stanton to Pakistan? He has been arranging tours to Hunza and other regions of Gilgit-Baltistan through his initiative Hunza on Foot.
The Hunza Valley, a region in the Gilgit–Baltistan territory of northernmost Pakistan, is renowned not only for its spectacular natural scenery of majestic mountains and glittering lakes but also for the beauty of its people, who enjoy a long life expectancy.
National Geographic phtograohy Matthieu Paley describes his experience visiting the Hunza Valley and meeting Hunzokutz – the people of Hunza.
Amir Mehdi wanted to be the first Pakistani to scale the country’s highest peak, K2, and as one of the strongest climbers in the first team to conquer the summit, 60 years ago, he nearly did. Instead he was betrayed by his Italian companions, left to spend a night on the ice without shelter, and was lucky to survive.
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Though some of the inhabitants of the villages and small towns here still live in stone and mud houses, you don’t see any poor people in the streets of Gojal. Of course you don’t see any obviously rich people either. Those who have money tend to spend it on the betterment of the community, and evidence of this can perhaps be found in the close-to-zero illiteracy rate among the new generation. Even the youngest children here grow up speaking two to three languages.
A video dedicated to all of those who believed in my project and collaborated with me with joy and passion. You all gave me the strength to believe in this dream.
Romantic-movie fanatics might have better idea how exhilarating the movie gets when two true lovers are separated by the manacles of boundaries. The love story of Sher Ali from the Hunza valley is in no way lesser than a Bollywood movie that is filled with all the thrills of ups and downs. Lucky enough for Sher Ali and his admirer from India, the story has a happy ending; something we have been seeing in most of the desi movies for decades.
Packing up his underwater gear, Matthieu Paley says goodbye to the sea-dwelling Bajau. After a weekend stop-over in Turkey to see his wife and sons, Paley travels to a place that has a special hold on his heart, the mountains of northern Pakistan. Over the coming weeks, we will be taking you with us as Paley travels the globe on assignment for National Geographic in search of our ancestral ties to the food we eat.