Not many people are aware of the wonderful things to see when visiting South Asia. I last wrote about the negative things I experienced when I visited Pakistan, but I promise it does not end there! A great deal of hidden beauty is tucked away in these countries that the media does not show, but my goal today is to reveal it all to you!
So as promised, here are all the astounding things I’ve personally experienced and enjoyed in South Asian countries!
1. Natural Beauty
Several of my friends who have seen my photos from Pakistan were quite surprised at how beautiful the scenery was, because unfortunately not many people are aware of this. Pakistan has an extensive collection of unique nature to offer, especially in the north of Pakistan. This includes the many valleys, rivers, Himalayas mountains (including K-2, the second highest peak in the world after Everest), Tarbela Dam (one of the largest dams in the world) and more! Palm trees are scattered everywhere in cities, and farms add to the already existing green scenery. Pictures can’t do justice to the actual beauty of the scenery, you have to see for yourself!
2. The culture
If there is one thing you cannot miss out on when visiting South Asian countries, it is the culture! The different outfits and attire, the sites to see and architecture to visit, the history to learn, the constant festivals at night. I could write on and on about all this. If your lucky enough to be going to a wedding, then it will be an event you will never forget, because traditional weddings last for days! It should be called a festival of love, because that’s what I feel like it is. Also, everything is decorated in paintings, flowers, and colours, from the camels to the trucks. Even a simple drive around the area will result in me staring out the window absorbing all the scenes in. One time when I was waiting in the car with my two brothers, we were looking out the car window and out of nowhere a camel just casually walked past us. We all freaked out, it was so cool! By the way, do not miss out on an opportunity to ride a camel or elephant when you visit, it’s crazy fun!
3. The Food
It’s no lie that South Asian food is amazing, but to have authentic South Asian food off the streets is worth the stomach ache you’ll experience later that day! You can buy a large variety of foods that you cannot buy anywhere else, and everything tastes amazing! Even something as simple as apple juice is 100x better than what I buy in Canada. It’s freshly grown, squeezed, and there’s nothing unnatural about it. The traditional food is unreal, and some of the things I loved eating there were dhai balay (a type of yogurt dish), biryani (rice), kebabs, and the chicken dishes. Yum! Not to mention there is something about Pakistan chai that is as addicting as drugs. Every day my aunt would make me the most breathtaking chai that has ever passed my lips, and I drank 7 cups daily of that stuff, no lie!
4. The shopping
Shopping is an experience you do not want to pass up when visiting one of these countries. Everything is just a little bit cheaper, and there are clothes that cannot be bought in other countries. Here’s an idea of what shopping there has to offer,
Handmade bags, carpets, paintings, and rugs
Souvenir shops with real neat stuff
High quality traditional clothes
Beautiful blankets that are unrealistically soft
Unique dish sets
5. Learning experience
For me, visiting Pakistan was a huge learning experience, and it really opened my eyes. I learned about my background, my history, my family, and my culture. I also saw first hand what poverty was like. The many homeless people on the streets, the beggars who had nothing but the clothes they were wearing. It all really touched my heart, and it was different than reading about these kinds of things in a book or watching it on the news. When you see with your own eyes what goes on in other countries, it effects you in a completely different way.
As soon as I get back home from these trips to Pakistan, I immediately want to go back after a few days. There is nothing quite like visiting my homeland, and I still have so much left to see. I could write on an on to you about these countries, but I’ll leave you with this quote…
“It is better to see something once, than to hear about it a thousand times” – Asian proverb
Courtesy: Rida Jaffar