WATERSPORTS : In addition to the
beaches, swimming pools can be found in various clubs in large
towns and in major hotels. Kemari sail or motorboats can be hired at a
previously agreed price. Deep-sea night fishing is also
available and there are a number of freshwater lakes offering good
fishing facilities. For permits, enquire at the Pakistan Tourism
Development Corporation (see Contact Addresses section). Whitewater
rafting and canoeing are increasingly popular on the rivers
of the north of the country.
Pakistan contains five of the world’s highest
peaks and several of the world’s largest glaciers. The northern areas
are the most popular for trekking, with Gilgit and Skardu being good
starting points for trips. The Karakorum Highway is also a popular
hiking route (see Resorts & Excursions section). Trekking areas have
been divided into ‘open’ and ‘restricted’ zones by the Government.
Permits are not required for the open zone, but are necessary if the
visitor intends to go to the restricted zone (parts of Chitral, Hunza
and Baltistan, including the K2 base camp). They are usually issued
within 24 hours. Visitors should check with the authorities before
visiting remote areas, as advance permission is sometimes required. In
addition, it is wise to consult the travel advice of foreign
governments just prior to travel, as political tensions can lead to
violence, especially in Kashmir.
Clubs are located in the large cities and visitors are generally
allowed to play a course if introduced by a member or if they acquire
a temporary membership.
Clubs in the large cities have courts and visitors must be introduced
by a member or can often obtain temporary membership through the
Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation.
Hockey is Pakistan’s national sport; however, it is easily
surpassed in popularity by cricket, which can be watched in
most major towns at many different levels. Football is fast
becoming popular and regular matches can be seen in the stadium at
Karachi and at other sports fields all over the country. Polo
matches can be seen in major cities and most notably in the northern
towns of Gilgit and Chitral. Horse-racing takes place in winter
in Karachi and Lahore. There is also a ski resort at Malam
Jabba in the Karakoram range.