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Old 1st August 2020, 15:27   #76
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Default Re: An unexpected and surprising visit to Pakistan

A wonderful TL. Reminded me of my stay in Karachi for three days in 2009.

The hospitality of Pakistanis is unmatchable.

Thanks once more.
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Old 1st August 2020, 15:53   #77
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Interesting to see that there are great roads in Pakistan. I had an inkling from a few video travelogues by foreigners travelling by bike through Asia - they had also mentioned the better road manners and relative lack of honking.

I would like to mention that this travelogue is obviously limited in that the traveller is not obliged to travel the length and breadth of the country just to suit others requirements of a balanced and holistic view of the infrastructure in that country.

I'm quite glad to see that it is possible for people in the Indian sub-continent to build decent roads. IMHO it is getting into politics to discuss why we are at the receiving end of pathetic infrastructure, but this should serve as motivation for us to do better in future.
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Old 1st August 2020, 17:48   #78
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Wow! That was a very interesting and Unique read. Thank you.

Even if the roads you travelled on are a minority, they're still impressive. Agree with you, when you say they could be any middle eastern country. We as a people could certainly learn from them (nobody is perfect, we all can only strive toward that goal) at least as far as road and road manners go.
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Old 1st August 2020, 22:35   #79
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The most unique TL I have read recently in that its a true eye opener. Reminded me why we travel, and we should travel. Its the real education we have.

Wish you could travel to other parts of this country. Perhaps another member would pick up the gauntlet someday.
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Old 1st August 2020, 23:58   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeluM View Post

I'm quite glad to see that it is possible for people in the Indian sub-continent to build decent roads. IMHO it is getting into politics to discuss why we are at the receiving end of pathetic infrastructure, but this should serve as motivation for us to do better in future.
That's rather harsh. Disregarding the length of expressways already in India, just 3 expressways under construction right now (Delhi - Mumbai, Mumbai - Nagpur and Lucknow - Bihar border) almost matches Pakistan's existing motorway network. And these are eight and six-lane expressways. The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway which is a 1500 km eight-lane expressway is megaproject anywhere in the Asia.

Sri Lanka has one expressway of a couple of hundred kms, BD has none. Infact Bangladesh hardly has any 4-lane National Highways.

But if we were to move away from expressways India's 1.4 lakh kms of National Highways has seen an immense amount of investment over the last 20 years.

National Highways connect everything, from cities to towns and villages and we have gone from 2-lane roads with a dusty patch as a shoulder to 6-lane NHs with proper shoulders, byepasses, interchanges, and service roads. India has around 35,000 kms of dual carriageway NHs, while many of the older 2-lane NHs roads also are being upgraded with new culverts, wider 2-lane roads and with shoulders. At any point in time there is atleast 10,000 kms of NHs being worked upon in India...expansion, greenfield etc. Its not perfect ofcourse but we have made a lot of progress.

On the other hand Pakistan has just 12,000 kms of National Highways. Of which exactly one is more than 2 lanes in width, as you can see from this list.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation...ys_of_Pakistan

The ordinary folks with their motorcycles, tractors, buses (because no train network) has to jostle on these crowded old highways. There is a reason why the Motorways look empty, because they are expensive and since car ownership is low.



Hey, I am appreciative of OP's Travelogue. I would love to see more. I love their car culture, food and Pakistanis are super friendly, having had a couple of them as friends abroad. If we had open borders, it is definitely worth a visit anyday.

But gimme a break over this fawning over infra. Their cities dont make the bottom 5 list in liveability without a reason. Karachi is city of 20 million without a functioning bus system, forget out of the hundreds of kms of metros and commuter rails which we have. There is one brand new metro line in Lahore which has not yet opened because of inumerable delays in testing and the city is baulking at the electricity bills that it needs to pay to run it.

Pakistan is at best late 90s India with SS80s et all.

Last edited by avishar : 2nd August 2020 at 00:11.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 07:42   #81
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I have never visited Pakistan but have a close friend whom I met while studying in graduate school.

Pakistan is a good country if you are rich, or are connected to the Army. The infrastructure in urban areas around the army/government/consulates is impeccable- better than India. That's largely because most resources are spent there. This is similar to the China model till a few years ago. One could go to Shanghai and marvel at the high speed trains and skyscrapers, but there were farmers toiling for less than a bowl of rice for a meal a few kilometers away. Fortunately, China has ensured that the wealth from the global investors coming in through the urban areas got channelized into factories in the hinterlands that export even more, thereby creating major cities out of villages and small towns. Today even a small town in China will boast of better infrastructure than our Metros.

Will Pakistan do the same? I do not know. Let's hope they do so and reduce their dependence on the army.

Last edited by ajmat : 2nd August 2020 at 13:45. Reason: typo
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Old 2nd August 2020, 09:22   #82
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It's pointless to compare statistics on length of highways and number of flights between a country of our size with that of any other SAARC country, we are many times bigger than them and we also have ostensibly transparent democratic institutions which they don't have, or at least that's the accepted wisdom. Additional comments on public policy and political alignment will illustrate the point better but I will desist.

The TL is revealing however in the fact that the infrastructure, at least in the places the author has visited is world class and as good, if not better than what we have in our top cities. I remember reading somewhere in his account that much of the motorways predate China's involvement there. That is a valuable insight.

What is even more revealing is the road manner of motorists as he described. Without getting into threadbare comparisons of "our seedy areas are better than theirs", we lack traffic discipline in even the good, wide, fast stretches here in India. What I especially include in road discipline is consideration for fellow motorists. If they are doing better in that score then that is food for thought. You may have better cars but you won't get anywhere if you don't know how to use them
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Old 2nd August 2020, 20:49   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by np23 View Post
Another beautiful observation I made was, that there were not toll booths on the highway, they call them motorways..
Most Pakistanis can't afford to pay toll, that's the reason they don't have toll booths.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avishar View Post
What's up with all the giant flags behind so many cars, they're completely obstructing the rear view. Is this video around their independence day?

Last edited by SDP : 2nd August 2020 at 21:19. Reason: Please edit original post instead of posting back to back posts. Kindly revisit the forum rules
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Old 3rd August 2020, 00:03   #84
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Really liked the trip report. It makes a whole lot of difference when as a tourist you get welcomed and comfortable in any country despite the infrastructure advancements or shortcomings. I visited Istanbul in 2018 with a lot of apprehensions after having visited only far developed European countries. In fact me and my wife never felt so comfortable & at home in any other European country. Probably had to do with their culture, way of living, slight chaos, friendly manner, food all of which something we could easily relate to our own.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 07:01   #85
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Mod Note: Some posts have been deleted. Please discuss the Travelogue ONLY & avoid irrelevant discussions (especially on politics).
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Old 3rd August 2020, 12:08   #86
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I have been to China and had a highway drive from Shanghai to Evu. The same thing i saw mentioned by you, there were no toll booths. Toll booths were only on the exits.

On the outskirts of Shanghai there was this toll booth which handed us a plastic card (which must have been coded with our entry time and day) and when we exited this highway 300 kms from Shanghai we gave back the card. The person at the toll calculated the distance we traveled and took the toll charge for the highway.

This saves a lot of time.

Even our 150 km long Mumbai Pune express highway (not too sure about the exact length) has 2 toll booths.

I hope our new highways have toll booths on exits.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 20:35   #87
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Originally Posted by Prash View Post
On the outskirts of Shanghai there was this toll booth which handed us a plastic card (which must have been coded with our entry time and day) and when we exited this highway 300 kms from Shanghai we gave back the card. The person at the toll calculated the distance we traveled and took the toll charge for the highway. .
This system is prevalent on the Hyderabad Outer Ring Road
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Old 3rd August 2020, 21:54   #88
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While I am not trying to challenge your experience, but if you look at any travellers or journalists blog, this is what they have to say:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/drivi...can-y_b_144531

Also, if you look at any of Pakistan's TV serial and look at the shots of the traffic, it depicts a chaotic story.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 23:01   #89
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Originally Posted by panamera13 View Post
Most Pakistanis can't afford to pay toll, that's the reason they don't have toll booths.

I think OP has mentioned the tolls are located on the exits and not on the highways which is actually pretty smart.
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Old 4th August 2020, 14:35   #90
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A nice and different travelogue. Coming from down South, I am kind of insulated from the struggles/stories of the partition and our neighbour except for the news coverage in mainstream media. Because of the popular opinions about the country and people, I never bothered to do any research about how Pakistan would look like, but this post gives a view of the good things in two of the major cities in that country. Lets give credit where its due and leave it at that. No need of any comparisons with any other country or city

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
This system is prevalent on the Hyderabad Outer Ring Road
Hyderabad ORR is definitely one of the best roads I have traveled in our country. The way the road was designed, the placement of tolls, the hidden speed guns and the hidden police vehicles that act as indirect speed breakers for fast moving vehicles, all are top notch and comparable to some of the best in Western countries. I noticed that most drivers on this road follow the speed limits of 100Kmph.
There are similar systems elsewhere, for eg: the Penna Turnpike(I-76) between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in US has a similar system. The Washington DC Capital Beltway has unmanned tolls at exits where you throw the coins into a basket at the toll booth and the system counts the coins. In case you dont have coins you can just pass the toll and pay later on their website.
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