Wednesday, January 31, 2018

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

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Monday, January 22, 2018

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Travel Tip - Islamabad - Eating Pakistani and International in Islamabad

Islamabad is a fairly diverse in the types of foods you can find. If you want a burger made in a small local burger place you can find it. If you want sushi, you can find it. If you want classic Pakistani food, you can find it. There's something for just about any palate, and most of it is pretty easy to find.

If you're looking for foreign food, you should keep in mind some of the limitations of the region. In some cases there are substitutions that may seem a little strange to westerners. In other cases you may find that the ingredients have been imported, and therefore it might cost a little more than it might at home.  You will however find many of the chain restaurants that you find all over the world including McDonald's, KFC, and Pizza Hut, just to name a few. The high end hotels in Islamabad also offer many fine dining choices with a fairly good choice in cuisine types.  Keep in mind that pork products are illegal in Pakistan, so if you’re craving bacon you will likely have  to settle for turkey bacon.

If you're looking for classic Pakistani food you can either look for some of the local shops in the markets, or you can check out one of the two great places to enjoy a meal out in the city. Both Saidpur village and the restaurants in Monal (at the top of the Margalla Hills) offer great environments to enjoy some local food. Personally I feel the local food is a little better in Saidpur village, and it includes great ambiance. Monal on the other hand offers good Pakistani food, and a beautiful view of the city. They also offer a little more western food than in Saidpur village, just in case you have someone that  isn't keen on Pakistani food.

As a warning, keep in mind that food hygiene in Pakistan isn't the same as one might find in other countries. So it's important to think about what you're eating all the time. Make sure your water comes in a bottle, make sure your meat is cooked, and for god sake avoid lettuce at all costs.  It's also important to note that just because you're paying for an expensive meal, don't assume that you can ignore these issues.

Later

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Friday, January 5, 2018

Friday Travel Tip - Islamabad - Pakistan Black Market

The basic truth is, you're going to come across fake and stolen merchandise in Islamabad. Depending on the area, or market, where you're shopping you may have a hard time finding anything that's legitimate or not stolen. The black market is not hidden in Pakistan and in many ways is a part of everyday life. Businesses will even give you receipts for black market merchandise, and treat it as if it's legitimate.

A good example is the DVD market in Pakistan, you will not find original legal copies of any movies or television shows anywhere. Yet there are several large stores that sell DVDs for very low prices (about $1 US per movie). They even openly label the pirated films depending on whether or not they are filmed in the theater versions or copies downloaded from an original source. They mark them as either "watchable" being filmed in a theater or "master" from the original DVD. Electronics and brand name fine jewelry fall into this same category, and while the price is great, the quality may not be so great.

Clothing is a little harder to tell, but it's a safe bet that if the price is too good to be true, it probably is. The good thing about clothing however is that there are many local clothing stores selling their own designs well worth checking out instead. Islamabad has some really amazing finds and local products, so while you might not find originals of some of the big brands of clothing, you will find some great local original products instead.

Later

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Tuesday, January 2, 2018