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An American visiting Karachi....

Birmingham, Michigan
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94 posts
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An American visiting Karachi....

I have a number of clients who live in the Karachi area, and would very much like to visit the area.

I am American.

Would I really have any problems if I took a flight to Karachi, got off the airplane, and visited my clients?

Would an American really stand out so much walking around downtown Karachi?

Is it really that dangerous?

Would I really be followed/kidnapped/etc? Or, is all a bunch of hype?

My Pakistani clients are all so very nice.... hard to believe that a 2 week trip to Karachi would lead to my abduction/etc....

Please comment....

Saskatchewan, Canada
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1. Re: An American visiting Karachi....

I will suggest you not to go due to some safety & security issues. Honestly, at the moment street crimes and target killing drag me to say unsafe and risky. For business purposes visit to Karachi is good as it is country largest commercial city. While for tourism Karachi is not offering much more compare to other cities of Pakistan.

Will suggest you, if you can meet with the people of the country somewhere in other city likely Lahore or Islamabad will suit you.

HT

Birmingham, Michigan
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94 posts
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2. Re: An American visiting Karachi....

Thank you for your kind reply.

Why is Karachi so much more dangerous than Lahore / Islamabad?

Are there no tourists whatsoever in Karachi?

Would an American tourist be singled out for trouble while walking in Karachi?

Saskatchewan, Canada
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3. Re: An American visiting Karachi....

No any person know whats happening in karachi and who are behind this trouble shooting. But the fact is situation are disturb at the moment.

Yes i admit,other cities are safe and can easily visit. Also province of Punjab and mountains of North Pakistan attracting more tourists that's the reason many tourists visiting these areas round the year.

Birmingham, Michigan
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4. Re: An American visiting Karachi....

What is Karachi like downtown? Is it much of a city? Is there anything to see there for tourists?

Are there any visitors to the place?

I am quite curious about it.

Many thanks for your time.

Saskatchewan, Canada
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5. Re: An American visiting Karachi....

You can see Mausoleum of Mohamad ali jinah, clifton beach area, some local markets especially zainab market, dobi ghat, foot street, fisheries and other local market.

Karachi is quite busy city of Pakistan, imagine that where huge population of the country is.

I said above that these days most of foreign tourists visiting northern part because of summer heat, infact anywhere mountains parts are; offers pleasant weather. Even locals they making their ways towards hill station not for the whole summer season but only for vocation. If you want to keep your plan, try to do this tour in between November to March, these months are the best to explore the southern part of the country.

Hope it helps

HT

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6. Re: An American visiting Karachi....

Hi Ted,

I've lived in Karachi for the past 25 years and have travelled to a lot of places in the world so I am not going to give you any biased information.

Forget everything you've "seen" and "heard" in the news about Karachi. Make the trip and I bet you'll be looking forward to coming back. Since your visiting clients I am sure they'll take good care of you.

I suggest you to stay at Sheraton, it's quite nice and I bet you'll see a lot of foreigners. And not expensive also.

Some places you should really visit: Port Grand (you'll go there twice), Dolmen Mall Clifton, Karachi beach, Food places on the bay, coffee scene in Karachi is very good so visit a few coffee houses like Espresso or Cafe down town or zero degree cafe, restaurants like Arizona Grill or BBQ tonight or Koel or Salt & Pepper village are a treat. DHA Sunday bazaar is a must.

With food I suggest if eating from a top end place no need like mentioned above then need not to be worried if otherwise try and eat only bbq'd food with mineral water ALWAYS.

For traveling I will say metro cab will be the best option. Your clients will definitely provide you with commute while you visit them. If you want to travel by yourself the call up metro cab (google metro cab Karachi) and pay according to the meter. It's nice & safe.

Just a general safety rule try not to mingle or be nice to everyone you meet. Have a straight face & don't make it look like you're doing this for the first time. Don't give money to beggers unless you're prepared to hand it out to 20 more that will follow shortly after the first one.

Relax and enjoy your trip. As you said your clients in Karachi and very nice, which is what the general population will be like. No need to freak out and visit every single webpage about Karachi.

7. Re: An American visiting Karachi....

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8. Re: An American visiting Karachi....

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Guildford, United...
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9. Re: An American visiting Karachi....

Hi Ted,

Maybe you have made the decision on your trip by now but anyways I thought to just a few things to address your concerns.

First if you review the local papers you would find that there is rarely very few incidents where tourists are in the news for the wrong reasons. I live in Islamabad and meet a lot of foriegners on tours or business on a daily basis. We work together, eat together and shop together and there is never any issue. Secondly, Karachi is a big big city and all big cities have their issues from Bangkok to LA. So as long as you are a little cautious, there would be nothing to worry.

You need to manage three things.

1. Your stay

2. Your local travel

3. What you visit

There are many good hotels in Karachi but the best three are Pearl Continental, Marriot and Sheraton. They are not overly expensive if they are booked locally and are in the range of $150 to 200 per night inclusive of breakfast. You can pick anyone of then and you would sleep safe, sound and comfortable. If you can avoid guesthouses and randon hotels then you dont have to worry about what you leave behind. As with all hotels, use the in room safe and you would be good to go.

As pointed out by someone earlier, book a private cab. You can get their number from the airport or from the concierge of your hotel you would be staying at. If you want to travel the city, it is always a good idea to book the car for the entire day. It would be a latest model car with a decent driver so you dont have to worry about the car breaking down or the air conditioning not working. The entire day booking including waiting costs around $50 to $60. A pick and drop would cost you around $16 depending where you are going as they usually charge $3 to $5 as a fixed fee and then approximately $0.25 per km. You should know the charges in local currency before you book so that you dont end up paying more for no reason. Again as with all cabbies in the world, they will tell you the story of their life so you can be generous while tipping them but you dont have it if you dont want to. It is not obligatory.

There are a lot of places to visit from mega malls to the beach to food markets etc etc. Many of the world global brands are there in Karachi like Costa Coffee, Pizza Hut, etc. Try a couple of the local restaurants which are very good like Okra, Pompei and Cafe Flo which are all excellent places to eat. Travelling late at night at Karachi is not recommended (although there are thousands of cars on the road at night) and you should plan your day accordingly to reach your hotel within a reasonable time. Imagine you are a teenager again and have a curfew and you are all set. Also it is a good recommendation to stick with bottled water for your entire stay. Its cheap and safe and would cost you 10c to buy a 500 ml water bottle. Take some and put them in your hotel fridge because the hotels really over charge you for bottled water.

Overall if you plan your trip properly, there should never be an issue and hopefully you would enjoy your time in Karachi. It is a true metropoliton and should treat you good.

PAQ
Boca Raton, Florida
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10. Re: An American visiting Karachi....

I am in Karachi now. An American for first time. Marriott is fine. Entirely safe hotel. It is hot so be prepared