The Pakistani Tourism Development Corporation has a huge task ahead, developing tourism in Pakistan. This is the company that provides the bus service between Pakistan and India.
So we get there 1,5 hours before departure and we check in. Normally, one have to go there to their office to buy the ticket, but Wahaj fixed it so he wired the money to them, and we sent pictures both our visas and passports, and they sent us a picture of our reciept with ticket number. This is their Webpage .
Why not fly? Well, fist of all it’s bad for the environment and secondly, it’s expensive. If you search with skyscanner and similar, you’ll find that there are no direct flights; one would have to go all the way to Doha, Dubai or even Istanbul! The distance is not so far, one could technically walk, this bothers me.
But there is one option: Pakistan International Airlines. This would cost one person between 300-400 Euro. Bus costed 4000 PKR per person, which is 26 euro.
When we arrived, we gave the guy in the office photocopies of visas and passport, and then they checked our bagage. I must say, it was not a thourough check 😛 A woman checked my bag and a man checked August’s. There was one guy, one of the guides I assume that took a liking to me and August and looked after us. As I’ve mentioned earlier in my posts; Pakistani people have a lot of humor!
We got packed into these buses, me and August went in the bus with the women and children, special treatment for us you see. It took like 30 min to get to the border. There we had breakfast, but we didnt eat, because bread is not supposed to smell like that. It was a buffé, and me and Agust took our food and placed in on a table and then we went to the bathroom. When we came out, there was a woman eating August’s food! Super wierd. We didn’t say anything, ’cause she seemed a little special, we just accepted it, but it was nonetheless weird 😛 After breakfast we went to the Pakistani Emmigration. There, they were supposed to check our luggage, but the man aksed us some questions, like where have you been and where are you going, and finally:
“Do you have any drugs? hashish…?” We said no.
He said: “Promise?” We said yes.
He said “I believe your words,” and that was it! Tight security hahahahaha. Pakistani people have humor!!
The Pakistani checks went fast, maybe 1 hour. After that we went into a new bus, a bigger bus, where we were seated according to our tickets. It had “A/C” which means dirty air blowing in your eyes. We crossed the border, where it seems like India and Pakistan has a battle over who has the largest flag.
First thing that happens when we cross the border is that they call all of us out, and they have two dogs checking the luggage and inside the bus. The Indian immigration was a longer process. We had to fill in several documents with the same information, but when we actually came to immigration, the guy behind the counter was super cool. Usually these people have stone -faces and are super serious, but this guy was cool. One of his collegue’s daugther lives in Stockholm, so he called him over, and we talked for a long time. Then they offered us chai 😉
This time they actually checked our luggage, but mostly on the surface and our toiletbags (if you are going to smuggle, dont put it in your toilet bag… :P) . They went around with a dog inside the place, a super cute dog, but to my knowledge, no one was smuggling anything.
Then we waited. And waited. We left that place around 12. So 6 hours only for immigration. The bathrooms were terrible, worst I’ve seen in my LIFE!
So now we are on the bus, there are two armed police officers on the bus, plus one police car behind us and one infront of us. On the bus it says “Pakistani Tours” and it has the pakistani flag. I asked the guide if they are here to contain us or to protect us, he said they are here to protect us :O ! We didnt stop for a single red light, if someone tried to cut across inbetween the bus and the policecar, they were seriously threatened by the police! :O When we reached an intersection, other police cars had blocked the roads to let us fly through. We didnt stop for tolls, we flew through traffic jams, NEVER in my LIFE could I imagine that it was THIS bad between Pakistan and India. See what I mean when I said that Pakistani Tourism Development Corporation are having a hard time?
We made two stops, one for lunch and one for chai, and both places were reserved for us, with many police officers at all entries
The food was good though.
We were supposed to reach New Dehli at 16.00. We arrived at Dehli Gate 20:20. If travelling in India, always add atleast 4 hours in your planning.
When we reached Dehli, the traffic chaos was an issue, because not even the police cars could get through, so after a while, we had an escort of FOUR police cars! One in the back, one in the front, and one on each side. They had their sirens on all the way from Lahore to Dehli. Talk about making a scene… But we made it!
So what about the others travelling on the bus? There was one big family, two young men, a mother and a daugther, a lone woman (the one who took August’s food) and some other people, needless to say, we were the only non sub-continent tourists. Some of them conversed a little with us, but there was ofc a language barrier. Maybe they stared a little, but I fully understand why; what the hell are two swedes doing on this bus?!
We’ll tell you more about our experience in Delhi next time. ‘Till then! ❤