Frequently asked questions | BEFORE THE ARRIVAL
(1) Is it safe to travel Pakistan?
Yes, Pakistan in general and Northern Areas of Pakistan in particular is safe to travel. Pakistan always had been advertised by the media so badly that people think it is so unsafe to travel Pakistan. (It is due to political reason and secondly the fact is that, we have a long history of army rules in our country). We did not have purse snatching, street violence or any other odd in our country, particularly in Northern Pakistan.
(2) Why we say it is safe to travel Pakistan?
In Pakistan there are thousands of Diplomats, International NGO's and Multinational organization performing their duties peacefully in the big cities and remote areas. Especially the Diplomats travel in a red plate car as per law. They are so venerable But did you heard any bad incident or news?
(3) Can women travel alone?
Every year hundreds of women travel alone into the remote valleys of Pakistan. Many of them can be seen in the streets of Hunza, Gilgit and Baltistan. To take a safer holidays in Pakistan we advice you to wear modest dress which cover whole of their body. Secondly before starting a trek or tour with local guide in the wilderness, please report about your program to the nearest police station or to your embassy with the identity/contact of your local guide/company.
(4) How do I communicate?
English is Pakistan’s official language and widely spoken throughout Pakistan. Most of the signboards are in English. All our drivers, guides and even peoples in the remote valley can understand and speak English.
(5) How to get information about the Weather?
The weather report can be obtained from the Local News Papers / TV Bulletins / Tele-text at the hotels. "Usually as good as one feels!" Please check.
(6) What is the distance of hotel from the Airport?
Normally it takes 15-30 minutes from the Islamabad International Airport to the city hotels. However it depends upon the condition of the traffic at the time of the day. The distance varies from 15 to 30 kilometers.
(7) Is it safe to travel in private transport (taxi) and what is the payment system?
Yes, it is safe to travel in the local taxies in the city. Try to hire the taxies from the prepaid taxi and get fair information about your destination from two or three different cabs. Write the registration number of taxi you travel in your note book, incase you lost some thing or you have any complain, the registration number can be use to identify that taxi. Almost all the hotels have attached taxi service. They are reliable and the charges you can bargain as described earlier. Mode of payment is in Pakistani rupee. Which you can change from the banks at airport. For all our booked tours, treks, we provide pick and drop services to our clients.
(8) What to bring?
North Paradise Pakistan will provide all necessary accommodation, meal and transportation requirements outlined in the specific tour itineraries (exceptions will be notified). For our trekking and climbing programs, trekkers will be requested to provide personal equipment, appropriate mountain attire and medical supplies.
AFTER THE ARRIVAL
(9) Where the guide will meet the guests?
Normally we provide airport pick-up and drop services to all our guests. During the trip car & the guide will report at the hotel well before the pick up time for the sightseeing. Our local agent, the guide and the drivers are informed and briefed by us before the start of the tour about the pick up time and the meeting place for the sightseeing etc. The drivers also carry a list of agents and the hotel and the itinerary of the tour, although they know the hotels and their addresses.
(10) Who will inform / brief the guests about their further program at the destination?
Our local agent or their representative or the guides will inform the guest's of their further program at the destinations on daily basis mostly in the evening about the next day's program.
(11) How much tips to be given to the porters, drivers and the guests?
Tips are dependent of the services provided. A small amount of money can be given at each service to insure prompt and reliable service. For guides it depends on how informative, knowledgeable, helpful they are.
(12) Whether it is good and cheap to eat outside the hotel (restaurants)?
Some of the restaurants are cheaper and frequently visited by the local people. So sometimes yes, it is a good experience to eat outside the hotels and get to meet the local population.
(13) Any cheap option to make ISD calls?
Now the government has opened STD and ISD booths and mobile services in most parts of Pakistan. We recommend that you call from these booths or we will manage to provide mobile connection on request, both are reliable and give you receipts for calls made. You may buy a prepaid card to make such calls by yourself from any booths or mobile phone.
(14) How the return International tickets will be reconfirmed & who will do it?
The international and the domestic air sector tickets are reconfirmed by us at no extra cost for the guest's booked to travel with us. We even extend this service as a courtesy to other travelers if any assistance is required.
(15) If the domestic air/railway tickets for all sectors are confirmed & incase any sector is waitlisted, what alternate option we will give them?
We offer alternative arrangements in case the flight tickets are not confirmed nor have no chances of getting confirmed. Railway Journey or by surface. We always look at various factors such as the condition of the roads, time of travel and the time taken to cover the distance, comfort and offer the best possible option with consultation, acceptance and agreement with the guest.
(16) If the drivers at all places can communicate in English and whether the same driver used on arrival transfer will be with them throughout?
Most of our drivers understand English if spoken slowly and clearly. We always try to send the same driver who has done the airport arrival transfer. If the same driver is not available then we send another driver.
WHILE COLLECTING THE MONEY
(17) What is the mode of payment?
We can collect the payment by telex transfers, demand drafts , cash or money orders.
(18) About the rate of exchange?
The State Bank of Pakistan governs the rate of exchange and we get a copy of the rates provided by the SBP on day to day basis. We honor the rates given by the SBP.
(19) About the bank processing charges?
Bank Processing charges are levied on the payment collected on or through the credit cards. It is usually 3.5% of the total amount to be collected or of the invoice raised by us.
(20) Can we make the payment on return to foreign agent?
Yes, you can make the payment to the foreign agent upon your return as per the authorization received from our foreign agent.
DURING THE LOSS OF BAGGAGE
(21) How to go about the procedures to get the lost baggage?
In case a bag is lost in transit by the airlines. We file a lost baggage report with the airlines. If the guest continues with the journey, we collect the baggage from the airlines for the guest. For the collection of a lost baggage we need the following:
We need an authorization from the guest authorizing North Paradise Pakistan, and their representative to collect the baggage on their behalf.
A photocopy of the passport of the guest, a letter addressed to the Superintendent customs.
The keys of the lost bag for custom clearance.
The original copy of the lost baggage report lodged with the airlines. We will deliver the bag at the doorstep and bill the guest for the services provided. The amount of the invoice can be collected from the airlines at home.
(22) Will the airline pay for the damage and temporary compensation?
Yes, the airlines pay an inconvenience allowance to buy personal effects. They even offer the baggage delivery charges or sometimes offer to deliver the baggage by themselves at the doorstep.
23) How to take the claim for the damages?
We take the guest to the office of the airlines and the amount is given to the guest upon presenting the original lost baggage report.
IN CASE OF ANY COMPLAINTS
Contact any of our offices / associates and we will look into the nature of complaint and advise you accordingly.
(24) How to get the refund / any compensation?
In case of complaints made by guests the refunds or compensations are paid through the foreign agent. Although sometimes depending on the nature of the complaints we refund the money in Pakistan in Pak rupees. The money if need be can be changed at the International Airport at the time of the departure or at branches of Thomas Cook or American Express or State Bank of Pakistan.