adventure travel & photography
Destinations: Pakistan ◦◦ India ◦◦Turkey ◦◦ Egypt ◦◦ Bulgaria ◦◦ Mongolia ◦◦ Bangladesh ◦◦ Jordan ◦◦ Russia ◦◦ Turkmenistan ◦◦ Iran ◦◦ Kazakhstan ◦◦ Japan ◦◦ Hong Kong ◦◦ Greece ◦◦ Ukraine ◦◦ Syria ◦◦ Morocco ◦◦ Italy ◦◦ Mauritania ◦◦ Oman ◦◦ Algeria ◦◦ Faroe Islands
Tours/Expeditions: List with all our scheduled tours and expeditions
- The story
- Purchasing Fine Art Unlimited Edition Prints, RM Licenses, and/or the Whole Publication
- Travel to Pakistan
"Unfortunately, no," says the old retired teacher who invited us to his home in the village of Passu in the Hunza Valley in Pakistan for a cup of tea and apples. "This was a phenomenon from the past, mainly because people produced their food and everything they owned with their own hands," the old man continues.
Passu village is one of the most spectacular places in the Upper Hunza, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and views of the 7,478 m high Passu Sar mountain, Passu glacier and Passu cones.
We strolled through the narrow streets, lined with low stone fences. Tiny houses, meadows, and plots planted with various plants. The apple trees were in full bloom this time of year. The rugged mountain landscape, clean air and water, and abundance of healthy organic foods like dried apricots and almonds, have blessed the locals with excellent health and longevity.
All the children of Passu village attend school. The people have fair skin, some with blue eyes and European-like facial features. We learned that the key to a healthy and long life is outdoor work, clean food, and friendly relationships with other community members. It appears to be an ideal lifestyle.
The Cathedral Range, also known as the "Passu Cones," is a prominent landmark on the Karakoram Highway. Locals refer to this majestic mountain as Tupopdan or the Passu Cathedral, as it rises to an impressive 6,000 metres. Tupopdan is sometimes translated as "hot rocks," as snow and ice appear to slide or melt away from its cliff faces.
We were delighted to run into a local teacher during a stroll through the village. After some lighthearted small talk, he warmly invited us to join him at his home. We happily accepted and agreed to meet him later at the village shop. About an hour later, he greeted us there with a warm smile. His modest home centered around a cozy fireplace. He brewed us a pot of refreshing herbal tea as his wife brought out apples from their harvest last fall. We were touched to learn they were both teachers raising a family of five children, whom our host spoke of with deep affection and pride.
The people of Hunza Valley, including the lovely village of Passu, have a unique identity that sets them apart from the rest of Pakistan. The origins of the Hunza people are unclear and still being explored.
Our friendly host explained that the legendary longevity of the residents was more characteristic of earlier times. Back then, everything folks needed was made by hand right in the valley. Nothing was brought in from outside. While the glacial water and abundant apricots likely contributed, they weren't the primary reason. Today, that self-sufficient lifestyle isn't feasible, which is also the case for the people of Hunza Valley.
Purchasing Fine Art Unlimited Edition Prints, RM Licenses, and/or the Whole Publication
All images in the publication and/or photo gallery are available for purchase as Fine Art Unlimited Edition Prints and/or licensed using Rights Managed Image Licensing. The publication may also be available for purchase as a single unit, including the text, photos, videos, or music (if available), as one complete publication that you can use on your website, in a magazine (print or online), or on other platforms.
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Travel to Pakistan
I organize and lead small groups to Pakistan through my licensed travel agency "Thousand Voyages" Ltd. You can find out more about the guided tours here. A list of all scheduled tours can be found here.