"Peshawar" Top 5 Page for this destination Peshawar by JohnniOmani

Peshawar Travel Guide: 242 reviews and 333 photos

Absolutely Intense

Capital of NWFP, Peshawar intrigues the traveller with excitement and danger. Its crowded old city is something out of a storybook-with locals trading and selling, merchants haggling with each other to women roaming the streets in Burkhas. The old city has a vibe unlike many other places on the planet. Men move to their positions to sell everything from fruit to traditional clothes to household products. The first thing most travellers realize is the sense of history and tradition in the old city. There is absolutely no tourists (my hotel said I was the 1st foreign tourist in 5 months) and the past is touchable and visible. This rough trading town has been the stage for invasions, intrigue and legend and its frontier character is evident. From here the Pakistan government maintains a delicate hold over the Pashtuns. The public toting of guns is now discouraged but west of the city Pakistani law only holds as far as the main road; visitors beyond the central city require an armed escort. Decades of turmoil in Afghanistan have pushed waves of refugees over the border, and vast camps lie just beyond the city limits. Many Afghans have returned home but many remain making this city a special place. The Afghan influence gives this places its personality and reputation for intrigue. Peshawar is an extremely religious town and nonreavling clothes should be worn at all times. Foreigners should never venture outside at night due to possible risks from different ethnic groups. Overall, Peshawar was eye opening and a thrilling experience.

Old City

This is the single best reason to visit this fascinating city. Peshawars old city is a crowded maze, raucous with the shouts of vendors and mule drivers, clogged with horse drawn carts, rickshaws, motorcycles and incredible parade of Pashtun, Afghan and Chitrali men- a few women, anonoymous in their burkas. The streets lure you into dark passages full of tiny shops bulging with goods from everywhere including Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. The Old city is a combination of ancient bazaars including the Khyber Bazaar that sells carpets and traditional clothes. The Qissa Khawani or 'Street of Storytellers' is the best known bazaar, and in the past travellers from Central Asia and the Subcontinent would meet and swap stories and trade their goods. Running west from the plaza is Ander Shahar, the jewellers bazaar - a dim lane lined with glittering gold shops where you will be invited to every other shop. The Mahabat Khan Mosque is the citys most beautiful mosque built in 1630 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. The Old City will impress any seasoned traveller because most feel as though they stepped back in time experience one of the last remaining Central Asian classical bazaars. Incredible.

Peshawar Museum

In a spacious red brick Victorian hall across the tracks from the old city, this museum has an excellent collection of Gandharan art, including statues depicting the Buddhas life. Theres an ethnographic section with handicrafts, tools and clothes from the NWFPs tribes, including the very interesting wooden statues taken from the Kalasha cemetery. The museum has ancient jolly curators who are happy to smile at you but are not fluent in English as they shouldnt be I suppose considering the location of the city.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:No tourists. intense atmosphere and history
  • Cons:Al Qaeda, Taliban and Militants
  • In a nutshell:Most Intense place I have ever visited
  • Last visit to Peshawar: Apr 2006
  • Intro Updated May 10, 2008
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Reviews (13)

Comments (4)

  • euzkadi's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2007 at 1:11 PM

    Great information thanks.

  • Ekahau's Profile Photo
    Feb 23, 2007 at 7:08 PM

    Great page on Peshawar John -- love the decorated buses and trucks.

  • DesertRat's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2007 at 12:36 PM

    Peshawar is clearly a whole lot different now. When I was there, I remember walking through the bazaar alone at midnight -- and it was only spooky because of few electric lights...

  • l_joo's Profile Photo
    Nov 7, 2006 at 12:41 AM

    "Local men discussing serious matters"... was hoping a photo with title "Local women discussing serious matters"...hahaha...

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