Our nation is experiencing a brain drain. It’s gone to the dogs and those that can leave already have… Except, maybe not everybody! The 1973 tourism brochure for Pakistan that flamboyantly depicted the hippie trail may now seem like a road less-travelled; however, this seems to be one road that still takes-in its fair share of foreign visitors. People who consider themselves ‘sensible’ are now ditching the idea of revitalizing Pakistan’s tourism industry but that still leaves travel-enthusiasts eager to relive the “good old days.”
An eternal patriot at heart Sajjad Hussain, refuses to give up on his dream of spreading love, hope and joy to all those who come to stay at his modest hostel Lahore Backpackers in the Mall area of Lahore. The aim was simple; let people know how hospitable the Pakistani people can be. It’s been three years since he stepped into the hospitality arena and the goal hasn’t changed… All Hussain wants is “for guests to be overwhelmed by our hospitality so that they are compelled to come time and time again to Lahore Backpackers.” It is a simple idea that has kept him going despite the derailing economy, the political instability and the worsening security situation.
With an aerial view of the city in all its rustic entirety, visitors who decide to come here cannot help but be engulfed by the warmth and love-of-life of the Pakistani people. Extremely reasonably priced, rates range between $4 and $10 dollars a night for a single room, while ‘air-conditioned suites’ with a double bed cost just $16. Having carefully identified his target-demographic Lahore Backpackers caters to foreigners seeking low budget accommodation. Guests are made to feel right-at-home and have the freedom to dress however they want without the fear of being stared at.
Travel-enthusiast Kim Hoyeon, a regular at Lahore Backpackers says that when it comes to travelling around Pakistan “the ground realities are not half as bad. It’s the media that projects it in a certain way.” A banker/explorer from South Korea, Kim has since had the privilege of travelling as far out as the Karakoram Highway.