Hotel Review: Shalimar Hotel and PTDC Motel
|Al-Aziz Runs Comfortable Overnight Coaches between Karachi and Quetta - Rs. 2,100|
Here goes a brief review of our experience on the road:
No Direct Transport between Karachi and Ziarat
There is no direct public transport from Karachi to Ziarat therefore one has to take a break in Quetta and then transfer to the Ziarat bound hiace/coaster. The transfer can be made immediately, in the earlier part of the day, as there are multiple vans going to the hill station each day.
Karachi to Quetta
For Karachi to Quetta there are many options available; one of the cheapest is the regular coach (Rs. 1,200 pp; twice a day) while the most expensive is Toyota 2.0D taxi (Rs. 3,500 pp, only in morning). Among those, I opted for the 30 seater 2x1 overnight luxury coach (Rs. 2,100 pp, twice a day) run by Al-Aziz, upon Zahoor’s advice who is the manager of Shalimar Hotel Ziarat.
After a little googling I found Al-Aziz Coach contact numbers and booked our seats via phone a day before the journey. The coach had to depart at 7pm from Yousuf Goth Terminal, on the Hub River Road, which is way out of the city; however, they provided the shuttle service from their office located near Hassan Square, where we had to reach at 5:30pm to pay for the tickets and to catch the shuttle at 6pm. We did exactly that
The shuttle service was a bit uncomfortable and a little late too but not too annoying for the 45 minutes ride. We transferred to the big coach which left the Quetta bound terminal half an hour late as it had to wait for some confirmed passengers who were reportedly stuck up in the city traffic.
Bus looked new with business class style seats; fully reclining and comfy. Most of the passengers were families with some having kids too. Lights were turned off after 15 minutes and the whole bus went into hibernation, except for the driver off course! There were 5-6 empty seats when we started the journey, which became a nuisance as the staff filled them up enroute with discounted passengers!
After two and a half hours, around 10pm, the bus took a stopover at Bela at a designated restaurant which was selling bad quality food in a disgusting environment. Surprisingly, the stopover on the way back, at Khuzdar, was much better with reasonable facilities.
Quetta to Ziarat
|Al-Aziz Coach Office at Hassan Square|
|Al-Aziz Coach Runs Shuttle Service Between Hassan Square and Yousuf Goth Terminal|
|Al-Aziz Coach Yousuf Goth Terminal on Hub River Road - Located Inconvenientl|
|Al-Aziz Caoch has 2x1 Comfy Seating|
|We Reached Quetta Before the Sunrise|
We reached Quetta around the sunrise and promptly took a rikshaw to the Ziarat bound bus station located at Spinzai Road. For Ziarat, I wanted to buy tickets in the coaster, rather than in the hiace, for the sake of comfort, however, I could not find the office of Kakar Transport.
When we reached the hiace stand, at around 7am, there was a van standing stuffed up with passengers and still selling seats. Touts there tried hard to convince me to get onboard but I insisted on the next van for better seating.
For Ziarat, I bought 4 seats, instead of 2, in the middle of the van to make the onward journey less uncomfortable. Next van departed at 8am, reached the hill station around 10:30 am, and dropped us right in front of Shlimar Hotel. http://mozumbus.blogspot.com/2012/11/shalimar-hotel-ziarat-and-ptdc-motel.html
In all, it took us around 18 hours, door to door!
Return journey was quicker and took 16 hours door to door. From Ziarat, I pre-booked 4 seats in the Kakar Transport’s coaster, which picked us up right from our accommodation at 2:10pm, a bit late than the given time.
We reached back Quetta before 5pm and took the rickshaw to Al-Aziz Coach Terminal at Saryab Road. Interestingly, we forgot to pick Mikael’s stroller while leaving the hotel but luckily there was another hiace following the coaster which picked that and brought it to Quetta, just in time!
There I made a mistake! Rather than booking the return seats in the Karachi coach – when we reached Quetta from Karachi – I thought doing it later via phone, which did not prove wise as the staff was very reluctant in making reservation on phone. Thankfully, the mistake did not turn into a trouble.
Coach left the terminal around 6:15 pm; again a few minutes late, however, it was full this time. It reached Khuzdar at around 10pm and took stopover for dinner. The hotel there was very reasonable with clean toilet facilities.
Finally we reached back Karachi Saddar at 5:30am where I took a rickshaw and reached back home safe and sound Alhamdulillah around 6am!
|Kakar Transport Runs Coaster Between Quetta and Ziarat|
|A Fruit Laden Truck on the Highway|
|Mud Houses Between Ziarat and Quetta|
|Al-Aziz Coach Terminal at Saryab Road Quetta|
Home to Hassan Square Rickshaw: Rs. 200
Karachi – Quetta Coach: Rs. 4,000 (2 seats)
Quetta Rickshaw: Rs. 100
Quetta – Ziarat: Rs. 520 (4 seats)
Ziarat – Quetta: Rs. 560 (4 seats)
Quetta Rickshaw: Rs. 200
Quetta – Karachi: Rs. 4,200
Saddar to Home Rickshaw: Rs. 300
Contact Numbers – Al-Aziz Coach Quetta
Hassan Square Karachi: (021) 34945778 – Saleem
Saryab Road Quetta: (081) 2450607 – Naseebullah
Contact Numbers – Kakar Transport Ziarat
Ziarat: 0333 7057573 – Musa Jaan
Quetta: 0333 7839642
Contact Numbers – Qadri 2.0D Car Service
Karachi: 0301 2513311
Quetta: 0300 3800383
Lahore: 0302 3846001
Islamabad: 0321 5221057
Hotel Review: Shalimar Hotel and PTDC Motel