Pakistan plans bus route to the UK

Forget the plane; take the bus to the UK

Pakistan may not be the first country you think of when backpacking and travelling but it's a popular gap year destination. It's always been held in high esteem for the more 'hardcore' backpackers as a must see destination. In fact, the original intrepid travellers used to travel from the UK, through Pakistan to Nepal, back in the 70s.

That route is coming back to life again as authorities in Pakistan are planning to launch a bus route from Mirpur to the British city of Birmingham - 8,000 km away.

The mammoth journey will take travellers through some of the most dangerous areas of Pakistan on their way to Iran, Turkey and Europe before reaching the Midlands city after around eight days, officials said.

Just one of the beautiful roads in Pakistan

Tahir Khokher, the transport minister of Pakistan-administered Kashmir told AFP fares would be around 20,000 rupees (£130), a fraction of air fares that are typically close to £650.

Birmingham has a large population of British Pakistanis, many of whose families originally hail from Mirpur, one of the largest cities in the Pakistan-administered part of the disputed Himalayan territory.

Khokher said he was confident of passengers' safety, even though they would pass through Pakistan's troubled southwest province of Baluchistan, which is plagued by Taliban militants, sectarian violence and a separatist insurgency.

"Officials in Baluchistan have assured me of providing fool-proof security," he said.

Officials have been working on the plans for three months and are in talks with a number of bus companies, Khokher said, but no date has been set for the service to start.

We think it'd be an unbelievable journey - get a one way ticket to Delhi, make your way over to Pakistan, and then catch the bus. So, the question is, who's up for it? Jump on the message boards and let us know!

And if you're interested in the original route that gappers used to make to Nepal then read our article on 'The History of the Gap Year' to illuminate you...