THE FOOD ADVENTURES OF MARK WIENS: A MEMORABLE TRIP TO PAKISTAN
Remarked by the famous food and traveling vlogger Mark Wiens, Pakistan is indeed one of the most naturally attractive, welcoming and delicious countries that he had ever visited. His 16 days trip to Pakistan really went beyond his expectations! The current article is going to take you through Mark Wien’s journey of mind-blowing experiences as he traveled through culturally rich places of Pakistan and munched over its mouthwatering traditional food.
WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM?
Wiens told that the CEO of Pakistan Travel Mart and Land Mark Communications had been inviting him to take pleasure in traveling Pakistan for about many years. When Wiens finally gave a thought to visit the much-invited country, Ali helped with the passports and all the legal formalities. Not only this he hosted the whole trip and showed Wiens the brighter and positive side of Pakistan.
BEGINNING FROM PUNJAB!
Wiens started his journey from Lahore, Punjab and according to him if he really has to choose just one city from Pakistan as a travel guide, he would definitely opt for Lahore, because ‘Lahore Lahore aye’ (meaning there can be no other city like Lahore). In Lahore, he enjoyed the most while snacking around Gawal Mandi, Shah Alami, and Walled City. He enjoyed the delicious treats like Chana Chart, smoked sweet potatoes, flavored corns and many other street delights in these areas. He experienced one of the traditional meals of Pakistan—Karhai at the famous Butt Karhai Restaurant. In addition to this, he tasted Pakistani fried fish in Garhi Shahu at Siddique Fish Corner that he recommended to all of his followers as well. Coming all the way to Lahore and not tasting its Haleem would have been total misfortune! So Ali took Wiens to the Walled City of Lahore to make him taste one of the best combinations of lentils and meat in the form of Pakistani Haleem. Moreover this, he visited the historical Badshahi Mosque and ended the journey to Lahore on a pleasant note. For Wiens, Lahore is a culturally rich city that has a long history guaranteed to captivate the tourists. Above all, its food has no comparison! Other than Lahore, Wien’s visited Gujranwala where he was impressed by Gujranwala wrestlers (pehalwan) and enjoyed the traditional BBQ at Khizar Tiqqa Shop.
LANDING INTO THE CAPITAL CITY
Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan is also located in Punjab that Wien’s described as a much better-planned city, less chaotic and with lots of greenery and eye-catching recreational spots. Surrounded by the majestic Margalla Mountains, Islamabad felt like a totally different place to Wiens and mesmerized him a lot. Here Wien’s enjoyed food at Majeed Huts, a local café of Quaid e Azam University, Monal, and Serena. His favorite meal was crisis—a form of omelet that he enjoyed at Quaid e Azam University.
MUNCHING OVER PESHAWARI DELIGHTS
Mark was really impressed by Peshawari culture and took great pleasure in wearing the traditional Peshawari chapal—a type of Peshawari footwear. Here Wiens went to Mahabat Khan Mosque that was built during the reign of Mughal Empire around 17 century. The mosque stands out as one representative landmark in Peshawar that tourists love to visit. Among all the Peshawari meals, the paye—a type stew made up of cow’s feet really stood out for Wiens. He enjoyed these with special Peshawari naan.
Before coming to Peshawar, Wiens had a little stay at Mardan which is yet another beautiful city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The taste of iconic Mardani Chapali Kebab stayed in his mouth for a long time. For Wiens this province was a real highlight because of its hospitality and beautiful landscape.
GILGIT BALTISTAN—A HEAVEN ON EARTH!
Though Wiens got a little scared while traveling through the risky roads of Gilgit Baltistan but the scenery and local food was worth it. Here he enjoyed the most at Gilgit—a city located along Karakoram highway that serves as a connection between Pakistan and China. Wiens was invited over by a local where he enjoyed family food and tasted different dried fruits as well. The traditional beverage kehwa was a good experience for him. He then headed towards Hunza Valley that Wiens described as one of the most beautiful places on Earth. He was so much enchanted by the valley’s beauty that couldn’t believe something this spectacular can be viewed by human eye. The snowy mountains and green valley truly made the place look like heaven for him. The food he tasted here was much different in terms of spices and taste as compared to the rest of the Pakistani food.
THE ULTIMATE KARACHI CUISINE
The buzz and overpopulated streets of Karachi was perceived as a sign of warmth and joy by Wiens. He really appreciated how Karachi gained political and economic stability over the past few years. His team tasted the much talked about Javed Nihari which is a signature place for all the Nihari lovers. Nihari is basically a thick, gooey stew with chunks of beef or mutton in it. Ali then took him to taste the ultimate nalli biryani at Qadri Nalli Biryani restaurant. The bone marrow infused with the species of biryani was an extraordinary thing for him. He tasted one of the quintessential street foods of Karachi—the iconic bun kebabs that are for sure to make anyone drooling over them. Last but not least, what is Karachi without its seafood? The whole team had a great feast at the beach of Port Qasim where they enjoyed different types of seafoods and chicken BBQ.
ENDING ON A POSITIVE NOTE
Wiens ended his journey by thanking Ali without him the trip if not impossible, would have been difficult to happen. Through his vlog series on Pakistani cuisine, Wiens wanted to portray the never shown side of Pakistan. He appreciated the hospitality of Pakistanis and the way they accompanied him during this journey. The warmth and love he got from Pakistan will stay in his memory forever. He tried his best to portray that Pakistan is really different as compared to the simulacra created about it.
- image reference: https://migrationology.com/