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Shopping  

Being at the crossroad junction of different civilizations and oldest trade routes of this planet Pakistani crafts have been perfected over the centuries, from  traditions and techniques passed on from generation to generation. Each region has its own specialties, each town its own local craftspeople and its own particular skills. Silks, spices, jewelry and many other Pakistani products have long been acclaimed and are widely sought after; merchants would travel thousands of miles, enduring the hardships and privations of the long journey, in order to make their purchases. Nowadays, the marketplaces of the subcontinent are only eight hours away, and for fabrics, silverware, carpets, leatherwork and antiques, Pakistan is a shopper’s paradise. Bargaining is expected.

Fabrics: One of Pakistan’s main industries is textiles; its silks, cottons, and wools rank amongst the best in the world. Of the wools, the brocades from  Northern Pakistan are among the most famous; other major centers include Skardu, Chitral and Gilgit. Kashmir sells beautiful woolens, particularly shawls. Carpets: Pakistan has one of the world’s best carpet industries, and many examples of this ancient and beautiful craft can be seen in museums throughout the world. Each region will have its own specialty, such as the distinctive, brightly colored Tibetan rugs, available mainly in Baltistan.

Clothes: Clothes are cheap, and can be quickly tailor-made in some shops. Cloth includes silks, cottons, himroos, brocades, chiffons and chingnons. Jewelry: This is traditionally heavy and elaborate. Pakistani silverwork is world-famous. Gems include diamonds, lapis lazuli, Pakistani star rubies, star sapphires, moonstones and aquamarines.

Handicrafts and leatherwork: Each area has its specialty; the range includes bronzes, brasswork (often inlaid with silver), canework and pottery. Woven rugs and papier mâché (some decorated in gold leaf) are a characteristic Kashmir product. Inlaid marble and alabaster are specialties of Agra. Sialkot is known for its sports products and surgical instruments. Leatherwork includes open Pakistani sandals and slippers. Woodwork: Sandalwood carvings from Chiniot.

Other goods: Pickles, spices, Pakistani tea, perfumes, soap, handmade paper, carved wooden tables, trays, screens, silver trinkets, pottery, camel-skin lamps, bamboo decorations, brassware, cane items, conch-shell ornaments, glass bangles, gold ornaments, hand-embroidered shawls, rugs and carpets, silks, cashmere shawls and saleem shahi shoes with upturned toes. While some of the major towns have craft centers where handicrafts from different regions are sold, bazaars often provide the most interesting shopping.

Note
There is a veto on the export of antiques, art objects over 100 years old, animal skins and objects made from skins.

Shopping hours
Mon-Sat 0930-1700 in most large stores.

Currency Information:

Currency exchange
Currency can be changed at banks, airports or authorized money changers. It is illegal to exchange money through unauthorized money changers. US Dollars and Pounds Sterling are the easiest currencies to exchange.

Credit & debit cards
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and others besides Rupee credit cards launched by National Bank of Pakistan & Habib Bank etc. can be used for your shopping and other transactions.

Travelers cheques
These are widely accepted and may be changed at banks. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take travelers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling. Some banks may refuse to change certain brands of travelers cheques which others exchange quite happily.

Currency restrictions
Import of local currency is prohibited. Export of local currency is also prohibited, except for passengers proceeding to Nepal (excluding notes of denominations of Rs100 or higher), Bangladesh, Pakistan or Sri Lanka (up to Rs20 per person). Foreign currency may be exported up to the amount imported and declared. All foreign currency must be declared on arrival if value is over US$5000, and when exchanged the currency declaration form should be endorsed, or a certificate issued. The form and certificates must be produced on departure to enable reconversion into foreign currency. Changing money with unauthorized money changers is not, therefore, advisable.

Banking hours
Office Hours: 9 am to 5 pm with one hour break from Monday to Thursday and with two hours break on Friday. Saturday is half working day from 9 am to 1:30 pm without break.

Counter Services: 9 am to 1:00 pm from Monday to Thursday and 9 am to 12:30 on Friday and Saturday, with no break.

Special timings may be observed during the month of Ramazan, and you should make sure of these timings if you happen to be in the country in this holy month.
Sunday is off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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