Khunjerab Pass – Highest International Border In The World

Khunjerab Pass

Would you dare venture across the highest border crossing in the world?

Khunjerab Pass is the highest border crossing in the world and also the highest point on the Karakoram Highway. It serves as a strategic border between Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan-Hunza-Nagar District and China’s Xinjiang region at an altitude of 4,733m above sea level. The name of the border was derived from two words of the local Wakhi language; ‘Khun’ meaning blood and ‘Jerav’ meaning creek coming from spring water.

The journey towards Khunjerab Pass is a smooth yet winding ride of 3 hours so prepare your stomach beforehand. As you travel higher in altitude, you might experience some breathing problems or headaches which are a common symptom among many because of lack of oxygen. But don’t let that stop you from taking in the scenic views throughout your journey. In the winters, the surrounding mountains are covered in snow, giving the perfect example of ‘Oreo’ mountains! And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a few Ibex in the region.

When you finally reach the top, you’re greeted by the symbolic structure that acts as a border between China and Pakistan. But before that, there’s a metal check-post and that’s the closest you can get to the Chinese side. Seeing Chinese tourists on the other side, photographing and waving to the visitors on our side and us reciprocating the sentiments bring a smile to everyone’s face!

Another amazing addition to the Khunjerab Pass is the establishment of the world’s highest ATM, installed by National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) in 2016. The ATM stands at an incredible height of 16,007 feet above sea level, making it the highest ATM anywhere in the world and setting up a new Guinness World Record! In case you forget to bring any money, don’t worry, NBP has got you covered!

A day tour of Khunjerab Pass should be added to your itinerary if you’re traveling to Hunza. But be sure to keep warm clothes at hand because the average temperature is around -15°C even in springtime!

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