– Good morning, I hope
you’re having an amazing day, it’s Mark Wiens, I’m in Pakistan, and today we’re flying
from Islamabad to Skardu which is in Gilgit-Baltistan. Today is going to begin our
Himalayan adventure part of this Pakistan trip. We’re gonna learn about the culture, we’re gonna see some just like
shockingly beautiful scenery, and also enjoy some delicious local food. We’re on our way, we should
catch our flight pretty soon. And even the flight is
known to be incredible because we’re gonna fly
through the mountains. Okay our flight leaves pretty soon. (upbeat music) It’s gonna be about a 45-minute flight, we’re on our way. It’s amazing, we took off from Islamabad. It’s just now 8:30 a.m., you could just see the landscape getting more and more rugged. We’re now starting to see
lots of snow capped peaks. (gentle music) We just caught a glimpse of Nanga Parbat. It’s spectacular ,but then all of a sudden it’s just completely clouds now. No more visibility, but
I think we’re starting to go down towards Skardu. (upbeat music) Okay, we made it to Skardu. Oh, it’s not too cold. I think they said it’s 16 degrees, but welcome to Skardu. We’re just in like an
amphitheater of mountains here. – The pilot was driving like
rally driver in the end. We had to maneuver it
so many times to land. This was one crazy flight, man. – It’s gorgeous. – All it was Skardu boys. Himalayan Boys. – Yesterday we were the Fishoary Boys. – Now we are the Himalayan Boys. (laughs) – The plan today is that we’re gonna go from here into Skardu town, we’re gonna walk around for a little bit, and then we’re gonna drive to Shigar where we’re gonna actually
stay where the hotel is. We’re gonna check in there, we’re gonna have lunch, and then after that we’ll be
having more of a local meal in the afternoon, evening. (squealingt) Oh, you have a TV. (laughs) Oh nice! Cool. (upbeat music) Really cool. Ali, next, we need to try this. – [Man] Okay, okay. – Nice to meet you. We have been led out of the vehicle right in front of a man
who’s making chapli kebabs, which are the minced patty shaped kebabs. And I think the aroma is just too strong. I cannot resist. We gotta try to get a hold
of one of these patties. You want one Joel?
– Yes. – [Mark] You want one also? Ali, you want a chapli? (laughs) – [Ali] You found chapli here? – You found chapli. – You found a chapli here, eh. – [Mark] We smelled them, we had to. – [Joel] These are almost
like porforas, man. (moaning) That’s not like a fatty version. It’s like tastes very healthy almost. Almost like the texture of potato or like, I think there must be lots
of vegetables in there. Or lots of onions, definitely
lots and lots of onions. The coriander seed. It’s like a hash brown. Oh, you got the bread, nice. – It’s so warm and so crispy. – Back in this little hut here is where they’re making the tandoori roti. Okay, let’s go try some tandoori roti with the chapli though. Oh, chicken pita. Okay, now to try with the chutney. – That is so unbelievably good. To me, they’re almost like a cross between a chapli and a kapora because it tastes like a
heavy vegetable content, heavy onion content. (upbeat music) What is this one? – [Vendor] This was vegetable. – [Mark] Saag? – [Vendor] Saag. (chuckles) This was meant to just be a quick snack because we wanted to
try the, oh it’s ready. Meant to be a quick snack of the kebabs, but this place is so cool and it’s so good that he also has some curries. We’ve got some saag and some mutton curry, which he mixed actually, and then just heated over the stove. This was irresistible. (upbeat music) (moaning) Oh that meat is so tender, then wrapped up in its own curry juices, but then also he added the saag, so it has just like
silky, veggie taste to it. And hearty and warming and so tasty. Wow. (chuckles) How is it Ali? – It’s really good. I was surprised. – I think we just ordered
one more loti eight times. One more, one more. – Shukria. We spent a little too long there, we got a little carried away. But that was just so worth it. We gotta move on and we are going, heading towards hotel now. (upbeat music)
Landscapes, yeah. What’s amazing here is that it’s dry, and so its a desert,
and there’s sand dunes. But then you’ve got these moonscapes and just the rugged mountains. It is, it’s spectacular. (upbeat music) We’re in the desert, just sand with the mountains surrounding. (laughs) This is a moonscape. A gorgeous moonscape. (upbeat music) We are now moving on,
proceeding on to Shigar Fort. (sighs) And it’s like getting
colder by the second. (upbeat music) That was a stunning ride, but this is a fort that was
built in the 17th century. Now it’s been converted
and restored into a hotel. (speaking in foreign language) Hello, nice to meet you. – My name is Kareem, I am the
manager for the Fort, sir. – Oh great.
– Welcome to Shigar. – [Mark] Thank you very much. – The fresh apricot juice was the service. – [Mark] Oh nice. Traditional apricot juice?
– Yeah. – (sighs) Oh that’s wonderful. Almost like vanilla, carmely flavor to it. (upbeat music) Very cool, now down to a courtyard here, views of the mountains. Come back here. This is the main bedroom. – This is the room, ah.
– It’s so cozy. – This is our little room Hector. – Thank you babe.
– It’s so cozy and warm. – Oh wow. – Shukria. – This doorway is so cool, but this is, I’ll give you a quick tour. This is the front entrance room. There’s a bed in here, this is the main door here, bathroom is over on this side. Step under this little wooden door… Oh cool, a very modern bathroom. What is this little thing? Micah passed out on the road. He missed out on all
of the beautiful views. (upbeat music) This is a Queen Apple tree, which I’ve never heard of or seen before. There’s some fruits on top. Oh thank you. Great! (laughs) Thank you very much. (speaking in foreign language) – Yes.
– Thank you very much. I don’t think I’ve ever
had a queen apple before. Oh. (chuckles) Oh that is chalky. Wow, and sour, kinda salty. Whew! Yeah, I don’t think Micah will. I don’t know about this,
it’s really chalky buddy. (laughs) Micah, how is it? – It smells like an apple. (laughs) That’s intense, wow! (laughs) (speaking in foreign language) – [Mark] Try a Queen Apple. It’s good, but really chalky and like, almost too hard to bite. (laughs) Okay, and after that apple experience, they said lunch, they just
called us over for lunch. Lunch is ready. We’re underneath the
grapevines, next to the river. This is spectacular. (speaking in foreign language) This is a mutton broth. And then there’s supposed
to be pieces of chapati, which have been like sliced up in here. Oh and pieces of mutton. So that might be, like it
almost looks like noodles. Mm. Oh that’s really nice. Yeah they’re not noodles
because they taste like saturated bread strands like chapati. Okay next I’m gonna eat this dumpling which is called mumto here, I think. Mumto, it looks very
similar to like a momo, which is found across this region as well. I think that’s a winner. (moaning) Kind of like doughy. This one is stuffed with
minced chicken, I believe. (moaning) It’s like a crispy and
stuffed with minced chicken, there’s some spices in
there, a little bit of chili. The main dishes have all arrived and we have some very unique dishes, some things I’ve never tried before. And they really make use of apricots here. And so we’ve got a mutton dish, which is liked a stewed
mutton with local yogurt, fresh yogurt as well as, you can really smell
the aroma of apricots. And you said they’re, they make this dish with local apricot oil. So from the seeds, or
the nuts of the apricot. Yeah, you can even smell
that fruity apricot aroma and just that thick sauce,
and look at that oil. (moaning) There’s not even a
denial that it’s apricot. You just immediately get this
apricot, creamy sensation and then just like curdled yogurt. And then we’ve got another dish, it looks like kind of layers of dough with vegetable just wrapped up in it. And they also said this is
made with walnuts as well. (moaning) That taste like the noodles
that were in the soup. You taste the cumin in there
and then the local spinach. Okay, this one is the
chicken and nut based sauce, probably some walnuts in there. I’m not sure what else. And possibly, I don’t know
actually, let’s taste it. (upbeat music) (moaning) Again, that sauce is really rich. And I almost taste, kind
of a sweet spice in there. Anise, maybe anise in there too. They kind of look similar,
the mutton and the chicken. Totally different taste though. The mutton has that fruity apricot flavor. The chicken has that very nutty, anise, walnut taste to it. We got a dessert, a little
mixed fruit platter. And it’s a dry apricot, it looks like, almost like a dried
pudding, a dry apricot. (upbeat music) (moaning) Apricot pudding with
nuts chopped up in it. – [Woman] Micah wait. – I think that is like
a almond whipped cream. (upbeat music) My first time to ever taste apricot oil. I think I’ve never tasted a
dish made with apricot oil. Absolutely stunning. That might be the next
big thing, apricot oil. We are off to just walk around the Fort, and we’re gonna get a
guided tour of the Fort and the whole compound. – And cutways for dark palaces. So this rock is approximately 50 feet throughout the foundation. – The original Fort was built in 1634 and one of the icons of the Fort it was built on this big rock here. So you can see it, the
foundation is this rock. And then it goes up from here. Here’s one of the main entrances. Walls of the fort are built
from mud, wood and stone. – This is the religious
patrons of Buddhism. – Oo, ah.
– Just like Chinese snakes. If an enemy wild, so it is very hard. – It is all original from 400 years ago. And this is one of the coolest pots ever. This is carved from a single stone, that’s a pot to keep water in. The fort was built by
Hassan Khan ad Amacha. Their family had
originally come from Tibet many, many years ago,
many generations ago. But he was the King of Shigar and he’s the one who built,
who constructed the fort. (upbeat music) For dinner tonight, we
have a special opportunity Ali arranged for us to
be with a local family and have a local dinner. It’s cozy in here. It smells amazing, it smells amazing. – Wonderful.
– Hello, hello. – Hello, how are you?
– Hello, hello. Good thank you. Apricot pickle. (women laughing) They’ve already shown us the, there’s an apricot pickle
which is down there, and then there’s gonna be some macaroni, there’s some frying peppers, the aromas coming out of
this kitchen are incredible. Remove our shoes? Oh they have some sandals. (speaks in foreign language) – Local magi.
– Local magi. – Okay, it’s name is Bali.
– Bali? – [Woman] Yes. – [Mark] Oh hold on, come on. – [Woman] It’s name is krapul. – [Mark] Krapul. – [Woman] We mix the– – ‘Cause this outer kitchen is incredible! They have this whole oven
structure to hold the fire, but they have a couple of blazing fires. Another one of the main dishes
that we’re going to eat. That’s actually, it’s
gonna be cooked with that apricot walnut sauce pickle. (speaks in foreign language) It looks kind of like a pasta,
but like in huge chunks. And then she put in that walnut piece, that pickle, and then stirred that around. And then they’ve heated
up some apricot oil, and then she poured it out on top of that, and then stirred that around. (upbeat music) They were not joking about 14 dishes. Whoa! This one looks incredible too! Gotta start with the
Bali which is the soup. (moaning) And you’ve got like this dough, kinda doughy noodles in there. – It’s got flour in it, and the
main ingredients are walnut. – [Mark] Walnuts. – We have grind the walnut.
– It’s the walnut pickle in there.
– Yes, yes. – This is the one that
we saw here prepare, and then it is covered in
this walnut paste pickle. (moaning) Oh that’s incredible. No that was a big bite, yeah. So like thick and hearty. The noodles, they’re not really noodles, they’re like boiled dough kind of. That walnut sauce, whoa! – [Man] Try to make it like a spoon. – Oh nice. – [Man] Like that thing you
have in that freestand oil? – [Man] Yes, as much as you
want, you know, and then eat it. – Buckwheat right? And then in the middle
is a bowl of apricot oil. (moaning) Nutty oil with like a
thick like starchy dough. It’s kind of oily. There’s apricot oil and
then natural sugars. Whoa, yeah! It’s sweet, it’s almost
like a sweet pancake, but like gooey. – Yeah.
– Meat on it’s own? – Yeah, and then–
(speaks in foreign language) – Is it boiled? It’s just boiled, but it’s fresh goat that they’ve butchered here themselves, and you just slice up
a chunk for yourself, a little drumstick section. Oh yeah, look at that. Would you like a slice? (upbeat music) So good. So natural! Soft, that’s just award winning. Oh next dish.
– Wheat. – Like a buckwheat type of pancake with that same chutney. (moaning) That chutney is amazing. Those nuts. (speaks in foreign language) Onto the curry course, we’ve got a mutton curry, and then also the chicken korma all to be eaten with rice. Oh, I think I lost a
chunk out of my mouth. Not a lot of dry spices in there. It’s more of a stew taste. All right, try the chicken korma. Oh that’s wonderful as well. You really taste the
sourness of that yogurt. All of these dishes are home cooked. They’ve been making some
of them all day long. This is incredibly special. This is an unbelievable meal. This is a true
representation of Baltistan. The culture, the food, the hospitality. This is absolutely incredible. And believe it or not, macaroni also happens to be
a very popular thing to eat in this region in Baltistan. This is the soup that the
fresh goat was boiled in. (moaning) (speaking in foreign language) Shukria. Yeah they do. (upbeat music) You can really taste the cinnamon. This one is a little bit
sweet, but then green tea. It’s so fragrant, but you really taste the cinnamon in this. One more consumable is the salty tea, like a butter tea, And yeah, this entire
region consumes butter tea especially when it’s cold. (moaning) Yeah. That’s nicely salted. You can taste the butter in there. I like it. It just brings back great
memories of being in the mountains in this region of the world. Added in some powdered wheat and apricot oil and gave it a stir. That apricot oil and again it has that, a bit
of an almondy taste to it. That apricot oil just makes it. Shukria, thank you very much. Shukria. Okay, now it’s pretty cold outside. But we just made it back. That was a spectacular dinner and to be able to sit
down with the family. Everything was prepared special for us, we were the honored guests. They just showed us so much hospitality, the food was incredible,
the local flavors, the local Balti food, that
was an incredible experience to learn about Baltistan. The food, the culture, the people. I want to say a huge
thank you to the family for inviting us to their home. Huge thank you to Ali from
Landmark Communications and Landmark Travels, for
setting everything up, for arranging our entire trip to Pakistan. Thank you Ali. Thank you very much for
watching this video. Please remember to give it a thumbs up, if you enjoyed it, leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you. And if you’re not already subscribed, click Subscribe now, and also click that little bell icon so that you can get notified of the next video that I publish. Thanks again for watching. Good night from Shigar Fort. See you on the next video.