SWAT VALLEY TOURISM Swat had a thriving economy based on eco-tourism till just a few years ago. Foreigners and locals alike would visit Swat for its glacial lakes, trout fishing and mountain climbing for extremely affordable prices. Most of the local Pashtuns were directly or indirectly employed by the tourism industry. The Pakistsn Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) had developed numerous holiday resorts in each of the tourist sites in the Valley which were very well maintained. The Minitry of Tourism in Pakistan has now closed Swat to tourism because of the heightened security threat posed by the Taliban. One of the only affordable holiday destinations in Pakistan, the Swat Valley, is not even a shadow of what it used to be. Below are the main tourist towns in Swat. MALAM JABBA Surrounded by snow-capped mountains,, Malam Jabba was the only ski-resort in all of Pakistan. The mighty Karakoram range and black mountains surrounded the resort and offered excellent views. KALAM The pristine Swat river flows through Kalam. Numerous small restaurants dotted the river banks and were famous for serving trout, fresh out of the river. MINGORA Mingora is one of the busier towns with markets that sell pashmina shawls, gem stones, embroidered crafts etc. A few Buddhist carvings have also been discovered here. SAIDU SHARIF Saidu Sharif is the capital of the Swat Valley. It even has an airport because most tourists would make their first stop in Saidu Sharif and travel further by road. BAHRAIN Bahrain has bazaars worth exploring for their handicrafts. The locals' houses have carved wooden doors, pillars and balconies. These show a remarkable variety of decorative motifs, including floral scrolls and bands of ornamental diaper patterns almost identical to those seen on Buddhist shrines and quite different from the usual Muslim designs.