Swat Serena Hotel Travel Guide

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Travel need to know

Time

Pakistan is covered by a single time zone (GMT plus five hours).

Climate

Summer (May-August) 14 - 23 degree Celsius.
Autumn (September - November) 18 - 5 degree Celsius.
Winter (December - February) -10 - 5 degree Celsius.
Spring (March - April) 5 - 10 degree Celsius.

Clothing

Because Pakistan is a conservative society revealing clothing (sleeveless tops, shorts, miniskirts, tight or body-hugging items of clothing) are unacceptable. Women should be prepared to cover their head and chest when in the mosque, in a crowded bazaar or in conservative company. Sunbathing in public view other than in a hotel is not acceptable.

Communications

The international dialling code for Pakistan is +92. The outgoing international code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g.0027 for South Africa). City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)51 for Islamabad, (0)21 for Karachi. There are several GSM 900 and 1800 mobile networks in operation, providing fair coverage, concentrated in urban areas. Internet cafes also exist in the main towns and cities.

Currency

The Pakistani Rupee (PKR) is divided into 100 paise.

Exchange rates

Pakistani rupees (PKR) per US dollar - 70.64 (2008 est.), 60.6295 (2007), 60.35 (2006), 59.515 (2005), 58.258 (2004).

Currency exchange

Travellers cheques (best carried in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling) are accepted at most banks, four and five star hotels and major shops. Larger shops and hotels accept credit cards, mostly American Express.

Banking

Bank hours are from 9am to 1.30pm Monday to Saturday, but close at 12.30 pm on Fridays. Bargaining is expected in street markets and small stores.

Credit cards

Are accepted at all top-end hotels and the more upmarket restaurants and shops. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted.

Tipping

Where service has been added to your bill tipping is optional. Most hotels and restaurants include a 10% service charge. Where a fee has not been added a tip of around 5-10% is the norm. Porters should be tipped. Tipping is not mandatory for taxis. Tipping is appreciated elsewhere.

Electricity

Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Round two- or three-pin plugs are used.

Water

Pakistani tap water is not safe to drink. Bottled water is provided in all Serena hotels and resorts and all ice is made with boiled and purified water.

Business hours

Banks 9am to 1.30pm Monday to Thursday. 9am to 12.30pm Friday and Saturday.

Businesses and shops 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm Saturday.

Driving

Visitors require a valid international driving permit and a carnet de passage.

Swat Serena Hotel

Swat Serena Hotel

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Saidu Sharif, Swat, Pakistan

Tel: (92) 946711637

Fax: (92) 946710402

Call: +254 20 2842 000