Retail Tourism in Shogran: A Small Bazaar Waking up After the Pandemic
Retail tourism in Shogran? You might wonder what could a small hill station in the Kaghan Valley, Northern Pakistan, can offer tourists by way of shopping. Well, not much. But the little that it offers makes all the difference in terms of the vibrant colors of life that it adds to the Shogran valley.
Retail tourism, as I mentioned in an earlier article on retail tourism, is central to the tourists’ experience of the place and its culture. Though shopping tourism is not what Shogran is famous for, but if you can spare an hour or so to roam in the small bazar, it becomes a cherished memory.
Retail Tourism in Shogran Bazar
To reach the bazar, you can ramble through the sprawling lush green lawns of the forest rest house, or follow the hiking /walking tracks that end near the Shogran bazaar
With small rest houses, restaurants and hotels in the fringes, small grocery and juice corners that intersperse the handicraft shops, and other service retail sectors like salons, the Shogran bazaar creates microcosm of the retail sector.
There are small retail kiosks that sell trinkets, and also medium sized shops that take care of tourists’ shopping needs. Especially attractive for tourists are handicrafts, jewelry, clothing like ajraks, pashmina shawls, and shirts with mirror work.
The age-old retail game of haggling is played with gusto in the small bazaar. However, the shopkeepers are extremely courteous. They will insist on closing the bargain on their own terms without losing their cool or becoming rude. So, they, almost always, emerge as winners in the haggling game.
Like all other places, retail tourism in Shogran is not just about shopping. It is also about interacting with the locals, and listening to their stories of resilience and survival in the pre- and post-pandemic worlds. The shop keepers are quite friendly and can comfortably talk about life and retail if so prompted.
Visit Shogran, and once you have toured the picturesque valley of Shogran and endured the rough jeep track to the breath-taking Sari Paya, finish off your trip with an excursion to the local bazar. Explore how retail tourism in Shogran adds to the overall experience. Buy a few pieces of the handicraft, sit on the stringed cots near the bazaar tea corners, and sip sweet hot tea with pokaras. And yes, don’t forget to have a memorable photograph taken with an eagle at 100 rupees per photograph.