Pakistan Army, also known as the country’s biggest business conglomerate, has often been criticized for owning such lavish rest houses and messes throughout the country. The army brats, of course, claim that the army has only taken so many acres of expensive land as a token of their unparalleled services to the country.
We thought we’d compose a list of some popular army messes and rest houses in the north for our readers. Please note that we could not find all of them, but we’ve tried our best to list as many as possible.
Pakistan Army, zindabad!
Let’s start from the city where all army men begin their journey, so we start off with Abbottabad:
Situated in the heart of the Shimla hills, Baloch mess is probably one of the best-designed army messes in Abbottabad. You can dine to a spectacular view of the magnificent city of Abbottabad. Not only that you can also rent out another section of the mess to organize different types of events, from formal dinners and seminars to weddings, you can host them there with style.
Piffers (FF) Mess:
Piffers or FF Mess is located right in front of the FF recruitment center, is called the “Home of the Piffers”. Located near the main road, it is definitely a place of visit and besides who doesn’t enjoy a nice view of the hills with a cup of coffee?
FWO Staging Post
Frontier Works Organization (FWO) is a well-known department of the army. They have completed multiple projects overall Pakistan, and play an integral part in maintaining the Pakistan Motorways as well as the new Islamabad International Airport. The FWO has a staging post in Abbottabad on the shimla hills at a little distance from the Baloch Mess, and not only the views from it, but the building itself is also staggering.
Located less than a kilometer from the Abbottabad GPO, the AMC mess is one of the most beautiful army messes in all of Abbottabad. It houses a wonderful view of the Pine forest of the Shimla hills.
Muree and Nathiagali
Murree and Nathiagali are one of the most popular tourist locations in all of Pakistan and it’s pretty much obvious that all three forces have messes there to match their own particular styles.
Located near Gharial camp, the army Punjab huts are no less than a well-designed hotel. They provide excellent views of the forest during the summers, and during the winters when surrounded by fog, the views are something else.
PAF Kalabagh Base:
When on the way to Nathiagali from Abbottabad, the PAF Kalabagh Base welcomes every tourist. Stationed on a hill slope, the kalabagh base is an absolute beauty. Although a non-flying base of the Air force, it is still extremely popular among the officers and the public.
FWO Staging Post:
Like Abbottabad, FWO has a staging post in Murree as well in Gharial Camp. It is a mix of a traditionally mountain buildings with triangular ceilings, and since it is on the hill top, you can imagine the scenery yourself.
Fauji Cement Guest House:
Like many army guest houses, this guesthouse is also a little isolated. Surrounded by the forests of Jhika Gali, this guesthouse is definitely worth staying at.
FFC Guest House:
Located to the right of the main Abbottabad road, this guest house has been rated 4.1 out of 5 by various trip advising websites such as Tripcarta.com. The views from the guest rooms shows the pine forests of the mountains of Nathiagali.
Close by to the Galliyat Development Authority guest house in Kuza Gali, the armour huts are surrounded by the dense forests of Ayubia. This place is definitely nice for people who like hikin since it is shocking close to the Ayubia chair lift and Pipe line hiking track.
Moving up north we reach the city of Muzzaffarabad, although not many, the city houses an army mess of the 1 AK (Azad Kashmir) unit and like Abbottabad and Murree, another FWO Staging post.
FWO Construction Camp:
Like many of the army messes, this staging post is also isolated from the main city center. The staging post faces directly, the river Jhelum and with that comes the benefit of relaxing to the sound of flowing water during water.
Army Officers Mess, 1 AK Unit:
Stationed close by to the Pearl Continental, like the FWO construction camp also faces the Jhelum river and can provide excellent relaxation opportunities.
Last but not the least, the mountainous regions of Gilgit Baltistan. These areas house probably the best of all rest houses. The Pakistan Army has a number of messes there. The Pakistan Air Force does not have any registered bases there, neither does the Pakistan Navy have any messes there.
Minimarg Army Mess:
Found close to the Burzil pass, this mess houses one of the most beautiful messes around Pakistan. Even in that remote area, the tourists have access to a WiFi network through SCOM, so you won’t have any problem uploading Snapchat stories of the magnificent views of the valley facing the mess.
FWO Officers Mess:
Based close to the Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, it is yet another location for the FWO personnel to stay as they monitor the organizations projects in the northern areas.
Garrison Officers Mess:
The Garrison Officers Mess is found extremely close to CMH Gilgit and the famous Khyber Shinwari restaurant in Gilgit.
Force Command Northern Area (FCNA) Mess:
The picture below explains it all.