Nepal is a nation like no other. It stands between the huge peaks of the Himalayas and the dense jungles of India. It is home to eight of the fourteen highest peaks in the Himalayas and represents some of the best hiking trails in the world. From here it is even possible to access the almighty Everest or the Annapurna. The scenery is guaranteed to be fantastic and often deserted but there is always somewhere to stop overnight for a warm room and excellent food.
Adrenaline seekers are also drawn to Nepal to experience the white water rafting or bungee jumping into an immense canyon. It is possible to obtain the ultimate thrill of kayaking, paragliding, rock climbing or riding a mountain bike through a challenging yet awe-inspiring natural environment. If you’re the adventurous type of traveler, rest assured that Nepal and its rugged territories will exceed all of your expectations.
A more sedate pace
For those who are less adventurous, the peaks of the Himalayan mountain ranges can be observed with a drink in hand from one of the many purpose-built viewpoints. Many Buddhists travel to Nepal on a spiritual pilgrimage and it is possible to join Buddhists from around the world on the journey and walk around the stupas and temples which are dotted around the Kathmandu Valley.
Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and is also home to a medieval square lined with temples and Patan and Bhaktapur offer similar environments in which you can explore your own spirituality. Each of these places has old Buddhist and Hindu shrines which are a delight to discover. If you prefer it is perfectly acceptable simple to enjoy the amazing sights and enjoy a drink in a lakeside cafe.
In the south of Nepal you will find the national parks and an abundance of exotic birds. The jungles here are home to a wide variety of creatures such as the tiger and rhinoceros. These can be experienced from the safety and comfort of an Indian elephant. Traveling across one fo the most beautiful landscapes in the world is possible via bus, motorbike, mountain bike or even via a raft on the numerous inland waterways. This is guaranteed to make even the more sedate visits feel like the adventure of a lifetime.
A travelers delight
This is one of the best countries in the world to explore independently. Whether you utilize the above forms of transport or chose to simply hike your way around, you will be well catered for. Alongside the numerous cozy hotels are a myriad of bakeries, pizzerias and trekking shops–each guaranteed to delight and make you want to return. Some of the best are in Thamel and Pokhara.
Should you wish to travel outside the mountain ranges you will meet locals who continue to live at a slower pace of life and enjoy the simpler things. Here there are more experiences to be had including enjoying the amazing hospitality and friendliness of those who live here. There are so many things which can be seen and done whilst visiting Nepal that it can be difficult to know how to fit them all in. In fact, it is impossible to fully appreciate the huge variety on offer in one single trip.
Once you have visited Nepal it becomes a repeat destination; there is always something else to experience or a sight you have not yet seen but really need to. The best idea when visiting is to pick a select few sights and activities that you consider essential to your visit and then save the others for another time. Nepal may well become a home far away from home and is certainly a break from the hectic pace of modern life. It allows you to reconnect with nature and feel alive; maybe that is why you will keep coming back.
With 8 out of 10 highest mountain peaks in the world, Nepal is a traveler’s delight, a place filled with mystery that will exceed all of your expectations. Do you have what it takes to trek the Everest? Or at least try to escalate the world’s highest peak? Ir certainly won’t be easy but it will be an experience you’ll remember for a lifetime.
We love Nepal’s wilderness and fascinating places of interest. However, recent events have made pleasure traveling almost impossible. In the months of April and May this year, Nepal was hit by several devastating earthquakes. Those who want to see this beautiful country thrive again can help the people and the places by sending money and investing in local tourism.
About the author
Edward Francis is a regular travel blogger who writes here on behalf of ShakiHimalaya.com.