The beautiful Himalayan nation of Nepal is home to some of the world’s highest mountains and has many things for visitors to see and do. Here are just a few.
Go White Water Rafting
Nepal has a number of fast flowing rivers with a mixture of graded white water rapids and is one of the best places in the world to experience this sport. For those with a sense of adventure taking a raft out onto the Trisuli, Sun Khosi or Tamur Rivers is an awesome experience. With full instructions and qualified guides taking time out to paddle and ride the white water is an exhilarating way to experience Nepal at its finest.
Fly to Everest
Trekking and mountaineering are not for everyone. If time in Nepal is limited or you have always wanted to see the Himalayas then a flight across the mountains is the perfect way to see this beautiful part of the world. Choose a clear day with no cloud and take the journey from the Annapurnas to the Everest Region to get very close to the highest mountains in the world.
Look for Tigers
Nepal has some of the finest wildlife safari viewing in the world and the Royal Chitwan National Park is among the best known. Riding elephants through the park to view rhino, tiger and leopards is a major attraction in Nepal. Amongst the grassland, water marshes and sal forests visitors may see the rare one horned Indian rhino as this is one of the few places on earth where it can be found. Lucky visitors may catch a glimpse of a rare Gangetic dolphin.
Trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary
Most people come to Nepal to trek and there are some well-known routes into the Himalayas from the Everest Base Camp Route to the lesser known Langtang Valley. One of the classic treks which take visitors into spectacular Himalayan scenery is the Annapurna Sanctuary. This is a classic route into the Annapurnas taking in glaciers, the famous Machhapuchhare Fish Tail peak, and many more famous mountains.
Pokhara has some great places to learn yoga and also meditation. With some beautiful views there is no better place to contemplate things and to practise some of the yoga positions. Nepal has a number of places where day and short courses are held as well as longer retreats. It is an excellent way to experience another perspective of Nepal as well as being good for health and wellbeing.
Taste Traditional Nepalese Food
Nepal has some wonderful regional dishes which are worth discovering and tasting. One of the best known is daal bhaat tarkari, a spicy lentil dish with rice. Curried vegetables are another staple and sometimes there is water buffalo on the menu. Newari food is more diverse and many visitors visit one of the traditional restaurants to try this cuisine. Some of the restaurants in Nepal also have cookery classes, which is an excellent way of learning more about the culinary customs and methods of this country.
Go Mountain Biking
With terrain like the Himalayas there can be no better place to get on a mountain bike than in Nepal. The Kathmandu Valley in particular has a number of trails and routes between villages, and there are also some very picturesque trails in and around Pokhara. Nepal has organised guided tours for mountain biking and there are opportunities for independent exploration. Serious mountain bikers usually bring their bike with them as there are more gears than the average rental bike in Nepal. New trails are opening up all the time in Nepal and there are lots of options for a very diverse and interesting visit to this part of the world.
Kayak on the Rivers
Along with white water rafting kayaking is very popular in Nepal with many of the rivers among the best in the world. Nepal has a variety of river conditions from small mountain streams to very challenging white water which make it attractive to all levels of kayaker. There are beginner courses in Nepal as well as facilities for the experienced. The Tamba Kosa, Mardi Khola, and Thuli Beri are just some of the rivers suitable for kayaking in Nepal.
Go Bird Watching in Nepal
Nepal is home to hundreds of species of bird and there are some excellent places to observe them in their natural habitats. March to May is the main breeding season and an excellent time to visit. The Terai is one of the best places in the country to watch birds and with eight species of stork alone there is a lot to observe. Sarus Cranes are another native species that are renowned. In the Himalayas there are many raptors as well as vultures. Pheasants are also spotted in Nepal and a major attraction for bird watchers.
Shop Until You Drop
Nepal is a great destination for crafts and other decorative items. If you drive a hard bargain there is plenty to negotiate on the streets of Thamel and in Pokhara. There are shops selling silk, as well as beautifully embroidered cloth. Knitted yak goods are popular and many people love the wood carvings that can be seen all over Nepal. Hand crafted paper is another specialty along with decorated lanterns and papier mache puppets. For those who have forgotten an item of clothing or equipment needed for a trek there are lots of shops in Thamel and Pokhara which have gear on sale. One of the best shopping experiences of all is to explore a traditional food market and interact with the locals.
Nepal is a fantastic place for a holiday and for those who enjoy the outdoors and some interesting culture this country has a lot to offer.