Vacationing at an exotic location far away from the everyday bustle and busyness of life is always the dream when it comes to spending the holidays wisely and in the most pleasurable and memorable of ways. Although being relatively small in size, Nepal certainly does not shy away from offering a whole diverse range of features and qualities, both natural and cultural, for a unique travel experience. From leisurely cultural tours to adventurous treks and hikes in the cerulean Himalayas, Nepal is a cornucopia of natural and historical wonders. A melting-pot of multicultural facets, Nepal is home of some of the tallest mountain ranges on Earth along with being one of the last vestiges of unsullied ancient ethnic customs and traditions that have been in practice from centuries.Photo by Jean-Marie Hullot
A country in the grips of modernization, Nepal diligently combines its progress in the future while still firmly grasping its traditional roots and cultural identity. Located between two ancient civilizations, Nepal has managed to take in the influence from its neighbors and create a sense of selfhood with its own unique art, architecture, literature, music, dance and ethnicity. In terms of geomorphology as well, Nepal offers a beautiful showcase of mountains, gorges, countless rivers, lakes, glaciers, moraines, pastures, mountain valleys, ranging forests and woodlands home to endangered species of animals and biomes that cater to specific bio-diversities of the allocated aerosphere.
The country has countless amazing hallmarks and is one of the most excellent places to spend the holidays with family, friends or even solo! There are many things to do here for people of all demographics at all times of the year; and visiting the country and holiday arrangements in Nepal are a matter of easy and hassle free affairs because of good development of the travel and tourism sector, like Nepal Hiking Team. There is never a shortage of things to do in Nepal, and the activities span the entire country, from a cultural visit in the dry corroded sky caves of Mustang to the base camp of the world’s tallest mountain peak in Khumbu!
Here are top 7 things to do while you are in Nepal!
Trekking is one of the most beautiful ways of exploring a certain region and destination of the country. Such is the case in Nepal as well where there are many destinations and regions that offer amazing trekking experiences. Furthermore, Nepal is home of one of the most diverse ethnic population on the planet. Trekking in the country is a great way to take in the cultural and traditional ways of the ethnic people while at the same time enjoy the beauty of the regions. Places like the regions of Everest, Annapurna, Manaslu, Mustang and Langtang are among some of the most beautiful trekking regions in the country. Each of the regions also offer their own unique topographical features and cultural residency. Walking on beautiful trekking paths that go through the foothills of the mountains, cross gaping open valleys and glacial rivers and hike up to the ethnic villages or vantage points from where the panorama of the Himalayas are spectacular are only some of the highlights of trekking.
Journeys like the Everest Base Camp at the Khumbu region or the Annapurna Base Camp at the Annapurna region are among the most famous trekking journeys in the country. Trekking also contributes a large majority to the tourism sector of Nepal as well. Every year, thousands of trekkers and travel enthusiasts from all around the world visit Nepal for trekking or mountaineering; and among them, a large portion visit the Khumbu and the Annapurna regions. The duration of the journeys in the various regions of the country can be varied and there is something for everybody, from novice first-time trekkers to experienced climbers. For example, the Trek to Everest Base Camp is one of the most popular trekking experiences not only in Nepal, but all over the world. The Khumbu region’s many natural and cultural qualities are explored and experienced in the journey along the way, like the famous town of Namche Bazaar, the holy Tengboche monastery, excursing through the Natural World Heritage Site that is Sagarmatha National Park, crossing river valleys of the Imja and the Dudh Koshi, the Khumbu Glacier and the Icefall, the vantage point of Kalapatthar and of course- views and sights of the many magnificent mountain peaks like the Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Nuptse, Changtse and Mount Everest itself among many others. The Khumbu is also a prime Sherpa settlement of the country and the journey is also encompassed with observing and being a small part of the Sherpa people and their customs of the mountains.
Other destinations in the country also offer amazing trekking experiences and a profound showcase of their features and characteristics. For example, the Mustang region offers a dry arid terrain with corroded rock formations and contrasting landscapes of amethyst hills set against the glowing tapestries of the Dhaulagiri Himalayas. The Manaslu region offers a daring venture into one of the most isolated regions of the country with the chance to circumbulate the Manaslu Himal while exploring the Chhetri and Brahmin villages. The Annapurna region is one of the most beautiful regions in the country that is famous for its easy terrains, sapphire lakes and the amazing Annapurna Himalayan range. Trekking in the various destinations and locations in Nepal is truly quite an exotic and sublime affair!
2. Peak Climbing
Peak Climbing is another famous adventure activity to do in Nepal. It is much like trekking, except for the fact that Peak Climbing is more strenuous and comparatively more thrilling. Making way to the peak of the mountain summit is a feat that is filled with exciting and galvanizing moments. The sight of many climbable peaks area a constant companion while trekking journeys as well. Nepal has many climbable peaks that are classified as “Trekking Peaks” falling under the 5,000 to 7,000 meter range of elevation. Special permits are required for Peak Climbing in the country and it is a process and a journey of careful planning and good physical endurance capability of the body.
Special equipments are also required for this, like ropes tied to the hard icy terrain, ice axes, crampons and karabiners. Following the climb leader as one trudges up the mountain, the route to the summit is a perilous one. Peaks like the Mera Peak, the Island peak, Lobuche Peak, Pisang Peak and the peak of Naya Kanga are some of the most popular climbable peaks in Nepal. It is generally done by experienced mountaineers, but first-time mountain climbers can also accomplish this feat. Most of the climbable peaks lie in the Khumbu and the Annapurna region, and for the initial stages of the journey to the summit, the trail and path is much the same as a trekking journey.
3. Cultural Tours
Cultural Tours in the country are quite the exotic affairs. Since Nepal is occupied by people of different religions and faiths, the country is quite rich in cultural and religious heritages and pilgrim sites. Nepal is also the country that has one of the densest concentrations of World Heritage Sites located close to each other. There are many buildings, monuments and temples in the country that are well-preserved and act as the reminiscent of the country’s past and its history. The cultural significant in the country is not only limited to temples and buildings, but to natural elements as well, like holy lakes and rivers. Nepal is brimming with countless temples and shrines and many of them are built and constructed in the unique Newa architecture of the pagoda and the shikhara style.
Nepali people’s dexterity is clearly reflected in the many intricate wood carvings, stone masonry, sculptures and idols of gods and goddesses that are spread throughout the country. Cultural Tours in Nepal is a journey of being immersed in its many traditional components that manifest in old buildings like the Durbar Squares of the three old cities of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur, Temples and Stupas like the Bouddhanath and the Swayambhunath, archeological findings and treasures like Lumbini, sacred tantric places like the Muktinath, vestiges of incredible stone artwork like the Changu Narayan and the Nyatapol and open museum-like city centers and public ponds that have been in the country since the medieval times. Nepal’s intricate artwork and traditional amalgamation of different cultural beliefs in the old temples, chaityas, Bihars and monasteries is what makes cultural tours in the country one of the most exciting and insightful activities to do while in Nepal.
Leaning more towards adventure seekers, White-water Rafting in Nepal has been gaining a lot of steady popularity for years. Nepal is the second-richest country in terms of water-resources and the melting ice and snow from the cerulean Himalayas of the country are the sources for many ever-flowing rivers and tributaries in the country. The white rivers originate from the mountains and follow stridulating courses along the terrain, perfect for rafting adventures! Famous rivers for white-water rafting in Nepal include Trishuli, the Bhote Koshi, the Sun Koshi, the Kali Gandaki and the Seti Rivers among many others. The fast-flowing tributaries of the water and the refreshing thrill of making your way in the perilous river is an adventure that tends to stick in the mind for years. Rafting is also a good way to revel in the river biodiversity of the country. Most of the rivers pass along forest-covered gorges and the sight of the tall emerald hills from the raft while on the river is quite a fascinating sight.
5. Wild-life Adventures
Nepal’s floral and faunal idiosyncrasy is also one of its main features that draw people from all over the world. Wild-life adventures in Nepal are a matter of amazing Jungle Safaris and exploration of the many alpine and evergreen forests of the land that are home to many endangered species of animals. Nepal’s woods, grasslands and wetlands are the habitat of elusive and extremely endangered mammal species like the Snow Leopards, Bengal Tigers, One-Horned Rhinoceros, Red Pandas, the Musk Deer, Himalayan Black Bears, Himalayan Thars, Himalayan Wolves, Langur Monkeys and Martens among many others. Moreover, Nepal’s avifauna is also very impressive with the northern deciduous forests home to birds like the Impeyan Pheasants, Himalayan Monals, Grebes, Cormorants, variety of Herons, Pelicans and Egrets, Storks, Flamingos, Ducks, Geese and graceful Swans along with birds of prey like Hawks, Kites Falcons and Eagles among many many more.
Rare reptiles like Gharials, Mugger Crocodiles, Bengal Monitor Snakes, Cobras and Monitor Dragons are also found in Nepal’s wet tropical forests. In order to protect its natural riches, both the animals and their habitat, Nepal has established numerous protection and preservation sites throughout the country. There are more than 20 networks of protected areas in Nepal consisting of 10 national parks, 3 wild-life reserves, 6 conservations areas, a hunting reserve and numerous other Ramsar Sites that cover large areas of land and include natural elements like mountains, lakes and rivers as well as ethnic villages. Among the many national parks, the Chitwan National Park and the Sagarmatha National Park are two national parks that are even inscribed under the UNESCO Natural World Heritage Sites. The Chitwan National Park is also quite famous for its amazing Jungle safaris that happen on Elephant backs. Exploring the wild-life of Nepal is a filled with beautiful moments and close encounters with amazing woodlands critters and elusive animals of the jungle.
6. Short Hiking
Nepal has many places that are suitable for a short hike to get away from the bustle of the city life. Many of the locations and destinations for short hikes are situated close to the city itself and offer a respite against the noise of the cityscape with natural bliss and panorama of the Himalayas. Places like Nagarkot, Daman, Chisapani and Sarangkot are among some of the most popular short hike destinations that lie close to the capital. Hiking along the pristine woodlands and looking at the distant panorama of the cerulean Himalayas is a great way to get a taste of Nepal’s authenticity without having to go through with extensive treks or get far away from home. The short hike destinations are also often famous for paragliding as well. Short Hikes in Nepal are peaceful alternatives for people who want to experience the tranquility of the mountains and the forests while staying close to the city. It is a journey that offers a beautiful and new perspective to people. It refreshes the mind and rejuvenates the soul. The panoramic views of the Himalayas are also one of the main highlights of Short Hiking trips. They are easy to do and a great way to break the monotonicity of everyday city life.
7. Adventure Activities
There are many options for adventure activities in Nepal. A short shot of adrenalin is exactly what the adventures in the country offer! Options like Paragliding, Zip-Flying, Bungee Jumping, Tandem Flights and Rock Climbing are available to do in the country. As the activities are set in a natural setting, they are a great way to really be one with nature. Bungee Jumping off the suspension bridge to meet the rushing river below, rock climbing against a waterfall and paragliding above the city are literally heart-pumping adventures that will be engraved in the minds for a long time. Boating is also an option, although it isn’t as adventurous. On the contrary, it falls under a more leisurely option. Boating on the pristine Phewa Lake besides the adventure capital of Nepal- Pokhara is also a refreshing activity that can be done. The beauty of the turquoise lake is also enhanced by its reflection of the Machhapuchhre Himal on its crystal clear waters. Adventure Activities in Nepal are an array of both adrenalin-inducing sports and leisurely boating, an escapade that is beautiful and brilliant in every way.
Nepal truly is one of the best destinations to visit. It is cheap and affordable and offers amazing features and attributes, the likes of which are not found anywhere else on the planet. Things like Trekking in Nepal along with many other activities only scratch the surface of what Nepal offers. It is a beautiful country with qualities that are winsome and riveting. It must be visited at least once in life.