Nepal, also known as the roof of the world, consists of mountains, jungle and natural beauty that is almost untouched. It has the highest mountain in the world, the Everest Mountain, which every year hundreds of people try to reach its peak.
Nepal offers stunning views and incredible trekking opportunities. Some other must do are paraglidng, river rafting, ultra light flight anda scenic flight on the Himalayas Range. Nepal is full of culture and colour; people are friendly and try to help whenever they can.
Nepal is home to eight out of the fourteen highest peaks in the world with colorful and intricate Hindu religion to the austerity of the Buddhist monasteries. From these breathtaking heights, rivers crash down through the foothills, fed by monsoon rains and melting snow, on their way to the Great Plains of the Ganges.
Nepal offers unlimited opportunities for great river rafting, kayaking, climbing, mountaineering, biking, hiking and popular trekking adventures .
Only a few kms away from Kathmandu
Most speak English, but those who don’t will try to communicate anyway. Most of the Nepali are Hindu, which is a very interesting religion. They are very devoted, that is why Hindu temples can be found everywhere. Their typical Asian sculptors and ancient buildings can be seen in almost all major cities and town. The second most popular religion is Buddhism.
Top Tourist Attractions
- Kathmandu – Capital City
- Chitwan National Park
- Mountain Trekking
- River Rafting
There are lots of amazing places, things to see and do in Nepal for a discerning traveler. From natural attractions to cultural and historical sites, there are many tourist attractions;
Kathmandu – Capital City
Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal and stands at an elevation of 1,400mtrs. This city is a combination of ancient(2000 years old), new and unique. Streets are bustling with cars , motor cycles, bikes and rickshaws. It is hard to get used to the deafening horns that are constant. Funnily enough cows love to rest in the middle of a very congested road creating havoc in an already very congested and over populated city. Air poluttion is considered a very serious problem, mostly from industry, traffic and fumes.
Some attractions that one must visit are:
Pashupatinath temple is in the city boundaries and is considered the most sacred temple for Hindu . Cremation is done here and it’s were the spirit departs the body. When the body is cremated it’s remains are thrown in the Bagmati river just beside the temple.
Boudnath Stupa is a Bhudist temple that consists of a white Dome with eyes looking in all directions right in the middle of a square. Around the temple monks and sisters go around the stupa turning prayer wheels while praying.
Swayambhunath also known as the monkey temple, mainly Budhist but also used by Hindus. Take the steps up to the temple and the reward is an amazing view of the city. When reaching the summit it’s like stepping back in time while walking through passages full of impressive monuments and stupas . Watch for the monkeys, they can be pests sometimes.
Patan and Bhaktapur, both these towns are a few kilometers away from the main city of Kathmandu. Both are UNESCO world heritage sites. One can find Temples, monuments, shrines and all typical asian arcitecture and sculptures.
Try to visit one of the open markets in Kathmandu, it’s a unique experience full of colours, spices, teas and one can buy souvenirs and do some bargains!
Thamel is found in the heart of Kathmandu, it’s the most touristic area, full of hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops and travel agents were one can arrange some exhilarating tours like a climb to the Everest base camp.
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park is the first national park established in Nepal and given the status of a World Heritage Site . Chitwan is located in the Terai region with the Rapti river acting as a natural boundary to humans.
The Chitwan National Park is home to some 43 species of mammals. The Bengal tiger, initially a small population has increased to around 100. Other species found in the park are indian rhinos, leopards, wild boars , spotted deer , monkeys , several species of flying squirrels, wild dogs, sloth bears, foxes, several species of mongoose, honey badger and yellow-throated martens. Striped Hyenas are spotted on very rare occasions .
The Indian Rhinoceros population has recovered well and to safe guard this species in case of epidemics, animals are moved annually from Chitwan to the Bardia National Park. Poaching is still a hot issue, with a significant number of rhinos cruelly killed every year owing to their precious horn.
Sometimes wild elephant bulls find their way from Valimiki National park into the valleys of the Chitwan park, in search of elephant cows willing to mate. In the Chitwan National Park there are some 543 bird species, a pure bliss for enthusiasts of bird watching.
Chitwan is one of Nepal’s most popular tourist destinations and offers various jungle adventures such as elephant safari, canoeing or rafting in the Rapti River, various jungle walks, bathing with the elephants , 20,000 lakes and visits to the elephant breeding centre .
Pokhara a town surrounded by the Annapurna mountain range and phewa lake is a natural beauty with an atmosphere of peace and magic, that’s why it’s popular for realxation and enjoying the beauty of nature.
Pokhara’s Major attractions are:
Phewa Lake, Begnas and Rupa Lake, Barahi Temple,World Peace Pagoda, Seti Gandaki , Devi’s Fall, Bindbyabasini Temple, Museums and Himalayan Vista.
Phewa Tal (Lake)
Phewa lake, the second largest lake in Nepal, is the center of all attractions in Pokhara. The enchanting lake is an idyllic playground. Brightly painted wooden boats and sailboats can be rented around the lakeside with a minimum charge.
The lake is neither deep nor particularly clean, but the water is warm and swimming is pleasant if you don’t think about the probable pollution. The eastern shoreline of the lake, known as Lakeside consists of restaurants, lodges, bookshops and souvenir shops. One of the fascinating parts of lakeside is the splendid view of the mountains, especially when the still water reflects the peaks, creating a double image.
Begnas lake and Rupa lake
The lakes are located a few kms away from Pokhara city centre. These lakes offer the perfect nature retreat and are perfect for boating and fishing.
Built on a small island in the middle of Phewa lake this temple is the most important religious monument in Pokhara. This pagoda is dedicated to the boar manifestation of Ajima, and mostly on Saturdays devotees can be seen, carrying animals and fowl across the lake to be sacrificed to the Gods.
World Peace Pagoda
This pagoda is a huge Buddhist stupa and is situated on top of a hill on the southern shore of Phewa lake. The shrine is a great viewpoint which offers spectacular views of the Annapurna range and Pokhara city. You can get there by crossing the lake by boat and then hiking up the hill.
This river flows right through the city and at certain places runs completely underground. Mahendra Pul, a small bridge near the old Mission Hospital, provides a perfect view of the river’s dreadful rush and the deep gorge made by its powerful flow.
Devi’s fall is a breath-taking waterfall in the heart of POkhara. A modern legend says that a foreigner named David was skinny-dipping in the river when the floodgates of the dam were opened, sweeping him into an underground passage beneath the fall, never to be seen again.
Pokhara Museum displays the lifestyles and history of ethnic groups such as the Gurung, Thakali and the Tharu. The museum is opened daily with the exception of Tuesdays and holidays, from 10 am to 4 pm. Entrance fee is Rs. 5 and there is an extra Rs. 10 for cameras.
Annapurna Museum, managed by the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, has an exceptional collection of butterflies, insects, birds, and models of wildlife as well as samples of various precious and semi-precious stones and volcanic rocks. Open daily, except Saturdays and holidays, from 9 am to 4 pm. Entrance is free
The Mountain Museum shows the history of Nepal’s most famous activity, mountain climbing, with a step by step of the individuals that reached various summits. A display of all Nepal’s ethnic groups can also be found in this museum.
The main peaks viewed from Pokhara are Annapurna I to IV , the beautiful Machhapuchhare (Fishtail Mountain), Himchuli, Varahashikhar, Gangapurna and other peaks. The mountains will probably be hidden in the clouds between April and September.
Offering beautiful views of the Himalayas, Bandipur is quite accessible and with its old Newari town atmosphere, it’s an interesting tourist site from which a few guesthouses and a hotel can be found. Bandipur’s seclusion saved the Newari architecture of its buildings, which it’sone of the major attractions. Variuos Newari and Magar festivals, can also be of interest to tourists. Other attractions include the Bindyabashini temple and the library in the village centre, Thani Mai, Tindhara(“Three Taps” washing place at the southeastern outskirts), Raniban (Queen’s Forest), the treks to the Siddha Cave and Ramkot village.
Some villagers grow oranges for a living, which grow quite well in the climate of that area. An hour walk from Bandipur one can find a silk farm.
Nagarkot is located 32 km east of Kathmandu at an elevation of 2,195 meters and is considered one of the most scenic spots in Bhaktapur District. It is popular for its sunrise view of the Himalayan Range including Mount Everest . Nagarkot also offers a panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley and is a tourist destination with spectacular views of the whole Langtang range, sunrise on the mountains and sunset views.
You can breathe the cool mountain air while walking through rice fields and scatterd lovely houses, watching their typical daily farmer life style. Everything slows down in Nepal and it make you feel at peace with yourself and appreciate what we have in our own life. One can find top quality hotels and decent lodges , most of them preparing wonderful nepali meals. One can also admire the large amount of birds in this area, especially eagles and crows. Sit down and enjoy the peace and quite of Nagarkot , it’s truly an unforgettable experience.
Where to Stay
In Nepal one can find all types of accommodation – from high to low standard hotels, hostels and some lodges in the Chitwan area. In general, service is very good and you feel very welcome when visiting any town or village. Considering, Nepal is still a very cheap country to visit so if you’re on a budget, it’s the perfect place to visit.
It is not recommended to self drive Nepal. Most of the roads are carved in the mountains with steep hills and tragic falls into a very fast flowing river. It is also important to know that Nepali are crazy drivers! If one is accustomed to a high level highway and straightforward roads, you will feel disorientated in Nepal. The best way to travel in Nepal is to hire a car with a driver. Nepali people are the best people to understand their own road regulations!!