Nepal – a mystical landlocked hiking haven of soaring mountains, sprinkled with snow and adorned with colourful flags. A cacophony of chimes from temples scattered across the rocky landscape break what seems to be a ceaseless silence. You cannot help but feel at peace and in awe of this dreamy destination – one that calls to be explored and should be at the top of every travel list this year.
Reach new heights
For those in search of the ultimate trekking getaway, Nepal promises some of the tallest mountains in the world – with Mount Everest, Mount Kanchenjunga and Annapurna boasting rugged and dramatic trails. If ascending in altitude is not your forte, the views are also impressive from below.
For those avid adventurers, we suggest the Everest Base Camp Tour – a guided hike through Khumbu Valley.
A walk through time
Nepal has as many temples and UNESCO World Heritage Sites as it does mountain ranges – and these are worth checking out. We recommend venturing to the medieval city squares of Patan and Bhaktapur as well as Buddha’s birthplace, Lumbini. The Kathmandu Valley is an exquisite cultural sanctuary awash with temple art, striking palaces and heavily adorned shrines.
Not all of Nepal’s scenery is predominately mountainous – the country is often referred to as ‘the land of rivers’ given its 6000 flowing waterways and expansive lakes. If you don’t mind getting your hair wet, there are plenty of water-friendly activities including kayaking, rafting and jumping into some breathtaking gorges.
A world of wildlife
A change of scenery can be experienced by exploring the southern region of Nepal’s mountains where Chitwan National Park and tropical jungles offer the perfect habitat for a vast and varied collection of creatures. Four of the ‘Big Five’, with the exception of the lion, can be sighted roaming the area and more than 856 birds species can be found.
The cuisine of contrasts
Nepal’s cuisine is reflective of its diverse array of cultures and the fact that it is boarded by a group of South Asian countries. India plays a heavy influence with curries being a poplar choice along with dumplings and Chinese stir-fry noodles. You can also expect to wash everything down with a steaming cup of Nepali tea, made from leaves of tea plants grown in Nepal.
Trinkets to take home
If there is space in your backpack, we recommend indulging in a bit of retail therapy – and Nepal has plenty of bazaars to suffice. Kathmandu is recommended for hunting down all of your souvenir needs – think charming handcrafted bowls, embroidered artwork and traditional sculptures.
A local welcome
The residents of Nepal are renowned for being some of the friendliest and most hospitable people in the world. Despite the constant flood of tourists to their country, they are eager to make you feel comfortable. Don’t be surprised if you are invited into their homes for a meal or to warm up at the end of a long day of hiking.
With 35 cultures in one country, the Nepalese people are continuously celebrating. Planning your trip to include one of the local festivals is definitely a must. The festivals are lively events and often include colourful costumes, music and dancing.
A holiday of value
Nepal in general is an inexpensive country and can easily be explored by those on a budget. Travel expenses like accommodation and transport are reasonably cheap especially when you plan ahead. Travelling on a shoestring won’t stop you from experiencing all of the marvels this place has to offer.
When it comes to crime, Nepal has one of the lowest rates and is considered to be a very safe destination. Even in the bigger cities you should not face any problems if you keep your wits about you. After suffering a devastating earthquake in 2015, the Nepalese people are happy to respect visitors who are contributing to the restoration of their beautiful country.
Feeling inspired after reading these 10 reasons to visit Nepal? Have a look at our exciting Nepal tours.
Article written by Kelly-Anne Ellis.