Earthquake of 2015 drastically changed the economy of Nepal. At the time, news media over vaguely stretched the disaster resembling some type of massive annihilation, though loss of lives and fallen homes in villages and children staying outside without any proper sanitation can’t be ignored; it is fact that mere 2% of the Tourism sites were affected by the disaster. This information really dried up tourism industry for the year, but now it is progressing gradually.
If you want to make visit to Nepal read the article; so that you can really know what you can do once you are here (Nepal is now completely safe to visit). (Top 20 things to do in Nepal)
Trekking is one of the most popular activities in Nepal because it houses many hiking sites including Everest region, Annapurna Region, Langtang Region and many others. All the region offer sights of world famous peaks in one form or another & the most fascinating part is; the higher altitude you cover, the greater the Himalayan views you get and the more challenging and difficult for you. For the accommodation part, most of the short trekking routes have lodges or hotels but for longer & high altitude trek, you either have to use Tea-houses or stay in tents. There are more than hundred trekking routes to choose from and it makes sure you don’t get bored and you can customize or choose routes that best match your preference. Huge option of routes also means anyone can enjoy Nepal. Your trip varies on the basis of your time and budget you are going to spend.
– Recommended for you: Top 5 best easy & short trekking in Nepal
High altitude trekking is correlated with fewer facilities and more challenges, still the village people offer great hospitality & you can enjoy amazing landscapes, which you will remember forever. Trekking is must do in Nepal. Some popular trekking includes Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek & Ghorepani Poonhill Trek. To trek in more secluded areas like Upper Mustang Trek,Manaslu Trek, Dolpo Trek, etc you need a special permit and they are more expensive compared to other major trekking.
If you want to take part in more adventurous side of Nepal, nothing can kill your hunger better than Expedition. Since the first successful summit of Everest in May 1953 by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa & Sir Edmund Hillary, climbers around the world are rushing to ascend the peak. You too can climb the Everest and for that you need series of experience and training before attempting the peak. If you are in mission to summit Everest someday, you can start by climbing small trekking peaks (above 6000m) and increasing your level & experience slowly. The main task here is to accommodate your physique with altitude because it is the main cause of death during expedition. And this slow & steady adaptation in high altitude increases your chance of summiting Everest.
Besides, you can take plunge in climbing famous trekking peaks like Island Peak, Mera Peak, Yala Peak & Pisang Peak to name a few. These are challenging for first timers and once you ascend these peaks, you can challenge yourselves to climb top ten world’s highest peaks. Good Luck.
Are you history savvy? Do you want to chill the boring day off? If so, sightseeing around the city of Kathmandu, Patan or Bhaktapur is the best option. They are surrounded by green hills and each city possesses their own vast artistic style and tradition & once was three different kingdoms. You can tour solo but hiring an experienced guide is great in case you want to know in depth of the architectures, arts, monuments, paintings, temples, stupas, chaityas & culture which are scattered all over the city. There are seven world heritage sites in the valley which lures most of the tourist and they are usually populated excluding some. You can tour for a day or take multi day cultural tour. In Multi day tour, you reach some of the most visited and popular sites like Muktinath, Lumbini (Birth Place of Gautam Buddha) and others.
Yes, the devastating earthquake of 2015 destroyed many houses, took life of thousands and shattered many historical sites. Many of them were restored and many of those who lost their houses were built with the help of government. But still the progress in rural areas is slow and you too can take part in restoration with the help of NGO’s and other volunteering organizations. Besides, you can go to secluded areas and teach new things to uplift their lifestyle or take part in many awareness programs and help change the world view of Nepali people in rural areas. You will learn valuable lessons in the process because from the interview of many volunteers in Nepal, it is found that they somehow feel motivated to do something for the world. This wonderful lesson is precious for the well being of the entire earth and volunteering in Nepal shows you the most touching part of Nepal which you must experience once in a life.
Busy people love Mountain flight but those with lots of time can also do this activity. You will experience the luxuriousness of flying side to side with the world’s highest peaks like Everest. The flight lasts an hour and takes off in the morning because morning means good weather. We take full advantage of the morning and see mountains which are over 7000 & 8000 meters above like Lhotse, Choyou, Pumori, Gaurishankar & Amadablab to name a few. The best time period to take mountain flight & get clear camera range views of these mountains is from February to April and October & November. During these months, many airlines operate mountain flight and you can easily get a ticket. Everyone is offered a window seat but make sure to remind them (just in case).
Helicopter Tour to Himalaya gives you bird eye view of mountains and valleys. This tour is expensive but the investment you make is nothing compared to the experience you get. You will get movie like experience and reach up to the height of 5545 meters for the most liked and most popular Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour. You can also take helicopter tour and observe Annapurna Himalayan Range, Langtang Himalayan range and other camping trek area too. Most of the helicopters are 5-8 seated; perfect for a family and is great for those who don’t want have lots of time and don’t want to miss dramatic sceneries and see enormous Himalaya Range.
Here is short description of Everest Helicopter Sightseeing Tour:
The adventure flight takes you to Everest base camp and Kalapatthar. You will view Mt. Everest [8,848m], Mt. Lhotse [8,501m], Mt. Pumori [7,165m], Mt. Nuptse [7,864m], Mt. Cho oyu [ 8,153m] & many more massive Everest region Himalayan range within few hours. It is replacement to 14 days Everest base camp trekking. We take flight from Kathmandu and Land here to end the tour.
River rafting is popular as a Day Tour in Nepal and many people combine it with other vacation package. Being mountainous country, Nepal is blessed with numerous fast flowing river that gush down from Himalaya glacier cutting through the mountain and carving deep gorges to finally reaches the vast plain where it slows down as it passes through India. You can test your rafting skill in some of the rapid flowing rivers of Nepal or practice in calm waves. You can choose the scale of rivers on the basis of its ferocity from grade one to six and starting from one is always best for beginners. Most tourists who are first timers are found to easily do grade 3 rafting. You can also do this activity as multi day because you get to enjoy the night fire there. Dry season is the best time to raft in Nepal and they usually are in the months from March to Early May and October to December. Bhotekoshi River rafting & Trishuli River Rafting are popular among them.
Bungee Jumping is one of the best things to do in Nepal. First bungee Jumping site of Nepal is in Bhotekoshi which is approximately 160m jump. And you have to take three hours drive by bus to reach there. This site was designed by one of the New Zealand’s leading consultant and is currently being operated by experts of bungee jumping and takes safety matter very very seriously. Another Bungee jumping site is in Pokhara, which is artificial and is only 70 meter jump (7 hour drive from Kathmandu).
Bhotekoshi Bridge from which bungee jumping is made is designed by Swiss with 4x safety factor. It has a loading factor of 250kg per running meter which means that bridge will hold 250*166=41,500 kg or 405 tons of loads. During the construction of the bridge over 600 meters of steel wires were used and is also the longest bridge in Nepal. This bridge plays a great role to join two valleys and before the construction of the bridge, villagers used to walk 5hrs to cross the George. Before the jump is made it is advised to empty the pocket and not to take any intoxication. Then everyone is weighed to categorize the cords to be used. Green is used for lightest, red for heavier and Black for Heavyweights.
In the land of Gurus, Yogis and Rishis, you must learn Meditation practices and do some Yoga’s. Nepal is the homeland of yoga with rich history of culture which includes healing of body, mind and soul. Learning to become physically fitter, emotionally calmer, mentally alert, personally more stable, getting rid of emotional hazards and building confidence are the main benefits of/merits of Yoga and Meditation. The light of Asia – Gautam Buddha was born in Nepal and you can find many monks who are followers of Buddhism doing meditation. There are many stupas’ in Nepal where you can find Buddhist monks. The best place is in Lumbini where Buddha was born but there are many peaceful places in Kathmandu where you can practice meditation & meet Gurus. It is never a bad time to learn new philosophy from the Yogis of Nepal and get enlightnment.
We have combined Yoga with trekking and the Combingation is great. Check out: Himalayan Trekking & Youga Retreat Nepal
10. Jungle Safari
Which do you prefer, natural or artificial? I prefer natural – You can take Elephant safari in the jungle of Chitwan. I prefer Artificial – Jeep Safari in the jungle of Chitwan is for you. Bio-diversity beautifully defines Nepal because you can find Terai (flat land), Hills and mountains in Nepal. In the land of Bio-diversity, you must take a look at different species of birds, animals, plants and wild lives. In the southern belt of Nepal also known as Terai (foot belt), it is covered with dense sub-tropical forest. And both safaris take you to the deep forest. In the jungle safari package that most tour operator offer includes nature walks, bird watching, excursions, canoeing and visit to Tharu village. You can do this by yourself but the package costs same and the programs are also same. Many tourists do this activity as add-on to their package trip.
Bit of history:
There are 9 national parks and wildlife reserves in the Kingdom; Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (175 sq. km.), Royal Chitwan National Park (932 Sq. km.) and Bardiya National Park (968 sq. km.) are most famous and popular. Overall reserve covers a total of 28,999 sq km which is 19.7 % of the country’s total land.
11. Mountain Biking
Taking a long and tiring cycle ride in the mountainous region of Nepal is challenging and life changing while taking short day rides to beautiful hills and enjoying amazing mountain views in far-distance is awesome. Mountain biking is pretty popular as a day activity and most people take two to three day ride to escape the bustle of Kathmandu city. You can easily rent bikes from many of the renters in Thamel. Cost depends on what kind of cycle you want to take and most of the common bike works fine. Sometimes/Rarely a group tour in bike is held and if you are lucky enough you can join the group and enjoy amazing mass mountain bike tour (come in peak season to get lucky). Some people even take cycle ride to Everest region (up to 2932 meter) and the ride is quite challenging & is perfect to max out all of your energy.
Canyoning is a water adventure sport in Nepal where we experience the thrill and excitement of travelling down the creeks or streams of rivers. For canyoning, we need some technical skill of stream navigation, rope and canyoning gears and some preparation. Nepal is also famous destination for adventure-seekers in white water that flows through national parks, conserved areas and religious sports.
However, canyoning gives body and mind experience of adventure. Canyoning also includes hiking, wading, rock climbing, boulder hopping, sliding, swimming, jumping, abseiling and climbing down waterfalls through canyon walls to deep pools. Reliable equipments and safety advises makes this adventure great. Sundarijal area, Trishuli and Bhote Koshi River are the best places for thrilling adventure of canyoning and also there are other many rivers which are relatively great. Canyoning can be of various level regarding the skill and interest of the adventurer. Some of the difficult canyoning is supported by the experts of the field.
13. Zip flyer
“The world’s longest, steepest and fastest zipline” – this is how the one and only zip line of Nepal is described and you can imagine the thrill and anticipation one gets before and after the experience. Made for the adventure lovers with heart of steel, one must try this activity. It is located in Pokhara which is around 7 hours drive from the capital of Nation. This activity is mostly done by the tourists after trekking in Annapurna region and they refresh themselves with this adventure before returning to Kathmandu.
ZIP flyer in Pokhara leaves from Sarangkot (1625m.) to Hemja (960m.) at speed of 2miles/hour. It lasts almost 2 minutes & is a ride of a lifetime with the opportunity to witness the magnificent sceneries of Mt. Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, Lamjung Valley and amazing dense forest below it. Zip flyer in Pokhara is a unique sport and it is guaranteed to be a memorable experience.
14. Rock climbing
Many have hobby to climb rocks and you can do that in Nepal too. You can either do in natural rocks or man-made spots. The route is pre-defined and are challenging when climbing natural rocks. Rock climbing hobbyist performs this activity on the way to Pokhara. Bimal Nagar is best choice and offers you views of Mt. Manaslu and Marshyangdi River. Before rock climbing lesson is also available in Kathmandu and one can hire professional guide for proper climbing and increased safety. As rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber’s strength, endurance, agility, and balance along with his or her mental control. It can be a dangerous sport and knowledge of proper climbing techniques with skill of usage of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes.
Some popular rock climbing sites:
- Nagarjun Forest – 2o min from Kathmandu (Drive)
- Hattiban – 1 hr from Kathmandu (Drive)
- Bimal Nagar – 20 min from Bandipur (Drive)
- Nagarkot – Very secluded and you probable need guide
- Namchhe Bazaar – Bouldering field is 30 minute walk (Everest Region)
Skiing in Nepal is only for serious ski lovers. Because of the remoteness and steep snow lines, one of the world’s highest skiing lands needs Heli-transportation to carry equipments. Also once you ski down, you need Helicopter to climb to the top because of no any infrastructure developed to carry you to the top. There is no any road to carry equipments too and people have to carry, which take days. But slowly ski resorts are developing in Nepal and if you are serious about skiing in Nepal. You can do it in Everest region, Annapurna, Dhauligiri, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Kangchenjunga & the Dolpo regions. They are most recently opened destination for skiing in Nepal. You will have foreign trained ski guide and all of the safety are controlled by professionals. For the best experience Annapurna region is regarded as the best option because of the excellent snow conditions & stay in Pokhara – the second biggest tourist hub of Nepal.
Paragliding is available in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
In Kathmandu, we have to drive an hour to reach Godavari to do Paragliding. It lasts about 30 minutes and is the best option if you are in Kathmandu and don’t want to commute to Pokhara (7 hrs drive). The flight takes off from Chapakhana (2100m) and lands in Godavari. You get to explore the temples and greenery of Pulchoki hill. November, December and January are the best months to do this activity in Kathmandu.
In Pokhara, paragliding is done from Sarangkot, which is at the top of Pokhara valley. You can enjoy the spectacular view of Mt. Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and fly over lakes, monuments, villages, jungles, etc. Sarangkot is at the height of 1592m., which is also the highest point of Pokhara valley. Paragliding depend upon the influence of the weather so never forget to check out that and this is a wonderful opportunity to share airspace with griffin vultures, eagles, kites, etc. That all concludes, don’t miss this wonderful opportunity.
Ultralight flight is the best choice to explore Pokhara city & Mt. Fishtail from the sky. It is the flight in engines powered flying vehicle with no window where two people can sit (pilot and passenger). This adventure is popular in Nepal because you can reach close to mountain and observe most of Pokhara city from above with no distraction (like side passenger and hostages). To talk about the history of Ultraflight in Nepal, it started from 1997 and also the first in south Asia. Best season to do ultraflight is early autumn to early spring. Ultralight flight in Pokhara lasts from 15 minutes to 90 minutes in speed of 50-90 km/hr and you get surrounded by Himalayas. You can enjoy Sarangkot Hill, Peace Pagoda, southern parts of Pokhara valley, Mt. Fishtail and Fewa Lake.
18. Hunting – (In Dhorpatan)
Dhorpatan hunting reserve is the only legal park to hunt in Nepal. The hunting is strictly controlled and you need permission from Department of National Park & Wild life conservation of Nepal to hunt here. Also, you should come here for hunting in selected season of the year because of the limitation. The main habitat of this reserve is Blue Sheep though you can see animals like Leopard, Ghoral, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Languor to name a few. The hunting is not limited to only animals; you can see some serious views of mountains like Dhaularigi range, Annapurna, Fishtail & Manaslu Himal & get to explore mixed ethnicity of Magar, Thakali, Brahmin, Chettri, Sunar and other.
Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve was established in 1987 & covers area of 1325 sq. km. It is combined with Rukum, Myagdi & Baglung District. This was hunting place for past royal kings and queens and now many Nepali and foreigners come here to kill their hunting hunger. You can camp within the permitted area of the forest for nearly two weeks and hunt.
19. Bird Watching
Bird watching gives you whole new level of safari in the jungle. Nepal and specially the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in the eastern Terai is heritage for bird watchers. Estimation says that there are more than 850 species (near about 8% birds of the world) of birds in Nepal and many of them can be spotted in corners of Kathmandu Valley. Nagarjun, Godavari & Pulchowki are very popular for bird watching. Besides, you can go to Taudaha Lake, which is in the way to Dakshinkali to watch rare bird fowl during winter. Some of the popular birds you are like to spot are Egrets, herons, Kingfishers, Ibis bill, wood Sandpipers, Plovers, Curia, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Rufous Bellied Pied Woodpeckers, Parrot bill, Babblers, Pheasants, sunbirds and many many others.
High altitude houses different species of birds if you want to explore. You can go to Chitwan or Bardiya National Park to watch variety of birds. Most popular, which is also the national bird of Nepal Lophophorous (Impeyen Pheasant), known as Danphe in Nepal can be seen in High Himalayas of Nepal. For short trip Chitwan is the best choice and for a day tour, you can go to Nagarjun, Godavari or Pulchowki.
Shopping for souvenirs in Nepal can’t be ignored. Once you roam around Thamel city, you will know the range of products you can take home for you and your loved ones. You can buy artifacts, arts, antiques, handicrafts, old stamps & coins, precious stones, idols, statues, bags, purses, national weapon – Khukuri, handwoven cloths, thankas, paper products, metal works, Pashmina and the most popular – Nepalese costume. There are many locations you in Kathmandu and around for you to shop. Durbar Marg area is for premium brands and high quality fashion products. Thamel center is popular for souvenirs and handicrafts while Dillibazaar, Kupondole and Lazimpat are famed for popular boutiques. For those who want budget friendly products, New road is the best choice. Make sure to check all the locations for great experience. Most tourist roam around these locations at the last day of their trip (trekking, tour or expedition) completion to take souvenirs for their friends, friends, relatives or just to keep it as memory of wonderful Himalayan country – Nepal.