One of the world’s top tourist destinations, Nepal is a hikers’ paradise that blends Himalayan views, golden temples, quaint hill villages, and jungle wildlife viewing.
For mountain lovers, the Nepal Himalaya represents the pinnacle. With challenging trails leading to Everest, the Annapurnas, and beyond, this area offers some of the most famous and easily accessible hiking in the Himalaya. Nowhere else is it possible to hike through breathtaking mountain scenery for days on end while knowing that a cooked supper, cosy lodge, and warm slice of apple pie are waiting for you at the end of the day.
Then there is the rush that comes with rafting down a raging river in Nepal or bungee jumping into a gaping Himalayan gorge. With some of the most stunning scenery in the world as their backdrop, canyoning, climbing, kayaking, paragliding, and mountain biking all provide an adrenaline rush.
Other tourists prefer to experience Nepal at a more leisurely pace, taking in the mountains while sipping a gin and tonic at sunset, wandering through Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur’s mediaeval city squares, and joining Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims on a contemplative tour of centuries-old stupas and monasteries. Nepal is still the Himalaya’s cultural powerhouse, despite the 2015 earthquake, and the Kathmandu Valley in particular has an unmatched selection of world-class palaces, secret backstreet shrines, and exquisite temple art. The tastiest dumplings are found in Nepal, and it’s a terrific place to learn about anything Tibetan Buddhism.
Few nations in the world are as ideally suited to independent travel as Nepal. Walking through Thamel and Pokhara’s trekking stores, bakeries, and pizzerias, it’s simple to imagine yourself in some sort of backpacker Disneyland. In the countryside, there is a very distinct Nepal where traditional mountain life is still practised slowly and where there are countless opportunities for adventures. One of the reasons why so many people keep coming back to Nepal is because finding enough time to fit everything in may be a real challenge.
A line of wild and woolly national parks may be found south of Nepal’s Himalayas, where nature lovers can search the jungles for rhinos, tigers, and crocodiles while also looking for unique bird species in the subtropical treetops. Choose between staying in an opulent safari lodge in the heart of Chitwan or taking a more adventurous journey to the isolated Bardia or Koshi Tappu, stopping along the way to see the location of Buddha’s birth on the steamy plains close to Lumbini. Nepal provides an astoundingly broad range of sights and landscapes, whether you travel the nation on a motorbike, raft, mountain bike, or other mode of transportation.