“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”
Sir Edmund Hillary (first person to climb Mount Everest).
Nepal has supreme natural beauty and a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years. There’s only one way to find out why increasing numbers of people are flocking to Nepal each year. That’s by going there!
So go and book your flight.
Do it right now!
Now that you’ve booked your flight, here are some of the must do’s for your trip:
1. Stuff Yourself
There is no shortage of good food in Nepal. Momo are Nepalese dumplings, and are essential for any dumpling fan. In winter, try Ghorkhali Lamb: slow-cooked lamb chop curry with meat that falls off the bone. Vegetarian food is abundant with a wide selection of mouth-watering curries and dahl. For dessert, try fresh Sel Roti: crispy rice flour doughnuts like no pastry you have ever eaten.
People in Nepal like it spicy so be careful not to burn off your taste buds!
2. Treat Yourself
There are many fine, hand-made wares in Nepal, but the culture of haggling is daunting to many westerners. Remember that haggling in Nepal is normal. Even the locals haggle.
Haggling is a balancing act. If you offer too much, the merchants will target you as a sucker. Offer too little and you risk offending. Speak to people respectfully and don’t be afraid to say ‘no’. Make haggling the hilariously memorable experience that it can be.
3. Lose yourself
Nepal is a vibrant country. Annual festivals give visitors a taste of the culture of Nepal. In the November busy season, you can’t go past Nepal’s second biggest festival Tihar, when the streets are fragrant with the smell of oil lamps and candles, and the night is alive with colourful lights.
Festivals celebrating life in Nepal are thrown all year round. Find out what’s on when you are visiting to find out how you can join in the celebrations!
4. Challenge yourself
Few experiences compare to trekking in Nepal. You will hike through mountains with panoramic views that are unparalleled. The satisfaction of prying off your hiking boots after a long day of trekking is accompanied with an overwhelming sense of personal achievement.
There are many ways to trek in Nepal. If you are travelling with a family or prefer gentle walks you might consider a trek through Chitwan National Park or the Kathmandu Valley. If you fancy yourself a bit of an explorer you might consider the Mt Everest Base Camp (or even the summit, if you’re really bold).
No matter what your preferences is, you need to put in lots of planning to make sure you are a safe and responsible traveller. Trying to gather all the information can be overwhelming. Read up before you go to guarantee an unforgettable trip of a lifetime.
5. Take yourself
The worst part about travelling is travelling. Waiting in queues for bus tickets is painful and airports are stressful. On a motorbike you are free to go where you want, when you want.
But be safe!
Don’t ride at night and don’t speed. Wear a proper helmet (even if the locals don’t), and make sure your insurance covers you. If you don’t feel safe riding, join a motorcycle tour instead.
Make your trip about the journey, not the destination.
6. Excite yourself
Nepal has been called the number one kayaking destination in the world and is ideal for white water rafting. Tour companies can organise single-day or multiple-day tours, for beginners or experts.
If you don’t like getting wet, check out a competition. Nepal competed in the International Rafting Championships in 2017. Go to a comp to see some of the best in the world.
There are many ways to enjoy the most exciting water in the world.
7. Find yourself
Hindu temples or Buddhist stupas in the mountains offer a quiet and tranquillity that is ideal for getting in touch with your inner self.
No matter your faith, there smells of incense, sounds of prayer, and the hospitality of monks or priests makes Nepal one of the best places in the world for quiet reflection.
8. Give back to others
If you only spend a 90-day visa in Nepal, you will feel a debt for the life-long memories that this country will give you. Many people try to give back by volunteering, sometimes spending thousands for the privilege.
Voluntourism is a lucrative scam in Nepal. Not doing proper research means that you will get ripped off and might do more harm than good. When you give back, do it in a way that protects the mountains, the forests, the rivers, and the people of Nepal.
This way, Nepal will be the one of the most beautiful destinations in the world in the future, as it is today.