7 Reasons Nepal Should Be on Your 2018 Travel List
Ellen Taylor from the UK recently returned from a trip to Nepal where she had an incredible experience. If you are planning your next adventure and wondering where to go check out Ellen's top reasons why you will not regret visiting Nepal...
1. It’s cheap
You can find a meal in Kathmandu for about 400 rupees. That’s the equivalent of £3. Or, off the tourist track, you can have endless servings of Dhal Baht for as little as 150 rupees. It’s easy to book hostels and hotels at short-notice too, making it a backpacker’s dream destination.
2. The scenery is breath-taking
If you’ve seen pictures of snow-capped mountains and Himalayan prayer flags, you’ll already know that the Nepalese landscape is incredible. What you might not know is the amazing variety of terrain within this landlocked country. From the world’s highest mountains, to paddy fields, to jungles, Nepal has you covered.
3. There are hikes for all abilities
There are tours in Nepal for literally all abilities. Booking an excursion from Pokhara, you can climb to Mount Everest basecamp if that’s what you fancy, or simply take a day-long stroll through the foothills of the Himalayas. Annapurna Conservation Area, located just north of Pokhara, hosts some astonishing views of the Himalayas, with accessible routes for the average traveller. And hiking’s not the only adventure available: you can also go paragliding, rowing, horse-riding, or white-water rafting from this beautiful city.
4. It borders other incredible countries
If this wonderful place on its own isn’t enough to persuade you, think of all the places you can visit from nearby. From Nepal, you can travel easily to India, China, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Flights are also cheap to Sri Lanka and South-East Asia. Perfect to incorporate into a gap year.
5. The food is amazing
And great if you’re vegetarian/vegan. Dhal Baht is a typical Nepalese dish, which many Nepali people eat every day. It consists of rice, curried lentils and vegetables, but can also be served with meat. This will without a doubt be served at any authentic Nepalese restaurant, and differs so much from place-to-place that you won’t get bored. Momos are another classic food – a snack of vegetables or meat wrapped inside dough, which can then be steamed or fried.
Or if you fancy something a bit more greasy, pakodas will satisfy your fast-food cravings. It’s also easy to get your hands on wonderful Indian or Chinese inspired dishes. For drinks, try Himalayan mountain coffee, or sweet masala tea. Nepal also produces a brilliant range of lagers, including Everest, Ghorka, and Nepal Ice. (Or if you’re feeling adventurous, try Raksi – a traditional spirit.)
6. It’s not spoilt by tourism
While other countries in Asia have boomed from tourism over the last couple of decades, Nepal is relatively undiscovered. Particularly if you venture away from the big cities, it’s easy to gain a sense of the authentic culture. And while there aren’t many tourists, it’s also safe to travel round most of the country, even as a solo traveller.
7. It’s a country of peace
The country is home to many large temples and monasteries, most of which are open to travellers for a small donation. You can visit Lumbini, birthplace of the Buddha. But even without this sightseeing, this country has a prominent sense of serenity. One of the most refreshing things about Nepal is the calm mindfulness of its people. There is a noticeable lack of religious conflict in Nepal, with Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians living together in peace. Walking through the streets, you can hear soothing mantras. And talking of harmony, if you want some self-reflection, Nepal is a great place for yoga and meditation.
By Ellen Taylor