I am passionate about living life to its fullest. I love travelling, going on adventures and I enjoy the finer things in life.
Published October 19th 2017
A chilled out India
Nepal, also known as the 'roof of the world', is unlike any other country you will encounter. From the hustle and bustle of the traffic on the streets, where taxis, people, vegetable and fruit vendors and cows all share the main thoroughfare to the peaceful serenity and isolation of being atop one of Nepal's numerous majestic mountains, Nepal has something for everyone. When I first arrived and jumped into a taxi in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, little did I expect my first taxi ride to be a thrill in itself. I mean, when you drive at break-neck speed down tiny (and I mean reach-out-the-car-and-touch-the-buildings tiny) laneways with more twists and turns than a maze, you know your entire trip will be a real ride! And I promise Nepal will not let you down.
The top four adventures you can go on in Nepal.
1. Trekking through the mountains There is nothing more incredible that waking up before the crack of dawn, spending a few hours trekking through the dark and cold and arriving at the peak of the mountain in time for the first rays of the morning to pierce through the clouds.
Nepal has two main treks – the famous Everest basecamp trek (departing Kathmandu) and the Annapurna circuit (departing Pokhara). Both are moderately difficult treks requiring a good level of base fitness. Guides and porters can be hired to assist with those who are more directionally challenged or those with baggage.
There are also multiple smaller trips ranging from three days to over a month long. One particular trek recommended is the newly opened Kopra Dhanda trek. It is approximately a seven day long trek with stops including Poon Hill lookout and the beautiful villages of Ghorepani, Tatopani (the world's deepest gorge), Paudwar (the cutest little stone houses!) and Swanta.
However, the real winner of the trip is the view at the 3660m Kopra Dhanda ridge. With only one lodge (although another was being built as we travelled there in 2016), you can have the breath-taking views entirely to yourselves. As you look out of your window atop the famed ridge, Dhaulagiri – the world's eighth tallest mountain, stands exalted in front of you. Rolling hills shrouded in clouds fill your vision to your left and the snow caps peaks of other famous mountains stand before you on your right. If there is one thing you must do in Nepal, it is this - trek their mountains and be filled with awe and wonder at the creation before you.
2. Safaris, mosquitos and hitchhiking Chitwan National park is the animal kingdom of Nepal. With wild crocodiles, deer, elephants, rhinos, tigers among many more - a safari through this National park is something to behold. However, be prepared – it is hot and humid and BYO mosquito repellent! Those marvellous wild animals mentioned above aren't the only animals you'll find in Chitwan, the mosquitos have also come out in drones! As an aside to this article - while the author of this article is not endorsing hitchhiking (please use your own common sense here – safety is paramount while travelling), I did find myself hitchhiking my way to Chitwan in a truck – what an incredible experience!
For the thrill-seekers, the adventurers and those that are trying to re-live their youth, look no further than Nepal. You can go white-water rafting down rapids, canyoning down waterfalls, paragliding, bungee jumping, zipflying – you name it! Pokhara (the second most well-known city in Nepal) is where you can walk along a street with vendors selling you an adrenaline-packed activity like they are selling apples. You can grab a cheaper price by bundling multiple activities together. One particular activity to grab as a bundle would be the white water rafting and canyoning while camping out overnight along the river under the stars. There is nothing more revitalising than spending a day in nature and following it up with a night in nature.
4. Culture and people Finally, there is nothing greater than exploring a new country and meeting the people who bring culture, story and life to a land. There is hardly a country with friendlier people than Nepal. Their smiles too big for their faces and their curiosity and generosity of spirit welcomes even the timidest of travellers. If you want a true local experience, look no further than the Backstreet Academy, where local Nepalese people will take you into their homes and teach you their traditional arts and crafts.
Nepal is a country on the rise. Recently devastated by a major earthquake, it is picking itself up one piece of rubble at a time. Now is a time for us to help support this beautiful country. Whether it is the beautiful hearts and smiles of the Nepalese people or the adventure and nature that beckons you in, come and see what this hidden gem has to offer.