Nepal, situated between the majestic Himalaya Mountains and the fascinating Indian jungles, is a land where yaks, yetis, mountain peaks, and hidden monasteries appear to be commonplace. Since it opened its borders to foreigners, Nepal has become an enticing destination for hikers and trekkers of all types, with many venturing to the famous Everest Base Camp. Its rugged trails provided unparalleled trekking opportunities, while the allure of climbing Mount Everest drew mountain climbers from all over the world.
Nepal has also managed to reinvent itself as a popular tourist destination over the years. Its rich natural beauty, historic attractions, and vast cultural heritage have proven to be the ideal blend of ancient and modern, slow-paced lifestyles and frantic city life. It’s no surprise that Nepal is high on the list of travel trends and beyond. So, without further ado, here is our list of the best things to do in Nepal.
TREKKING IN NEPAL
Nepal is the land of trekking (and climbing), offering some of the best trekking routes in the world, whether you are a novice or an experienced trekker. The Manaslu trek is one of the best adventure treks in Nepal, taking you on unrivaled trekking routes surrounded by pristine nature. If you want to climb but don’t have much experience, we recommend Island Peak or Mera Peak. Both peaks reach +6,000 meters in elevation and can be summited by people with no prior mountaineering experience, promising a challenging adventure and a memory to last a lifetime!
VISIT TO CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK
Chitwan National Park, Nepal’s first national park, is another must-see attraction in the country. The park is home to over 500 species of migratory birds, as well as one-horned rhinos, Bengal tigers, and Asian elephants. It covers nearly 332 square miles and is said to be the best place in Nepal to see animals such as bears, tigers, crocodiles, elephants, and rhinos. Kingfishers, paradise flycatchers, egrets, and brahminy ducks are the most common bird sightings.
AROUND THE HIMALAYAS IN PANORAMIC FLIGHT
It’s possible that rekking the mighty Himalayas isn’t for everyone. But it doesn’t mean you can’t see some of the world’s most breathtaking peaks. A Himalayan panorama mountain flying trip provides unrivaled eye-level views of the spectacular mountain peaks and allows you to witness true Himalayan magnificence unfold right before your eyes, including Mount Everest. Mt. Makalu, Mt. Gosaithan, Mt. Dorje Lhakpa, Mt. Gauri-Shanker, Mt. Pumori, and the Granddaddy of them all – Mount Everest – are just a few of the most popular peaks that may be seen from a panorama flight.
TEMPLE OF PASHUPATINATH
The Pashupatinath Temple was built on the banks of the Bagmati River in the year 1696. It is presently considered Nepal’s most prominent Hindu temple. The temple was built in the form of a traditional pagoda, with a gilded ceiling, four silver-plated entrances, and intricately carved rafters. Non-Hindus are not permitted inside the temple, however the western gate offers a glimpse of Lord Shiva’s bull, Nandi. Even if you are not permitted to enter the temple, the grounds and adjacent areas are still worth visiting. Observing the traders and monks go about their daily lives is considered an adventure in and of itself.
Another interesting fact, despite the fact that some people may find it unsettling, is that the Pashupatinath Temple is also where most Kathmandu Valley residents are burned once they pass away. In contrast to many Western countries, Nepalese funerals are held in public, which is a unique yet admirable tradition.
A visit to the Pashupatinath temple should be at the top of your Nepal bucket list.
RIVER RAFTING ON THE BHOTE KOSHI RIVER
One of Asia’s best and most spectacular kayaking and rafting trips is on the Bhote Koshi River. It is known for having some of the best short river adventures in the world, and a two-day rafting package is the ideal opportunity to see why people from all over the world seek out the adrenaline rush that rafting provides.
The Bagmati River separates Patan, the valley’s second largest town, from Kathmandu (although Kathmandu and Patan has very much integrated nowadays). Patan’s history may be traced all the way back to 250 BC, when stupas marked the corners of the ancient town.
When compared to Bhaktapur or Kathmandu, it also has a higher concentration of temples, and it always has interesting architectural gems to explore. The Golden Temple and the Kumbeshwar Temple are two of Patan’s most popular attractions. Be advised, though, that the recent earthquake in Nepal on April 25th 2015 destroyed many of the historic temples.
The Patan Museum, which is situated in the Malla royal palace, is a must-see. More than 200 copper or gilded statues of Hindu or Buddhist deities can be found in the museum. The courtyard (with a red-brick façade, wood carvings, a golden door, and a golden window) and the 12th century seated Buddha are the museum’s principal attractions.