Nepal is unique, and to most who have visited this magical land the memory lasts a lifetime. There are very few of them who would not visit Nepal again in the future. Nepal is land of the many. Although one of the smallest countries in the world, Nepal is the most diverse nation on earth in terms of landscape, ecology, language, culture, race and religion. It is a paradise, unmatched by any, for hikers, trekkers, mountaineers and lovers of nature, culture and tradition.
Nepal is culturally rich and diverse. There are over 40 different races and tribes in a population of 28 million. Although Nepali is the official language and is the lingua franca for most of the population of Nepal, there are an astonishing 127 languages spoken as the first language.
As the steepest country in the world Nepal's lowest point is just 60 meters above sea level and rises to 8,848 meters, the highest point on earth.
Astonishingly, this vast change in altitude occurs within less that just 200 kilometers. Most of Nepal has climate mild enough that tourists can enjoy its beauty and uniqueness throughout the year. However, the activities one can get involved in depends on what one wishes to do at a particular time of the year. Nepal's climate varies with its topography, altitude and the season. It ranges from the tropical to the arctic.
Into the Wild
One of the biggest draws of Nepal is its natural beauty. The country is full of national parks, and wild rivers which promise adventures that range from wildlife safaris to white-water rafting. Nepal is also home to a number of exotic bird species (in fact, Nepal is the country in the world with the most bird species) and combining that with its jungles full of elephants, tigers and rhinos can be an incredibly rewarding experience. You also have the option to enjoy motor biking, mountain biking and hiking adventures.
The Land of Temples
Nepal takes you on a spiritual journey through its majestic temples and their delightful architecture. Some temples may get a bad rap for their touts while others may present hordes of monkeys, but each is known to be an experience in itself, cultural powerhouses that must be seen. A few of the must-see temples in Nepal include the Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa and the Swayambhunath Stupe.
The Great Himalayas
Bungee jumping into a bottomless Himalayan gorge gives you an incredible rush (check-out Last Resort close to the Tibetan border), but standing on Mount Everest, the highest peak on the planet, is even better. With some of the most dramatic landscapes as a backdrop, you find yourself in elite company of very few people who actually managed to make the journey. And even if you’re not a pro at mountain climbing, there are easier peaks such as Yala Peak, Mera Peak or Island Peak to conquer, or even great treks such as Everest Base Camp, Manaslu trek, or the Annapurna Circuit trek.
Tourists in Nepal
Total number of tourist arrivals in Nepal for the year 2014 was 790,118 of which 74.2 % came by air. The average length of stay for each person was was 13 days. More than 50 percent of foreign visitors to Nepal are tourists and tourism is one of the major sources of income for both the government; through visa fees and taxes, and for the private sector; in the form of business revenue. According to official figures, Indians and Chinese amounted to 17.1 and 15.7 percent of foreign visitors to Nepal respectively, making them the largest nationalities to visit Nepal in the year 2014. Other prominent visitors to Nepal include tourists from the USA, UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Australia.
Nepal Earthquake and fuel and gas crisis
If you're limboing between either going to Nepal or another country, please do go to Nepal. Firstly, because it is a fabulous country to visit. Secondly, because it really needs your help more than ever. The country was hit hard by the earthquakes in April and May 2015, respectively. Moreover, a lesser known fact is that the country was indeed also been hit by a fuel and gas crisis during the Fall of 2015 was much more severe than the earthquake itself, in terms of economic value.!.
Tours and activities in Nepal
Below we are highlighting some of the most famous tours and things to do in Nepal. Due to its mountainous terrain Nepal offers excellent tour opportunities within trekking and climbing, kayaking, river rafting, and mountain biking, all activities where Nepal excels compared with other destinations around the world.
Trekking and Climbing in Nepal
Adventurers can get into the ultimate thrill of their lives by ascending one of the many peaks in northern Nepal. Popular mountaineering peaks include Mount Everest, Island Peak, Mera, Lobuche East, Chulu West, Pisang, Dhampus Peak and Mount Amadablam. Trekkers can choose from a wide variety of trekking routes from “easy” to “extremely difficult”. Trekkers can also decide on the length of the trek, anywhere from a 4 day Poonhill trek to the most famous trekking route on earth; the 12 day Everest Base Camp trek. For the more adventurous trekker, The Great Himalayan Trail is a good option because it runs all the way from the east to the west of Nepal right below the tallest mountains.
Rafting and Kayaking Tours
Rafting and kayaking in one of the many rivers in Nepal has always been popular with tourists. Whether you are a novice or a Class 5+ rafter, Nepal has plenty of rivers to provide you with a good dose of adrenaline rush.
Some of the famous rivers to explore on a kayak or raft are Bhote Kosi, Sun koshi, Trisuli, Karnali, Kali Gandaki River, and many others. Nepal is simply a mecca for river rafting and kayaking!
Pokhara has also been touted as one of the best places in the world to go paragliding, thanks to its unique geothermal patterns and stunning landscapes.
Chitwan National Park
One of the UN World Heritage sites, Chitwan National Park is a must see for lovers of wildlife. It is Nepal's oldest national park and home to endangered species such as the Royal Bengal tiger, one-horned rhinos and Ghariyal crocodiles. Visitors can explore the park on elephants or in a safari vehicle. It is also possible to spend the night in watchtowers called Machans. If you have 3 days available that’s enough to see Chitwan National Park.
Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, is another UN heritage site that might be of particular importance to the spiritually inclined. This sacred site is not just a draw for religious devotees, though. The shimmering lights, sounds, beautiful temples, sculptures, and manicured grounds are artistic treasures and a pleasure to the senses.
Kathmandu boasts of seven UN World Heritage sites, so there is plenty to see for the cultural-minded. The Durbar (Palace) Squares in the cities of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan highlight centuries of history, art, culture and tradition in the valley. These historical places are a host to opulent palaces, incredible woodwork and masonry, and impressive art galleries. Also worth the time is a visit to Nepal's holiest site, the UNESCO-listed Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, as well as Swayambhunath Stupa (also known as Monkey Temple), which offers sweeping panorama of Kathmandu valley and playful primates. Another famous attraction is the Boudhanath Stupa.
Things to do in Pokhara
In Pokhara you will be able to visit many of its caves, extensive water system and the beautiful Fewa lake where one can take a paddle boat and visit Barahi Mandir, an island and temple in the middle of the lake. Other fascinating things to do in Pokhara are mountain bike rides, visit the peace pagoda, strolling up and down lakeside, paragliding, and perhaps a kayak tour down the Lower Seti River, or river rafting down from the Upper Seti section.
Mountain bike tours in Nepal
Nepal is a mecca for mountain bike enthusiasts. If you’re in Kathmandu Valley you will be able to find a host of different mountain bike tours, and the same goes for Pokhara. If you’re looking for adventurous mountain bike tours it is possible to mountain bike the famous Annapurna Circuit trek , or even magical Upper Mustang.