1. Sleep overnight in Chitwan National Park
Chitwan means ‘Heart of the jungle’, and penetrating this heart propels you into a world of dense marshland and thick forest, sheltering an incredible array of wildlife, from one-horned rhinos to royal Bengal tigers. Safaris here are not to be missed, and should be combined wherever possible with an overnight stay in one of the park’s amazing lodges.
2. Take a panoramic flight over the Himalayas
A scenic flight from Kathmandu will see you soaring past the world’s tallest mountain range, getting up close and personal with iconic peaks like Mount Makalu, Mount Gosaithan and, the Granddaddy of them all – Mount Everest. Try Himalayan Dreams’ one-day helicopter tour, which offers majestic views of Dolalghat, Charikot and Jiri.
3. Meet remote hill tribes in the Langtang region
Trekking north of Kathmandu is bizarrely underrated, and pleasingly unspoilt. In particular, the undiscovered Langtang Trek delivers arguably more amazing views in a short space of time than any other walking trek in the country. Also take on the recently opened portion of Langtang National Park called Tamang Heritage Trail, where you can discover Nepal’s Tibetan-influenced hill tribes.
4. Raft through the Bhote Koshi River
The Bhote Koshi offers some of the most exhilarating kayaking and rafting in the whole of Asia. The river boasts class 4-5 rapids, with a two-day rafting package the perfect way to immerse yourself in its bracing beauty. Experience some of the fiercest rapids on Explore Himalaya Travel & Adventure’s three-day trip.
5. Get your thrills in Pokhara
A picture-perfect lakeside town, Pokhara attracts lovers of nature and adrenaline addicts alike. Mountain biking and paragliding are both particularly popular here, as are boating and sunbathing around breathtaking Lake Phewa.
6. Meet the settlers of Patan
Just an hour’s drive from Kathmandu, you’ll find the handsome, temple-saturated city of Patan. Soak in the flavours of the ancient royal stronghold from one of its atmospheric rooftop cafes, where the friendly, chatty locals converge.
7. Visit the birthplace of Buddha
The peaceful atmosphere of Lumbini (The Lovely) is testament to its most famous son, Siddhartha Gautama, aka Buddha. Born here in approximately 623 BC, his legend still attracts pilgrims in their droves today. You can almost taste the tranquility while walking among the town’s peaceful streets and majestic temples.
8. Relax in Kathmandu’s Eden
Kathmandu – Nepal’s capital and largest city – is a bustling hub. But if it all gets a little too much, there’s also a serene oasis at its boisterous core. The elegant Swapna Bagaicha, or ‘Garden of Dreams’, is the ideal escape – just two minutes’ walk, yet seemingly a million miles, from Kathmandu’s centre.
– TEXT BY JONATHAN THOMPSON
PHOTOS: 123RF.COM, HIMALAYA TRAVEL & ADVENTURE, CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK, HIMALAYAN DREAMS
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.