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Nepal Tourism And Travel Guide
16° C / 60.8° F
September to November
5 to 10 Days
Tribhuvan International Airport
International Nepal Railway Station Jayanagar
Nepal, officially also known as the Federation Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a small landlocked nation located in South Asia that shares its borders with India, Tibet and China. But you might have always known it best for being the land of the Himalayas; especially Mt. Everest. Tourism in Nepal opened up to the world only in the 1950’s, but once it did, it quickly became the largest source of revenue and annual income for the country. But with a nation as resourceful as Nepal, it doesn’t just end there.
The earthquake of 2015 took a great toll on the economy of Nepal, but the state proved to be resilient through all the destruction and has been slowly, yet steadily getting back on its feet; all the deficit caused to tourism in the aftermath of the calamity has been more than made up for as more and more vacationers queue up to experience the hospitality of this charming little nation. Priding itself on being home to eight of the ten tallest mountain peaks in the world; it is no surprise why Nepal has become one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Is that enough to ‘peak’ your interest? Here is a comprehensive travel guide to vacationing in Nepal.
How to Reach
The only international airport in the country is Tribhuvan International Airport, located in the capital city of Kathmandu, and it is the sole contact between Nepal and the rest of the world through air routes. You can choose from a variety of commercial airlines to travel between India and Nepal. However, Nepal’s second international airport, the Gautam Buddha International Airport located in Lumbini, has just been completed and is all set to launch in 2019.
Nepal is easily accessible via roadways; you can hire a bus service or a private vehicle to drive into the country through its numerous border crossings that connect different regions of northern India to the neighboring cities of Nepal.
The introduction of the first direct passenger train between Nepal and India has been announced by the Nepal authorities, which is scheduled to launch sometime in 2019 and will connect Bihar to Dhanusa district in Nepal. Until then, you can opt to use the service of Indian Railways to travel to any one of the adjoining cities that are closest to the border crossings of Nepal.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
These are the best months to visit Nepal in order to experience the true serenity and sublime beauty of Nepal’s landscapes. The skies remain primarily clear with occasional cloudy afternoons, and the weather is crisp, cool enough to enjoy all daytime activities.
Winters tend to get really frosty in Nepal, though the weather in the valley regions is more docile than the high altitude areas, which can record temperature lows of up to -10ᴼC. While the cold weather in Nepal can get a little intense, it shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying activities that are more weather suited to this time of the year, like visiting a variety of natural history museums on offer, downhill trekking, sightseeing, and visiting farms and orchards.
The second best time of the year to holiday in Nepal; expect to see bright rhododendrons in bloom and colorful festivals being celebrated throughout the country. Enjoy the warm weather by exploring the numerous trekking trails spread all over the mountainous terrain.
While summers are usually sweltering, the monsoons bring a lot of relief in the form of heavy showers throughout the months of summer. Adventure sports are usually discouraged at this time of year, but the good news is that since it is off-season, you can avail heavy discounts in all kinds of hotels and lodging.
If you do end up visiting Nepal in the monsoons, pay a visit to Mustang and Dolpa; these regions remain predominantly dry even in the wet season.
Things to Do
Nepal is culturally and regionally so diverse that every region has its own specialty when it comes to choosing the best ways to spend your time here.
For those of you looking to get your adrenaline pumping, the coolest hangout places for you would undoubtedly be the Everest region, the ultimate playground for trek and climbing enthusiasts. The town of Pokhara is the local hub to go paragliding, skydiving, mountain biking, white water rafting and zip lining.
Nepal is also widely known for its national parks like Chitwan and Bardia National Park, and is home to a wide variety of indigenous birds and animal species. However, you may also find some irony in the ethos of combining conservation of native species in their natural habitat and legalized hunting in the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, albeit only for wild boars and blue sheep.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
The Chitwan National Park and Sagarmatha National Park have been declared as Natural World Heritage Sites by UNESCO; Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Stupa, Boudhanath Stupa, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Changu Narayan Temple in the Kathmandu Valley (counted as one), together with Lumbini, are the two Cultural World Heritage Sites.
It is an established fact that Nepal holds a special place for the spiritually inclined, and while the country is predominantly populated by Hindus, it is a major hub for Buddhists worldwide for its wide range of monasteries and for Lumbini - the birthplace of Buddha.
Not everyone realizes that Nepal is as much of a shopping hub as it is a picturesque masterpiece. Whether you are looking for traditional handicrafts native to Nepali culture to take back as souvenirs, or trendy attire and accessories to remind you of your phenomenal holiday, the markets of Nepal will not disappoint you. However, do not forget to make use of your bargaining skills, especially in the market areas that are known to be flocked by tourists in general.
Nepal sees a number of festivals that are celebrated all year round; so no matter what time you decide to visit, you are bound to run into festivities.
Some notable celebrations are Dashain, Tihar and Chhath in the autumn months; Holi, Mahashivaratri, Buddha Jayanti, and Nepali New Year in springtime; and Janai Purnima, Naag Panchami, and Krishna Janamashtami in the summer season.
Nepali food resembles Indian cuisine to a large extent, but its influence from Chinese and Tibetan tastes can also be appreciated greatly, depending on which region you choose to dine in. While Dal-Bhat-Tarkari could almost be named Nepal’s national food, make sure to try some native Newari cuisine while you’re there. Some of the outlets are also known to combine food with music and dance along with cultural shows to take your dining experience to the next level. Do check out Thamel House, Boomerang Restaurant, and Bhojan Griha.