Why Nepal is so much more than just Everest
When you think of Nepal is Mount Everest the first thing that pops into your mind? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Just like the Eiffel Tower is France’s most famous landmark, Nepal is known for the dramatic heights of Everest. And while Everest is worthy of any travel list, we’re here to tell you that there are plenty more jaw-dropping reasons Nepal is worth a visit…
There are so many great treks
Everest is just one of the many great treks you can do in Nepal! With plenty of golden sunsets and mesmerising Himalayan panoramas, you could tackle sections of the Nepalese Himalayas if you’re an avid hiker and make your way to the Annapurna peaks. For the unseasoned hiker, the Kathmandu valley hikes are perfect for a scenic stroll. Either way a trek in Nepal is a rewarding way to discover this countries beautiful offerings which include Noak forests and mountainside villages, along the way.
Image source:Christopher Burns
The food is divine
Nepalese cuisine is a rich mix of Thai, Tibetan and Indian flavours that warm your belly and leave you wanting more. You must try momo dumplings and dhal. If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll be right at home in this Hindu country, but meat (no beef – only lamb, chicken and pork) is still available for a higher price. As Nepal is where Arabica beans are grown, make sure you start the day and top off every meal with a fresh cup of coffee. Whether it’s street food, a home-cooked meal or a restaurant, don’t be surprised if you’re invited to dine on the floor with your legs crossed, it’s the Nepalese way.
The culture is next level
Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is a crucible of culture and has many UNSECO World Heritage Sites. The city is charming chaos with something exciting happening at every turn. With a wealth of temples, squares, palaces and places of note, you’ll want to spend some time here soaking up Nepalese culture and its history (which goes back a LONG way!). Our must see, Durbar Square, an old royal palace that is living history both modern and ancient, as parts of it were tragically destroyed in the earthquake of 2015.
Image source:Rafael Saes
It’s an animal lover’s dream
Nepal has its own bucket list of wild animals to spot and is considered one of the best places for wildlife lovers. Head to the rich ecosystem of Chitwan National Park to spot countless bird species, crocodiles, rhinos, deer and the elusive Bengal Tiger. Nepal also boasts the title of being one of the few countries where clouded leopards can be found!
The sunrises (and sunsets) are magical
With all the soaring landscapes Nepal can brag about it’s no surprise that everywhere you turn there’s a new view and come dawn or dusk you’ll be there to witness the magic. Sunrises and sunsets are even more gorgeous against a backdrop as impactful as the Himalayas. The sunrise at Nagarkot especially attracts thousands of visitors every year to witness the golden sun stretching over the glittering Himalayas as it rises.
There are countless sacred sites with fascinating stories
With a rich history and diverse religious background, Nepal is home to some truly jaw-droppingly remote and gorgeous temples. While the population is now mainly Hindu, Nepal has a history or religious tolerance and has quite a multicultural approach to customs and worship.
You can find a lot of Buddhist sites, but there are also Islamic, Christian and Kiratism as well spread across the land. Be sure to visit Kali Mandir, a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, as well as Namobuddha, a sacred Buddhist Pilgrimage site that rests at a cool elevation of 1750m where a legendary prince sacrificed himself to feed a starving Tigress with several young cubs.
And of course, you can’t go to Nepal without seeing the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet and largest stupa (a Buddhist shrine), the Boudhanath Stupa. The building represents the stages of enlightenment, the elements and the all-knowing benevolence of the Buddha.
Image source:Simon Steinberger