Nepal faced an immediate and significant drop in tourism since the life-changing earthquake in the spring of 2015. What many don’t know yet is that this is in fact the best time to go back and revel in the marvels of Nepal’s culture and beauty. Why so? Because they have already recuperated to a surprising extent, its touring activities are fully functional, and no longer are its streets and cities crowded with tourists. Isn’t that ideal for a peaceful vacation in the country breathing between India and Tibet?
Nepal has that rustic, divine feeling, portrayed so aptly in its pagoda roofs and simple clothing. If you’re still contemplating a trip to this land of spirituality and adventure, let us help you with some solid reasons:
- Everest base camp trek
For those who seek an adventure that makes adrenaline rush in their veins, this is perfect. Trekking to the base camp of the incredibly overwhelming Mount Everest is seriously an amazing experience. It starts by flying into to Lukla, and continuing to trek through stunning landscapes until you reach the destination.
- Annapurna circuit trek
The 128-mile horseshoe-shaped route circles Nepal’s heaven-high Annapurna range, and it’s been the go-to for trekking since it was first opened to foreigners in the early 1980s. This is a different experience in itself, really, because the sceneries you pass change like phases. From impenetrable greenery to dense pines into a sight full of mountain peaks.
For many of the Annapurna circuit trekkers, Pokhara serves as a camping spot. Nepal’s 2nd largest city, Pokhara’s geography varies from low to high altitudes very quickly within its borders which causes the city to have some very breathtaking views for all you nature lovers.
According to Buddhist traditions, this is where Gautam Buddha was born, and thus Lumbini is considered a sacred place in Nepal. There are many temples and Buddhist monasteries, along with the most important temple, the Maya Devi temple, which enshrines the exact place of Buddha’s birth. Make Lumbini part of your trip if you’re planning a pilgrimage, and you won’t regret it.
- Pashupatinath Temple
Unharmed by the earthquake, the sacred Pashupatinath Temple rests on the banks of the Bagmati River and is considered a masterpiece of Hindu architecture. This Shiva temple attracts crowds from everywhere, and many families come here to get their loved one cremated once they die and have their ashes flow down the river.
- Janai Purnima
A sacred thread festival celebrated by the Hindu men, this ritual marks the journey of the boy’s initiation into manhood. These shamanic customs are fascinating to observe and have deep-set roots in ancient traditions.
- Gai Jatra
Celebrated mainly in Kathmandu, the Gai Jatra is the festival of cows. It’s carried on over many years and the people believe that it helps their deceased loved ones to rest in peace. The merrymaking involves great food, dancing and singing, and is quite the attraction for tourists.
- National parks
Nepal nestles plenty of national parks which, in turn, provide many activities for tourists. The Chitwan National Park is a home to at least 68 species of mammals, including the Bengal tiger and sloth bear! Animal lovers, do not miss the flora and fauna of this location!
- Elephant safari
This unique experience can be enjoyed at Chitwan National Park itself. Up to four people can take a ride on a single elephant. You will come across many of the animals that live here, such as one-horned rhinos, forest deer, Indian porcupines and Rhesus monkeys.
After all these exhilarating activities, you can take a breather and attend one of the many workshops mostly found in Kathmandu and Changunarayan. Ranging from wood carving, cooking, pottery, to Thanka painting, Nepal has an array of interesting crafts to learn, providing that sense of creating something new.
Still intimidated by the Nepal earthquake? Can’t get yourself to go for that trip because of natural disasters? Here’s why you SHOULD go for it.