My Nepal trip is over and I am not sure when will I be able to return to this wonderful country. A trip that started from India finished in Pokhara – a city I fell in love with. Not only Pokhara but all the places I visited and everyone I met in Nepal provided me with the best of hospitality and a lifetime experience to cherish forever.
There’s no doubt that I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Nepal and I want you to enjoy your trip even more than me. Nepal is not all about Everest and trekking, after all.
Before I end my trip, I wanted to showcase some of the best activities you can do in Nepal that will get the most out of your trip. I have listed these activities based on different interests and costs. Choose any or all as they meet your budget and expectations.
A Visit to Lumbini
For spirituality and peace seekers, a trip to Nepal is well worth. If you are a Buddhist, exploring Buddhism or just want to know more about it, then pay a visit to Lumbini. There can not be a better place than the birthplace of Lord Buddha to learn about his life and how he went on to found Buddhism.
Once you reach Lumbini, you can visit the Queen Mayadevi Temple and different monasteries/temples around it. Find spirituality and give your inner-peace a boost as you visit these monasteries one by one. These beautiful monasteries will reward you with pleasant surrounding.
Lumbini is also known for the World Peace Pagoda (Shanti Stupa) which can be visited while exploring those monasteries. Visit the Peace Pagoda and discover what a quiet place actually feels like (unless you are surrounded by noisy visitors).
Reaching Lumbini via bus could be a long ride from major cities of Nepal. The nearest domestic airport is at Bhairahawa which is currently being upgraded to an international airport. When completed, it will become Nepal’s second international airport and visitors will be able to fly to Lumbini directly from their countries.
A Day in Tansen
Besides Lumbini, Tansen was a city which was recommended to me by locals. Once I reached Tansen, I could notice the difference in weather and the number of people (and their noise).
Located at an altitude of around 1300 m on the highway between Butwal and Pokhara, the small town of Tansen offers you with beautiful scenery around it. It prides itself on once being the capital of the Magar Kingdom ‘Tanahun.’
The town is best explored on foot and taking a walk on those steep cobblestoned streets is fun. Talk to locals on your way, try some famous food items like colorful Jhiniya Roti and meet workers who make the well-known Dhaka fabric.
You can also find temples, a mosque and a church in Tansen. To explore even further, ask someone to show you a map and they will show you some interesting places around the town.
Jungle Safari at Bardia National Park
Nepal has several national parks and conservation areas. A visit to the country would be incomplete without a jungle safari in at least one of these national parks.
Covering an area of 968 square km (374 sq miles) Bardia National Park is one of the largest national parks in Nepal. My jungle safari at Bardia National Park was an exciting experience. We spotted some rhinos, elephants, wild boars among other animals and birds. If you are luckier than me, you can also spot a tiger or two.
Other parks I would suggest are Chitwan National Park and Shuklaphanta National Park. The national park at Chitwan is one of the most visited parks and offers more chances to spot rhinos. The Shuklaphanta National Park was opened to the public recently but could be avoided in favor of other parks.
Jungle safaris offer an exciting opportunity to closely observe the nature and wildlife. I had never been to a jungle before I visited Nepal and I must say that the experience changed me a lot.
Day Hike at Annapurna Foothills
Annapurna is one of the most widely known places in Nepal. All passionate trekkers perform a trek at Annapurna at least one.
I am not into trekking. Not yet, at least. Trekking for days and weeks is not my thing but a day hike definitely is. Visitors like me can enjoy a day hike at Annapurna foothills and enjoy the beauty of the region.
Your activity begins with a drive to Kande while enjoying the mesmerizing scenery around. Once you reach Kande, you will begin your day hike and follow your guide to reach Australian camp through the jungle.
Capture the stunning view of Mount Annapurna and Machapuchre (Fishtail) in your eyeballs and camera before you continue your hike to a Gurung village. This is where you will observe typical Nepalese village culture.
Towards the end of your day, you will reach Phedi. A car will pick you up from here and drop you back at your hotel.
Turn into a craftsperson for a few hours. Learn wood carving from a Nepali craftsman in Kathmandu and bring out the inner artist in you.
Wood carving is an integral part of the history of Kathmandu – a city named after the Kasthamandap temple. Kathmandu’s name itself suggests the importance of wood. In Sanskrit, Kasthamandap means “wood (Kastha) covered shelter (Mandap).” You can see traditional houses and temples flaunting beautiful wood carvings around the city.
At a wood carving workshop, you will learn about the history of this traditional activity of Kathmandu. A craftsman will teach you wood carving on a small block of wood.
Choose a design you wish to carve and learn it from the ‘master’ of this art. Once you are done putting your skills on the wood block, you can take it home as a souvenir.
A 4-hour woodcarving workshop can be a good opportunity to learn about traditional Nepali art and to feel a little closer to the culture of this country.
So many fellow travelers I met in Nepal told me that they were going to attend (or had come back from) a vipassana session. I have never personally attended a vipassana session but these travelers told me a bit about it.
Vipassana means to see things ‘as they really are.’ It is believed to be one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. If you are into meditation, Nepal offers you many options for the same.
Some of these travelers told me they attended a 10-day long vipassana session in Kathmandu organized by Dhamma organization. During the whole session, you will go on a food and a social media diet as you will be served basic food and will not be allowed to use your phone.
If you think you need some meditation, Nepal is your place to be.
Do you think it would be a great idea to fly over Mount Everest – the tallest mountain in the world? If yes, then book your activity right now and get ready for an hour-long flight over Everest and Kanchenjunga.
Get picked up from your hotel in Kathmandu and reach the take-off area. Board a small 19-seat airplane and fly over the peak of Mount Everest. Enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view all around you through the windows and click photos like never before.
Does this activity need more explanation? I guess not.
Nepal is blessed with beautiful landscape. Witnessing the sun rising and setting is a phenomenal experience from such locations. If you are into chasing sunrise and sunsets at different locations, this activity is for you.
This 8-day activity begins from your pickup in Kathmandu. Your first destination will be Nagarkot where you will enjoy your first sunset.
Throughout this 8-day tour, you will wander around different places like Nagarkot, Ghorkha, Bandipur, and Sarangkot where you will be enjoying some sightseeing, too.
Chasing the sun to witness it rise and set from different landscapes could be fun. If you think the same, go book this activity. The cost is inclusive of transportation, accommodation, entry fees, and taxes.
Let me bring this list of best activities in Nepal to an end by adding one more activity for adventure seekers: Rafting.
Rafting at Trishuli River is one of the most popular activities in Nepal. The ride features Grade II and Grade III rapids along with some grade IV rapid if you are visiting Nepal right after the monsoon. These rapids include Snell’s Nose, Teen Devi, Ladies Delight, Upset, and Surprise rapids.
Get picked up from your hotel and reach the river. Be ready for some great fun as you will spend rest of the day rafting through the river.
After the exciting run through the water, you will enjoy your lunch surrounded by beautiful scenery on the banks of the river.
Sounds fun? I’m sure it does. Go ahead and book Trishuli River Rafting and get ready for some rafting!
Different travelers have different preferences when it comes to performing activities during their trip. I, for example, choose to explore areas that are away from usual hustle and bustle of other tourists. Other travelers could be more into trekking, rafting, meditation, yoga and other activities.
Be it visiting lesser-explored areas like Tansen, rafting through the river or a quiet time at Vippasana session, there are many activities in Nepal that will get the most out of your trip.
Most activities mentioned are highly popular and are sold out most of the times. Make sure you book them in advance.
Alright, folks! My Nepal trip ends here. I had a great time in this beautiful country and I wish the same for you, too. Have fun and feel free to reach me if you need help related to your trip to Nepal.
Surprises and experiences await me down the road. I will be back with more stories from my journey soon. Till then, stay tuned and keep wandering.
Have you already been to Nepal? Which are your favorite activities and places there? Share your experience with me.